False Prophets

 

 

False prophets, teachers, and gurus

 

PART I

 

 

The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of NEW AGE RELIGIONS © 2004

 
Edited by James R. Lewis

 


 

How Cults Work

By Julia Layton

 

When most of us hear the wor­d “cult,” we see a bunch of brainwashed zombies feeding their children ­cyanide-laced fruit drink, mass murders, a burning compound in Waco, Texas — it’s not a pretty picture. But is it a true picture? What exactly is a “cult,” and how is it different from a “religion”? Are all cults dangerous? Are people who join destructive cults mentally disturbed, or are all of us equally susceptible?

 

In this article, we’ll ­separate fact from propaganda and ­­­learn what a cult actually is, what practices characterize a destructive cult and look at some of the more notable cult incidents in recent history. ­

 

howstuffworks.com/cult

 


 

Monograph Series No 27 *

Cults in 19th Century Britain

 

Robert Cecil

 

paperback, 20 pages, ISBN 978-0-904674-15-6

 

We tend to think of cults as late 20th century phenomena associated with current interest in Eastern philosophies and religions, but Robert Cecil’s essay reveals a rich brew of cult activity throughout the 19th century.

 

Robert Cecil, CMG, MA was Chairman of the Graduate School of Contemporary European Studies, University of Reading (1976-8), and Chairman of the Institute for Cultural Research, for which he edited an anthology, The King’s Son (Octagon Press, 1980). His other published works include Life in Edwardian England (1969), The Myth of the Master Race: Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology (1972), Hitler’s Decision to Invade Russia (1975), A Divided Life: a biography of Donald Maclean (1988), and The Masks of Death: Changing Attitudes in the Nineteenth Century (1991).
back to the list of monographs >>

 

 DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT OF MONOGRAPH 27
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 Since the 1960s, there has been a burgeoning not of governments but of independent entrepreneurial groups that go into the mind-manipulation and personality-change business. Myriads of false messiahs, quacks, and leaders of cults and thought-reform groups have emerged who use Orwellian mind-manipulation techniques. They recruit the curious, the unaffiliated, the trusting, and the altruistic. They promise intellectual, spiritual, political, social, and self-actualization utopias. These modern-day pied pipers offer, among other things, pathways to God, salvation, revolution, personal development, enlightenment, perfect health, psychological growth, egalitarianism, channels to speak with 35,000-year-old “entities,” life in ecospheres, and contact with extraterrestrial beings.
    There is truly a smorgasbord of spiritual, psychological, political, and other types of cults and cultic groups seeking adherents and devotees. Contrary to the myth that those who join cults are seekers, it is the cults that go out and actively and aggressively find followers. Eventually, these groups subject their followers to mind-numbing treatments that block critical and evaluative thinking and subjugate independent choice in a context of a strictly enforced hierarchy.
    The wisdom of the ages is that most manipulation is subtle and covert. When Orwell drew on this wisdom, he envisioned the evolution of an insidious but successful mind and opinion manipulator. He would appear as a smiling, seemingly beneficent Big Brother. But instead of one Big Brother, we see hordes of Big Brothers in the world today. Many of them are cult leaders.
    In the following pages, Janja Lalich and I hope to convey an understanding of the cult phenomenon in our society, so that you and those around you may take heed and be warned. It is not a pretty picture, but I believe it is one that desperately needs to be looked at.

 

*  *  *

 

Readers should know that a number of cults are highly litigious and use their wealth and power to harass and curb critics. Defending himself or herself against the false accusations made by some of these cults can break the ordinary person. It appears that winning is not the most important goal for cults. Their motivation appears rather to be to harass, financially destroy, and silence criticism.
    Last year alone, one large cult was involved in approximately two hundred suits with government entities, critics, and ex-members who spoke out about their time in the group. The tactics employed by cults and other groups to influence public perception and debate are considerable. . .
    In fact, and with much regret, this edition of the book contains a rather glaring omission in my historical account of a certain movement. Despite the profound impact of one particular person and his organization on the spread of certain types of training, I have not mentioned this well-known leader and his international organization. I have taken this step due to the pendancy of a meritless lawsuit against me and Janja Lalich arising from the publication of the hardcover edition of this book. . .

 

    Without the citizenry being aware of the power and control certain cults are wielding, democracy and freedom can be curbed one step at a time. Cults by their very structure and nature are not democratic, do not promote freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and are the antithesis of structures in which full human growth can develop.
    There are cults in our midst, more than the average citizen realizes. And these powerful groups infiltrate many areas of our lives.

 

Margaret Singer, from her Introduction to the First Edition of Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Minace © 1995

 


 

From Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Reverend Jim Jones to Osama bin Laden, by Peter A. Olsson M.D. © 2005

 

Chapter Six – The Siren Song of Destructive Cults: Recognizing the Music of the Malignant Pied Piper – pp. 106-107

 

In my early years of cult study, I assumed that a person lured into a cult must have severe personality weaknesses, problems, or mental illness. I found that this assumption was inaccurate. As we have seen from the biographical accounts . . . cult followers come from the full spectrum of humanity — young to old, poor to rich, educated to illiterate, conservative to liberal, religious to uncommitted. Anyone can be vulnerable to cult recruitment in certain life circumstances.
    If we think of common human needs as a pyramid, the base of the pyramid is built up from the essentials — oxygen, water, food; then clothing, shelter, and protection; and so on in a gradual ascent through community and culture. The fundamental human need to affiliate with small and/or large groups is near the top, just below the domain of spirituality.  Spiritual needs are experienced (or denied) individually, and are intensely private and personal. Yet they are also learned, mediated, amplified, and rewarded within a community. All human beings have deep and normal needs to find spiritual meaning in their lives and to affiliate with a group and a community as part of their quest. These aspirations have both rational and irrational elements. (Abraham Maslow, Maturation and Personality.)
    As we encourage our young people to be spiritually connected with other people, we must remember that there are risks. A wise and mature nurse at our local hospital made the following comment when we were discussing this book: “Dr. Olsson, we raise our kids to be kind, curious, and open to the world and the diversity of people’s beliefs. The paradox is that this can leave them a little too naive and trusting, and therefore, vulnerable to clever predators — your MPPs.”
 . . . Any small or large group forms collective goals, core values, rules, and norms of behavior. Even as the individual is nurtured and supported by the group, he or she often subordinates or compromises individuality in deference to the identity of the group.
    Groups require leaders for their formation, administration, and day-to-day operation. Natural leaders generally possess charisma and charm in some degree. Members of the group, in return for investing their own individual power and authority in the charismatic leader, vicariously participate in the leader’s power and authority. This idea is critical to understanding the lure of the Malignant Pied Piper. Cult members are not just passive victims of a cult leader’s charisma. The relationship involves a powerful co-dependency that resembles a dysfunctional marriage.
    Leader-follower relationships in destructive cults are the epitome of co-dependency, dysfunctionality, and abuse. Membership in a destructive cult is devastating to the individual in terms of his or her creativity, intellectual maturation, and individuation. Destructive and exploitive cult leaders victimize their followers because of their own narcissistic personality problems.

 

 

Chapter Eight – Why We Study the Minds of Malignant Pied Pipers & Their Followers – p. 157

 

MPPs can be very winsome and appealing at early encounters. It can be valuable to be able to spot subtle patterns of a potential MPP or the recruitment techniques that they or their cult group use.
    All people to varying degrees have a basic need to be a part of a community. It is healthy and essential to maturation and personality development to affiliate with and have meaningful experiences with small and large groups. Groups provide healthy avenues to create meaning in our lives. Patriotism and religious loyalty, for example, are normal. Even atheistic faith can be respectful and dignified. Thankfulness and respect for the wonderfulness of America is not incompatible with vigorous criticism of its policies or leaders. MPPs do not tolerate vigorous criticism or intelligent questioning of their teachings for very long. They may feign tolerance for a while, but down deep, they think they know all the answers. It is their way or the highway. This is a key area to be mindful and watchful about with leaders of groups. MPPs can exploit and manipulate our inherent need to affiliate with groups.

 


 

International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) provides information on cults, cultic groups, psychological manipulation, psychological abuse, spiritual abuse, brainwashing, mind control, thought reform, abusive churches, high-demand groups, new religious movements, exit counseling, and practical suggestions for those needing assistance.

 

See: icsa.com book review/malignant pied pipers of our time

 


 

 

Rick Ross Cult Education Institute forum

 

Re: Fellowship of Friends, Oregon House California

Posted by: corboy 
Date: August 10, 2013 10:44PM
 

Fellowship of Friends (aka people of the bookmark) have also gone by various names: ‘Ark’ ‘Oregon House’, ‘Renaissance’ ‘Apollo’.

 

This website, apparently set up by persons who do follow Gurdjieff work, lists problems that students can fall into. And in passing, mentions Fellowship of Friends.

 

[fourthwayschool.org]

 


 

Rosie, Sharon, Alex, Robert & The Work

 

Burton: A “Budding Man Number Five”

 

One of Horn’s students in the [late 1960s] was a tall, handsome young man with an Arkansas accent, Robert Earl Burton . . .

 

Understanding the idealism that perpetuates many seekers’ search, Burton refocused the teaching’s challenge to self-love and vanity to a stress on living like a person of the Renaissance, cultivating impressions of beauty, the arts, music, poetry and fine living. Apparently influenced by Warren Miller’s best-selling book of the time, A Canticle for Leibowitz, depicting a ravaged world after the world catastrophe, Burton made a number of prophecies, one of which was that California would fall into the sea on April 12, 1998 at 11 A.M. Those with him, being the elect of Christianity, would not perish. Like Leibowitz in the book, eight years after starting his school and now known as “The Teacher,” Burton stopped teaching to travel the globe to amass – he would no doubt say “salvage” – a large collection of art work as a kind of cultural ark in the coming Armageddon. (A recent auction of Burton’s collection of rare antique Chinese furniture at Christie’s in New York City brought in $11.2 million.) When the day passed for California to fall into the sea, Burton explained it with, “The Higher Powers [he claims to speak to 44 discarnate beings] have humiliated me.”

 


 

83. ton2uNovember 8, 2018

 

Greedy Bob…? part and parcel of the job of a charlatan…

 

Remembering the days of my youth, a song titled Spiritual Fantasy by Steppenwolf…

 

Humanity grew weary
Of its doubtful state of mind
So it summoned from far and near
All the wise men thought to be sincere
To heal its wounds and make it whole
And lead the way back to the soul
The charlatans they stayed behind
To count their bags of gold
And some stayed away as if to say
I know that my way’s the only way
Afraid to learn they may be wrong
They preach their nothingness at home
But the wise men came together with the hope to free mankind
Of the rubbish that had gathered in God’s name
To embrace and trust each other in the search for the supreme
And they found that all their teachings were the same
And when at last the word went round
That all were one and all
Many returned to seek the light
Nobody claimed that he was right
It’s sad to know it’s just a song
To dream and hope still can’t be wrong

 


 

168. Perpetua Says:

 

For those who might like to know more about what kind of teacher Alex Horn is/was and what kind of “School” he has/had, I am posting this article I found in a website. It seems that Robert learned the art of “teaching” from Alex Horn, though [from] what I read, Alex kicked Robert out because he said that homosexuals didn’t have a chance in this work and also because he was chasing many of the boys in his group. How did Robert start teaching? How did he gather students? I would like to know. Those students must have been very naive and persuasive to accept him as a “real teacher”, but I wasn’t there. I joined some twenty years ago and the school was already very established with about 2,000 students that didn’t question much about Robert being a conscious teacher or not. When I think back on those days, the reason I joined the school was because of the community, not because of Robert. You didn’t see much of him in those days and the community seemed healthy and real…and beautiful. It seems such a contradiction. But I guess it is hard to keep things pure. The school had its golden age and now is on a descending octave. It is awful to see the process of something that once felt real and good and now to see how it is being corrupted by power, greed, and perversion….But life is always changing and nothing lasts forever. So time for me to leave.

 

Here it is: [previously posted on Rick Ross CEI by cber7, Mar 11, 2005]

 

“If you are a student stuck in a group led by Alex Horn or Sharon Gans-Horn, then the fact you are reading this is already great news. It means that you are smart enough and intuitive enough and courageous enough to have begun to distinguish between the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and the people teaching them. Whether or not what Gurdjieff or Ouspensky taught is valuable and valid does not matter here. If you are someone who has a friend or companion who you know is involved with these groups and you don’t know what to do, try to show them this.

 

You are being preyed upon by phonies – very clever, manipulative, and charming (when they need to be) frauds. They crave three things – money, power, and a sense of self-importance – to excess. Any shred of self-doubt about their motives and behavior disappeared long ago – they have convinced themselves that they are superior to you and others, further justifying their need for power, money, and self-importance. They manipulate, abuse, and misuse the ideas of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll, and Collin to suit their agenda. I repeat – they do not serve the ideas, the ideas serve them. They are not conduits for higher influences – they are self-deluded and power-mad with a long trail of exploitation and destruction of lives and families. They will dangle the carrot of “meaning,” “consciousness,” and “freedom” before you but at the same time undermine your self-esteem by showing you how mechanical and helpless you are.

 

Over the course of many years they have surrounded themselves with weak-spirited and wretched lackeys whose real motivation is also the lust for power, money and the need to feel important. The way to get away from them requires both a strong mental effort followed by action. Both will be addressed here.

 

First of all, you must believe in your suspicions enough to look further into what type of person Alex Horn and Sharon Gans really are. Do some research on your own and study the traits of “malignant narcissism” or “malignant narcissists.” This should help to ground your suspicions in what you have observed about your “teachers.” Your “teachers” are, according to the traits of “malignant narcissism,” fully functioning sociopaths/psychopaths. That’s right – they are insane, but very dangerous so long as you think they have power over you because you continue to believe they are sane. The sad thing about the Work and these wretches is that the “Ideas” you have been studying – when manipulated by them – dovetail perfectly with the agenda of maintaining the state of Grandiosity that characterizes them as sociopaths.

 

How do they succeed? How do they get away with all of this? How do they fool so many people so much of the time? You might as well ask how did Hitler and Stalin get away with their agenda. It is the exact same chilling phenomenon, just a different scale. Hitler and Stalin liquidated people who got in their way or threatened them. Stalin, when he did not make people “disappear” sent them to the Gulags. With Sharon Gans or Alex Horn, when you are sent away you too become a non-person. You are in fact treated as a disease by the diseased!

 

Look at the following websites: http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/psychopath.html and http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html  Ask others in this forum on this website about the substance abuse they have witnessed too: food, tobacco, alcohol, mood-altering medications. Talk about “habit” and slavery!

 

The way to escape, once you have been convinced enough of what you read here and elsewhere, is simple. But the final obstacle to leaving is being aware of and being able to cope with the loss of all the friends you have made during your stay in the group. This will feel like a big and painful sacrifice. But ultimately they must take responsibility for their beliefs and their lives, too. Those beliefs that you once shared that brought you and your fellows closer to each other will now be the source of a divide. And the ideas that helped create that bond must now at this point not outweigh the evidence that is in front of your eyes – that Sharon Gans or Alex Horn and their respective inner circles are not really for you. They are parasites and vampires who have successfully exploited you, and you must rid yourself of them even when it means losing many friends, misguided though they may be. Which is worse, remaining in a prison – in a punitive and demoralizing environment with your companions – or being out of prison without them? You must make an intentional decision to maintain that they are wrong and you are right. Can you do that? Yes, you can. Have the courage to get out of group-think.

 

What about “consciousness”? Are you frightened of losing “everything”? Consider this: Is it possible that the phenomenon called “self-remembering” is actually a form of auto-hypnosis? Is it a coincidence that Gurdjieff was a professional hypnotist before “discovering” the Ideas? Is it possible that the power that Sharon Gans or Alex Horn or the other ones have over you and so many others is based on your capacity to reach a semi-hypnotic state that they “teach” you in the first place? By considering these alternative explanations you may strengthen your resolve to get out as fast as you can.

 

What about the lure of Higher Sex, eroticism, and “sex energy” connected with “self-remembering”? Think about it: if it is possible that self-remembering is simply a way to hypnotize yourself, then it is also possible that the urges you repress that belong to your libido are freed a little bit. Unrepressed libido and “sex energy” are equatable – yes, it could be that simple. Be courageous enough to think about it.

 

Again, after you have gotten past this obstacle of leaving your friends behind, the way out is simple: With either Sharon or Alex’s group, the only thing that these people understand is force, threats, intimidation, power, and the possibility of exposure. After your last “class” or “meeting,” leave pretending that all is normal. Say nothing of your intention and be resolved to never return. Then, when you are contacted by a partner for missing your next meeting…remain vague and inform them that you have decided to leave – you do not need to give an explanation no matter how coercive they may be. No, you do not owe them an explanation! Whatever you do, do not be talked into announcing your departure in class! You do not owe your jailers anything! Tell them that you want no further calls and you are not open to any persuasion. If they persist, remain vague but allude to either an investigative reporter acquaintance at a local newspaper, an acquaintance at the local police department, or a friend at the FBI. Any threat of an authority or potential menace that can expose Alex Horn or Sharon Gans will scare them away for good. Be prepared for a lot of idle threats and violent language though – that’s the last-ditch effort of a so-called Higher Being having a tantrum. In the end, though, it is all bark. Alex Horn and Sharon Gans may be psychopaths but they are also cowards interested only in self-preservation. They will continue to “do” nothing but talk, as they have been “doing” for many many years. If there were such a thing as Sleep, Mechanicality, buffers, and real Conscience in the sense they speak of it, those two and their crowd are much worse off than you – and incurably so.”

 

Does this look familiar?

 

Thank you so much Sheik for creating this forum. It was really needed.

 


 

The Sharon Gans Cult News Blog

 

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

 

Sharon’s Work on Herself

 

It is my humble opinion that the only work Sharon has ever done is to work over the members of the cult. Not clear what her knowledge is of the 4th Way system. Current and former members will attest that Sharon only occasionally mentions so-called “work ideas.” On her pedestal and easy chair in full recline position (its a crazy sight), Ms. Gans primarily discusses three things during her “classes”: (a) her favorite topic, herself; (b) her second favorite topic, sex, in extremely vulgar and gross terms which would make a sailor blush and causes considerable unease in the room; and (c) how much her followers are to blame for all the problems she has caused them. 
She has not once described her personal experiences in applying so called “work ideas” to her life. I’ve never heard her mention how she “remembered herself” or practiced “non-identification.” If she has worked on herself, then I would contend that the work most certainly “does not” work.

 

Yet, I’ll wager that most followers, when they first meet Sharon, can sense that there is something about her that is unusual, that she is intelligent and very charming. She has her own alternate perception of “reality” which she insists that you follow in order for her to agree to relate to you. And somehow this is very compelling. She is also extremely self-confident and she exudes an air of boldness (e.g., “I am a Conscious Being.”) This turns out to be very alluring and attractive. Her emphatic belief that she is so “great” causes people to believe it.

 


But it is my humble opinion, based on my observations and conversations with people who know her personally, that Sharon is suffering from Narcissistic personality disorder “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”

 

I was thinking of giving examples of how her behavior fits in with these symptoms. However, I think it would be more interesting to hear your examples. I’ll start with one: “Taking advantage of others to get what you want“: Endless projects of forced labor to build cult and Gans properties in dangerous conditions; a crew of about a dozen members who prepare, purchase, and cater all of her meals; gaslighting members to make them submit to her will, etc.

 

 

 

 

Anonymous  January 6, 2016 at 6:01 PM

 

I love the term “gaslighting”. I have seen the movie but never realized it was a clinical term.

 

I also like the word “Hornswoggle” which has a nice old fashioned sound to it and is defined as: to trick or deceive, to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.

 

Some synonyms are: bamboozle, beguile, bluff, buffalo, burn, catch, con, cozen, delude, dupe, fake out, fool, gaff, gammon, gull, have, have on [chiefly British], deceive, humbug, juggle, misguide, misinform, mislead, snooker, snow, spoof, string along, sucker, suck in, take in, trick.

 

It also has a very nice allusion to the infamous Alex Horn.

 

 

Meshuganah  January 8, 2016 at 8:38 AM

 

You are going soft, dear altacaca. It would be nice if she were just NPD, but truth to tell, she’s a full blown socio-psychopath (the term means the same thing), as well as NPD with a Machiavellian personality. These are the big three of the dark personality disorders, and she’s got them all. Why a psychopath? Because she has no conscience — the only “right” is what she says, and the only “wrong”, same thing. Read ‘The Psychopath Next Door’ by Dr Martha Stout – great list in there which is a dead ringer. How to prove? Imagine Sharon told a student to kill someone for the work – because it was right action – don’t you think there are students who would do it? The moral order is Sharon’s.

 

 

 
You’re right. She has no conscience. I agree she has the trifecta. Here’s a classic. She once told a follower, whose wife was infertile, to impregnate the wife’s teenage daughter and the offspring would then be raised by the member and his wife. (This suggestion was declined.) Only a twisted and demented mind comes up with such a disgusting concept. A sure fire way to damage a whole bunch of lives. Which is her hobby.

 

 

Meshuganah  January 21, 2016 at 8:30 AM

 

That is truly disgusting – Law and Order SVU could use that for a plot, it’s that disgusting! My own sister had in vitro and had four viable fetuses (fetii?). She was 45 and they had to “reduce” the pregnancy by two for her safety. Sharon told me, “have her keep three, and then she can give one to you!” OK, did she not hear that carrying more than 2 was an unacceptable risk? And I didn’t want my sister and her husband’s off spring! At the time if I’d wanted a child, I could have managed on my own, thanks.

 

 

Anonymous  January 25, 2016 at 7:38 AM

 

I am speechless … except to say WTF?

 

“Sharon told me, ‘have her keep three, and then she can give one to you!'”

 

Where do I begin??? “… have her keep three.” How were you expected to dictate this decision to your sister? “Look, I know you could die, but Sharon Gans says you should give birth to three of your four viable fetusus (feti?) and give one to me.”?

 

This goes beyond Sarah Palin crazy. I guess those of us who were Boston-branch, outer circle cogs (i.e. “younger class”) were somewhat buffered from this level of cult crazy.

 

Congrats on your current “school”-free, Gans-free existence.

 

 

Pupik  January 8, 2016 at 11:21 AM

 

I got pulled out in the first wave of evil doers in 2000. I am eternally grateful to a couple of people for letting me know that they thought the group was off, and that I wasn’t being well treated. But I think my ‘a-ha’ moment started about four months prior to that, when I [was] assigned to “wake-up” on a CR weekend and I had to go wake up my ex-boyfriend and his wife. Although I had finally gotten past it all, and was friendly with the two of them, it was really f’d up to send me down there to wake them in their bed! Then, of course, I saw the rough cut of the documentary Artists and Orphans and how much of it was a paean to Sharon, particularly the scene where it is announced to the little children that Sharon had a gift for them, and their eyes lit up, and the gift is all wrapped up, and…..wait for it…. The gift is a big framed photo of ….. SHARON!!!! To be hung in their dining room, no less, so they can see her and thank her and look at her all the time! The disappointment on those poor little faces was heart-rending. My process had a few more parts, especially as there was no info from evil doer blogs and things at that time, but knowing there were people out there pulling for me and there to support me helped so much. They are there for you, too! GET OUT NOW!!!

 

 

 
For all her talk of essence, and how children could sense someone else “in essence” – meaning that children really love her – I never saw a child not scared shitless of the old bitch.

 


 

ganscult (excerpt)

 

Posted on March 29, 2011

 

 

Gans is a Psychopath.

 

n.
A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

 

She lives in a world where everything revolves around her.  She treats people with great disdain (“teachers” and “students” included) and horrible abusiveness.

 

She learned a lot of her bullying techniques and mind control from her psychopathic husband Alex Horn […] knowing little to nothing about the work but just enough to control people and separate them from their money and seduce and abuse women with his “knowledge”.  Uncared for and beaten children, physical punishment and sexual deviancy were all par for the course in the original group.

 

The soul thief also has students tripping over themselves to perform for her whether it is regular class or “Christmas class” like trained animals begging for a morsel of approval, and most students are SO desperate to make a “good impression” on her that it is embarrassing. Talk about forgetting yourself! Then she gives her critique like she is THE diva of the theater.  (It seems she skipped acting school like she skipped the other school.)  She NEVER contributes ANYTHING, not a dime ever leaves her ostentatious pocketbooks. She has at least 4 different homes. The latest, an $8 million apartment at the Plaza Hotel, which was refurbished … you guessed it … by students … and no, they were not paid. She has the nerve to ask “students” to pay into her “retirement fund.”

 

She insists that everyone who is in her fake school work [and] yet she hasn’t had a job herself in over 30 years.

 

She did however direct a play written by her husband Alex Horn, called “The Legend of Sharon Shashanova.” Directed by Gans. About Gans. Imagine, she thinks of herself as a “legend”… Serious Delusion. Behavior that goes hand in hand with a true psychopath.

 

The review from New York Magazine (October 17, 1988) for this mess of a play starts out

 

When it comes to pretentiousness nobody beats The Legend of Sharon Shashanova.”

 

Of course it’s pretentious. What else could it be? Both of them have been living pretend lives … DEGENERATE miscreants, imagining themselves as some highly developed beings able to teach a system they have never studied.

 

They are two-bit Thugs. CRIMINALS in the biggest sense of the word, preying on the real wishes of innocent people. Using up people’s lives to improve their own lives and level of comfort. Manipulating people to no end, stealing their time, money and families.

 

Alex Horn died in 2007, yet his evil continues on through Gans and her sickos. A quote from a former student:

 

“Yes, he was an evil man.

 

He seduced and slept with MANY of his students – with and without his wife Sharon’s consent. He was a sexual predator. The worst.

 

I know that we should not speak ill of the dead but he was so ill himself. Ill as in a sick psycho.

 

Dust to Dust”

 


 

Robert Earl Burton, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a butcher, now 6′ 4″ tall, over 200 pounds, former grade school teacher, former tennis coach, former member of Alex Horn’s “Theater of All Possibilities,” is now homeless, alternating between living in a van and house sitting. Psychologically a broken machine after being beaten, stabbed and forced to have sex with a woman, Burton is convinced he is “conscious” and is receiving “shocks,” omens, from “higher powers,” from C Influence . . .

 

Burton is convinced that he is a “prophet” and begins to seek “students.”

 

archive.org

 

More information about Burton in: 1970

 

greg-goodwins-geocities website

 


 

160. Thot Plickens May 14, 2010

 

Was reading some of the previous pages, taking my own advice…

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

What You Should Know About Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends – January 18, 2010

 

• It’s a doomsday cult.
 

• The predicted doomsday never came.
 

• Burton predicted major catastrophes for 1984 and 1998, and then nuclear war for 2006. For decades, he predicted the Fellowship of Friends would become the beginning of a new civilization in 2006.  Burton said, “Our task is to establish a new civilization.”
 

• Through cognitive dissonance, followers try to forget the above predictions, or downplay them.
 

• Like other cults, followers object to the word “cult.” But there’s no better one-word description for this organization in the English language.
 

• Burton has coerced and seduced several hundred young followers — and perhaps thousands — into having sex with him, using promises of spiritual salvation, expensive gifts, vacations abroad, as well as playing on their fears of being outcast from their circle of friends. As a result, many former and current followers have suffered lasting psychological scars and emotional trauma, and a few have committed suicide. (Read the numerous personal accounts within this blog.)
 

• In doing the above, Burton has violated the trust of thousands of his followers who were unaware of the extent of his sexual activities within the cult, and unaware of the extent of his deception.
 

• Burton is a sociopath and malignant narcissist who shows no concern for the welfare of his followers unless they are useful to him in some way. When they cease to be useful to him, he discards them.
 

• Burton’s “public” persona is one of a gentle guru who speaks with a soft voice. This personality helps him deceive his followers into believing they have found the one true path to enlightenment, salvation, and heaven.
 

• Burton tells his followers that 44 angels, or gods, guide the Fellowship of Friends — and that they guide only the Fellowship of Friends. Angels, he says, do not guide anyone else on earth.
 

• Burton advances a world view that Hell exists, and that there’s only one way to avoid going to Hell when one dies: Join the Fellowship of Friends, and stay in the Fellowship of Friends until your death. All people on earth who do not join the Fellowship of Friends will go to Hell when they die. Likewise, followers are warned that they will go to Hell if they leave the cult.
 

• Followers are discouraged or forbidden from communicating with former members. Those who leave the cult will lose contact with their closest friends within the cult.
 

• Followers are forbidden to discuss any of the above. If they do discuss these facts with their friends, or question anyone about these facts, they will be expelled. This in turn fosters secrecy and lack of transparency within the cult.
 

• Burton charges exorbitant membership fees – anywhere from 20% to 40% of income, depending on a person’s salary. The full amount of these fees is never discussed when representatives try to sell people on joining the cult.
 

• The fees have helped pay for Burton’s extravagant lifestyle, which includes expensive clothing, frequent expensive vacations, and a lavish home at the cult’s compound in Oregon House, California (between Grass Valley and Yuba City).
 

• Burton and the Fellowship of Friends have been sued by former members on multiple occasions. Most of these suits have been settled out of court, with insurance companies paying the settlement on behalf of the Fellowship of Friends.
 

• Burton founded the cult in 1970. For more than three decades, he characterized the cult as a so-called “Fourth Way school.” In recent years, the cult has virtually abandoned any discussions about the Fourth Way.
 

• Because the Fellowship of Friends (also referred to as Pathway to Presence) has been granted religious status, American taxpayers help pay for this cult.

 

• In the last four years, several hundred followers have left the Fellowship of Friends, and many followers continue to leave. It’s believed that slightly over 1,000 members remain worldwide, but reliable statistics are not publicly available.

 


 

120. ton2uAugust 9, 2015

 

Though difficult to recognize when you’re in the cult, after you step outside of cult programming, its use of mind-control techniques becomes all too obvious.

 

For example the “eternal damnation” meme is already deeply embedded in the collective psyche of “western” (judeo-christian and including muslim) cultures. This idea is a control mechanism that’s been used by religions for hundreds of years – along with belief that the only way to avoid damnation is to adhere to the religion and to follow its dictates. Burton adopts and uses this idea with the threat of one’s soul “going to the moon” should you “lose” the school – it’s the “4th way” equivalent of “eternal damnation.”

 

Another mind-control technique has to do with the nature of Burton’s numerous false prophecies, there’s always a prediction of some cataclysmic event hanging in the air, threatening all those who are not part of his “school.”

 

Whether the “prophecies” are true or false isn’t the point, nor the effect…. these “prophecies” are simply designed to scare those who are fooled into believing.

 

Psychological fear tactics act as part of the invisible fence which keeps the “flock” in their pen.

 

wolves-in-sheeps-clothing

 


 

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves…”  Matthew 7:15

 


 

36. InsiderFebruary 14, 2018

 

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

 

A new posting at robertearlburton.blogspot.com

 


 

Also see: “The Cult Leader as Psychopath”

 

Thomas Farber’s chapter, Getting Religion (re: Alex Horn) in Tales for the Son of My Unborn ChildBerkeley, 1966-1969

 

Dave Archer’s memoirs, Supping with Alex and A Fourth Way Standup

 


 

The following excerpt is from a letter sent to The Gurdjieff Club by an unknown author:

 

Dear Mr. Rovner,

 

I found your website, Gurdjieff Club, quite interesting.

 

I noted with interest your comments about the People of Gurdjieff’s Influence where you talk about Robert Earl Burton who founded the fellowship of friends. You also say that Burton “spent eighteen months in a Gurdjieff group of the Fourth Way led by the spiritual teacher Alexander Francis Horn.”

 

I feel like you are doing a great disservice to anyone who reads your website without stating the whole truth of these matters.

 

Robert Earl Burton’s Fellowship of Friends was and is a cult that has harmed many people.

 

Personally, I was a victim of Alexander Francis Horn who was NOT a spiritual teacher and who had no connection to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

 

Alex Horn was a psychopath, a narcissist, a manipulator, a rapist and a black magician. Yes, he taught Burton and in that way further perpetrated his evil.

 

Please, if you are interested in the truth, tell the whole story about these people.

 

Not all of Gurdjieff’s followers were unscrupulous but some of them were and people should know about this.

 

Thank you for considering the above.

 

Best wishes

 


 

Horn: “I don’t really want to rape you, but you leave me with no choice – you’re such a stupid girl, poor fuck and tight-ass.”

 


 

What are Rape and Sexual Assault?

 

Sexual assault is a general term that includes any forced or unwanted sexual activity, including rape, incest, sexual abuse, and molestation. Sexual assault includes any forced or unwanted touching of an intimate part of the body, such as breasts, buttocks, or genitals.

 

Rape, a specific type of sexual assault, involves any forced, manipulated, or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a penis or other object. Sexual assault/rape is not a crime of passion but a crime of violence, using sex as a weapon to overpower and to degrade the victim. A rapist can be a stranger or someone the victim knows. . .

 

 

Coercion in Rape and Sexual Assault

 

    Coercion is being pressured or forced to do something sexual

 you did not want to do.
    Any sexual activity that involves coercion is sexual assault.

 

 

Some forms of coercion are:

 

    Use of threats (i.e., if you don’t do this, I’ll get you in trouble)
    Intimidation (with looks, gestures, or body language)
    Encouraging or forcing you to drink or do drugs
    Use of a weapon
    Underlying threat of violence if you don’t submit
    Not respecting someone saying “no” or “stop”
    Making you feel like you owe the person sex

 

Safe Horizon

 


 

Can Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths Feel Empathy, Sadness, or Remorse?

 

By Darius Cikanavicius – PsychCentral | Aug 2017

 

People often speculate whether persons with strong narcissistic, sociopathic, or psychopathic tendencies feel normal human emotions such as sadness, joy, love, remorse, and empathy. It is definitely interesting to look at such people’s emotional life, or lack thereof.

 

It is worth noting that, oftentimes, there is no clear distinction between all three terms—narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy. The classification depends on the people who use these terms. Sometimes they even contradict each other. It is widely agreed, however, that all three share many similarities, and can even be used interchangeably (especially sociopathy and psychopathy).

 


 

From The Mask of Sanity – An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About The So-Called Psychopathic Personality, by Dr. Hervey Cleckley

 

THE PRESENT VOLUME grew out of an old conviction which increased during several years while I sat at staff meetings in a large neuropsychiatric hospital. Many hundreds of such cases as those presented here were studied and discussed. The diversity of opinion among different psychiatrists concerning the status of these patients never grew less. Little agreement was found as to what was actually the matter with them. No satisfactory means of dealing with them was presented by any psychiatric authority, and meanwhile their status in the eyes of the law usually made it impossible to treat them at all. They continued, however, to constitute a most grave and a constant problem to the hospital and to the community.

 

    The [psychopath] is unfamiliar with the primary facts or data of what might be called personal values and is altogether incapable of understanding such matters. It is impossible for him to take even a slight interest in the tragedy or joy or the striving of humanity as presented in serious literature or art. He is also indifferent to all these matters in life itself. Beauty and ugliness, except in a very superficial sense, goodness, evil, love, horror, and humour have no actual meaning, no power to move him.

He is, furthermore, lacking in the ability to see that others are moved. It is as though he were colour-blind, despite his sharp intelligence, to this aspect of human existence. It cannot be explained to him because there is nothing in his orbit of awareness that can bridge the gap with comparison. He can repeat the words and say glibly that he understands, and there is no way for him to realize that he does not understand.

 

. . .Whatever these people may be called, they are not normal.

 


 

Sexual Psychopaths

 

Hervey Cleckley in his 1941 book “The Mask of Sanity” says that the psychopath’s sex life invariably shows peculiarities. This makes sense when you consider that

  • they are incapable of love
  • they don’t experience guilt or remorse
  • and they can be very impulsive without much consideration of the consequences of their actions.

Their inability to love means that their sex life is trivial and impersonal. The pleasure of the sex act seems to be limited to local sensations only. While there are physiological changes that may give rise to emotions that are labeled sexual, psychopaths have no shared emotional experience with their partners, nor any emotion that would lead to a sense of commitment or loyalty.

 

Cleckley says that for psychopaths there are none of the “emotional concomitants and the complex potentialities that make adult love relations an experience so thrilling and indescribable”.

 

He also points out that sexual psychopaths

  • will often act on the slightest of their urges
  • they are typically not put off by things that normal people would find repulsive or repugnant
  • and they often engage in a whole range of unsatisfactory behaviors in every field. (For example, they don’t specialize in just one type of crime, they are often involved in all sorts of illegal things.)

This leads them to try out deviant sexual behaviors, sometimes just for the hell of it! They may be involved in homosexual relationships, they will abuse children, pay prostitutes, seduce friends’ spouses, and, of course, rape and sexually abuse others.

 

Robert Hare on sexual psychopaths

 

More recently in his book “Without Conscience” Robert Hare adds more ideas on the nature of the sexual psychopath.

 

He points out that rape is a good example of the callous, selfish use of violence by psychopaths.

 

He thinks that maybe half of serial rapists are psychopaths and that it results from a potent combination of:

  • Uninhibited expression of their sexual desires and fantasies
  • A desire for power and control
  • and perception of the victims as objects of pleasure and satisfaction

This idea of control is very important. When a person is involved in a sexual relationship, you could say they are revealing themselves, they are giving of the most intimate aspect of themselves.

 

And many psychopaths realize this and make use of it. When a relationship becomes sexual, psychopaths understand that they have the potential for complete control. In fact, sexual submission is often the final step in the objectification of the victim.

 

Remember too, that psychopaths use the tools and techniques of mind control to influence others. A sexual relationship in this situation means that there is neither informed consent on the part of the victim, nor a relationship of equals because the power is with the deceiver. This makes it a situation of sexual abuse.

 

A psychopath will often create an intimate relationship which in turn leads to a sexual relationship. The psychological abuse makes the sexual abuse possible and the sexual abuse amplifies the effects of the psychological abuse.

 

Margaret Singer on sexual psychopaths

 

Clinical psychologist Margaret Singer suggests that this type of abuse is very different from sexual abuse without mind control. The latter, she says is more random, furtive, and associated with guilt, whereas when mind control is involved (either in one-to-one relationships, or in cults) the sexual abuse has been integrated with the belief system of the victim and the interplay of these two things has a huge effect on the recovery process.

 

Janja Lalich in a paper entitled “Domination and Submission: Psychosexual Exploitation of Women in Cults” published in Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, (click here for a pdf copy) also points out that the cult doctrine is a reflection of the cult leader and his preferences. As we have seen, the sexual preferences of sexual psychopaths can be many and varied.

 

So in some cults, there is abstinence from sex, and sometimes even castration of males to ensure this. It is often the case that where the members are to abstain from sex, the leader is sexually abusing a lot of them.

 

In other situations, cults will insist on ‘sexual liberty’ and there may be group sex, marriages of lots of women to the leader, partner swapping, child abuse and so on. One idea behind proposing sexual liberty is that the members are sexually available for the leader. (Another is to push the members beyond their personal boundaries in order to manipulate them.) Some groups even dictate when and how the members have sex.

 

Cult leaders, who are often (male) psychopaths, may deceive women into thinking it is a matter of honor to have sex with him, that it’s necessary for his spirituality, or for her spirituality, or personal growth or whatever. Or sexual relationships may be expected as a test of loyalty to the leader. In some cults women are drawn in and then simply enslaved.

 

The victims of sexual abuse talk about how initially the sex may seem to be loving and caring but after a while it changes to something cold, without emotion, very dominating, sometimes aggressive and is usually solely about the physical pleasure of the abuser.

 

Female cult leaders may actually offer freedom from sex as a way to entice women to join.

 

Psychopathic therapists also dupe their clients into sexual abuse situations in a variety of ways. One particularly insidious way is for the therapist to massage near the groin and then invite the client to do the same to the therapist, ‘to practice’. The client is then deceived into initiating sexual contact. This is particularly destructive as the client believes they have initiated the sexual intimacy.

 

decision-making-confidence.com/sexual-psychopaths

 


 

34. WhaleRider – February 9, 2017 

 

@crossroads

 

“Delusions are beliefs that are not open for discussion.”

 

~ George Atwood, Ph.D
 

Folie à deux-
Shared psychosis is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another…

 

When the love bombing ends and the devaluation and gaslighting begins, that’s when the “real school” will start to feel like a cult to those with eyes that see and ears that listen.

 

A narcissistic cult leader will usually have flying monkeys at his side to do his dirty work for him.

 


 

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

 

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

 

By Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D.

psychologytoday.com – Jan 22, 2017

 

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

 

People who gaslight typically use the following techniques:

 

1. They tell blatant lies.

 

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

 

Etc.

 


 

Business Insider
Lindsay Dodgson – Feb 27, 2018 (excerpt)

 

Narcissists often recruit people called ‘apaths’ to help with their games – here’s why they’re dangerous:
 

People with Dark Tetrad personality traits — sadism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism — play games with their partners to break down their self esteem. To succeed, they sometimes recruit helpers to help control and manipulate their partners. Apaths fit this role very well.

 

Shannon Thomas, author of Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse,” told Business Insider an apath is someone who is apathetic to the harm in their social circle, particularly if someone is being manipulative, hurtful, or abusive. Their role, she said, is critical to the narcissist’s game.

 

“An apath is the wing-person to a narcissist and plays a key role in normalising the toxic individual and their harmful behaviors towards others,” she said. “A narcissist must have apaths in their life to keep the facade of social normalcy going. Apaths create the illusion that a narcissist has friends, is well-liked and can get along with everyone, except the target of abuse.”

 

Rather than standing up for the victim, or giving them support in the fact they are being mistreated, the apath will instead be completely indifferent to their suffering. When challenged, they come up with excuses and say things like “It’s not my battle,” or “well, they don’t treat me that way.”

 

By minding their own business, they are effectively being a pawn on the narcissist’s gameboard, making the victim believe they must be going crazy.

 

In some online forums, apaths are known as “flying monkeys,” like the Wicked Witch’s helpers in “The Wizard of Oz.” They do all the narcissist’s dirty work behind the scenes while the narcissist can sit back and watch.

 

“Many apaths are also hidden abusers themselves and they will cluster together in family and friend groups to keep each other’s secrets,” Thomas said. “Another type of apath believes it is better to join the abuser in their games than ever run the risk of becoming a future target of the narcissist.”

 


 

The Cult of the Narcissist (excerpt)

 

By Dr. Sam Vaknin

 

The narcissist is the guru at the centre of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his flock: his spouse, his offspring, other family members, friends, and colleagues. He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his followers. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline, adherence to his teachings, and common goals. The less accomplished he is in reality – the more stringent his mastery and the more pervasive the brainwashing.

 

The – often involuntary – members of the narcissist’s mini-cult inhabit a twilight zone of his own construction. He imposes on them a shared psychosis, replete with persecutory delusions, “enemies”, mythical narratives, and apocalyptic scenarios if he is flouted.

 

The narcissist’s control is based on ambiguity, unpredictability, fuzziness, and ambient abuse. His ever-shifting whims exclusively define right versus wrong, desirable and unwanted, what is to be pursued and what to be avoided. He alone determines the rights and obligations of his disciples and alters them at will.

 

The narcissist is a micro-manager. He exerts control over the minutest details and behaviours. He punishes severely and abuses withholders of information and those who fail to conform to his wishes and goals.

 

The narcissist does not respect the boundaries and privacy of his reluctant adherents. He ignores their wishes and treats them as objects or instruments of gratification. He seeks to control both situations and people compulsively.

 

He strongly disapproves of others’ personal autonomy and independence. Even innocuous activities, such as meeting a friend or visiting one’s family require his permission. Gradually, he isolates his nearest and dearest until they are fully dependent on him emotionally, sexually, financially, and socially.

 

He acts in a patronising and condescending manner and criticises often. He alternates between emphasising the minutest faults (devalues) and exaggerating the talents, traits, and skills (idealises) of the members of his cult. He is wildly unrealistic in his expectations – which legitimises his subsequent abusive conduct.

 

The narcissist claims to be infallible, superior, talented, skillful, omnipotent, and omniscient. He often lies and confabulates to support these unfounded claims. Within his cult, he expects awe, admiration, adulation, and constant attention commensurate with his outlandish stories and assertions. He reinterprets reality to fit his fantasies.

 

His thinking is dogmatic, rigid, and doctrinaire. He does not countenance free thought, pluralism, or free speech and doesn’t brook criticism and disagreement. He demands – and often gets – complete trust and the relegation to his capable hands of all decision-making.

 

He forces the participants in his cult to be hostile to critics, the authorities, institutions, his personal enemies, or the media – if they try to uncover his actions and reveal the truth. He closely monitors and censors information from the outside, exposing his captive audience only to selective data and analyses.

 

The narcissist’s cult is “missionary” and “imperialistic”. He is always on the lookout for new recruits – his spouse’s friends, his daughter’s girlfriends, his neighbours, new colleagues at work. He immediately attempts to “convert” them to his “creed” – to convince them how wonderful and admirable he is. In other words, he tries to render them Sources of Narcissistic Supply.

 

Often, his behaviour on these “recruiting missions” is different to his conduct within the “cult”. In the first phases of wooing new admirers and proselytising to potential “conscripts” – the narcissist is attentive, compassionate, empathic, flexible, self-effacing, and helpful. At home, among the “veterans” he is tyrannical, demanding, willful, opinionated, aggressive, and exploitative.

 

As the leader of his congregation, the narcissist feels entitled to special amenities and benefits not accorded the “rank and file”. He expects to be waited on hand and foot, to make free use of everyone’s money and dispose of their assets liberally, and to be cynically exempt from the rules that he himself established (if such violation is pleasurable or gainful).

 

In extreme cases, the narcissist feels above the law – any kind of law. This grandiose and haughty conviction leads to criminal acts, incestuous or polygamous relationships, and recurrent friction with the authorities.

 

Hence the narcissist’s panicky and sometimes violent reactions to “dropouts” from his cult. There’s a lot going on that the narcissist wants kept under wraps. Moreover, the narcissist stabilises his fluctuating sense of self-worth by deriving Narcissistic Supply from his victims. Abandonment threatens the narcissist’s precariously balanced personality.

 

Add to that the narcissist’s paranoid and schizoid tendencies, his lack of introspective self-awareness, and his stunted sense of humour (lack of self-deprecation) and the risks to the grudging members of his cult are clear.

 

The narcissist sees enemies and conspiracies everywhere. He often casts himself as the heroic victim (martyr) of dark and stupendous forces. In every deviation from his tenets he espies malevolent and ominous subversion. He, therefore, is bent on disempowering his devotees. By any and all means. The narcissist is dangerous.

 


 

Debate About Causes and Types of Narcissists

 

Abuse in Relationships: gaslighting (ambient), overt, covert, by proxy

 


 

Narcissists Hate Seeing You Happy

 

By Darius CikanaviciusPsychCentral | Nov 2017

 

People with strong narcissistic tendencies hate seeing others do well. There are several reasons for this, and we will explore some of them in this article.

 

First and foremost, true happiness comes from within. Narcissistic people are unable to feel genuine happiness because they severely, or even completely, lack a sense of genuine self.

 

As a result, they are chronically miserable people who desperately try to feel better by constantly managing their fragile and skewed sense of self-esteem. They seek certain external rewards that they perceive as increasing their status: expensive things, sex, power, money, even family, and so on. Sadly, this is not enough to feel happy. They don’t understand that true happiness, contentment, and fulfillment comes from within.

 

When others do well, people with narcissistic tendencies are reminded that they are not happy, that they are fundamentally inadequate. On top of being miserable, people with strong narcissistic tendencies feel entitled. So when they see someone else doing well, they feel envy and resentment.

 

Here, the narcissist believes that they deserve whatever you have achieved because they are better than you. Indeed, the more you have something that they don’t, the more they feel that they are better than you and deserve whatever you have. In other words, they feel that you don’t deserve it since you are not them.

 

Because narcissistic people severely lack empathy, they either don’t understand or simply ignore how much others actually have to work to get where they are. Instead, they just look at you and think that you are unworthy of what they want. They assume that others do the kinds of sleazy and insincere things that they themselves would do—or are doing—to get it (narcissistic projection). They can’t imagine that another person who is more talented, hard working, intelligent, or otherwise deserving could possibly get what they want from life without behaving just as underhanded and damaging as they would.

 

Because of all of that, they perceive the situation as being unfair and despise you for it even though you did nothing wrong. Moreover, people with strong narcissistic tendencies often think in black and white terms only: good or evil, winner or loser, best or worst, success or failure, weak or strong, and so on.

 

So, in their eyes, they are good and whoever is doing well is evil. Not only that, if you are happy and thriving, then the narcissist’s self-esteem is threatened because they toxically compare themselves to you. In their worldview, there are only winners or losers and they don’t want to be “a loser.” Because of their deep-seated insecurity, they don’t want to appear having a flaw, or not being “the best,” or being below you. So, “to put you in your place” they will attack you, which has the added effect of “elevating” them.

 

And so, again, they perceive the situation as being unfair and detest you. And you, meanwhile, are just living your life.

 

Highly narcissistic people also feel what is sometimes referred to as Schadenfreude. In German, it means harm-joy. It is ‘the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.’ [Wikipedia]

 

So they are glad when you fail, when you experience pain, when you feel hurt. In their eyes you deserve it for being “bad.” Narcissistic people are known for the sadistic pleasures that they feel when seeing or making others suffer.

 


 

Sadism is an extremely complicated psychiatric disorder of essentially unknown origin. Part of its complexity is that it varies greatly in its intensity. The sadism of some people is so mild, subtle, and sporadic that it is barely diagnosable as such.  Such people may constitute 10 percent of the population. The sadism of others – less than 1 percent – may consistently be almost murderous. Whatever the percentage, approximately as many sadists enter the medical profession as any other profession. What I am saying is that roughly 1 to 10 percent of doctors, nurses, and medical aides are sadists to a greater or lesser degree. They are extremely difficult to weed out because they can so facilely exercise their sadism under the guise of practicing “good medicine.”

Most people think of sadism solely as the enjoyment of inflicting pain upon others, without realizing that such enjoyment is, as often as not, unconscious. They also don’t realize it’s only half the problem. Sadists love to exercise control – domination – over others.  What better way to dominate someone than to have almost total control over whether to give a patient pain relief or withhold it!
 

Dr. M. Scott Peck, Denial of the Soul

 


 

Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science

 

Everyday Sadists Take Pleasure in Others’ Pain | Sept 12, 2013

 

Most of the time, we try to avoid inflicting pain on others [and] when we do hurt someone, we typically experience guilt, remorse, or other feelings of distress. But for some, cruelty can be pleasurable, even exciting. New research suggests that this kind of everyday sadism is real and more common than we might think.

 

Two studies led by psychological scientist Erin Buckels of the University of British Columbia revealed that people who score high on a measure of sadism seem to derive pleasure from behaviors that hurt others, and are even willing to expend extra effort to make someone else suffer.

 

The new findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

 

“Some find it hard to reconcile sadism with the concept of ‘normal’ psychological functioning, but our findings show that sadistic tendencies among otherwise well-adjusted people must be acknowledged,” says Buckels. “These people aren’t necessarily serial killers or sexual deviants but they gain some emotional benefit in causing or simply observing others’ suffering.”

 

Based on their previous work on the “Dark Triad” of personality, Buckels and colleagues Delroy Paulhus of the University of British Columbia and Daniel Jones of the University of Texas El Paso surmised that sadism is a distinct aspect of personality that joins with three others – psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism – to form a “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits.

 


 

Psychopathic Violence – Cold-blooded and “Casual”

 

Even more troubling than their heavy involvement in crime is the evidence that both male and female psychopaths are much more likely to be violent and aggressive than are other individuals. Of course, violence is not uncommon in most offender populations, but psychopaths still manage to stand out. They commit more than twice as many violent and aggressive acts, both in and out of prison, as do other criminals.

Troubling yes, but not surprising. While most of us have strong inhibitions about physically injuring others, psychopaths typically do not. For them, violence and threats are handy tools to be used when they are angered, defied, or frustrated, and they give little thought to the pain and humiliation experienced by the victims. Their violence is callous and instrumental – used to satisfy a simple need, such as sex, or to obtain something he or she wants – and the psychopath’s reactions to the event are much more likely to be indifference, a sense of power, pleasure or smug satisfaction than regret at the damage done. Certainly nothing to lose any sleep over.

 

Dr. Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us

 


 

Considering Sex Offenders: A Model of Addiction

 

By Judith Herman

 


 

53. Golden Veil July 10, 2018

 

Can a man be a member of the #MeToo movement?

 

You betcha!

 

Below, a personal history from Fellowship of Friends former student John, who posted about his experience being placed in the Blake Cottage and serving as Robert Burton’s “attaché” on the Miles Barth In Memoriam page, Greater Fellowship, on July 6, 2017.

 

“Reflecting on my time in the Fellowship still provides an opportunity for work.

 

It is not my wish to speak ill of the dead – only to relay my memories as best I can. Who knows the truth?

 

My first visit to Renaissance was in the summer of ’78. Even back then, it was like walking into Rivendell (Lord of the Rings) or Hogwarts – for you younger escapees…

 

I was quite literally spell bound by the elegance of the Meissen Room, the beauty and scope of the vineyard, the excellence of the antique octave, the concerts, the intellectual and emotional depth of the students, their sophistication, refinement, their level of commitment, and the efforts they made …

 

And many if not most of them were spell bound like me. Naïve, innocent, dreaming – imagining a perfect world created and directed by a deity.

 

I should have “smelled the coffee burning”.

 

If I remember right, I was helping Brian paint Dorothy’s cottage on my weekend visits to Renaissance. I did not know Brian well but came to understand that he was being sent away for “spreading rumors” about RB and that I would be taking his place at the Blake Cottage. Dorothy turned to me and said something to the effect of “…such a sweet young man – how could he say such terrible things about Robert?” This I remember very clearly.

 

Of course discussing rumors about the teacher was strictly verboten – so I did not ask. I wish I had.

 

If Dorothy – who was not even on the fringes of the inner circle – suspected something was (as the saying goes) “rotten in Denmark”, does anyone think the older students were unaware? Again I emphasize – I was not the first “9 month wonder”. My suspicion is that most of them (if not all) at first refused to believe (like me), then justified the behavior (like me), and then went into denial – a luxury I could not afford.

 

I cannot imagine many experiences that would equal or surpass visiting this magical place for months – hearing the words “crown prince”, “conscious role”, “Lord North”, and then… the first night in the Blake Cottage… having the curtain pulled back and the dark side exposed.

 

At first, I tried to rationalize RB’s behavior as a test but that didn’t last long. I found myself looking up references to double/incorrect crystallization, hasnamuss, and so on… I still don’t know what went wrong.

 

In any case – the “wine, dine & travel” octave had begun… “The Magic Flute” in L.A., Baryshnikov in San Francisco, Tavern on the Green in New York, two trips to Europe – Amsterdam (to bid on a roll top desk), London, Munich, Paris… (I don’t remember the exact order). I was Robert’s “attaché” on the first trip and the “motor” for Kevin’s wheelchair on the second. (Sadly, Kevin became ill in Paris and we spent most of the trip there).

 

I found the opportunity to observe myself was profound. I did my best to recall Gurdjieff’s advice – “The worse the conditions of life, the more productive the work, always provided you remember the work”.

 

I cannot express how productive those difficult days were. I had a very new and different perspective on “The Teacher” and the ideas. Imagination, identification, considering, expressing negative emotions, lying…

 

It was confusing and enlightening at the same time. I verified the usefulness and validity of The Work in ways that would have taken years by any other route. In a way I suppose I should be thankful. Many have labored and suffered for decades under his spell. My eyes were opened and I began to look for an exit.

 

It was not easy. No money. No car. In addition, Louis told me that I was considered a “flight risk” and would be watched quite carefully.

 

Late at night on the Ides of March in 1979, I gathered what was left of my worldly possessions into a back pack and tip-toed out of the Blake Cottage and on to the road. Fortunately, a newer student was driving the first car that came along. I told him Robert had granted me a three day vacation. He had no idea I was running. I was so thankful. Who knows what might have happened if I had been caught trying to escape. Probably transferred to the London Center for reprogramming. Ha!

 

Unfortunately, I did not escape undamaged. I have not and do not think I will ever fully trust another teacher, school or human being. That’s had an impact on every relationship I’ve had since leaving the Fellowship.

 

And as many here probably know – working alone is only so productive.”

~ ~ ~

 

If there is someone out there that was or is a former or current “boy” of Robert Burton, there are agencies for help – and reporting.

 

“You are not alone.

 

It was not your fault.

 

It is possible to heal.

 

It is not too late.”

 

From: https://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php

 

See also:

 

https://1in6.org/

 


 

6. Rita Penfold Says

 

Dear All,

 

Yesterday I received a message from my close friend Kosta Dmitriev from St. Petersburg, which he sent to the students in Russia.

 

I thought that it was quite funny (if it wasn’t sad), and asked Kosta if I could translate it and post it on the blog, to which he agreed. If you have any questions, you’re free to ask Kosta directly, his email address is: shantiway@yahoo.com

 

To those who don’t know Kosta personally, I am pleased to tell that he is one of those handsome young Russian men who rejected Robert’s advances.
———————————————-

 

Dear friends,

 

Thank you very much for the time we spent together, it was wonderful.

 

As many before me, I decided to leave the school when I discovered the details of sexual ‘adventures’ of the teacher.

 

Of course, as everybody else in the school, I knew that Robert is a homosexual. So what? So many great people and even our friends were and are homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites – nobody is shocked by this nowadays. Especially among the different kinds of ‘spiritual seekers’, where there are always many, let’s say, exotically oriented people . . . 

 

Back to business, here are the results of my observations and investigations.

 

The school as organisation and its exercises are intended to:

 

1. Attract sponsorship for the very expensive and exquisite erotic games of Robert and Co. Teaching payments are spent on expensive clothes, often made to order for the boys and the entourage; original Viagra pills which cost $50 per tablet (completely identical ones in India cost $0.5). Air tickets and 5-star hotels for the harem; fake passports which are bought from Italian mafia, for the especially treasured lovers from Russia, and of course, for the new centres in developing countries, where new ‘members’ (‘member’ in Russian is the same word for penis – Rita) are so cheap. Also, 5-figure sums for the lawyers and parents of some of the ‘woken up’ underage victims of the teacher’s ‘mischievous’ activities.

 

2. Cover up the very fact that those orgies are taken place just before and after the meetings and are the main interest of the teacher in his school and the reason for its existence.

 

The cover-up is necessary in order to prevent students from thinking about how the teacher was using his mouth just before he kisses their foreheads. Many wouldn’t like to think about it at all. Of course, there will always be those who will work with acceptance and continue to be present to any sort of madness. But most students would leave the school to be present elsewhere.

 

Robert is interested only in young men, only straight (otherwise it’s not such fun to ‘get’ them), usually in financial need, preferably spiritually unripe and, what’s called in Russia, ‘without a King in the head’, and with high level of conformity of behaviour. That’s it.

 

Yes, my friends, it’s all about ‘members, members and more members’. Preferably big in size and several at the time. But if only that was all…

 

The stories of the participants are beyond even the most perverse sexual imagination.

 

One student has almost chocked on the teacher’s penis while giving him a blowjob. He had to be rescued by his fellow orgy-participants from the unstoppable in his sexual urge teacher.

 

The ‘height’ of those stories is the ‘Fountain of Eternal Youth’. What do you think that would mean? Very simple. Students are pissing in the teacher’s mouth. One at the time, or all together. I asked about the next, you know, logical step… They said – yes! That step has been taken. Sometimes all would get smeared. And why? You won’t believe… Gurdjieff ordered from the astral plane!!! In order to be more present!

 

It’s understandable that such moments of presence will never be forgotten. You’ll be in the third state without any effort, and maybe even beyond third state, as many afterwards live their lives, wearing ‘horse faces’ forever.

 

You will ask me, what makes these people do this?
It’s very simple, really: everybody does it, they say. It’s accepted behaviour. You know about ‘norms of group behaviour in the totalitarian sects’.

 

Strangely, but many continue to interpret what happened to them in terms of the enlightenment. As a special, mystical experience of presence, which they would not get anywhere else. And, at the same time, they hate Robert for what he’s done to them and cherish plans for revenge (usually blackmail of some kind). It’s understandable, because otherwise you’d have to admit that you’ve been simply ….. .

 

Some invested too much in the school, suffered, paid; some simply have nowhere else to go. Most students simply don’t know many things, despite the fact that all information is published on the Internet. And, except for the ‘special’ details, it’s known to the ‘old’ students. I didn’t know the details myself, so I was hoping that Robert’s ‘antics’ were simply ‘free love’ with a bit of tantra. But, according to the participants, the whole thing is completely rotten and Robert is a typical ‘post-traumatic psychopath’. Of course, you can continue as if it wasn’t true, but then you’ll have to pay him, and that is a question of moral standards which, as any case where one is trading one’s conscience, is deeply personal. For me, it’s simply too much. It’s your business now, think for yourselves.

 

I wish you with all my heart to wake up before, and not during, the time when you are asked to piss someone in the mouth, given the reason of working on the 3rd line of work.

 

Thank you. You are welcomed any time to call or to write me.

 

Kosta

 


 

51. WhaleRiderJune 2, 2018

 

“Even today, the overall shame of being identified not only as a member of a cult but as a “sex slave” — of having their control and choice, and, essentially, humanity, stripped from them — has kept many silent.”

 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/magazine/sex-cult-empowerment-nxivm-keith-raniere.html

 


 

84. ton2uApril 9, 2019

 

Re: ‘sex slaves’

 

The morning newspaper had a short article about a court case involving Allison Mack who recruited human “fodder” for yet another “garden variety” cult…

 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/topic/keith-raniere

 


 

86. SandraC on June 14, 2007

 

Here is another story on the Man #5 question (12/5):
The first time I met RB was in Hawaii in January 1973. My first impression of him — head bowed, hands-folded, wearing a loose fitting, short-sleeved, large print shirt, khaki pants and those funny brown soft-leathered tie shoes he used to wear, and carrying a brown brief case by the handle – confounded me.

 

Here was ‘the great teacher’ whom Bonita (his first student and leader of new HI center) revered, and he looked to me like a door-to-door insurance salesman. An oddly apt metaphor, I think now, considering what he does.

 

Anyway, at the break of the meeting he came over to me and said he wanted to show me something private. In a hushed, conspiratorial voice, he showed me his driver’s license. He told me that he only weighed 140 (or something like that) pounds in the picture, that it was taken shortly after he had been in a car accident, requiring 144 stitches. The picture was rather grim.

 

He did not mind the terrible suffering though, he said, because the accident had awakened him to becoming a Man #5. He went on, in that gravely serious way he sometimes adopted about how C influence uses difficult methods to awaken us, and so forth…

 

He proceeded to rub ‘the third eye’ spot on my forehead, and I recall him telling me I would soon enough learn about “their methods” because I was “definitely on the way.” I had been in the FoF only about one month at the time. I left that night (at the ripe old age of 24) both flattered and weirded out by the entire episode.

 

TRAVELER: Please add ‘on the way’ to your hilarious 11/555 devil’s dictionary post. Reading it was the best laugh I have had in a long time.

 

I especially liked: King of Clubs = Common Sense

 


 

89. WhaleRider on June 14, 2007 (excerpt)

 

BTW, this is the story I was told on how ‘c-influence’ indicated to Robert that Miles was going to become a man number five. When Robert first saw him, Miles was wearing a V-neck sweater, with the V in gold trim, signifying the number 5 as the Roman numeral V. Later the prediction was correlated I believe in Shakespeare’s sonnet #44 with the line … “miles when thou are gone”. This is another good example of Robert’s ‘ideas of reference’, like ‘Union 76’. Also the high tech spy plane ‘SR-71’ which flew from an airforce base near Renaissance was ‘self-remembering 1971’ or when self-remembering came to the area in 1971.

 


 

Life Person on July 28, 2007 at 6:44 am 

 

After months of periodically reading and contributing to the blog, what most amazes me is the enormity of the disconnect between what is observed and what some people choose to believe.

 

Once the emotional charge created by the resurgence of memories that had drifted around for decades dissipated somewhat, and I had for some weeks left off reading the blog, which seemed to perpetuate that charge, and then came back to it, I find myself stunned and incredulous.

 

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

 

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

 

Here is a man who has not, in at least 37 years, and most likely in his entire life, had an intimate emotional relationship with another man, woman, cat or turtle that would be recognized by anyone as normal, let alone mature. Whose “teachings” are almost entirely unoriginal, having been cobbled together, first from the works of Gurdjieff and his disciples, a little later from quotes copied like a lazy freshman from the Harvard Classics, and now from a hodgepodge of sources that does not rise to the level of solid “B Influence” – stuff that, thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have picked out of the trash, like Chariots of the Gods and Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. He even tried his hand at National Enquirer-style prophecy, and was so spectacularly unsuccessful that he now claims he never meant any of it.

 

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

 

In any other circumstance, this man would be considered ridiculous. A buffoon. Laughed at.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

For quite a while everyone on earth was convinced the world was flat.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

Ryan O’Poo on July 28, 2007 at 7:18 am
 

Life Person, (546)
Fuckin brilliant!

 
Love,
Ryan

 


 

Old FOF on October 1, 2007 at 12:12 am

 

Ames (21 / 603)

 

I almost always agree with your posts, Ames. And fully respect your take.

 

But in my view one of your recent posts needs an addition to be more fully true. It is probably true that most students in a position of responsibility for the past 10-12 years were as you described – in on “it.” Though even until recently – perhaps even now? – I doubt if most students, even those in positions of responsibility, understood the shockingly large scale of Robert Burton’s sexual impropriety.

 

I write to correct this as inadvertently the idea that everyone knew – may even now further wound those who were wounded. Also, to bear witness as accurately as possible. The proposition that “everyone knew” was decidedly NOT the case in the earlier days of the Fellowship of Friends.

 

For example, when I found out in the very late 70s, it was because Robert Burton had sent a troublesome student (read: one who knew the truth – and had to be sent away because of it) from The Property to an outlying center where I was in a position of responsibility. The memory is still clear – being in the dining room with this poor student as he explained patiently to me (again and again) the ridiculous idea that The Teacher was a homosexual who had relations with students.

 

By the way, this student was a homosexual and had not had relations with Robert Burton. But he indicated that he had a sense about people who were as he was – and had gotten a story from another young non-homosexual man who had had reluctant relations with Robert Burton.

 

The homosexual student indicated that his “research” had confirmed his suspicion that Robert Burton tended to a passive (receptive) role in sexual activities, and further indicated that like a certain subset of homosexuals Robert Burton preferred to have sex with heterosexuals. He told me that Robert Burton had found out about his “research” and this was the reason that he had been sent away from The Property.

 

In my innocence (the depth of which is a measure of how deeply Robert’s behaviors were hidden), I thought that this student was quite LITERALLY crazy – and I was humoring him along for the better part of an evening trying to figure out what to do about him. Well into the evening it suddenly came in a flash and penetrated that he might be telling the truth. This was a jolt that shook me to the quick. It would be hard to overstate this effect.

 

Later that night I called Robert Burton on the phone and asked him about this. He said (verbatim) about himself, “you have to play the hand you’re dealt.” Then he asked me to “release” the student from the Fellowship of Friends. I told Robert Burton that I could not do this – as the person had confided this information to me in sincerity and as a part my effort of trying to figure out why he was sent here. Robert got very angry and then calmed down and indicated that it was a weakness of my body type – that later I would learn to be more ruthless. And that for now he would honor my decision.

 

I spent the next few weeks trying to find out what was going on – and who knew what. I found that, with one exception, all of the “older students” queried (in a non-revealing manner) did not know. This highly focused effort on my part included Joel F and Sandra C and many others. Inevitably they gave the accepted wisdom: that Robert Burton had indicated and seemed to be fully celibate – and saved his sex energies for higher states.

 

Finally, one meeting-night at the Skyline Community Church in Oakland, California (where the big weekly meetings were held) I spoke privately with Miles B. He said yes Robert Burton was having homosexual relations with students. That he did not know what to think of it – but that he (Miles) had been reading up on homosexuality and generally trying to study on it and think about it. Miles then told me in a straight forward manner that he really didn’t understand it, but it did NOT seem right or good; it seemed very wrong for a teacher to engage in such activity with his students.

 

It took me a little while, but as soon as possible I removed myself from any and all positions of responsibility or prominence in the Fellowship of Friends. It took longer to leave. By the way, on next seeing Robert Burton he gave me a big wet sloppy kiss on the mouth — I was privately disgusted. And from that time on, when looking around I could see the signs and encouragements to homosexuality (a funnel directed toward Robert Burton) in many aspects of the physical school and teaching. It had always been there but I did not have the non-naïve eyes to see until then.

 

It was a terrible thing to no longer be able to indulge the luxury of being naïve. During the years long process of processing – which was one of deep loss – really of grieving (what, innocence lost, amputation of a spiritual limb?) – I was better able to understand things somewhat more clearly. Though it wasn’t until actually leaving the Fellowship of Friends and time gone by that the understanding grew more certain – and surprisingly now the blog …

 

Robert Burton had designed a form whereby largely the people in responsibility did NOT know his crimes. They (read: we) welcomed vulnerable students into the fold. The blowback that you sometimes heard from people returning from The Property to your center – did not compute. We didn’t know. And the vulnerable students, in retrospect, based on our dull responses must have assumed that we knew and were in on it, or that we didn’t know and wouldn’t believe them. So they were very effectively isolated.

 

It is ludicrous to think that Robert Burton “believes” or understands the idea of C-Influence that he promotes. If he did, it would be impossible for him to act in these ways. My present understanding is that Robert Burton is a spiritual criminal. His enablers have terrible karma. And Robert Burton’s karma is far worse – with the final payment having not yet been fully rendered.

 

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

 

The form of the Fellowship of Friends was a thoughtful systematic construction of great cunning and wickedness – designed and controlled by Robert Burton. The “older” students, leaders, good students and regular students all – were beards for Robert Burton. Our role, my role, was one of naïve attraction and naïve concealment. And the activity which involved great shame for the violated and isolated went hidden or unbelieved for years if not decades (and for some will likely never be revealed).

 

Of course, there were students who knew back then. But it is my belief and educated sense that the great majority did not. I would like to note here in passing and acknowledge with respect that of the reputed “conscious beings” that I personally knew in the Fellowship of Friends, Miles B had the most integrity and Donald McD, not short on integrity either, easily had the most panache.

 


 

Vena on October 1, 2007 at 12:48 am

 

“My present understanding is that Robert Burton is a spiritual criminal. His enablers have terrible karma. And Robert Burton’s karma is far worse – with the final payment having not yet been fully rendered.”

 

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
——————————————————————–

 

Thanks Old FOF #13 – This is the cold, hard truth of the matter.
Robert Burton and his enablers (there are many and we know who they are) are in a very, very bad place. If they could acknowledge this they might have the possibility to redeem themselves. Working to expose this sick situation is an obligation of all who now know and understand.

 


 

Janna on October 1, 2007 at 1:33 am (excerpt)

 

Hello friends,

 

Four of us just returned from a great European vacation, and let me tell you – the Network that GF has to offer really works!

 

Many people haven’t yet left FOF for fear that the global network of like-minded people would be lost with their departure.

 

The Greater Fellowship Network not only beautifully fills this need, but it allows one to spend wonderful time with friends without the heavy unnecessary baggage we have all experienced while in FOF. It wasn’t necessary to have your “best student” act (or false personality) on while traveling. It was a great pleasure to meet friends unconditionally, without judgment, expectations, certain learned behaviors, dress codes and silly exercises. Our essences truly seemed to flourish when unrestricted by limiting rules and open to free expression. We haven’t missed stuffy FOF meetings one bit!

 


 

Observer on October 1, 2007 at 3:56 am

 

21/585 More History Needed
and to Unoanino/Res Ipsa Loquitor

 

I know I am not part of your community, so I hesitate always about making any comments. But sometimes the things you say strike so powerfully at my heart that I cannot help but speak up and get involved.

 

Your story was so unbelievably powerful to me, More History Needed. The calm, matter-of-fact description of your rape at the hands (mouth?) of Robert Burton made me want to reach through this computer screen and hold your hand to my heart for a second and acknowledge how terrible your loss of innocence was – and how vile was the man who did that to you. And, unfortunately, has done it to so many men.

 

And, Unoanimo, your careful work on Res Ipsa Loquitor is unbelievable. I have not read it all – mostly because the anger builds up inside me to such a huge extent, and I have no one to share it with – that I just read for a half hour. That is all my soul can take on any given day. But, thank you, thank you for all the long hours such dedication to a project that casts light on the disgrace at Oregon House has cost you. If others have not read your hard work, I hope they take the time to do so.

 

I have a suggestion for you as a group. When Whalerider and More History Needed shared in such stunning detail the stories of their emotional, sexual, spiritual abuse in such quiet, heartwrenching detail – it makes it clear to all why the FoF must end, why Robert Burton must be stopped, and how hundreds of you have been horribly abused. Could one of you set up a webpage like Res Ipsa Loquitor where these simple stories of being abused are assembled all in one place? If each one of the men who endured Robert’s predatory attacks shared their stories it would help others to speak up, and others to stop denying the reality of the abuse. Also, I think very much that the women who have had to watch and worry about their men and suffered their own tragic losses of marriages, relationships, unborn children should also be shared on that same page. Let them tell the story of what they suffered, and how it felt. And, those children, who want to share their stories about what has happened to them growing up within the Fellowship also need to be heard.

 

But telling them in story form like More History Needed will make clear to anyone reading what the true evil going on within the community is, and it may be one more step that will finally bring this all to an end.

 

Again, I apologize for interfering with my comments, but you have all become very real to me as I look in at this blog. I feel as if I know many of you, and it wounds my heart that such an evil has been committed. Speak up please so that it ends this year!

 


 

unoanimo on October 1, 2007 at 4:17 pm

 

Those ‘Yabba Dabba Doo’ Cuff Links Again!

_____________________________________

 

“Darnit Barney, I thought I told you to tell Betty to tell Wilma to boil my Terradactyl egg for 3 minutes, not an hour!”

 

______________________________________

 

I was under a happy spell for many years, until this big Robert Burton event at our house…This [is] when I suddenly got the first glimpse of an uncomfortable feeling that may be we all are being dooped. Strangely, but before this event I saw nothing wrong, heard nothing wrong and would defend the school like it was my own home – just like you do now.

 

Our center had to prepare for big Tea.

 

Our center didn’t have money to rent a large space in the city so we were asked if our house could be used. At that time it was a total construction zone, but we agreed – and gladly so! And we went nuts, preparing for this event and spent thousands of dollars just to make it nice doing temporary improvements just for this event. We even built a temporary wooden fence to disguise the dumpster in front of the house… Of course we never even asked for reimbursement – there wasn’t even a thought about it!

 

All was done from our heart, sincerely, and we didn’t care how much it costs us… We were good students. And Robert Burton arrived, and briefly gave his usual keys performance with Asaf, and everyone stared in silence with smiles and glossy eyes. No one even touched the fine French pastries or tea… I was seated on the couch next to my Teacher and I was in total heaven, listening to his voice so close to me, smelling his fine cologne and feeling the flavor of pastries in my mouth…

 

Yes, I was actually eating the whole time. Love those pastries, can’t help it! It was caught on camera, and later quite a few of my friends called me to tell how shocked they were to see me eat and drink at Teaching Tea.

 

The event was over, and Robert rushed to the door. And then the ugly “cuff link scene” occurred. Robert Burton was rushing his boys to run get the car, to get to the city quickly, before the jeweler closes… One of them asked: “Robert, do you really want these cuff links?” – “Yes, yes! I told you. I want them! Hurry up, get the car, let’s go. Now. Quickly. Call him, now, make sure he is still open…” His face was tense, he sounded… just like an identified angry guy. Yes, he was very identified. I have never seen my teacher like that, although I heard stories before.

 

My boyfriend and I were allowed to stand nearby and so we heard every word. Suddenly he turned to us and gave us one of those peaceful loving smiles… The smile we know and love so much… That makes you feel OK…

 

But I felt so bad. I felt deception. I felt like this was all fake and we were just taken, used by this powerful man… He just used us, our friends and our house to make good money on his brief performance and now is done with us and rushing to get what he wants. And doesn’t give a damn about this huge crowd of devoted students, who love him and made huge efforts to travel to our place from all over just to spend time with him… A stupid piece of jewelry was – obviously – so much more important to him than all of us.

 

I had mixed thoughts in my head, I couldn’t understand, justify, explain all this. And it only got worse, when I returned to the kitchen. I saw that all these polite good students, who were just nobly “preferring presence over food” in front of the Teacher (Robert Burton), were now devouring pastries right from the plates by the sink, using their hands, stuffing their mouths like hungry beasts! This was just hysterical. The falseness and hypocrisy of the whole thing was unbearable.

 

I suddenly saw things in a different light. This event was a first wake-up call for me. I still needed a few more like this, and I had them soon after that. I guess everybody has to have theirs to pry open their shell.

 

Question to Siddiq and Howard Carter (or anyone who wishes to answer) – do you ever see any hypocrisy and falseness in Robert, in Council actions, students behavior, in teaching events? Ever?
If yes – what do you say to yourself about it? I am really curious.

 

395/9/No Person

 


 

RobertC on October 1, 2007 at 6:14 pm

 

A note to current FoF members,

 

If you have been reading the blog for long you will have seen a lot written about the shocking and abhorrent excesses in the areas of sex and money. For me, when I left so many years ago, these were issues – but they were definitely not my entire reason for leaving. If I had really understood the depth of the depravity and the degree of harm being inflicted, perhaps they would have been. But for me there was an even larger issue – namely that the Fellowship had become crippled as a fourth way school.

 

What do I mean by that? Well, I don’t mean that there were not many sincere and intelligent seekers in the Fellowship. Certainly there were, and that for me was a big plus. But it had always seemed to me that a true school, and in particular a conscious school, would be a place where the teacher, because of his greater insight into the work and his far more subtle understanding than my own could provide practical guidance by showing us how ideas were being misunderstood, so as to create a deeper understanding. In other words, the school would transmit ‘C Influence’.

 

In the Fellowship, of course, the term ‘C Influence’ has devolved over time to become simply a synonym for ‘God’ or ‘the gods’. When used in this way it is slowly leached of any deeper meaning. But it is clear that as it was described by Ouspensky it referred to something that originated in higher mind and that could not be transmitted properly in writing, and which was therefore transmitted in and by schools. So it seemed to me that if the Fellowship were a Conscious school, this process would be occurring. And yet there were so many ways in which it seemed it was not. And this was visible in how work ideas were understood, or perhaps more correctly, not understood in the school, and in how we students worked and worked together.

 

Most people who have spent a significant amount of time studying the fourth way will realize that there is a certain subtlety to the ideas there. You can take them in a simple dull sort of way and they are lifeless, or you can appreciate the nuance they contain and see a more significant meaning behind the obvious. Surely this would be the true value of C Influence – to guide us to the deeper truths hinted at by the words, and to free those truths so that they illuminate us. Would C Influence not be the breath that brings the ideas to life, so that they are dynamic rather than static?

 

But unfortunately this was not happening. Over and over again I saw central ideas of the work seem to collapse into formatory thinking in a way that was amazingly hard to resist. ‘C Influence’ became simply a synonym for ‘the gods’. Not expressing negative emotions became a tool for suppressing inquiry and dissent, to the point that asking an honest question could be very dangerous. Exercises introduced by the teacher, which seemed to be perfectly good tools when introduced, became moral imperatives with which students judged each other (thereby utilizing one of the few acceptable forms of expressing negativity). Alchemy became the class/status mechanism for the Fellowship, once again used to judge people. The instinctive center became ‘bad’ and the emotional center ‘good’, independent of context. In short, all these ideas were being taken in a static formatory way most of the time. And unfortunately there was no sign that the teacher even noticed.

 

I struggled for a long time with this. I certainly have my own style of arrogance, but I am not the sort of person who would easily assume that I was the only person seeing this correctly and that the other 2,000 obviously intelligent people in the school were simply wrong. Of course, now I know that many others were thinking about these same issues, but at that time it was simply not acceptable to speak about certain things, so I didn’t realize that I was not alone in thinking these things. This was, of course, yet another sign that the school was not functioning properly as a conscious school. How could a conscious school be a place where certain questions are impermissible?

 

So what about you, current FoF student? Does the Fellowship operate as a conscious school for you in some way that it did not for me? I haven’t been there for a long time and certainly things have changed – but I am not hearing anything that makes me think these issues have improved over the years. Do you find yourself needing to make excuses about certain aspects of the school because you don’t want to lose other things, or lose your friends? Perhaps that could be sensible – but to my mind, only if it were really a conscious school. So is it for you? It is not being negative to think deeply and honestly about that question. If you want to awaken there can be no subject that is off-limits.

 

Leaving the Fellowship is a scary thing, particularly if you have believed. Despite my thinking, as outlined above, I certainly hesitated to leave. But I can say that I have never regretted it, with the sole exception of missing the company of some of you who remain.

 

Best to you all,
R.

 


 

sharon on October 1, 2007 at 7:43 pm

 

RobertC said:
“Over and over again I saw central ideas of the work seem to collapse into formatory thinking in a way that was amazingly hard to resist. ‘C Influence’ became simply a synonym for ‘the gods’. Not expressing negative emotions became a tool for suppressing inquiry and dissent, to the point that asking an honest question could be very dangerous. Exercises introduced by the teacher, which seemed to be perfectly good tools when introduced, became moral imperatives with which students judged each other (thereby utilizing one of the few acceptable forms of expressing negativity). Alchemy became the class/status mechanism for the Fellowship, once again used to judge people. The instinctive center became ‘bad’ and the emotional center ‘good’, independent of context. In short, all these ideas were being taken in a static formatory way most of the time. And unfortunately there was no sign that the teacher even noticed.”

 

and

 

“If you want to awaken there can be no subject that is off-limits.”

 

This entire post is very important to me, and the above quoted sentence is the kernel of the truth of why the Fellowship of Friends was not a conscious school for me. Absolutely spot on.

 


 

Ames Gilbert on October 1, 2007 at 9:39 pm

 

Dear Old FOF,
You are quite right, I took out the house painting brush to do a portrait, and so my message lacked precision and nuance.

 

I was coming from the point of view of learning, a few weeks after I got the boot, that the center director when I joined in London, Peter B_sh_p., had been ‘insincere’ when I asked about Burton’s celibacy at that time. He sold me the line that Burton was celibate and ‘used this energy to maintain higher centers and states’; in fact, according to what he personally admitted to me in 1994, Burton and he had had a prior sexual relationship, and it was ongoing (from time to time) when I asked the question in 1978.

 

I agree with your point generally. I had several long conversations with Stella after I left, and she described her journey of discovery; in the essentials, the same as yours, including disbelieving accounts from those who, in hindsight, surely knew the truth. She disbelieved for over five years, and actually stepped up her efforts to protect Burton in response to the stories; a strong part of this was probably to defend her own worldview and investment in her belief system. I did the same, so it is safe to assume the possibility for everyone else.

 

Thanks for pointing out that surprisingly few members and directors knew much for many years, and for sharing the details of your personal story.

 

And thanks, David, for setting me right about Milton as the source of my quote. Hopefully, that error didn’t distract from the message.

 

Thank you, Sheik, for ‘keeping at it’, despite your present difficulties, and thanks to all the contributors to this fascinating conversation. I’m learning a lot.

 

With love to you all,
Ames

 


 

108. Insider September 2, 2017

 

September 5, 1967. Fifty years ago, this coming Tuesday.

 

In case anyone misplaced their scorecard, that’s the day Robert Burton met Alex Horn. At least according to the version of their meeting as told by Burton. Well actually, he has rarely made it clear that he met Horn on that day. What he says is that’s when he met “Influence C.” But a very sharp “student” figured out some years ago that that date of meeting “Influence C” and Alex Horn coincided, and that Alex Horn must be “Influence C.”

 

In any case, he has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Meeting Influence C” for a year now. And right now is the big weekend, not only the culmination of another “Journey Forth” gathering (and a large one), but the pinnacle of a year-long build-up of excitement. Endless meetings (4 in 5 days, 3 days in a row, through Tuesday), dinners, “fund-raising” activities, a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. And I’m willing to bet that “The Absolute” will make his Fourth appearance sometime this weekend, probably on Tuesday, Sept 5. Perfect.

 

And the 2 nearby fires are also perfect, the smell of smoke, the extreme heat warning this weekend.

 

Pity the money-counters having to work all that overtime (without pay). Pity, too, the chefs working in 100+ temps to feed the masses visiting from around the world.

 

But especially pity the 1500 or so lost souls who still believe that Robert Burton holds their ticket to Paradise, and who have given all their will and power and personal responsibility to a fake guru.

 


 

40. Fee fi fo fumOctober 16, 2017

 

“…such a secret society rarely allows those who are being wooed to join to see its shadier sides from the outset…Once they make a commitment to a group, they are less quick to criticize it, especially as still further mysteries are held before them as inducements to joining. And gradually, when novices are deemed ready to absorb more information without criticism and in complete secrecy, they are exposed to tasks and methods they would earlier have questioned.”

 

From “Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation” by Sissela Bok. From the chapter, “Secret Societies / Groups Sworn to Secrecy,” pp 49-50.

 

This book followed her earlier book called “Lying,” which I read after leaving the FoF to help me understand the FoF’s unrelenting mind-f-k.

 


 

Robert K. Fullinwider explores and amplifies Sissela Bok’s seminal work: Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life © 1978 – infed.org

 

Johnson & Whales University
ScholarsArchive@JWU

 

Bok makes a point in the book that within her life, she has dealt with the problems and difficulty of drawing the line between when to lie and when to tell the truth depending on the circumstances. She states, “This book is a personal exploration rather than an effort to dictate conclusions. It aims to narrow the gap between the worlds of the moral philosopher and those confronting urgent practical moral choices.”

 


 

I am grateful to have been able to take this expanded, often deepened, contemporary discussion of truthfulness and deceit into account in my own writings over the past decades. My conclusions remain those expressed in Lying‘s last sentences: “Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain. They can thrive only on a foundation of respect for veracity.”

 

    Were I writing the book today, I would nevertheless wish to take up a number of topics that help shed light on human motivation when it comes to lying, as on familiar arguments and definitions. The first of these topics is that of “confabulation” – a psychiatric term that has come into common parlance so recently that it has not been recorded as such in some major dictionaries. The term once carried the meaning of people coming together to talk or chat, but is now used to refer to the stories told by brain-damaged persons suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and a variety of other psychiatric and neurological conditions. These persons may spin false tales about their lives with great aplomb and in utter confidence that they are correct. They cannot, therefore, be thought of as engaging in lying or any form of deceit; at the same time, because their statements so clearly depart from the truth, it is equally difficult to speak of truthfulness in characterizing their stories. Such cases show that the moral dimensions of choices concerning truthfulness and deceit are not exhausted by referring to the intentions of those who make statements. There is a large category of statements where deceit is not intended but where truthful communication is far from being achieved. In considering this category, it is important to take into account all that can help to distort communication quite apart from an intention to deceive. When people convey false information in the belief that it is true, they may be tired, mistaken, uninformed, inarticulate, intoxicated, or duped by others; but so long as they do not intend to mislead anyone, they are not acting in a manner that is in any way deceitful. Their statements may be false, but they have not knowingly uttered falsehoods. If the information is conveyed through intermediaries, as through gossip or via the media, further distortion from such causes is likely to ensue. At the receiving end of such information, likewise, similar factors and others such as deafness may operate so that people end up deceiving through no fault on the part of the person who originated the message or those who passed it along.

 
    A second concept is that of pathological or compulsive lying [which] is to all the rest of lying what kleptomania is to stealing. The most extreme form of such pathological lying has been called Pseudologia fantastica, “in which the pseudologue (the liar) tells involved stories about life circumstances, both present and past.” Any consideration of moral choice regarding whether or not to lie has to take into account cases involving such compulsions and ways in which they can take over a person’s life. For this purpose, I would now wish to expand my earlier discussion of how one lie often leads to more lying and of the quip that the first lie “must be thatched with another or it will rain through” (p. 25).

 

    A third concept, “duping delight,” sheds needed light on a range of pleasurable motives for deceit. It evokes the excitement, allure, challenge that lying can involve. For psychologist Paul Ekman, the term refers to any or all of the positive feelings that lying can bring, ranging from the pleasure in misleading a gullible friend to taking what to outsiders seem unaccountably reckless risks of discovery: “The liar may feel excitement, either when anticipating the challenge or during the very moment of lying, when success is not yet certain. Afterwards, there may be the pleasure that comes with relief, pride in the achievement, or feelings of smug contempt towards the target.”

 

    A fourth concept helps counter simplistic reasoning about truthfulness and lying: it is that of “truth-dumping.” Coined by psychiatrist Will Gaylin, it conveys the harm that brutal, needless or uncaring truth-telling can wreak. Parents who bombard their children with criticisms, spouses who gloomily dwell on each other’s dreariest traits, curt health professionals who shock unprepared patients with grim news – all may be telling the truth even as they violate fundamental standards of respect and concern. Advocates of greater tolerance for lying sometimes ask what the world would be like if we told nothing but the truth without cease. Surely, they ask, judicious lying has to be seen as preferable? To pose the question thus is to assume that we operate, in this world, with only two alternatives: lying or constant, no-holds-barred truth-telling. Yet there is something peculiarly wizened and humorless in such a supposition. It leaves no room for discretion, for the ability to discern what is and is not intrusive and injurious while navigating in and between the worlds of personal and shared experience. Part of learning to deal respectfully with children as with adults is to become aware of all the ways of doing so honestly yet without “truth-dumping.”

 

~ Sissela Bok, in her Preface to the 1999 edition of Lying

 


 

From Pathological Lying Revisited

Charles C. Dike, Madelon Baranoski and Ezra E. H. Griffith
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online September 2005

 

While no consensus definition for pathological lying currently exists in the literature, the identified functional elements of the phenomenon are: the repeated utterance of untruths; the lies are often repeated over a period of years, with the lies eventually becoming a lifestyle; material reward or social advantage does not appear to be the primary motivating force but the lying is an end in itself; an inner dynamic rather than an external reason drives the lies, but when an external reason is suspected, the lies are far in excess of the suspected external reason; the lies are often woven into complex narratives.

 

We shall define pathological lying as Healy and Healy8 did, but without the quagmire of etiology. Pathological lying is falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.

 


 

Quotations from Robert Earl Burton – 2003

 


 

66. Shard OblivionFebruary 24, 2019

 

. . . Here is another little excerpt from the phone call I made to Burton in 1989, trying to see if he had ever had any doubts about the true source of his messages from Influence C – he displays a staggering lack of insight.

 

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

 

Robert Earl Burton

 

The leader of the Fellowship of Friends cult is quizzed on his assertions that he is in contact with disembodied spirits he calls “Influence C”

 


 

On September 21, 2011, the Fellowship of Friends doomsday cult leader claimed:                 

 

“On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us and our quest for divine presence began. We could say that on this day: ‘It has begun.’ Here [referring to a photo] we see a photograph of Alex Horn, showing four fingers on each hand. This [referring to a photo] is the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, where I played tennis. I met Influence C hitchhiking because it was just fashionable in the sixties; one would hitchhike from Berkeley to Carmel, and such things. I met Influence C in Berkeley on the crossing of Ashby and Domingo Avenues, like Placido Domingo, the singer. He was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, so it is an omen of my bringing the sequence – the Song of Solomon – to our school. Incidentally, the sequence is a ‘Song of the Self.’ It is four words. This is where our journey began. A doctor picked me up and gave me a ride. He would later turn out to be payment for Dr. Ethan Ha_s. So we did very well! The doctor was on his way to a prospective student meeting on Page Street (like William Page) in San Francisco. This [referring to a photo] is the house at 350 Page Street where I had my prospective student meeting. It is eight – three plus five. This [referring to a photo] is the interior. The owner was quite gracious about inviting us in. Here [referring to a photo] I am before the gated entrance. …I am looking up in gratitude to Influence C. I was just like you, one of many, one of seven billion. There was no particular reason on the surface they would give any of us this gift but we are exactly the ones they wanted. And now we are all present and we can see why they wanted us.”

 

Soon after I met Influence C on September 5th, forty-four years ago, one of my first observations was that life after death was not a theory. In a sense, this was our school’s first verification. Because before meeting Influence C we had all read literature about life after death, but our faith is a result of our verifications. We have the privilege of verifying that life after death does exist. … This [referring to a photo] is a road sign for Modesto, where I had a car accident. About three months after I met Influence C, I had approximately a hundred stitches in my head. It is curious that a small group of students gave me a Miata as a gift last night. This is exactly the same as the car that I crashed in – a tan Volkswagen bug. I made a left-hand turn. The driver behind me stopped, but the driver behind him decided to pass, and I was hit broadside and shoved under a parked truck. I heard a horn (like Alex Horn), and ‘I’ said, ‘Well, it’s not for me.’ That is the most wrong about anything I have ever been in my life! I woke up and the nurse was saying, ‘Doctor, you did a beautiful job with those stitches.’ They rolled me out of the operating room and I just stood up and walked out. I took a taxi and then a Greyhound bus to my little one-room apartment. It was then that I realized how serious Influence C are about helping us. Of course, we have students who have experienced much worse than that. The Miata is a nice little gift, coming almost forty-four years after the Volkswagen. I also soon realized that I was under the guidance of Leonardo. Very early on I wondered who was helping me, and they started signaling Leonardo. Leonardo and I are very different, but also very similar from the point of view of presence. Later I will say a few things about why we are so different. If we survive the Last Judgment then many things will become self-evident.”

 

(A quote by Dave Archer – once a member of Alex Horn’s group – is read: “Alex used to say we were not in the ‘work,’ meaning the Gurdjieff Work. Repeatedly he described our endeavor as a small ‘preparatory school’ at best, saying that if we worked exceedingly hard on ‘growing being,’ one of us MIGHT join the ‘Real Work’ … someday.”)

 

“Patricia Ch_r, who read the angle, studied with Alex Horn for a little while. I studied with him briefly also, for eighteen months. Then he closed the group, leaving ten of us there, and Influence C removed me – they would not give me employment. Finally, I found employment cleaning a woman’s house – and she died unexpectedly. At that point they briefly made me a homeless person. Alex once came up to me with a tiny little Christmas bell about two centimeters tall. His little higher emotional center was working and he rang the bell in front of my third eye, meaning that we have a little school here – he and I. Of course, we have four large bells from a French foundry above Apollo d’Oro now. Inscribed on one of them are the words: ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ We put it there without knowing what we know now. Anyway, even today we are a school in our infancy. During my time with Alex, he openly spoke about my role and his role as being conscious roles. Also Influence C did not reveal themselves to anyone else in his group, but in our school everyone verifies Influence C to enter the Way. The inner meaning of ‘entering the way’ is reaching long BE and completing the sequence – entering the way to presence. …This [referring to a photo] is a view of the ranch that Alex owned for a few years. Patricia, would you like to speak about this? Yes, it is a functioning vineyard now. Sharon and Alex owned the property, and they brought students up there on the weekends to work. You went, did you not?”

 

Patricia: “Yes, I did. I was in charge of the refuse. I remember that Alex once drove by in a red Jaguar that he enjoyed, which had a big dent in the hood. He was watching me in a very sweet way as I worked with the refuse. It was a touching moment in our play.”
 

Burton: “In 1967, someone saw something no one else did, a celestial influence coming to make men immortal. Once again, in 1971, the same miracle occurred and the school (Apollo) was started by the grace of Influence C.”

 

“Here is a photo of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn. Of all of them, we learned the most from Ouspensky. Before the sequence Ouspensky was the most quoted figure by far, but now we rarely mention his name. Why? At the end of his life he said, ‘If man was made to remember himself there must be some simple method. I’ve been looking all of my life but it was never given to me’ – by Influence C.”

 

“As a young person, I did not have a desire to teach, but I did it because Influence C asked it of me. Others had a strong desire to become teachers, and that was their downfall.” 

 

“From the beginning, I knew I was following the directive of angels. …This [referring to a photo] is a Meissen urn decorated with ascending cherubim. It is now in Anthony and Patricia Ch_r’s collection. We used this image on our bookmark. Did any of you meet the school through this bookmark? (Many students raise their hands.) Very nice! Maybe we should bring it back.” 

 

(A quote, supposedly by Alex Horn, is read: “If ever a conscious being is produced from one of my students, then my role as a teacher is complete.”) 

 

“I came from so far back to go so far forward. Robert Ma_c used to work with my life sister, Betty Burton, at a restaurant called Saluto in San Francisco. Robert was a waiter, and he was carrying a dessert called The Great American Disaster. He and my sister encountered each other in a swinging door, and he spilled the dessert all over her. Subsequently, her lover, who owned the restaurant, died, leaving her fifteen million dollars. Curtis said that the Ming screen we once owned was recently sold at auction for a record high and was the only piece of Chinese furniture to ever sell for more than a million dollars. He said that it is now worth fifteen million dollars, so we have fifteen and fifteen – incomparable wealth:  presence. My sister is leaving her inheritance to the ASPCA – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ouspensky said something like, ‘Cats eat rats and rats eat cats.’”

 

“We are destined for immortality – eternal life – and this is what makes Paradise so sweet: it is a deathless place. Also, everyone is conscious and immortal there. Here everyone is mortal and unconscious, except for us.” 

 

“Our press is the temple of literature for Apollo and civilization. Our presses do not require electricity. We know how to make paper and vellum as well. …Here [referring to a photo] we are planning the new press building…this temple of literature. Here [referring to a photo] is our Petrarch Press this year.” 

 

“Apollo’s cemetery could be called ‘conscious passage’. We can also call it a ‘paymentorium’ – a place of payment.” 

 

“Apollo is Mecca for ascending souls in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is here that Influence C will take their stand against the Last Judgment. This is the only safe haven.”

 

“For forty years our school kept going forward, until we finally arrived at the greatest ally of presence – the sequence. Never could I detect the nature of the lower self until the sequence came – I could only speak about it philosophically. But now with the sequence, we know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal figure is located.” 

 

(A quote by a Fellowship member is read: “Our school is truly a golden chain of love that began when Robert was most graciously accepted into the ranks of the angels.”)

 

“Who wrote this, dear? (Thomas F_n.) It is very sweet. This [referring to a photo] is Asaf giving the toast at the Crystallization celebration in 2010.  Here [referring to a photo] are the four of us at the Getty Villa in the order of appearance: myself, Asaf, Dorian, and then Sasha. It is quite a beautiful sight.” 

 

“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo. This is what having Influence C in one’s life may mean. This [referring to a photo] is our Bactrian camel Rembrandt and his mother… This [referring to a photo] was our animal parade during Journey Forth… A few ibexes will be arriving at Apollo later this month… It was a major step when Influence C began bringing the animals.” 

 

“We have a beautiful conscious society at Apollo and our inner circle around the globe. The centers are points of light in humanity. …Here [referring to a photo] I am teaching in [our] Grand Pavilion with a statue of Shiva behind me. We are truly becoming immortal here.”

 

“The [live] broadcasts of the meetings are one [of] the most important events in our school’s history. Influence C accelerated everyone’s evolution.”

 


 

Historical Evolution of Pathological Lying
 

Pathological lying has been compared with the “pseudolying” observed in children. Despite their obvious comparability, it is important to draw a distinction between the “fantasy” lying observed in children and pathological lying. Children’s use of fantasy to deny reality is said to be an important aspect of self-development and self-protection, but when this persists into adulthood, it becomes pathological. It has been proposed that the pathological liar’s ego is fixated at the childhood level.10

 

Eminent psychiatrists, such as Schneider,11 Bleuler,12 Jaspers,13 and Fish14 have all wondered if the pathological liar recognizes his or her story as false or believes it is real. Essential notions in much of the literature are the basis of the lying and the extent to which the pathological lying reflects impairment in reality testing. A brief review of past characterizations of pathological lying—published by Healy and Healy,8 who translated the early work that was originally published in German and summarized it in their landmark text published in 1926—shows a split between those who believe possible impairment in reality testing is an important consideration and those who believe pathological lying is a willful act.

 

Supporters of possible impaired reality testing observe that in the final evolution of the pathological lie, it cannot be differentiated from a delusion because, to the liar, it has the worth of a real experience.15 The lie ultimately wins power over the pathological liar, so that mastery of his or her own lies is lost. The new “I” supposedly overwhelms the normal “I” who now appears only at intervals, a condition that has been referred to as systematized delirium.16 Consciousness of the real situation was said to be clouded in the mind of the pathological liar, and the lies were described as impulsive and unplanned, “seizing” the liar suddenly.17 Pseudologues (pathological liars) were therefore not seen as liars in the true sense, despite the falsehood of their statements, because the verbalizations were not believed to be consciously engendered, nor the goal consciously recognized.

 

Further support for possible impaired reality testing in pathological lying was the observation that the lies were more elaborate than ordinary lies and left the grounds of reality more readily. The proposal that pathological lying is a “wish psychosis” was based on the observation that pathological liars saw their lies as reality and believed them.18

 

Opponents of impaired reality testing in pathological lying noted that when the pathological liar’s attention was energetically drawn to his lies, he could be brought to at least a partial recognition of their falseness, but when left to himself, he did not exert his attention in that direction.19 This observation suggested a degree of willfulness. Pseudologia fantastica was therefore described as a fantasy lie, a daydream communicated as reality, in which the lie can be a gratification in itself, for pleasure only and not for any other obvious gain.20 It was described as an intermediary phase between psychic health and neurosis.20 The notion of “double consciousness,” in which two forms of life run side by side, the actual and the desired, and the desired becomes preponderant and decisive, has been proposed as the mechanism underlying pathological lying.21 It has also been suggested that the mental processes similar to those forming the basis of the impulse to literary creation in normal people is the foundation of the morbid romances and fantasies of those with pseudologia fantastica.22 The impulse that forces the fabrication of stories is supposedly bound up with the desire to play the role of the person depicted; fiction and real life are not separated. Further support for intact reality testing in pseudologia fantastica is the proposition that pseudologues usually have sound judgment in other matters, an observation that makes it difficult to prove that the pseudologue does not know that what he or she is doing is wrong.

 

In their work involving pathological liars, Healy and Healy8 observed that utterance of lies comes just as quickly and naturally as speaking truth comes to other people. They noted that even really insane individuals are not immune to pathological lying; some may tell tales that they recognize to be untrue. This observation further highlights the controversy about whether the pathological liar maintains contact with reality. In the opinion of Healy and Healy, pathological lying is very rarely a symptom by itself, as there is a tendency for the lying to be embedded in other forms of misrepresentation. The pathological liar gets himself/herself in a tight spot by lying and then tells more lies to extricate himself/herself. After a while, the only way out may be to run away to a different location.

 

In summary, the historical review provides some elements that may be said to characterize the pathological liar or at least create a general impression of what constitutes pathological lying. . .

 

jaapl.org

 


 

2. Tim CampionSeptember 23, 2016

 

This year’s Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded

 

With the help of selected tweets from Deepak Chopra’s Twitter account, researchers from the University of Waterloo and Sheridan College identified certain traits that made people more susceptible to B.S. They included religious or paranormal beliefs, an embrace of alternative medicine, an interest in conspiracy theories and lower “cognitive ability”.

 

See: On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

 


 

5. Mad Cult memberSeptember 26, 2016

 

I don’t know how to attach an image here. This is what came today by email to all students:
This photo was taken on September 5, 2016 at the dinner to celebrate entering our 50th year of meeting Influence C. Guinevere Mueller, Linda Kaplan and Jan Allen with Robert – symbolizing the Three Graces and the steward. They were all present on the first weekend we acquired the property in 1971, now called Apollo.

 

6. Mad Cult Member 

 

Again, the Absolute didn’t kiss or wash Robert’s feet. Robert kneeled to kiss his feet. Apparently the Absolute has feet! What surprises me [is] that nobody seems to have a problem with such event. We all heard about Leonardo or the oldest conscious being visiting Robert; that didn’t bother me as much as the Absolute. Mainly because it’s somehow imaginable. Even if Jesus visited him it would be ok. Absolute is different. Absolute can’t visit. Period. Was it ever recorded in the history? Any other visitation of the Absolute?

 

7. Mad Cult Member 

 

Robert said something like he was visited by the world 1 and 3. “which is the higher centers…and then we have world 12 and 6.” So, now we have to switch quickly from the idea that our higher centers are 12 and 6 to a whole new system.. I thought that worlds 1 and 3 are out of reach. Nobody wants to discuss this with me.

 


 

8. ton2u September 26, 2016

 

MCM @ 7 are you for real?

 

“…Nobody wants to discuss this with me.”

 

Why? Because it’s absolute nonsensical bullshit!

 

It seems you’re having trouble understanding “the system” so I’ll explain – the sole purpose is to manipulate suckers like you… you’re hypnotized. That’s the riddle you have to figure out before you can even think about escaping the cult.

 


 

9. Insider September 26, 2016

 

The entire stunt with the “Absolute” was planned a long time ago. Dorian “predicted” it at a meeting he led back in April/May. He proclaimed a “new phase” was about to begin. It would shake the FF tree and some people would fall off. But there would be no returning to the old ways. Then the “visitation” happened on Sept 2 (the 2nd time in 800 days), and all the talk (from RB) is how the “school” has changed forever. Then Dorian led another meeting, on Sept 18 and repeated many of the same things he said back in April/May. “There is no going back.” “It will be deadly to go back.” And so on. Dorian knew about the up-coming “visit by the Absolute” at least 4-5 months ago. So did Robert. It’s all a manipulative script.

 


 

10. ryanopooSeptember 26, 2016

 

Mad Cult Member,

 

Thanks for the clarification and insights, good to get the….. er, um,…..”facts” straight….!?**.

 

You are absolutely right about the Absolute not having feet. Doesn’t even have a pair of slippers or a teddy bear he can call his own.

 

Try and stick with your perceptions and understanding and buy yourself a life-person jacket. The Fellowship’s not an Ark, it’s a rubber dinghy with a puncture.

 

“Free your mind, your ass will follow” – Bootsy Collins

 


 

11. Insider September 26, 2016

 

Warning: If you are subject to extreme reactions, or overly sensitive to smells, you might want to skip to the next posting.

 

From a meeting Robert Burton led on 9-5-16 (3 days after the latest “visitation”):

 

“One reason that He is visiting us is because the first angel
visited us and we are at the end of the sequence of civilizations. We
are the thirty-third expression of schools in different galaxies. Each
civilization lasts about 800,000 years, from the prehistoric to the
present. In our case, the machine age and the space age overlap.
The reason that He comes here is because we are the last of the
thirty-three expressions of school. That is why we have this honor.”

 


 

12. ryanopooSeptember 26, 2016

 

Insider

 

Thanks for your posts,

 

Hopefully a lot of people will get shaken from the Nut Tree, I wish them well, they’ll be the lucky ones. Post tree shake, the Fellowship will be smaller, poorer, more secretive, insular, paranoid than before. Then the lies, rationalizations and justifications will pale in comparison to a house call from the Absolute.

 

Should hasten the visitation of an inevitable absolute implosion.

 

Twisted that Dorian uses Bob’s old ways of outright lies, strategic pre-planned manipulation and fear mongering in a speech claiming there’d be no return to the old ways. Nothing surprises any more though, “Going back would be deadly” gives a little chilling insight into the workings of Dorian’s infected mind.

 


 

20. OscarJune 23, 2016

 

From the 2015 documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies

 

“Once you lie, you’re more likely to lie again, and probably the second lie will be bigger than the first. What we find in the brain is that, at the beginning, if you lie a little bit, there’s a huge response in regions involved with emotion such as the amygdala and the insula. The 10th time you lie, the response is not that high. After a while, the negative feeling is not there as much. You lie more and more and more.”

 


 

What makes psychopaths different from all others is the remarkable ease with which they lie, the pervasiveness of their deception, and the callousness with which they carry it out. Lying, deceiving, and manipulation are natural talents for psychopaths.

 

Psychopaths often come across as arrogant, shameless braggarts – self-assured, opinionated, domineering, and cocky. They love to have power and control over others and seem unable to believe that other people have valid opinions different from theirs. They appear charismatic or “electrifying” to some people.

 

Psychopaths have a narcissistic and grossly inflated view of their self-worth and importance, a truly astounding egocentricity and sense of entitlement, and see themselves as the center of the universe, as superior beings who are justified in living according to their own rules.

 

Psychopaths are seldom embarrassed about their legal, financial, or personal problems. Rather, they see them as temporary setbacks, the results of bad luck, unfaithful friends, or an unfair and incompetent system.

 

Psychopaths feel that their abilities will enable them to become anything they want to be. Given the right circumstances – opportunity, luck, willing victims – their grandiosity can pay off spectacularly. For example, the psychopathic entrepreneur “thinks big,” but it’s usually with someone else’s money.

 

. . . the psychopath carries out his evaluation of a situation – what he will get out of it and at what cost – without the usual anxieties, doubts, and concerns about being humiliated, causing pain, sabotaging future plans, in short, the infinite possibilities that people of conscience consider when deliberating possible actions. 

 

. . . imagining the world as the psychopath experiences it is close to impossible.

 

 

Dr. Robert D. Hare,

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

 


 

189. WhaleRider October 18, 2016

 

Studies show psychopaths really do make some people feel queasy. Why? The researchers suspect it might be an evolutionary response to an “intraspecies predator”.

 

This is another one [method] all the sources agreed on. Don’t listen to the excuses, rationalizations or outright lies. Don’t listen to what they say they will do. Pay attention to what they do.

 

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2016/10/how-to-deal-with-psychopaths/

 


 

 SUNDAY, OCTOBER, 23, 1994

 

Phone call from Robert Burton to James Battaglia

 


 

Star Tribune | August 13, 2014

 

Caught In A Cult’s Dark Embrace

  

By Jenna Ross, Pam Louwagie and Jennifer Brooks

 

Victor Barnard played the shepherd, wearing linen clothes and sometimes wielding a shepherd’s crook.

 

The minister kept his flock close, urging members of the River Road Fellowship to move to four clusters of properties in this rural area, and discouraging the girls from traveling to town. As he grew more controlling, he warned his followers against those who might turn against him – calling them wolves in sheep’s clothing.

 

“That always gets to me now,” former congregant Micah Vail said. “He used that analogy over and over.  …It turned out he was the one who was playing everybody.”

 

Barnard, 52, is now the center of a nationwide manhunt after Pine County prosecutors charged him with using his status within the sect to coerce girls into having sex with him. Two women told investigators that Barnard raped them after they were chosen, at ages 12 and 13, to live near him as part of an honored and cloistered group of “maidens.” He faces 59 counts of first-and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

 

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

 

FALSE MESSIAH
Inside the Sex Cult of ‘Christ’
By M. L. Nestel – Mar 5, 2015

 

Steve Blackwell was the deputy police chief of Pine County last year before he retired. He told The Daily Beast that Victor Barnard never left the compound before the allegations and kept his followers, whom he used as “shields,” living in fear.

 

“The guy is a predator,” Blackwell said. “He became ordained as a minister so he could have an avenue to feed his hunger. So he could dedicate his life as a disguise and be a predator and feed the beast. He’s an animal.”

 


 

A uniformly valid and binding designation is invented for things, and this legislation of language likewise establishes the first laws of truth. For the contrast between truth and lie arises here for the first time. The liar is a person who uses the valid designations, the words, in order to make something which is unreal appear to be real. He says, for example, “I am rich,” when the proper designation for his condition would be “poor.” He misuses fixed conventions by means of arbitrary substitutions or even reversals of names.

 

~ Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”

 


 

 

 

Fifty Years with Angels
Sept 5, 1967 – Sept 5, 2017

 

© 2017 Fellowship of Friends.

 

Part One (pp. 1-3)

 

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. – John 8:32

 

I remember forming my magnetic center. I had a nice apartment with a pool outside, a new car, money in the bank, and all of that. But I sat down and said, “This is nothing.” So I began looking for something, although I did not know what to look for. I had to relinquish my tenure position as a fourth-grade teacher. I did not know what the truth was, but I knew that I had not found it. The truth certainly was not where I was, but then we found the truth or, rather, the truth – Influence C – found us and infused the truth within us. Rilke said, “When I, coming down from the beasts, longed to be instructed in mankind, behold the next phase, the angelic, was infused into me” – divine presence.

 

From a little spark may burst a mighty flame. – Dante Alighieri

 

    I formed my magnetic center at Big Sur on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. Here we see a little girl sitting in the same spot in the Nepenthe Restaurant where I once stood, even before I met Alex Horn. I was there by myself on Christmas Day when I was twenty-four. Never imagine wisdom to be more than the presence of the child within you. The first time my higher centers appeared, I was gazing at a fireplace.
    My first B-influence book was The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I read it by the ocean in an Oregon state park called Humbug. Once I was in my back yard when a butterfly landed on my finger and stayed there for a while. Soon after, I met Alex Horn on Page Street. What a wonderful page began of our school’s history!

 

On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us and our quest for divine presence began.

 

    I used to play tennis and, when I was about twenty, I actually defeated the California state singles tennis champion in San Francisco. I met Influence C after I left the tennis club in the Claremont Hotel on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” I can still see myself meeting the Jewish professor who picked me up hitchhiking and invited me to Alex Horn’s open meeting. The miraculous began for all of us at that moment.
    This is the house at 350 Page Street in San Francisco where I had my prospective student meeting, implying the turning of the final page before our school was to begin.
    Ouspensky said that schools are the most undemocratic of all things. There is nothing you can do if you are not chosen by Influence C. I met Influence C on September 5th, 1967. Later my higher centers began to appear. The first time this occurred I was looking into a fireplace. An ‘I’ said sarcastically, “Who is that?” And another ‘I’ said, “What right does it have to be there?” These ‘I’s were Cinderella’s stepsisters – the nine of clubs.

 

I knew that beyond the thin film of false reality there existed another reality, from which for some reason we were separate. – Peter Ouspensky

 

    Alex’s apartment was up the stairs and to the left. You walk up twelve steps, go forward two paces, and walk up another stair. Then you step through the door and into divine presence – the thirteenth step. I only remember one meeting there, although there may have been more. When I met Alex, I knew that I had I met something I had never met before, but I did not know what to call it. I had never seen anything like it. As it turned out, it was a conscious being – Influence C.  In a way, our meeting was the first page of our school. Alex Horn was the first person I ever met who used the phrase “self-remembering,” so he brought us a great deal. The inner meaning of life on earth, and in the entire universe, is to use what time one has for presence.

 

I am eternally grateful for having met Alex Horn. It was our biggest breakthrough – and quite probably the breakthrough that life needed to bridge the interval of civilizations.

 

    When I met Alex Horn, I could not quite believe that someone else had to teach me to be present to my life. I was the only one in his group, other than Alex, who was able to see the starry world in him after he crystallized, and for that I am very grateful.
    When I saw his higher centers after he crystallized, I was developed enough to say, “Congratulations.” After he completed his task and visited me for the first time, I said, “Congratulations” once again. Apparently, Alex Horn did not have any lines on his palm, an omen that he did not need good fortune because he already had it.
    Alex asked me to read In Search of the Miraculous, so I went to Fields Bookshop on Polk Street in San Francisco to look for a copy. I remembered the author as Spensky, but, of course, it was Ouspensky!

 


 

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts (and Gods, Angels, Demons, and Aliens…) skeptic.com/reading room

 

______________

 

As a skeptic I am often asked about my position on one of the most extraordinary claims ever made: immortality. “I’m for it, of course,” is my wiseacre reply.

 
. . . I’m skeptical whenever people argue that the Big Thing is going to happen in their lifetime. Evangelicals never claim that the Second Coming is going to happen in the next generation (or that they will be “left behind” while others are saved). Likewise, secular doomsayers typically predict the demise of civilization within their allotted time (but that they will be part of the small surviving enclave). Prognosticators of both religious and secular utopias always include themselves as members of the chosen few, and paradise is always within reach.
    Hope springs eternal.

 

Update: I highly recommend the documentary film Transcendent Man, about Ray Kurzweil and his efforts to achieve immortality: transcendentman.com

 

 

Michael Shermer,
SKEPTIC: Viewing The World With A Rational Eye © 2016
Chapter 43 – pp. 153 & 155

 


 

20. ton2u February 7, 2018

 

19. WYLTK

 

when prophecy fails:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/health and science/science/2011/05/prophecy fail.html

 


 

26. Golden VeilFebruary 9, 2018

 

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection by Carl Sagan

 

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

 

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

 


 

116. Insider October 6, 2018

 

An apocalypse update:

 

Only 2 weeks to go before yet another “fall of California.” The big day is Sunday, Oct 21, early in the morning. Burton is predicting that the ocean will rise 800-900 feet, to about the level of nearby Loma Rica. Everything above that level will survive.

 

150 FF members from distant centers (especially Russia, Mexico and The Netherlands) will be visiting Apollo at that time, joining the 500+ already living in Oregon House.

 

Burton is taking full financial advantage of the fear he himself has created by having 4 meetings per week (but soon to be 6 or 7), plus another 8 “teaching” events. If nothing else, the flock will be thoroughly fleeced by the time they return home on Oct 22.

 


 

11. WhaleRiderOctober 14, 2018

 

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

 

Only One Week Left Until Cult’s Major Buffering of Another Failed Prediction

 

Obscure Northern California group making plans for apocalypse of reason.

 

Gorgon House, CA-Seasoned followers of Robert E Burton have already been stocking up on fresh supplies of excuses, rationalizations, and jokes about the impending doom of yet another of his failed predictions in order to lavish upon the newly recruited, unsuspecting neophyte followers who are currently descending from all over the globe to Apollo for next weekend’s “Bufferfest 2018”, a celebration marking the end of critical thought.

 

Long term, self-serving followers who over the years have been able to stomach Burton’s bizarre and delusional ideas of reference and magical thinking about hydrogen warfare, stock market crash, and most of California sliding into the sea are well-versed and prepared to gaslight newer members into exempting their leader from any responsibility with such tried and true thought reform aphorisms as: “Aren’t you glad so many millions of innocent men, women and children didn’t have to die in order to feed our teacher’s palatial ego?”…”Higher Forces are showing us how to be compassionate and caring of others less fortunate than us!”…”If you leave now, then you will miss out on the next failed prediction!”….and the all time favorite, “Maybe the gods are trying to tell us something!”

 

Insider sources who wish to remain anonymous have indicated that Burton and his inner jerk circle have secretly been stashing cash, caviar, and KY Jelly in the cult’s winter palace in Mexico to make a quick exit should the whole criminal enterprise go belly up when enough followers wise up to his charade and finally listen to their own inner gurus.

 


 

12. Ames GilbertOctober 14, 2018

 

So here we are, headed towards the date of another prediction of catastrophe by the God–Emperor of Oregon House™.

 

I’ve been re-reading Leon Festinger’s book, “When Prophecy Fails”, co-written with Riecken and Schachte, and sub-titled, “A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World”.

 

In 1954, the author and his students studied a UFO cult, starting a few months before the prediction of their version of ‘end times’ was due to occur, during those times, and then afterwards. This included actually joining the cult to make first-hand observations. These studies led to the publication of papers and eventually this book, and popularized the idea of ‘cognitive dissonance’, the ability to hold two or more contradictory thoughts in one’s mind without them clashing or causing discomfort. The group’s leader claimed she had been given special knowledge that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21, 1954. True believers, however, would be rescued beforehand and taken up by a flying saucer…

 

From Wikipedia:

 

“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a belief of a person clashes with new evidence perceived by that person. When confronted with facts that contradict personal beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction in order to reduce their discomfort.

 

In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance, by making changes to justify the stressful behavior, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance, or by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance.”

 

Sounds familiar? We all do it to some degree, but some group leaders and their followers do it wholesale.

 


 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2018

 

Robert Burton warns followers: California is about to fall

 


 

19. Ames Gilbert October 16, 2018

 

There must be quite a bit of turmoil going on beneath the tranquil waters over there at Intergalactic Headquarters. When I say ‘tranquil’, I mean medicated (Thorazine, Valium, Xanax, etc.) or else enthralled/infatuated.

 

In 2016 there were 1565 members, so let’s take a stab at the numbers, which have been in a very slow decline for a number of years. How about a nice round 1500 right now? The newsletter I refer to above claims that a mere 150 visitors have arrived to partake in the circus. If the 2015 population has remained constant, there are approximately 600 members of the Fellowship of Friends who live in and around Oregon House. The inference is that there are about 750 followers, that is, half the membership who did not obey orders and roll up to celebrate the end of times under the guidance of Burton and Dorian Mattei and the rest of the management. Why not? And what will happen to them? What is their spiritual status now that they have defied orders? Will they join the rest of us in the circle of the damned—imminent food for the moon?

 

Also: where is the Absolute? Is ‘he’ hob-knobbing with Burton as they go over the plans for the drowning of tens of millions of Californians and the following extinction of the rest of mankind? What about the ‘45 angels’? Is their job over now that the Absolute has taken a personal interest? Did they not do a good enough job? Have they been fired for not delivering clearer messages about the future than arranging mailbox numbers, ‘T’ shirts, and license plates in front of Burton? What about their 100% record of constant humiliations of Burton? Are they going to be punished? And what if the Absolute ‘himself’ gets it wrong on October 21st? Is ‘he’ going to resign and let Burton take over?

 

Enquiring minds want to know.

 

“If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been “taken”. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

 

Carl Sagan
(from his book, “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”)

 


 

From Chapter 7 – The Demon-Haunted World – pp. 130-31

 

In the early 1960s, I argued that the UFO stories were crafted chiefly to satisfy religious longings. At a time when science has complicated uncritical adherence to the old-time religions, an alternative is proffered to the God hypothesis: Dressed in scientific jargon, their immense powers “explained” by superficially scientific terminology, the gods and demons of old come down from heaven to haunt us, to offer prophetic visions, and to tantalize us with visions of a more hopeful future: a space-age mystery religion aborning.

 

The folklorist Thomas E. Bullard wrote in 1989 that

 

abduction reports sound like rewrites of older supernatural encounter traditions with aliens serving the functional roles of divine beings.

 

He concludes:

 

Science may have evicted ghosts and witches from our beliefs, but it just as quickly filled the vacancy with aliens having the same functions. Only the extraterrestrial outer trappings are new. All the fear and the psychological dramas for dealing with it seem simply to have found their way home again, where it is business as usual in the legend realm where things go bump in the night.

 

Is it possible that people in all times and places occasionally experience vivid, realistic hallucinations, often with sexual content, about abduction by strange, telepathic, aerial creatures who ooze through walls – with the details filled in by the prevailing cultural idioms, sucked out of the Zeitgeist? Others, who have not personally had the experience, find it stirring and in a way familiar. They pass the story on. Soon it takes on a life of its own, inspires others trying to understand their own visions and hallucinations, and enters the realm of folklore, myth, and legend. The connection between the content of spontaneous temporal lobe hallucinations and the alien abduction paradigm is consistent with such a hypothesis.

 

Perhaps when everyone knows that gods come down to Earth, we hallucinate gods; when all of us are familiar with demons, it’s incubi and succubi; when fairies are widely accepted, we see fairies; in an age of spiritualism, we encounter spirits; and when the old myths fade and we begin thinking that extraterrestrial beings are plausible, then that’s where our hypnogogic imagery tends.

 

Snatches of song or foreign languages, images, events that we witnessed, stories that we overheard in childhood can be accurately recalled decades later without any conscious memory of how they got into our heads. “[I]n violent fevers, men, all ignorance, have talked in ancient tongues,” says Herman Melville in Moby-Dick; “and . . . when the mystery is probed, it turns out always that in their wholly forgotten childhood those ancient tongues had been really spoken in their hearing.” In our everyday life, we effortlessly and unconsciously incorporate cultural norms and make them our own.

 

A similar inhaling of motifs is present in schizophrenic “command hallucinations.” Here people feel they are being told what to do by an imposing or mythic figure. They are ordered to assassinate a political leader or a folk hero, or defeat the British invaders, or harm themselves, because it is the wish of God, or Jesus, or the Devil, or demons or angels, or – lately – aliens. The schizophrenic is transfixed by a clear and powerful command from a voice that no one else can hear, and that the subject must somehow identify. Who would issue such a command? Who could speak inside our heads? The culture in which we’ve been raised offers up an answer.

 

Think of the power of repetitive imagery in advertising, especially to suggestible viewers and readers. It can make us believe almost anything — even that smoking cigarettes is cool. In our time putative aliens are the subject of innumerable science fiction stories, novels, TV dramas, and films. UFOs are a regular feature of the weekly tabloids devoted to falsification and mystification. One of the highest-grossing motion pictures of all time is about aliens very like those described by abductees. Alien abduction accounts were comparatively rare until 1975, when a credulous television dramatization of the Hill case was aired; another leap into public prominence occurred after 1987, when Strieber’s purported first-hand account with a haunting cover painting of a large-eyed “alien” became a best-seller. In contrast, we hear very little lately about incubi, elves, and fairies. Where have they all gone?

 


 

20.  brucelevyOctober 17, 2018

 

Are we under water yet?

 


 

21. Tim Campion October 17, 2018

 

Jeez, Bruce. You always were impatient. Just over four days to go.

 


 

From Chapter 10 – The Dragon in My Garage – pp. 173-77

 

Magic requires tacit cooperation of the audience with the magician – an abandonment of skepticism, or what is sometimes described as the willing suspension of disbelief. It immediately follows that to penetrate the magic, to expose the trick, we must cease collaborating.

 

    How can further progress be made in this emotionally laden, controversial, and vexing subject? Patients might excercise caution about therapists quick to deduce or confirm alien abductions. Those treating abductees might explain to their patients that hallucinations are normal, and that childhood sexual abuse is disconcertingly common. They might bear in mind that no client can be wholly uncontaminated by the aliens in popular culture. They might take scrupulous care to not subtly lead the witness. They might teach their clients skepticism. They might recharge their own dwindling reserves of the same commodity.

 

    Purported alien abductions trouble many people and in more ways than one. The subject is a window into the internal lives of our fellows. If many falsely report being abducted, this is cause for worry. But much more worrisome is that so many therapists accept these reports at face value – with inadequate attention given to the suggestibility of clients and to unconscious cuing by their interlocutors.

 

    I’m surprised that there are psychiatrists and others with at least some scientific training, who know the imperfections of the human mind, but who dismiss the idea that these accounts might be some species of hallucination, or some kind of screen memory. I’m even more surprised by claims that the alien abduction story represents true magic, that it is a challenge to our grip on reality, or that it constitutes support for a mystical view of the world. Or, as the matter is put by John Mack, “There are phenomena important enough to warrant serious research, and the metaphysics of the dominant Western scientific paradigm may be inadequate fully to support this research.” In an interview with Time magazine, he goes on to say:

 

I don’t know why there’s such a zeal to find a conventional physical explanation. I don’t know why people have such trouble simply accepting the fact that something unusual is going on here . . . We’ve lost all that ability to know a world beyond the physical.*

 

    But we know that hallucinations arise from sensory deprivation, drugs, illness and high fever, a lack of REM sleep, changes in brain chemistry, and so on.  And even if, with Mack, we took the cases at face value, their remarkable aspects (slithering through walls and so on) are more readily attributable to something well within the realm of “the physical” – advanced alien technology – than to witchcraft.

 

  * And then, in a sentence that reminds us how close the alien abduction paradigm is to messianic and chiliastic religion, Mack concludes, “I am a bridge between those two worlds.”

 

    A friend of mine claims that the only interesting question in the alien abduction paradigm is “Who’s conning who?” Is the client deceiving the therapist, or vice versa? I disagree. For one thing, there are many other interesting questions about claims of alien abduction. For another, those two alternatives aren’t mutually exclusive:

 

    Something about the alien abduction cases tugged at my memory for years. Finally, I remembered. It was a 1954 book I had read in college, The Fifty-Minute Hour. The author, a psychoanalyst named Robert Lindner, had been called by the Los Alamos National Laboratory to treat a brilliant young nuclear physicist whose delusional system was beginning to interfere with his secret government research. The physicist (given the pseudonym Kirk Allen) had, it turned out, another life besides making nuclear weapons: In the far future, he confided, he piloted (or will pilot – the tenses get a little addled) interstellar spacecraft. He enjoyed rousing, swashbuckling adventures on planets of other stars. He was “lord” of many worlds. Perhaps they called him Captain Kirk. Not only could he “remember” this other life, he could also enter into it whenever he chose. By thinking in the right way, by wishing, he could transport himself across the light-years and the centuries.

 

In some way I could not comprehend, by merely desiring it to be so, I had crossed the immensities of space, broken out of time, and merged with – literally became – that distant and future self. . . Don’t ask me to explain. I can’t, although God knows I’ve tried.

 

    Lindner found him intelligent, sensitive, pleasant, polite, and perfectly able to deal with everyday human affairs. But – in reflecting on the excitement of his life among the stars – Allen had found himself a little bored with his life on Earth, even if it did involve building weapons of mass destruction. When admonished by his laboratory supervisors for distraction and dreaminess, he apologized; he would try, he assured them, to spend more time on this planet. That’s when they contacted Lindner.

 

    Allen had written 12,000 pages on his experiences in the future, and dozens of technical treatises on the geography, politics, architecture, astronomy, geology, life-forms, genealogy, and ecology of the planets of other stars. A flavor of the material is given by these monograph titles: “The Unique Brain Development of the Chrystopeds of Srom Norba X,” “Fire Worship and Sacrifice on Srom Sodrat II,” “The History of Intergalactic Scientific Institute,” and “The Application of Unified Field Theory and the Mechanics of the Stardrive to Space Travel.” (That last is the one I’d like to see; after all, Allen was said to have been a first-rate physicist.) Fascinated, Lindner pored over the material.

 

    Allen was not in the least shy about presenting his writings to Lindner or discussing them in detail. Unflappable and intellectually formidable, he seemed not to be yielding an inch to Lindner’s psychiatric ministrations. When everything else failed, the psychiatrist attempted something different:

 

I tried . . . to avoid giving in any way the impression that I was entering the lists with him to prove that he was psychotic, that this was to be a tug of war over the question of his sanity. Instead, because it was obvious that both his temperament and training were scientific, I set myself to capitalize on the one quality he had demonstrated throughout his life . . . the quality that urged him toward a scientific career: his curiosity. . . This meant . . . that at least for the time being I “accepted” the validity of his experiences. . . In a sudden flash of inspiration it came to me that in order to separate Kirk from his madness it was necessary for me to enter his fantasy and, from that position, to pry him loose from the psychosis.

 

    Lindner highlighted certain apparent contradictions in the documents and asked Allen to resolve them. This required the physicist to re-enter the future to find the answers. Dutifully, Allen would arrive at the next session with a clarifying document written in his neat hand. Lindner found himself eagerly awaiting each interview, so he could be once more captivated by the vision of abundant life and intelligence in the Galaxy. Between them, they were able to resolve many problems of consistency.

 

    Then a strange thing happened: “The materials of Kirk’s psychosis and the Achilles heel of my personality met and meshed like the gears of a clock.” The psychoanalyst became a co-conspirator in his patient’s delusion. He began to reject psychological explanations of Allen’s story. How sure are we that it couldn’t really be true? He found himself defending the notion that another life, that of a spacefarer in the far future, could be entered into by a simple effort of the will.

 

At a startlingly rapid rate . . . larger and larger areas of my mind were being taken over by the fantasy. . . With Kirk’s puzzled assistance I was taking part in cosmic adventures, sharing the exhilaration of the sweeping extravaganza he had plotted.

 

    But eventually, an even stranger thing happened: Concerned for the well-being of his therapist, and mustering admirable reserves of integrity and courage, Kirk Allen confessed: He had made the whole thing up. It had roots in his lonely childhood and his unsuccessful relationships with women. He had shaded, and then forgotten, the boundary between reality and imagination. Filling in plausible details and weaving a rich tapestry about other worlds was challenging and exhilarating. He was sorry he had led Lindner down this primrose path.

  

    “Why,” the psychiatrist asked, why did you pretend? Why did you keep on telling me. . . ?”

 

    “Because I felt I had to,” the physicist replied. “Because I felt you wanted me to.

 

    “Kirk and I reversed roles,” Lindner explained,

 

and, in one of those startling denouements that make my work the unpredictable, wonderful and rewarding pursuit it is, the folly we shared collapsed. . . I employed the rationalization of clinical altruism for personal ends and thus fell into a trap that awaits all unwary therapists of the mind. . . Until Kirk Allen came into my life, I had never doubted my own stability. The aberrations of mind, so I had always thought, were for others. . . I am shamed by this smugness. But now, as I listen from my chair behind the couch, I know better. I know that my chair and the couch are separated only by a thin line. I know that it is, after all, but a happier combination of accidents that determines, finally, who shall lie on the couch, and who shall sit behind it.

 

    I’m not sure from this account that Kirk Allen was truly delusional. Maybe he was just suffering from some character disorder which delighted in inventing charades at the expense of others. I don’t know to what extent Lindner may have embellished or invented part of the story. While he wrote of “sharing” and of “entering” Allen’s fantasy, there is nothing to suggest that the psychiatrist imagined he himself voyaged to the far future and partook of interstellar high adventure. Likewise, John Mack and the other alien abduction therapists do not suggest that they have been abducted, only their patients.

 

    What if the physicist hadn’t confessed? Might Lindner have convinced himself, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it really was possible to slip into a more romantic era? Would he have said he started out as a skeptic, but was convinced by the sheer weight of the evidence? Might he have advertised himself as an expert who assists space travelers from the future who are stranded in the twentieth century? Would the existence of such a psychiatric specialty encourage others to take fantasies or delusions of this sort seriously? After a few similar cases, would Lindner have impatiently resisted all arguments of the “Be reasonable, Bob” variety, and deduced he was penetrating some new level of reality?

 

    His scientific training helped to save Kirk Allen from his madness. There was a moment when therapist and patient had exchanged roles. I like to think of it as the patient saving the therapist. Perhaps John Mack was not so lucky.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

CARL SAGAN served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions to the planets for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service.

     His Emmy and Peabody Award-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language.

     Dr. Sagan died on December 20, 1996

 

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

 

Carl Sagan on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson | 1977 & 1978

 


 

From The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow © 2010

 

 

               Skoll the wolf who shall scare the Moon

               Till he flies to the Wood-of-Woe:

               Hati the wolf, Hridvitnir’s kin,

               Who shall pursue the sun.

 

                                                    – “GRIMNISMAL,” The Elder Edda

 

 

In Viking mythology, Skoll and Hati chase the sun and the moon. When the wolves catch either one, there is an eclipse. When this happens, the people on earth rush to rescue the sun or moon by making as much noise as they can in hopes of scaring off the wolves. There are similar myths in other cultures. But after a time people must have noticed that the sun and moon soon emerged from the eclipse regardless of whether they ran around screaming and banging on things. After a time they must also have noticed that the eclipses didn’t just happen at random: They occurred in regular patterns that repeated themselves. These patterns were most obvious for eclipses of the moon and enabled the ancient Babylonians to predict lunar eclipses fairly accurately even though they didn’t realize that they were caused by the earth blocking the light of the sun. Eclipses of the sun were more difficult to predict because they are visible only in a corridor on the earth about 30 miles wide. Still, once grasped, the patterns made it clear the eclipses were not dependent on the arbitrary whims of supernatural beings, but rather governed by laws.

 

    Despite some early success predicting the motion of celestial bodies, most events in nature appeared to our ancestors to be impossible to predict. Volcanoes, earthquakes, storms, pestilences, and ingrown toenails all seemed to occur without obvious cause or pattern. In ancient times it was natural to ascribe the violent acts of nature to a pantheon of mischievous or malevolent deities. Calamities were often taken as a sign that we had somehow offended the gods. For example, in about 5600 BC the Mount Mazama volcano in Oregon erupted, raining rock and burning ash for years, and leading to the many years of rainfall that eventually filled the volcanic crater today called Crater Lake. The Klamath Indians of Oregon have a legend that faithfully matches every geologic detail of the event but adds a bit of drama by portraying a human as the cause of the catastrophe. The human capacity for guilt is such that people can always find ways to blame themselves. As the legend goes Llao, the chief of the Below World, falls in love with the beautiful human daughter of a Klamath chief. She spurns him, and in revenge Llao tries to destroy the Klamath with fire. Luckily, according to the legend, Skell, the chief of the Above World, pities the humans and does battle with his underworld counterpart. Eventually Llao, injured, falls back inside Mount Mazama, leaving a huge hole, the crater that eventually filled with water.

 

    Ignorance of nature’s ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life. There were gods of love and war; of the sun, earth, and sky; of the oceans and rivers; of rain and thunderstorms; even of earthquakes and volcanoes. When the gods were pleased, mankind was treated to good weather, peace, and freedom from natural disaster and disease. When they were displeased, there came drought, war, pestilence and epidemics. Since the connection of cause and effect in nature was invisible to their eyes, these gods appeared inscrutable, and people at their mercy.  (pp. 15-17)

 

 

    The Chinese tell of a time during the Hsia dynasty (ca. 2205 – ca. 1782 BC) when our cosmic environment suddenly changed. Ten suns appeared in the sky. The people on earth suffered greatly from the heat, so the emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the extra suns. The archer was rewarded with a pill that had the power to make him immortal, but his wife stole it. For that offense she was banished to the moon.  (p. 149)

 

 

. . . Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that both is tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is not easily explained, and raises the natural question of why it is that way.
    Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago right up to the present. In the Mayan Popol Vuh mythohistorical narratives the gods proclaim, “We shall receive neither glory nor honor from all that we have created and formed until human beings exist, endowed with sentience.” A typical Egyptian text dated 2000 BC states, “Men, the cattle of God, have been well provided for. He [the sun god] made the sky and earth for their benefit.” In China the Taoist philosopher Lieh Yu-K’ou (c. 400 BC) expressed the idea through a character in a tale who says, “Heaven makes the five kinds of grain to grow, and brings forth the finny and the feathered tribes, especially for our benefit.”

 

    In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design in its story of creation, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was also greatly influenced by Aristotle, who believed “in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design.” The medieval Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas employed Aristotle’s ideas about the order in nature to argue for the existence of God. In the eighteenth century another Christian theologian went so far as to say that rabbits have white tails in order that it be easy for us to shoot them. A more modern illustration of the Christian view was given a few years ago when Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, wrote, “Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse [many universes] hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human nature by proclaiming that the immanent design in nature is real.” In cosmology the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design to which the cardinal was referring is the fine-tuning of physical law we described above.

 

The turning point in the scientific rejection of a human-centered universe was the Copernican model of the solar system, in which the earth no longer held a central position. Ironically, Copernicus’s own worldview was anthropomorphic, even to the extent that he comforts us by pointing out that, despite his helio-centric model, the earth is almost at the universe’s center: “Although [the earth] is not at the center of the world, nevertheless the distance [to the center] is as nothing in particular when compared to that of the fixed stars.” With the invention of the telescope, observations in the seventeenth century, such as the fact that ours is not the only planet orbited by a moon, lent weight to the principle that we hold no privileged position in the universe. In the ensuing centuries the more we discovered about the universe, the more it seemed ours was probably just a garden-variety planet. But the discovery relatively recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many of the laws of nature could lead at least some of us back to the old idea that this grand design is the work of some grand designer. In the United States, because the Constitution prohibits the teaching of religion in schools, that type of idea is called intelligent design, with the unstated but implied understanding that the designer is God. 

 

That is not the answer of modern science.  (pp. 162-64)

 


 

Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais The Meaning of Life

 

gbs Koblenz

Published on Dec 27, 2016

 


 

Richard Feynman: Take the world from another point of view

 

Michael Shermer – Why People Believe Weird Things

 


 

Secrets of The Psychics

 

onmagic
Published on Mar 27, 2008

 


 

The Atlantic – Sept 2018 Issue

 

YOUR LYING MIND
The Cognitive Biases Tricking Your Brain

 

By Ben Yagoda

 


 

Religion and schizophrenia  Wikipedia

 

List of people claimed to be Jesus

 

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti (1964) is a book-length psychiatric case study by Milton Rokeach, concerning his experiment on a group of three patients with paranoid schizophrenia at Ypsilanti State Hospital[1] in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The book details the interactions of the three patients, Clyde Benson, Joseph Cassel, and Leon Gabor, who each believed himself to be Jesus Christ.

 

 

Reaction formation

 

Dissociative disorders Medscape

 

OCD Psychotherapy Networker

 

Cognitive dissonance.SimplyPsychology

 

Dunning-Kruger Effect/SyndromeRationalWiki

 


 

Book review:

 

Jan 27, 2019

 

INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion 

 

In 1984 Dr. Robert Cialdini published this ground-breaking book, which has been in print ever since (and revised four times). What makes it so relevant today is that many of the lessons he gives (having first extracted them from such unlikely places as con-men investigators of the bunco squad, door-to-door encyclopaedia salesmen, and pollsters) are still only known to professionals in the influence game – for example, marketeers – and not the people who should really know, namely, the public at large.

 

Is it using you, or are you using it? Never have these words been better applied than in the field of influence, or as Cialdini shows, covert influence. Often people are influenced without being aware of the fact. This is less about things such as subliminal advertising, than the result of careful manipulation using six key triggers uncovered in ‘influence situations’. These six, or combinations of them, in the right setting can operate upon you unconsciously. In one experiment, voters were asked to put a large and unsightly billboard up in their garden advertising a political cause. Not surprisingly most people said no. But, in a similar sample, when people had already agreed the week before to putting up a poster in the window, more of them said yes. But most interestingly, almost the same percentage agreed even if they had simply signed a petition a few weeks before – an act that many could not even remember doing. So, we can do things that later cause us to be influenced and yet we have no awareness of the process.

 

This particular influence trigger is termed by Cialdini commitment and consistency. We act to remove cognitive dissonance – contradiction between beliefs – in our lives. If someone uses this to advance their own agenda, as in the billboard case, we may not notice. The influence avalanche starts with small nudges that refine and expose us as a certain kind of person. For example, if someone considers themselves a good chef, they will be acting consistently if they then buy a top chef’s knife. False questionnaires are just such a consistency trap. You answer the questions, but the answers are worth far less to the company (often the questionnaires are thrown away) than the new perception they have engineered in you – which is one of ‘caring’ about that company – and, of course, favouring their products . . .

 

 

IDRIES SHAH FOUNDATION.ORG/SMART READ

 


 

Narcissism as Prophecy by Richard Boyd 2011 (excerpt)

 

The topic of Narcissism is gaining wide circulation in society. Examples of narcissistic excess in our societal leaders, sports stars and society figures is increasing if the number of media reports is anything to go by. Any number of authors, commentators and books are now observing, recording and documenting the destructive advent of narcissistic lifestyles and narcissism in men and women today.

 

Narcissism essentially involves the affected person creating a false self which is rooted in superficial, materialistic images, and which has a distorted and unearned sense of entitlement and grandiosity. Life is all about the Narcissist, and while they learn to “feign” or act emotions, they are essentially cut off from their own authentic feelings, and so are unable or unwilling to moderate their selfish behaviours. . . They seek to dominate and control others as a primary way of navigating life.

 

The narcissistic trend in society is certainly not a healthy one and if it continues as the evolutionary path of man then I am pessimistic for the state of our future. Whilst history has always had its share of narcissistic leaders and individuals, never before have we confronted this emotional plague on such a scale within a global reach society. Narcissism appears to now be jumping natural cultural “firewalls” where the old societal values once precluded narcissistic traits becoming normalised and established en masse as healthy or an esteemed value of some sort within itself.

 

Some writers such as Wilhelm Reich (1976) and Christopher Lasch (1984) see such forces as Fascism and Nazism as being at least one historical root of a culture of rigid perfectionistic superiority that partly defines the Narcissistic view of life. Other writers such as Andrew Harvey (2009) and Scott Peck (1984) see the advent of the New Age spiritual movement as being a Narcissistic philosophy masked in self-absorbed spiritualism.

 

Mankind has always historically dabbled in prophecy. Every culture has had its prophets and its tools of prophecy, whether they were based on the reading of the entrails of slaughtered animals, seers who read astrological charts and astronomical signs from the heavens, fortune tellers who read lines in hands, tea leaves, and significant birth numbers, etc.

 


 

The Prophecies of Joseph Smith, by James Walker – May 2010

 

“One false prophesy equals a false prophet.”

 

 

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:22

 


 

Q&A With Former Mormon Bishop, Lee B. Baker – July 2012

 

“You’re speaking to a man and a woman who, three years ago, came out of … truly, a cult. We do not have rational answers for a lot of what we did.” 

 

 

I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.  — Joseph Smith, Jr.

 


 

UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN

 

A Story of Violent Faith

 

By Jon Krakauer

 


 

The Psychology of Prophetic Charisma: New Approaches to Understanding Joseph Smith and the Development of Charismatic Leadership

 

Lawrence Foster

 

 

THE ISSUE OF CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP—whether in religious, political, or other types of groups—has been the focus of widespread popular and scholarly attention. The word “charismatic” derives from the name of the Greek goddess Charis and suggests that the person perceived as charismatic possesses very special, quasi-divine “gifts” or qualities. In the early twentieth century, German social theorist Max Weber provided a particularly insightful assessment of some of the larger issues associated with such leadership, an assessment which continues to influence scholarly thought. In popular parlance, however, the word “charismatic” suggests that someone has, for whatever reasons, been able to attract a substantial personal following.1

 

Despite the interest that the phenomenon of charisma has generated over the years, surprisingly few serious efforts have been made to reconstruct and analyze systematically the psycholgical dynamics and social interactions of charismatic individuals. Psycholgical analyses of specific charismatic individuals are legion, of course (witness the fascination with Hitler),but few studies have convincingly combined qualitative and quantitative assessments of significant numbers of individuals at a particular time and place.

 

One notable exception to the generally impressionistic studies of particular charismatic individuals is the path-breaking study, Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities by psychologist Len Oakes. The book uses both qualitative and quantitative measures to analyze the psychological characteristics of the leaders of twenty contemporary New Zealand religious/communal groups and their followers. Oakes conducted in-depth interviews with the leaders of these groups and with two or three key associates from their top leadership cadre. These interviews lasted many hours–or days, in some cases. In addition, both leaders and followers in the groups completed a standard psychological inventory known as the Adjective Checklist, which provided a quantitative sense of how they compared psycholgically with a standard population.3

 

Len Oakes has special strengths which allow him to combine participant-observer involvement with and detachment from his subject. For eleven years from 1980 until 1991, while doing the orginal research and writing for this study for his Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Oakes was both a member of and the historian for an extraordinary New Zealand communal experiment, the Centrepoint Community, which might be characterized as a cross between the Esalen Institute, the Rajneeshees, and the Oneida Community.The leader of the Centrepoint community, Bert Potter, was viewed by many group members—in a kind of New Age sense—as “God.” When I visited the group in 1986, members told me openly in the presence of Potter himself that if Potter were gone, the group would disband. Eventually, after Potter was arrested one time too many for illegal drug possession in 1990 (and then later for engaging in sexual relations with underage girls), the community did largely disband. During this troubled time, Oakes, like many other thoughtful members of the group, felt profoundly let down by Potter, and he left.5

 

Based on his intensive research, personal experience, and wide reading on similar groups, Oakes has developed in Prophetic Charisma a typology of the psychology of charismatic leaders and the stages in their vocation for leadership. Much as Erik Erikson posited a set of developmental stages through which normal individuals may pass during their lives,6 Oakes suggests a set of interrelated sequential stages through which prophetic leaders may progress, laying out the complexities and ambiguities of each stage.7

 

This article will review some key points in Oakes’s analysis of the dynamics of prophetic leadership, then briefly evaluate the extent to which the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.’s charisma and sense of mission may be illuminated by, or bear on the validity of, Oakes’s theoretical framework. . .

 

dialoguejournal.com

 


 

Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities by Len Oakes, NY 1997

 

 

Introduction (excerpt)

 

When a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce – as in the endless permutations and combinations of human faculty they are bound to coalesce often enough – in the same individual, we have the best possible condition for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries. Such men do not remain mere critics and understanders with their intellect. Their ideas possess them, they inflict them, for better or for worse, upon their companions or their age.

 

 –William James,

                         Varieties of Religious Experience

 

 

All cultures have their heroes, and no hero is more mysterious, or more extraordinary, than God’s messenger—the prophet. Whether called messiahs or saviors, gurus or avatars, such figures continue to fascinate us, whether for their truths or their absurdities, for the adulation of their followers or the hatred of their enemies. Hardly a week goes by without some bizarre or sensational item appearing in the media about a wild-eyed preacher or an exotic cult coming into conflict with the authorities; the public appetite for such stories is endless.
    It is strange, therefore, that we know so little about such figures. While there are biographies of individual leaders, there are few studies of revolutionary religious leaders as a group or as a personality type. Prophets appear suddenly, as if from nowhere, and take the world by surprise; we seem unable to pigeonhole them, to ignore them, or even to describe them other than in superficial ways.

This seems especially peculiar given that Western culture—nominally Christian and still rooted in Christian values—has as its central myth the story of Jesus of Nazareth. One might think that the comparative study of revolutionary religious leaders would be a priority for scholars wishing to shed light on the person of Jesus, or for anyone trying to understand the psychology of religion. But such studies are seldom undertaken, and rarely from a psychological perspective. Perhaps it is time to look more closely at these figures and what they are trying to tell us . . .

 


 

100 MUST-READ BOOKS ABOUT LIFE IN CULTS

AND OPPRESSIVE RELIGIOUS SECTS

 

By Elizabeth Allen – Jan 27, 2017

 

bookriot.com

 


 

The Atlantic
 

A Secret Database of Child Abuse

 

By Douglas Quenqua | Mar 22, 2019

 

In recent decades, much of the world’s attention to allegations of abuse has focused on the Catholic Church and other religious groups. Less notice has been paid to the abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian sect with more than 8.5 million members. Yet all this time, Watchtower has refused to comply with multiple court orders to release the information contained in its database and has paid millions of dollars over the years to keep it secret, even from the survivors whose stories are contained within.

 


 

6 Lesser-Known Cults

That Will Give You More Nightmares

Than American Horror Story

 

By Beth Elderkin – Nov 11, 2017

 

gizmodo.com

 


 

The End of The World Cult (2007 Documentary) Real Stories

 


 

L.A. Times | NOVEMBER 4, 1996

 

Trouble Taints A Cerebral Sanctuary

 


 

THE DEVIATION DIARIES

 

 

A Yuba Sutter girl exploring the strange and macabre history of the area and beyond…

 

 

Posted by Anna Hill on January 7, 2019

 

California Cults – Yuba County’s “Fellowship of Friends”

 

Oregon House-

 

When we think of cults, we think of Jonestown, Waco, Drinking cyanide-laced kool-aid, or waiting for the Hale-Bopp comet.

 

What we don’t think of, is the fact that these types of organizations happening in a place not far from us. They’re living amongst us, in our own county . . .

 


 

17. lauralupa July 27, 2008
 

Pavel 8
Dear Sheik,
I went to Animam Recro to see what the Monochromatic Knight was up to, and found this video on Scientology’s recruiting and mind control techniques which may be of interest to former and present members of our much less successful little cult. What vulnerable beings we humans are!

 

From reports by recent departees, it’s quite evident that Robert has been upgrading his own brainwashing toolkit in many ways, from the introduction of the sequence to the new very rigid form of meetings and dinners, and all the new limitations on bodily expression.

 

All this is designed to turn flexible, autonomous, lively human beings into highly controllable, unfeeling, reliable and dependent automatons that may be financially milked, sexually exploited, and if needed discarded with ease. I would define this as a subtle form of crime against humanity, surely not as blatant as torture and genocide, but nevertheless…

 

“The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.”

 


 

23. elena July 27, 2008 (excerpt)

 

Thanks for your post Laura.

 

It is a subtle form of crime but a crime nevertheless. Definitely not as blatant as torture and genocide but a more psycho-spiritual kind of crime in which physical force is not even necessary. So glad you’re seeing. The amazing aspect of it all is in finally understanding the power of the community over the individual. In our case, the Cult overrode our principles using our principles. Even more interesting it overrode our connections with the “human” convincing us that they were not worthy of the divine and with it brought us down to an infra-human condition, which is where we find the crime against humanity an accurate appreciation. All of Mr. Haven’s writings are about this separation from the human which he labeled the machine and made a machine of it, totally deforming and misinterpreting the System. It is all upside down and backwards to consciousness. In a conscious process it would have connected the divine to the human and dignified life. Instead of separating from it we would have found meaning and purpose in it, which we can continue to do where ever we are. In a conscious life the physical is spiritualized and the spiritual materialized practically. It is very easy to observe this in the amount of care, tenderness, love any one person can invoke from within himself or herself while dealing with the rest of the world. Tenderness or care with children is an expression of spirituality manifesting in the physical world, whether an individual is conscious of it or not. Respect amongst adults is an aspect of love. In our time, respect is subject to class, nationality or race and other separating instinctive conditions within groups of people who are still identified with belonging to a group rather than to the human community. Care for things and the physical world at large is another form of spiritualization of the physical. We are doing so much damage to Nature because we are so disconnected from everything including our own bodies.

 

It is not surprising that the things missing in the Fellowship of Friends are precisely: love, tenderness, respect, dignity, pride, joy, compassion, care, communication, humility or any other positive emotion because nothing spiritual has been materializing in that Cult for over twenty five years at least. On the contrary, coldness, despitefulness, deception, betrayal, abandonment, abuse of power, privileges and all forms of negative emotions creeping out of uncontrolled greed are what manifest so blatantly in each of its members no matter how silky they think they look. Just the clothing reveals their greed. I was there, just as identified as the rest with it all, and fortunately it made me sick. How much longer are you going to take to realize how sick you all are?

 

The phenomenon within the Fellowship in which a uniform of refined clothing separates people from the rest of the world and the Fellowship from the rest of nature as much as Fellowship members from each other and their friends, families and other human beings is the buffer that is covering the suffering that these people are enduring. It is both a buffer and a reproductive mechanism of the same process just as excessive eating is a buffer to experiencing the world more vividly. They are desperately trying to look perfect and be perfect to cover the inability they have to deal with the world on its own terms and although this is simply an illusion, an imagination, the longer they are inside, the weaker they become and the illusion becomes their reality. This does not mean that they cannot hold jobs and behave as regular people behave; it means that although they may live their lives like other people in regular society, they no longer do it for their own well being but against it, like a cancer, it just reverses the process. As they say, the Fellowship is indeed not a Community. It is a Cult. The argument that it is a School and member’s behavior is expected to be like those in any School, does not work when confronted with the fact that in any regular school if the Teacher went after such a huge number of students sexually, he would be put in jail. Why do the analogies work in some areas for the members but not in so many others? Those others finally represent the great buffer in which they claim that they “ARE NOT WILLING TO GO THERE”?

 

The vineyard is dying because it has no life in it.

 

Here is another aspect of that same thing that you posted Laura. Those inside have come to think that because it is dressed in silk and gold it is legal and legitimate but it is equally corrupt. Maybe they’ll get a few years less in jail for dressing the boys in expensive underwear but I doubt it’ll take a substantial amount of time off a serious sentence. Also I doubt the inner circle people can say they were obeying orders in a state of war. They’ll just have to admit they got as corrupt and greedy as Mr. Burton himself.

 

This is from Interpol.

 

Trafficking in human beings
INTERPOL aims to end the abuse and exploitation of human beings for financial gain. Women from developing countries and young children all over the world are especially vulnerable to trafficking, smuggling or sexual exploitation.

 

Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation is a multi-billion-dollar business which involves citizens of most countries and helps sustain organized crime. A violation of human rights, it destroys the lives of its victims.

 

Human trafficking is distinct from people smuggling in that it involves the exploitation of the migrant, often for purposes of forced labor and prostitution.

 

People smuggling implies the procurement, for financial or material gain, of the illegal entry into a state of which that person is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. Criminal networks which smuggle and traffic in human beings for financial gain increasingly control the flow of migrants across borders.

 

Child sexual exploitation on the Internet ranges from posed photos to visual recordings of brutal sexual crimes. One of INTERPOL’s main tools for helping police fight this type of crime is the INTERPOL Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID).

 

Created in 2001, it contains hundreds of thousands of images of child sexual abuse submitted by member countries, thereby facilitating the sharing of images and information to assist law enforcement agencies with the identification of new victims.

 


 

24. elenaJuly 28, 2008

 

Went picketing with Ames who wore tuxedo with bow and the nice waist apparel! He looked gorgeous and the effect was obviously beyond the expectations. Bravo Ames! Thank you for coming!

 

Lots of cars and people.

 

A friend mentioned that many people came to journey forth on the fence and were sucked in by the place again because prices and demands had been lowered. Truly amazing and quite scary but it is a wonderful thing to know that at least people are not being killed, well, at least physically. I guess the fact that the only thing that counts about them being their money or their body, is perceived as if they were being truly valued…. but when people don’t value themselves more than that, what could we expect? We too were there blindly valuing Robert and the Fellowship as if we owed it our lives…. only because it had stripped us of our lives and we were so naked. “More silk please, more silk, so that we can cover our shame!”

 

It really is an amazing phenomenon, is it not dears?

 


 

38. Ames Gilbert July 29, 2008
 

Here is a great PBS (Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S.A.) interview in 2004 with a person who has been in advertising for his entire adult career. He talks about the similarities between brands and cults, the good and the bad, and how marketers use this knowledge of human psychology. There is a brief mention of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton as an example.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/interviews/atkin.html

 


 

47. Associated PressJuly 29, 2008

 

Private inurement.

 

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

 

‘Churches and religious organizations, like all exempt organizations under IRC [Internal Revenue Code] section 501(c)(3), are prohibited from engaging in activities that result in inurement of the church’s or organization’s income or assets to insiders (i.e., persons having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization). Insiders could include the minister, church board members, officers, and in certain circumstances, employees. Examples of prohibited inurement include the payment of dividends, the payment of unreasonable compensation to insiders, and transferring property to insiders for less than fair market value. The prohibition against inurement to insiders is absolute; therefore, any amount of inurement is, potentially, grounds for loss of tax-exempt status.’

 

‘An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization’s activities must be directed exclusively toward charitable, educational, religious, or other exempt purposes. Such an organization’s activities may not serve the private interests of any individual or organization. Rather, beneficiaries of an organization’s activities must be recognized objects of charity (such as the poor or the distressed) or the community at large (for example, through the conduct of religious services or the promotion of religion). Private benefit is different from inurement to insiders. Private benefit may occur even if the persons benefited are not insiders. Also, private benefit must be substantial in order to jeopardize tax-exempt status.’

 

You know all those palm trees and olive trees (and other agricultural or material assets: furnishings, cars, clothing, jewelry, art, antiques, services, etc., etc., etc.) that may have appeared outside of the Fellowship of Friends property, possibly on private property, as example, or in private possession, may fall under ‘private inurement’ or ‘private benefit.’ If they are gifts from FoF, or ‘fair market value’ is not paid for them, or distribution of these assets are disproportionate to special parties, or do not serve the above 501(c)(3) organization exempt purposes, they could be, ‘potentially, grounds for loss of tax-exempt status.’

 

But, perhaps, those disenfranchised boys (in the private entourage (read: harem/sex slaves)) from the gutters of the underdeveloped world ‘must be recognized objects of charity.’

 

‘There must be feeling amongst the membership that the people who run the cult feel as committed to them as they are committed to the cult. If there’s any inequality in that sense of responsibility, the cult will break apart, often violently. For example, in one cult I investigated called the Fellowship of Friends in California, a classic cult based on the teachings of [Peter] Ouspensky, people gave up their whole lives and lived in a commune to follow [Robert Earl] Burton. Burton was then accused of molesting some of his followers and embezzling money. The moment that was discovered, that lack of trust was revealed, that lack of commitment was exposed, the cult began to disintegrate.’ Interview Douglas Atkin, Feb. 2, 2004, posted Nov. 9, 2004, on pbs.org Frontline pages. (Link appeared above.)

 

– – – – – –

 

‘Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Its members will then experience the suffering that inevitably comes in the wake of any ego-motivated action. At that point, they may wake up and realize that their collective has a strong element of insanity.’ (Eckhardt Tolle) One reason FoF could not sustain its position, legally, against the picketing. [Makes you wonder who has the feature of lunatic, doesn’t it?]

 


 

48. Rear View Mirror July 29, 2008

 

Across the River 46: “It seems cult branding occurs in politics, too.”

 

Yes, it does. If Obama is actually elected, which is still very iffy at this point even though he’s leading in most polls, then the comparison might be more interesting. Right now, the current administration is a far better comparison in my opinion.

 

The control of the information being released to the media — and by the media — is the most pertinent comparison to what happens in a cult. For example, today there are several open criticisms of America’s decision to invade Iraq 5 years ago. However, at the time, there was a widespread acceptance of going to war, and anyone who offered dissent was labeled as unpatriotic, and so on, so very few people in the media offered dissent.

 

Of course, anyone within the FOF who questions Burton’s motives obviously “lacks valuation” and is probably “losing the school” and is “not working hard enough on themselves,” and so on. It’s the party line.

 

In some posts here on the blog, I sense an unquestioned premise that people within the FOF “just wouldn’t hear it” if information were presented to them. I disagree. The information is very cleverly obstructed or distorted or downplayed. And I personally believe that a majority of the people in the FOF still haven’t tuned into the blog for more than a few minutes. Were someone within the FOF to step forward and talk to people at length about what is happening, and present things in very formal way — i.e., hold several meetings in very public locations with many “students” around — it would have a profound effect on the opinions and attitudes of those in the FOF. Of course, that person would be “removed.” And they’d be removed from the FOF precisely because they’d have a profound effect on the opinions and attitudes of those in the FOF.

 

If you’re going to start a cult, the first thing you do is control the information.

 


 

53. lauralupaJuly 29, 2008

 

Many thanks for the article, Ames. That info, in addition to the Scientology video and a documentary I saw last night about the GDR doping program, stimulated a series of ruminations about the pervasiveness and mechanisms of the cultish mentality that I hope to delve into in future postings.

 

I wanted to start with a few considerations on the recent “teachings” of Robert and company. I do agree with what has been said here about the craziness of recent FoF interpretations of every possible artifact in history as symbolic of the “Sequence”. Still, there seems to be a method to this madness.

 

Possibly because he has always been somewhat aware of his lacking credentials, experience and knowledge as a fourth way teacher, since the beginning Robert has linked the uniqueness of the FoF brand to the very elusive and alluring idea of having a special connection to “C influence”. He probably realized very early on that most people were willing to close a critical eye to the incompleteness and dubious effectivity of his practical teachings once they were hooked onto the hope that they were actually personally working with “the gods”. To bring this idea more down to earth he gave us a list of beings that were working with us, and possibly the fact that he was so specific about it was taken as proof by many followers that he was indeed part of some grand celestial scheme. Not every guru has the nerve to enroll on his team Marcus Aurelius, Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus and Shakespeare. Never mind that they are dead, they are the cream of the crop. On the basis of his presupposed special connection to these and other angels, he went on to elevate himself higher and higher, and with the help of his blind followers developed the personality cult that we are all familiar with. 

 

But what the FoF lacked for many years was a unique, easily marketable awakening tool, like the special mantras of Hare Krishnas, TM and Soka Gakkai, the psychological techniques of Scientology or the physical exercises of Tensegrity and Falun Gong. Since Robert is not the creative type, he enlisted the help of his mini-me Asaf to come up with something, and out came the somewhat obscure and obtuse “Sequence”. Since then, at least from what I have gathered on these pages, what passes for teaching inside the Fellowship is basically a constant, repetitive, shameless marketing of this one product sold as a solution to all evils of the mind and the Best Ever Gods-Approved Divine Tool to reach Paradise, Divine Presence, Enlightenment, Eternity and Whatnot. The marketing strategy is centered around two core themes:

 

– the uniqueness of the sequence
– the universal value of the sequence

 

IMO it’s quite a feat to be able to pull together these two very different marketing ideas. Usually, people are drawn to something either because everyone else is using it (the drink for a new generation) or because only a select few are (custom made especially for you). The great ploy was to find traces of the Sequence in every time and every place, conveniently validating its essential importance and universality, but NEVER IN THE PRESENT. Cave painters knew it, minor Renaissance artists knew it, humble Greek potters knew it, but lo and behold, nowadays only Robert Burton and his select circle of friends hold the keys to the all-powerful Sequence. Marvellous, isn’t it?

 

Of course, with a very tiny effort of the god-given faculty of critical thought one could say, hey wait a minute, didn’t you just come up with this shit? How come it keeps popping up in the past if it hadn’t yet been invented?

 

But as we well know faith moves mountains and immobilizes intelligence…

 

BTW, isn’t the following something that could be said just as appropriately about the Fellowship cult?

 

‘Scientology promotes selfish attitudes and appeals heavily to the innate ego. As human beings we are naturally self absorbed and our basic instincts are centralized around survival. The Church of Scientology takes advantage of this ancient characteristic to lure potential followers. The official website of Scientology portrays a heightened image of man; that “his capabilities are unlimited and those capabilities can be realized.” This is a deliberate device to convince people that they are somehow destined for a higher plain of enlightenment, and that this religion is their ultimate path. The website proceeds to boast an extensive knowledge of our “unlimited” capabilities, as not only is one “able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness,” but we can “achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability.” Scientologists seek power over their “capabilities” so that they can gain control over matter, energy, space, time, thoughts, form, and life. This extensive list of incentives is merely jargon that creates a heightened sense of oneself. It conveys the view that Scientologists are in contact with untapped powers only available because of their faith; that they posses new ethereal abilities exclusive to their religion.

 

Scientology is an organization with the pervasive purpose to proliferate capital and avenues for its hastened acquisition. This is implicated by various well obtained feats. The single greatest achievement for the Church of Scientology was the acquisition of tax exempt status in 1993. After a strenuous legal battle, in which all energy was funneled towards wealth rather than Scientollogical wisdom, the “church” emerged as victors. All funds are exclusively their own and can thus proliferate neglect of unwanted influences. This is a trait of many well established religions; however others do not arouse such suspicion simply because they prospered before tax exempt status was implicated, whereas Scientology only came to concrete fruition once its financial bases were covered. The profile for the Church of Scientology can thus be attributed to being more like an opportunistic enterprise rather than a guild for self enlightenment.

 

The perfection of this corporation is its ability to veil its true purposes. The invention of a pseudo-religious group provides the perfect guise for the proliferation of funds and simultaneously contributes to the cause directly. This is hidden securely by the development of Scientology the religion. The ingrained appeals to our ego that are interwoven into essential ideals, remove the focus from the implications of their actions. The official website of the Church of Scientology states that, “other efforts of man have been surpassed’, that the “combined truths of fifty thousand years of thinking men…have made for this success.” This statement is a device to contextualize the significance of Scientology and thus amplify its importance to the individual. The site also portrays “The Aims of Scientology” from Hubbard himself. It states that Scientologists desire, “a civilization…where man is free to reach greater heights,” and to “seek evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.” This is a terrible irony, as they pretend to encourage a connection with surreal phenomenon, such as eternal spirits, and yet they secretly seek gain in the most material way available to man.

 

Scientology is a pseudo-religious organization that has an astute understanding of the flaws and futilities of human nature. Its principles are masterfully woven to entrap the individual’s innate emotions and desires, such as a justification for their inadequacies or a reason for their inability to reach the ever-elusive full potential. Its ideals are sewn with the seed of irony, and the bizarre revelations that envelop its historic truths mock the trust followers express. Its hypocrisy and nature of moral degradation also diminish social perception of all religions, especially those that are innocent of repugnant motives. Thus it is a maligned presence in our society; the rotting fruit at the core of our collective desire for progression. Scientology should not be accepted, nor tolerated, if we wish to pursue positive development.’

 

From
http://hubpages.com/hub/Scientology-The-Study-of-Truth

 


 

The Secret World of Scientology by Lana Adler – Dec 23, 2014

 

The term Scientology is taken from the Latin word “scio” (meaning: full knowledge, complete knowing) and the Greek word “logos” (word, divine reason, message). So the term can be interpreted as “the message of full knowledge“. The official definition is “the study of truth”.

 

When it comes to Scientology, there are more questions than answers.

 

Is it a cult or a religion (or as followers claim, a “technology”)?

 

Do Scientologists worship aliens?

 

Is it really dangerous or is it deliberately demonized by the media to keep the people in ignorance?

 

Finally, what’s so special about Scientology that attracts celebrities and people with power? This article gives you a tantalizing glimpse of the secret world of Scientology.

 

hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Scientology-Secrets-and-Myths

 


 

56. Rear View Mirror July 29, 2008

 

Traveler,

 

People sometimes don’t ‘hear’ information because they receive a preponderance of disinformation. Of course, none of the following will happen, but think of this example: What if the above posts by Ames and Associated Press were printed and hung in huge posters at several locations at “Apollo” and at “teaching houses” around the globe? And left there for weeks? What if talks were given by cult experts every few days? People’s thinking would begin to change.

 

It’s stimulus-response thinking. And when there’s no stimulus, there’s no response. That’s one reason, as you say, it’s not “fashionable” to hear dissent in the FOF… mainly because dissent doesn’t last very long, is not very persistent, and therefore it doesn’t leave much of an impression.

 

You wrote: “do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently,…”

 

Of course. But do we? Does anyone? Those are two other questions.

 

It’s very difficult for us stimulus-response humans to think independently when everyone and everything is telling us, “We must go to war. We must go to war. We must invade Iraq. We must invade Poland. We must stay in the FOF. We must not question. We must obey.”

 

And by the way, “obey” is a very prominent word in Ouspensky’s “Notes on the Decision to Work.” Whatever we may think about the man, he certainly had us primed and ready for the FOF experience…

 

“Think very seriously,” he wrote. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”

 


 

57. Traveler July 29, 2008

 

OMG. This is from the Notes on the Decision to Work. To think how highly I esteemed that particular passage, how essential it was to my Work, how I would look down on those who did not take it seriously enough and with sufficient valuation, and how much I WANTED to follow. Mind-blowing.

 


 

58. Opus111 July 29, 2008

 

I found the interview of Atkin quite interesting and revealing of the FOF cult phenomenon, at least for me.

 

REB may have innate qualities that made him a natural at manufacturing a cult brand. There were many aspects, features to that brand – intentionality and refinement come to mind – but REB’s own narcissistic, obsessive nature provided the necessary reinforcements for its proliferation and relative success. The creation of centers for instance, while not original in itself, created the tools for diffusion and marketing of the brand. The excruciating attention to details in preparing events, mostly dining events, provided that dazzle and buzz, albeit ephemeral, that keep people going. You package the whole thing in a rather complex and sophisticated system of ideas (rather irrelevant to REB, or so it seems), et voila, you have got yourself a pretty good scam, with plenty of access to money, luxuries and sex, along with the fantasies it provides.

 

A lot of current members do acknowledge in some ways the brand (as in refinement and intentionality for instance), and in fact are very attached to that lifestyle, to the concept of “FOF family” or “Fellowship of Friends”, but in the process unknowingly have pushed further and further in the recess of their conscience the reality of coercion, corruption, fabrications, etc… let alone the dismissal of 4th way ideas that brought them here. They have replaced the enlightened ideals and ideas of their youth with the cold comfort and grim reality of a self-serving religion.

 

In a way, much like the supposedly cultivated and self-aware clientele of a Mac cafe (in Atkin interview) who know they are only using a box of electronics, still frown at the PC intruders, so do FOF members scowl at critics of their cult who dare question its validity and show its rot, not because it is not true, but because it is their brand, their family.

 


 

59. jackJuly 29, 2008

 

Hi all. The best to you! Particularly Arthur.
The video below although a bit dated is still relevant to the Fellowship experience.

 

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=+captive+minds&sitesearch=#

 

Jx

 

 


 

Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond  – 1983

 

“Groups which have all powerful leaders who control the environment, control all information and eventually control the way their followers think, have one basic thing in common: They have found people who are willing to take that essential first step of surrendering to an authority figure they hope has all the answers.

 

Throughout history, many people have taken that first step. Sometimes joining a small group, sometimes a large group. And sometimes a group that engulfs an entire nation.”

 

That powerful statement above, concludes this very well naratted documentary that focuses on three case studies to reveal the striking similarities in the indoctrination methods each uses to achieve long-term effects . . .

 


 

60. brucelevyJuly 29, 2008

 

58. Opus111

 

For me the “brand” was already there before I met the FOF and RB. Many people were attracted to the “4th way” as a brand through the series of books, and it only took the existence of an apparent channel that reflected the brand to attract people to something they were innately drawn to aside from RB and his delusions.

 

As far as I’m concerned RB bastardized the brand beyond recognition, where it is now simply the cult of utter stupidity, greed and obliviousness.

 


 

65. Rear View Mirror July 29, 2008

 

57. Traveler: “OMG. This is from the Notes on the Decision to Work. To think how highly I esteemed that particular passage, how essential it was to my Work, how I would look down on those who did not take it seriously enough and with sufficient valuation, and how much I WANTED to follow. Mind-blowing.”

 

Yes, my sentiments as well. I hadn’t read the passage for years. Apparently, I was vulnerable to such unchallenged premises — that we are weak and helpless, that we need to obey, and so forth.

 

“You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help.” We were bombarded by these ideas in the FOF.

 

Reminding ourselves that sometimes we do need help — or even that we often need help — is wise for all of us. But there’s very little sound reasoning or “understanding” in Ouspensky’s unchallenged premise that “you cannot think rightly” and that “you cannot feel rightly”. Cannot is a strong word. And if I cannot, the hidden premise is that there is someone out there for me who can think rightly, and who can feel rightly.

 

Although….. since I cannot think rightly and feel rightly, it’s a little scary isn’t it? How am I to truly recognize someone who does if I don’t have the same in myself?

 

Yes, very mind blowing that I bought into these ideas.

 


 

70. Joe Average July 29, 2008

 

57. Traveler
65. Rear View Mirror

 

I remember at the end of a FOF center (it is deprogramming just to spell it the US way) dinner long ago someone read the “Notes on the Decision to Work”. As it was being read, Michael S-vick started, in a very low voice at first but building to a crescendo, to imitate the sound of a large plane flying low overhead. Initially people seemed to shrug off this markedly unFOFish behavior as just an idiosyncrasy, but eventually someone had the courage to ask him why he did that. He laughed and said “a B-52 loaded with Feminine Dominance dropping a load on us.”

 

I was able then to understand the remark and find it hilarious and simultaneously to totally accept Ouspensky’s bullshit.

 

From Orwell’s “1984” (roughly from memory)
“It goes without saying that the members of the Inner Party were the most artful and subtle practitioners of Doublethink.”

 

My ability to occasionally recognize the absurdities and manipulation in “The System” and Burton’s psychotic chicken gumbo sauce overlying it and yet still be certain of its higher purpose was classic doublethink and put me in the inner circus. Movement within the hierarchy usually depended on the amount of absurdity/criminality one could recognize or even actively create while still maintaining the delusion.

 


 

71. somebody July 29, 2008

 

More brainwashing

 

– “You will see them all in yourself – Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Noah, Adam, Eve, Satan, Gabriel, Elijah. You will see them within yourself” (Shams of Tabriz). Here Shams names eight conscious beings, and Satan. You will see the eight conscious beings within yourself in the four wordless breaths, and you will also see Satan – the lower self – trying to block presence.

 

– This unforgettable image portrays Christ with a square halo. It also shows the moon reflected in his left eye, and a six-pointed star shining in his right eye, signifying the steward supporting the four wordless breaths.

 

– Shakespeare said, “But wherefore do not a mightier way/Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?” – why do you not make a sequential war upon this bloody tyrant – the lower self? “Call Christ to mind” – intone the sequence.

 

– “Everyone has a Jesus within him, waiting to be born.” (Jalaluddin Rumi) Everyone has a sequence within him, waiting for Be to be called upon and to act.

 

– A fifteen-century Persian miniature depicts Jonah emerging from the mouth of the whale. The archangel Gabriel is bringing Jonah the garment of virtues – the sequence – to free him from the intestinal lower self. Gabriel, with six feathers in his right wing, represents short Be. He touches the spine of the whale with his four toes.

 

– A gold and silver Chimu bowl from Moche, Peru, represents the nine of hearts, with a large opening to support the four wordless breaths. The silver side of the bowl represents the sequence in the second state of consciousness, while the gold side represents the four wordless breaths of presence. It is a unique object in schools.

 


 

75. Joe AverageJuly 30, 2008

 

59. jack Thanks for the link. It is very appropriate. Seeing the extreme methods used by the groups portrayed there in a warped way almost makes me admire the relatively subtle methods RB and his inheritors used. Almost. They are old-school cults. Scientology was perhaps the genesis of new-school cults. Carlos Castaneda (Tensegrity), Werner Erhardt (EST), and Alex Horn all learned on L. Ron Hubbard’s knee before going off a-culting on their own. Even compared to them, the FOF was fairly restrained. The kind of direct physical violence and threats of violence against members, former members and other detractors that was a feature of the other cults was rarely, if ever, a facet of the FOF experience.

 


 

76. Rear View Mirror July 30, 2008

 

Joe Average, thanks for sharing that great story, and for your comments: “Movement within the hierarchy usually depended on the amount of absurdity/criminality one could recognize or even actively create while still maintaining the delusion.”

 

There’s a type of machismo related to this… The attitude is that I see what RB is doing and what he’s up to, but I am not one of the weak ones. I am strong and undeterred and honorable and loyal to what I believe to be a higher calling. If I see something unsavory, I don’t get queasy like a girl. If someone is hurt along the way, I can’t speak to that. It is out of my hands. I have no choice. I am strong.

 

But that person does have a choice. I always thought there was more strength and honor in learning to recognize the truth, and trying to live by it, and in following conscience despite the odds being difficult. To me, that is strength. Taking the viewpoint that people are hopelessly doomed and weak and “asleep.” — that is weakness, and just plain stupidity on my part when I believed it.

 

The six steps of the “sequence” — shocking news break — are not something new after all. The six steps were cleverly crafted by Burton from Day 1, or maybe Day 2 or 3.

 

Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.

 

(See Notes on the Decision to Work — 56.)

 


 

84. Richard M.July 30, 2008

 

77. veronicapoe – July 30, 2008

 

“We note with pride that one man remains beyond all criticism, and that is the Fuhrer. This is because everyone senses and knows: he is always right, and he will always be right. The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in a surrender to the Fuhrer that does not ask about the why in individual cases, in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that the Fuhrer is obeying a higher call to shape German history. There can be no criticism of this belief.”

 

Rudolf Hess
__________________________________________

 

For those not up on their WWII history:
This quote is from the same Herr Hess, Hitler’s personal secretary and No. 3 in the Nazi Inner circle, who, apparently came to his senses and literally bailed-out on his dear Fuhrer, parachuting from an airplane and landing in England, where he sat out the end of WWII in prison. Hitler’s explanation to his followers was that Hess had gone insane. Sounds familiar….

 


 

91. ton July 30, 2008

 

74 elena “Communication or sharing are aspects of love….”
76 rvm ‘Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.’

 

this reminded me of something i heard on the radio a while back…. one of the interviewees stated:

 

“listening is an act of love…”

 

there is no real listening going on in the followship…. the dictatorial nature (no pun intended) and existing power structure does not allow for listening and any claim that it is a “school of love” is completely fraudulent… how can anyone confuse robert burton’s form of satyriasis with love? it’s a school of selfishness, “profound” only in how deeply misguided are its adherents. that people are still buying into it is astonishing.

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/12/3/listening is an act of love

 


 

96. lauralupa July 30, 2008

 

RVM 56

 

“Think very seriously,” he wrote. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it – at least, by not arguing.”

 

Now that’s what I would call a series of dangerous memes! It would be interesting to do a serious study of Fourth Way books by various authors, and explore all the ideas that can be easily employed by ill-willing individuals to create coercive and cultish environments. Also, how these ideas were passed on and in different ways modified and corrupted as they moved from Gurdjieff to his various followers and on to their followers. In the meanwhile, still playing with the memes idea (meme?), I found this on religion and faith:

 

Memes – the skeptic’s dissection of religion

 

Among many anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers, it has recently become fashionable to dismiss all religions as memes – parasitic mental processes which propagate in the same manner as chain letters [Dawkins 1989, Dennett 1995]. In this view, religious belief is a self-perpetuating delusion. A meme (rhymes with ‘dream’) may be defined as any self-referential belief system which contains within itself the instructions for its own propagation. Memes are often described as the cultural equivalents of computer viruses.

 

A meme carries exactly the same fear-driven psychological motivation as a chain letter – “If you propagate me then something nice will happen, if not then something horrible will happen”. In order to justify themselves against attack by reason, memes place absolute reliance on faith, which is seen as being superior to reason. They also contain self-referential or circular claims to the truth such as “This meme says it is the divine truth. Since it is the divine truth whatever it says must be true. Therefore it must be divine truth because it says so and all competing memes must be the work of the Devil”.

 

These two types of self-referential statements: “propagate me” and “I am the only truth” provide the driving force for memes to invade the minds of their hosts. In addition, many memes contain the instructions: “Help people who believe in this meme, attack people who do not”. These commands being the ultimate cause of all religious hatred, wars, pogroms and persecutions throughout the centuries.

 

The general defining features of all memes can thus be seen to be self-referential ‘closed-loop’ type of circular statements, and a strong tendency towards hatred and intolerance.

 

The science of the study of memes, their internal structures and modes of propagation is known as memetics (by analogy to genetics – how biological entities propagate themselves).

 

More detailed analysis will usually show the following features:
Like a virus – such as rabies – a successful meme must perform two actions:

 

– Overpower the resistance of its host.
– Bring about the conditions for its spread.

 

To establish itself in the mind of its host it will use some or all of the following mechanisms:

 

[1] Promise heaven for belief. This may involve frustrating the host’s normal sexual urges and redirecting them into sexual fantasies of the hereafter.

 

[2] Threaten eternal punishment in hell for disbelief.

 

[3] Boost the believers’ egos by telling them they are ‘chosen’ or superior to believers in false memes.

 

[4] Disable the faculties of disbelief (‘immune response’) by claiming that faith is superior to reason.

 

[5] Establish itself as the One True Meme, usually by some sort of holy book containing a circular self-referential argument such as:

 

X is the one true meme. We know X is the one true meme because The Source of Universal Truth has approved X. We know The Source of Universal Truth has approved X, because X contains statements which say so. We know what X says is true because X is the one true meme.

 

Once it has parasitised the mind of its host, a meme needs to propagate itself. A successful meme will contain instructions for some or all of the following:

 

[6] Holy war – convert or kill all unbelievers.

 

[7] Intimidation and terrorism – threaten and discriminate against unbelievers.

 

[8] Enforced social isolation or even death to apostates. (An apostate is a host which has cured itself of a meme-infection. It is especially dangerous to the meme because it might pass on meme-resistance to others).

 

[9] Fecundism – encourage true believers to breed faster than believers in false memes.

 

[10] Censorship – prevent rival memes from reaching potential hosts (a theological doctrine known as ‘Error has no rights’) and forbid rational analysis of the meme itself.

 

[11] Disinformation – spread lies about rival memes.

 

from
http://kwelos.tripod.com/memes.htm

 


 

161. Ellen August 1, 2008

 

#143 & 151 Lost and Found

 

It is a mystery, I agree. It is possible to experience some very fine higher states within the context of the Fellowship of Friends. And in my time, I’ve experienced a few nervous breakdowns over these very same questions, so I don’t respond lightly about it now.

 

If you were a Martian and were given a piece of fool’s gold and told that it was real gold. Well, what would you think? Most likely you would take it on face value, wouldn’t you? You might read up on the characteristics of gold, compare it with what you had in your hand and consider yourself to be pretty lucky. That is until one day, seemingly by chance, you encounter an expert jeweler who shows you the real stuff. Amazing…but I thought…

 

#146 Daily Cardiac

 

You say, “This is what I’ve come to: Men lie all the time. Not too long ago the school talked about false personality a lot. It is called “false” because it is based on a lie. Now that entity is referred to as the lower self. Some here may feel more comfortable with the word “ego.” Call it what you will, it is real and it is one of the chief obstacles to spiritual growth.”

 

Agreed. Let’s call it ego. Let’s agree that this ego-personality is formed in say the first year and one half to two years of life. Can we do that? Because it is created within this lifetime, at least theoretically, it also can be dissolved, and in this lifetime, too. The conditions for that dissolution may be described as the various esoteric pathways of all religions. Still agreed?

 

Those pathways when composed of two or more people may inevitably become an even more crystallized egoic entity, we can call it School, or we can call it collective ego. Both may be true. OK?

 

But a teacher’s job on any one of those pathways is guiding any particular individual towards releasing the powerful control of the egoic personality over their own energetic life. That’s it. And if a collective entity is formed, the central aim remains, now compounded by two levels of ego both individual and collective. Within the collective however, certain psychologically expanding experiences are now available that to the lone individual were not possible. Still agreed?

 

Nevertheless, a teacher’s only true validating credentials in this most difficult and noble of travel-guidance-towards-liberation profession, is to be fully liberated himself/herself. A teacher, whose impurity of motive is now so fully documented in these 42 pages greatly reflects the schism of Robert Burton, the man. He may be able to create higher states, and inspire others to experience previously unknown worlds in themselves, but if the guidance does not lead to a total release of the constrictions of the individual ego cramp, what can you say? Who’s to blame? The student? The teacher? The path? Still with me?

 

If you were to take a journey over dangerous territory and had a deep and sincere wish to reach the other shore, wouldn’t you choose your guide carefully? Many guides can take you into the woods and show you many marvelous things. They may ask, and you may give them your money, time, talents, sex and power in exchange for such guidance, but can you find a trustworthy guide whose purity of motive shows itself in action, through his (unprofessed) love and careful attention equally to your own as well as that of others’ progress? If these pages and your own experience cannot show you the dark, untrustworthy side of Robert Burton, then it is your fate to remain in the Fellowship of Friends until by luck or by chance some day you encounter some real gold.

 

And you must know that I wish you well.

 


 

A Former Believer Takes On The Leader

 

By Ryan McCarthy/Appeal-Democrat – Aug 24, 2008

 



 

   PART  I    II    III