False Prophets




False prophets and messiahs, teachers and gurus





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 will ­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. ­





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).
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Helping people affected by cults in the UK – Established 1987


How Do I Help a Cult Member? – The Dos and Donts



The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of NEW AGE RELIGIONS © 2004

Edited by James R. Lewis



The Atlantic


From book review by George Packer | July 2019


Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined
What 1984 means today


No novel of the past century has had more influence than George Orwell’s 1984. The title, the adjectival form of the author’s last name, the vocabulary of the all-powerful Party that rules the superstate Oceania with the ideology of Ingsoc—doublethink, memory hole, unperson, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Thought Police, Room 101, Big Brother—they’ve all entered the English language as instantly recognizable signs of a nightmare future. It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. Throughout the Cold War, the novel found avid underground readers behind the Iron Curtain who wondered, How did he know?


It was also assigned reading for several generations of American high-school students. I first encountered 1984 in 10th-grade English class. Orwell’s novel was paired with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, whose hedonistic and pharmaceutical dystopia seemed more relevant to a California teenager in the 1970s than did the bleak sadism of Oceania. I was too young and historically ignorant to understand where 1984 came from and exactly what it was warning against.



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


 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.





Michael Shermer on Cults, Myths, and Religion
Apr 3, 2020


Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.





Pathways to Evil, Part 2

May 15, 2020


Dr. Michael Shermer fleshes out the themes of Part 1 by exploring how the dials controlling our inner demons and better angels can be dialed up or down depending on circumstances and conditions.




The Atlantic


The Prophesies of Q


American conspiracy theories are entering a dangerous new phase.


By Adrienne LaFrance | June 2020 Issue


This article is part of  Shadowland,” a project about conspiracy thinking in America.


If you were an adherent, no one would be able to tell. You would look like any other American. You could be a mother, picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate. You could be the young man in headphones across the street. You could be a bookkeeper, a dentist, a grandmother icing cupcakes in her kitchen. You may well have an affiliation with an evangelical church. But you are hard to identify just from the way you look—which is good, because someday soon dark forces may try to track you down. You understand this sounds crazy, but you don’t care. You know that a small group of manipulators, operating in the shadows, pull the planet’s strings. You know that they are powerful enough to abuse children without fear of retribution. You know that the mainstream media are their handmaidens, in partnership with Hillary Clinton and the secretive denizens of the deep state. You know that only Donald Trump stands between you and a damned and ravaged world. You see plague and pestilence sweeping the planet, and understand that they are part of the plan. You know that a clash between good and evil cannot be avoided, and you yearn for the Great Awakening that is coming. And so you must be on guard at all times. You must shield your ears from the scorn of the ignorant. You must find those who are like you. And you must be prepared to fight.


You know all this because you believe in Q.





WATCHKEEPERS FOR THE End of Days can easily find signs of impending doom—in comets and earthquakes, in wars and pandemics. It has always been this way. In 1831, a Baptist preacher in rural New York named William Miller began to publicly share his prediction that the Second Coming of Jesus was imminent. Eventually he settled on a date: October 22, 1844. When the sun came up on October 23, his followers, known as the Millerites, were crushed. The episode would come to be known as the Great Disappointment. But they did not give up. The Millerites became the Adventists, who in turn became the Seventh-day Adventists, who now have a worldwide membership of more than 20 million. “These people in the QAnon community—I feel like they are as deeply delusional, as deeply invested in their beliefs, as the Millerites were,” Travis View, one of the hosts of a podcast called QAnon Anonymous, which subjects QAnon to acerbic analysis, told me. “That makes me pretty confident that this is not something that is going to go away with the end of the Trump presidency.”


QAnon carries on a tradition of apocalyptic thinking that has spanned thousands of years. It offers a polemic to empower those who feel adrift. In his classic 1957 book, The Pursuit of the Millennium, the historian Norman Cohn examined the emergence of apocalyptic thinking over many centuries. He found one common condition: This way of thinking consistently emerged in regions where rapid social and economic change was taking place—and at periods of time when displays of spectacular wealth were highly visible but unavailable to most people. This was true in Europe during the Crusades in the 11th century, and during the Black Death in the 14th century, and in the Rhine Valley in the 16th century, and in William Miller’s New York in the 19th century. It is true in America in the 21st century.


The Seventh-day Adventists and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are thriving religious movements indigenous to America. Do not be surprised if QAnon becomes another. It already has more adherents by far than either of those two denominations had in the first decades of their existence.



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.



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



Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond – 1983


by National Film Board of Canada


“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.”



THE RAPE OF THE MIND: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry, Columbia University; Lecturer in Social Psychology, New School for Social Research; Former Chief, Psychological Department, Netherlands Forces. Published in 1956, World Publishing Company (Out of Print).


From Chapter Six – Totalitaria and its Dictatorship


There actually exists such a thing as a technique of mass brainwashing. This technique can take root in a country if an inquisitor is strong and shrewd enough. He can make most of us his victims, albeit temporarily.


What in the structure of society has made man so vulnerable to these mass manipulations of the mind? This is a problem with tremendous implications, just as brainwashing is. In recent years we have grown more and more aware of human interdependence with all its difficulties and complications.


I am aware of the fact that investigation of the subject of mental coercion and thought control becomes less pleasant as time goes on. This is so because it may become more of a threat to us here and now, and our concern for China and Korea must yield to the more immediate needs at our own door. Can totalitarian tendencies take over here, and what social symptoms may lead to such phenomena? Stern reality confronts us with the universal mental battle between thought control (and its corollaries) and our standards of decency, personal strength, personal ideas, and a personal conscience with autonomy and dignity.


Future social scientists will be better able to describe the causes of the advent of totalitarian thinking and acting in man. We know that after wars and revolutions this mental deterioration more easily finds an opportunity to develop, helped by special psychopathic personalities who flourish on man’s misery and confusion. It is also true that the next generation spontaneously begins to correct the misdeeds of the previous one because the ruthless system has become too threatening to them.


My task, however, is to describe some symptoms of the totalitarian process (which implies deterioration of thinking and acting) as I have observed them in our own epoch, keeping in mind that the system is one of the most violent distortions of man’s consistent mental growth. No brainwashing is possible without totalitarian thinking.





The New York Times

March 15, 1982


The Psychology of the Cult Experience


By Glenn Collins



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.





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. ton2uFellowship of Friends Discussion blog – November 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



Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends


An Unauthorized Blogography of “The Teacher” and His Cult




Early Lies?



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.



FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2000


Dr. Robert J. Lifton on Destructive Cults



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.





Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Matthew 7:15-16



36. InsiderFebruary 14, 2018


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


A new posting at robertearlburton.blogspot.com



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 culteducation.com 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.



118. Tim CampionApril 16, 2016


Ten years ago, someone posting as the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion wrote this report after attending a Fellowship of Friends introductory meeting in London. Sheik’s post launched the discussion that continues here today.



The Beginning. . .


More information about Burton in 1970



To name something correctly gives us a certain amount of power over it. Through its name we identify it. We are powerless over a disease until we can accurately name it . . . The treatment of an illness begins with its diagnosis. But is evil an illness?


Dr. M. Scott Peck,
People of The Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil



112. Don Juan Says:


Someone asked about how one might “diagnose” the possible personality disorders on display in the person of Robert Burton.

Back in 1994, a couple of books on cults were making the rounds in the Fellowship (The Guru Papers by Kramer and Alstad, and Captive Hearts, Captive Minds by Tobias and Lalich). (OK, the rounds of some in the Fellowship.) The writers of the latter book suggested that many cult leaders could properly be described as “psychopaths,” and provided a fifteen-point profile of a psychopath.

I remember being shocked at how closely the description of the psychopath fit; everything from self-serving manipulation based upon charm, to a grandiose sense of self and feelings of entitlement, to a complete lack of remorse, shame or guilt, to an incapacity for true love or empathy, to indifference to the harm they inflict on others . . . and on and on. If you haven’t seen it, check it out for yourself; it’s quite remarkable. I’ve quoted it below (parts of the book are available on the web).

What I’ve always found fascinating is that the qualities of seeming “strength” that many people are attracted to in a leader, whether of a cult or a nation, may merely be the pathological absence of normal human capacities for love, empathy, remorse, and concern for others. It is easy to manipulate someone who seeks relief from his own insecurities and uncertainties in the leader’s absolute lack of doubt in himself or his actions.

Anyway, here goes.


From Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, by Madeline Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich, pp. 67-79


The Cult Leader as Psychopath

Cultic groups and relationships are formed primarily to meet specific emotional needs of the leader, many of whom suffer from one or another emotional or character disorder. Few, if any, cult leaders subject themselves to the psychological tests or prolonged clinical interviews that allow for an accurate diagnosis. However, researchers and clinicians who have observed these individuals describe them variously as neurotic, psychotic, on a spectrum exhibiting neurotic, sociopathic, and psychotic characteristics, or suffering from a diagnosed personality disorder.

It is not our intent here to make an overarching diagnosis, nor do we intend to imply that all cult leaders or the leaders of any of the groups mentioned here are psychopaths. In reviewing the data, however, we can surmise that there is significant psychological dysfunctioning in some cult leaders and that their behavior demonstrates features rather consistent with the disorder known as psychopathy.

Dr. Robert Hare, one of the world’s foremost experts in the field, estimates that there are at least two million psychopaths in North America. He writes, “Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”


. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Profile of a Psychopath

In reading the profile, bear in mind the three characteristics that Robert Lifton sees as common to a cultic situation:

    1. A charismatic leader who…increasingly becomes the object of worship

    2. A series of processes that can be associated with “coercive persuasion” or “thought reform”

    3. The tendency toward manipulation from above … with exploitation — economic, sexual, or other — of often genuine seekers who bring idealism from below

Based on the psychopathy checklists of Hervey Cleckley and Robert Hare, we now explore certain traits that are particularly pertinent to cult leaders. The fifteen characteristics outlined below list features commonly found in those who become perpetrators of psychological and physical abuse. In the discussion we use the nomenclature “psychopath” and “cult leader” interchangeably. . . .

We are not suggesting that all cult leaders are psychopaths but rather that they may exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of one. We are also not proposing that you use this checklist to make a diagnosis, which is something only a trained professional can do. We present the checklist as a tool to help you label and demystify traits you may have noticed in your leader.


1. Glibness/Superficial charm

Glibness is a hallmark of psychopaths. They are able to use language effortlessly to beguile, confuse, and convince. They are captivating storytellers. They exude self-confidence and are able to spin a web that intrigues others and pulls them into the psychopath’s life. Most of all, they are persuasive. Frequently they have the capacity to destroy their critics verbally or disarm them emotionally.


2. Manipulative and Conning

Cult leaders do not recognize the individuality or rights of others, which makes all self-serving behaviors permissible. The hallmark of the psychopath is the psychopathic maneuver; which is essentially interpersonal manipulation “based on charm. The manipulator appears to be helpful, charming, even ingratiating or seductive, but is covertly hostile, domineering… [The victim] is perceived as an aggressor, competitor, or merely as an instrument to be used… The manipulation inevitably becomes the end-all and is no longer qualified by the reality principle.” In other words, there are no checks on the psychopath’s behavior – anything goes. The Psychopath divides the world into suckers, sinners, and himself. He discharges powerful feelings of terror and rage by dominating and humiliating his victims. He is particularly successful when, through an overlay of charm, he makes an ally of his victim – a process sometimes described as emotional vampirism or emotional terrorism. Examples of this type of manipulation are plentiful in the literature of Jonestown and other cultic groups. It is especially prevalent in the one-on-one cultic relationship, where there is direct involvement with the manipulator.


3. Grandiose Sense of Self

The cult leader enjoys tremendous feelings of entitlement. He believes everything is owed to him as a right. Preoccupied with his own fantasies, he must always be the center of attention. He presents himself as the “Ultimate One” enlightened, a vehicle of God, a genius, the leader of humankind, and sometimes even the most humble of humble. He has an insatiable need for adulation and attendance. His grandiosity may also be a defense against inner emptiness, depression, and a sense of insignificance. Paranoia often accompanies the grandiosity, reinforcing the isolation of the group and the need for protection against a perceived hostile environment. In this way, he creates an us-versus-them mentality.


4. Pathological Lying

Psychopaths lie coolly and easily, even when it is obvious they are being untruthful. It is almost impossible for them to be consistently truthful about either a major or minor issue. They lie for no apparent reason, even when it would seem easier and safer to tell the truth. This is sometimes called “crazy lying.” Confronting their lies may provoke an unpredictably intense rage or simply a Buddha-like smile.

Another form of lying common among cult leaders is known as pseudologica fantastica, an extension of pathological lying. Leaders tend to create a complex belief system, often about their own powers and abilities, in which they themselves sometimes get caught up. “It is often difficult to determine whether the lies are an actual delusional distortion of reality or are expressed with the conscious or unconscious intent to deceive. These manipulators are rarely original thinkers. Plagiarists and thieves, they seldom credit the true originators of ideas, often co-opting authorship. They are extremely convincing, forceful in the expression of their views, and talented at passing lie detector tests. For them, objective truth does not exist. The only “truth” is whatever will best achieve the outcome that meets their needs. This type of opportunism is very difficult to understand for those who are not psychopaths. For this reason, followers are more apt to invent or go along with all kinds of explanations and rationales for apparent inconsistencies in behavior: “I know my guru must have had a good reason for doing this.” “He did it because he loves me even though it hurts.”


5. Lack of Remorse, Shame, or Guilt

At the core of the psychopath is a deep-seated rage which is split off (i.e, psychologically separated from the rest of the self) and repressed. Some researchers theorize that this is caused by feeling abandoned in infancy or early childhood. Whatever the emotional or psychological source, psychopaths see those around them as objects, targets, or opportunities, not as people. They do not have friends, they have victims and accomplices — and the latter frequently end as victims. For psychopaths, the ends always justify the means. Thus there is no place for feelings of remorse, shame, or guilt. Cult leaders feel justified in all their actions since they consider themselves the ultimate moral arbiter. Nothing gets in their way.


6. Shallow Emotions

While they may display outbursts of emotion, more often than not they are putting on a calculated response to obtain a certain result. They rarely reveal a range of emotions, and what is seen is superficial at best, pretended at worst. Positive feelings of warmth, joy, love, and compassion are more feigned than experienced. They are unmoved by things that would upset the normal person, while outraged by insignificant matters. They are bystanders to the emotional life of others, perhaps envious and scornful of feelings they cannot have or understand. In the end, psychopaths are cold, with shallow emotions, living in a dark world of their own.

Hiding behind the “mask of sanity,” the cult leader exposes feelings only insofar as they serve an ulterior motive. He can witness or order acts of utter brutality without experiencing a shred of emotion. He casts himself in a role of total control, which he plays to the hilt. What is most promised in cults – peace, joy, enlightenment, love, and security are goals that are forever out of reach of the leader, and thus also the followers. Since the leader is not genuine, neither are his promises.


7. Incapacity for Love

As the “living embodiment of God’s love,” the leader is tragically flawed in being unable to either give or receive love. Love substitutes are given instead. A typical example might be the guru’s claim that his illness or misfortune (otherwise inconsistent with his enlightened state) is caused by the depth of his compassion for his followers, whereby he takes on their negative karma. Not only are devotees supposed to accept this as proof of his love but also are expected to feel guilt for their failings! It becomes impossible for members to disprove this claim once they have accepted the beliefs of the group.

The leader’s tremendous need to be loved is accompanied by an equally strong disbelief in the love offered him by his followers; hence, the often unspeakably cruel and harsh testing of his devotees. Unconditional surrender is an absolute requirement. In one cult, for example, the mother of two small children was made to tell them nightly that she loved her leader more than them. Later, as a test of her devotion, she was asked to give up custody of her children in order to be allowed to stay with her leader. The guru’s love is never tested; it must be accepted at face value.


8. Need for Stimulation

Thrill-seeking behaviors, often skirting the letter or spirit of the law, are common among psychopaths. Such behavior is sometimes justified as preparation for martyrdom “I know I don’t have long to live; therefore my time on this earth must be lived to the fullest.” “Surely even I am entitled to have fun or sin a little.” This type of behavior becomes more frequent as the leader deteriorates emotionally and psychologically–a common occurrence.

Cult leaders live on the edge, constantly testing the beliefs of their followers, often with increasingly bizarre behaviors, punishments, and rules. Other mechanisms of stimulation come in the form of unexpected, seemingly spontaneous outbursts, which usually take the form of verbal abuse and sometimes physical punishment. The psychopath has a cool indifference to things around him, yet his icy coldness can quicky turn into rage, vented on those around him.


9. Callousness/Lack of Empathy

Psychopaths readily take advantage of others, expressing utter contempt for anyone else’s feelings. Someone in distress is not important to them. Although intelligent, perceptive, and quite good at sizing people up, they make no real connections with others. They use their “people skills” to exploit, abuse, and wield power.

Psychopaths are unable to empathize with the pain of their victims. Meanwhile, part of the victims’ denial system is the inability to believe that someone they love so much could consciously and callously hurt them. It therefore becomes easier to rationalize the leader’s behavior as necessary for the general or individual “good.” The alternative for the devotee would be to face the sudden and overwhelming awareness of being victimized, deceived, used. Such a realization would wound the person’s deepest sense of self, so as a means of self-protection the person denies the abuse. When and if the devotee becomes aware of the exploitation, it feels as though a tremendous evil has been done, a spiritual rape.


10. Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

Like small children, many psychopaths have difficulty regulating their emotions. Adults who have temper tantrums are frightening to be around. Rage and abuse, alternating with token expressions of love and approval, produce an addictive cycle for both abuser and abused, as well as create a sense of hopelessness in the latter. This dynamic has also been recognized in relation to domestic abuse and the battering of women. The cult leader acts out with some regularity – often privately, sometimes publicly – usually to the embarrassment and dismay of his followers and other observers. He may act out sexually, aggressively, or criminally, frequently with rage. Who could possibly control someone who believes himself to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and entitled to every wish, someone who has no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for the impact on those around him? Generally this aberrant behavior is a well-kept secret, known only to a few disciples. The others only see perfection. These tendencies are related to the psychopath’s need for stimulation and inability to tolerate frustration, anxiety, and depression. Often a leader’s inconsistent behavior needs to be rationalized by either the leader or the follower in order to maintain internal consistency. It is often regarded as divinely inspired and further separates the empowered from the powerless.


11. Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency

Psychopaths frequently have a history of behavioral and academic difficulties. They often “get by” academically, conning other students and teachers. Encounters with juvenile authorities are frequent. Equally prevalent are difficulties in peer relationships and developing and keeping friends, marked control problems, and other aberrant behaviors such as stealing, fire setting, and cruelty to others.


12. Irresponsibility/Unreliability

Not concerned about the consequences of their behavior, psychopaths leave behind them the wreckage of others’ lives and dreams. They may be totally oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they inflict on others, something which they regard as neither their problem nor their responsibility.

Psychopaths rarely accept blame for their failures or mistakes. Scape goating is common, blaming followers, those outside the group, a member’s family, the government, Satan – anyone and everyone but the leader. The blaming may follow a ritualized procedure such as a trial, “hot seat” denunciation, or public confession (either one-on-one or in front of the group). Blame is a powerful reinforcer of passivity and obedience, producing guilt, shame, terror, and conformity in the followers.


13. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity

Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, polygamy, rape, and sexual acting out of all sorts are frequently practiced by cult leaders. Conversely, there is often stringent sexual control of the followers through such tactics as enforced celibacy, arranged marriages, forced breakups and divorces, removal of children from their parents, forced abortions or mandated births. For psychopaths, sex is primarily a control and power issue.

Along with this behavior comes vast irresponsibility not only for the followers’ emotions but also for their lives. In one cult, for example, multiple sexual relations were encouraged even while one of the top leaders was known to be HIV positive. This kind of negligence toward others is not uncommon in the psychopath’s world.

Marital fidelity is rare in the psychopath’s life. There are usually countless reports of extramarital affairs and sexual predation upon adult and child members of both sexes. The sexual behavior of the leader may be kept hidden from all but the inner circle or may be part of accepted group sexual practices. In any case, due to the power imbalance between leader and followers, sexual contact is never truly consensual and is likely to have damaging consequences for the follower.


14. Parasitic Lifestyle

The psychopath tends to move around a lot, making countless efforts at “starting over while seeking out fertile new ground to exploit. One day he may appear as a rock musician, the next a messiah; one day a used car salesman, the next the founder of a mass self-transformation program; one day a college professor, the next the new “Lenin” bringing revolution to America.

The flip side of this erratic life planning is the all-encompassing promise for the future that the cult leader makes to his followers. Many groups claim as their goal world domination or salvation at the Apocalypse. The leader is the first to proclaim the utopian nature of the group, which is usually simply another justification for irrational behavior and stringent controls.

The leader’s sense of entitlement is often demonstrated by the contrast between his luxurious lifestyle and the impoverishment of his followers. Most cult leaders arc supported by gifts and donations from their followers, who may be pressured to turn over much of their income and worldly possessions to the group. Slavery, enforced prostitution, and a variety of illegal acts for the benefit of the leader are common in a cult milieu. This type of exploitation aptly demonstrates Lifton’s third point of idealization from below and exploitation from above.

Psychopaths also tend to be preoccupied with their own health while remaining totally indifferent to the suffering of others. They may complain of being “burned out” due to the burden of “caring for” their followers, sometimes stating they do not have long to live, instilling fear and guilt in their devotees and encouraging further servitude. They are highly sensitive to their own pain and tend to be hypochondriacs, which often conflicts with their public image of superhuman self-control and healing abilities.

According to them, the illnesses they don’t get are due to their powers, while the ones they do get are caused by their “compassion” in taking on their disciples’ karma or solving the group’s problems. This of course is another guru trick.


15. Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility

Cult leaders change their image and that of the group as needed to avoid prosecution and litigation, to increase income, and to recruit a range of members. Cult leaders have an innate ability to attract followers who have the skills and connections that the leaders lack. The longevity of the group is dependent on the willingness of leadership to adapt as needed and preserve the group. Frequently, when illegal or immoral activities are exposed to the public, the cult leader will relocate, sometimes taking followers with him. He will keep a low profile, only to resurface later with a new name, a new front group, and perhaps a new twist on the scam.




ganscult (excerpt)


Posted on March 29, 2011


Gans is a Psychopath.


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”



Getting Religion


Q&A circa 1970…


Supping with Alex


A Fourth Way Standup




Vital Records


Chicago Tribune Feb. 9, 1935



The Fantastic Arising of Padraic Clancy Muldoon



Play Review – S.F Examiner Jan. 9, 1973



Theater group, cult or stage?

S.F. Progress  Dec. 22, 1978



Strange School

S.F. Chronicle  Dec. 23, 1978

*original article



Theater of All Possibilities

S.F. Progress  Jan. 10, 1979

*original article



Closer look at the theater

S.F. Progress  Jan. 12, 1979



Horn’s followers at the theater

S.F. Progress  Jan. 14, 1979

*original article



What are the answers to Cultism?

S.F. Progress  Feb. 25, 1979

*original article



Review – Sharon Shashanovah


Recruiting Techniques



Rick Ross CEI


Alex Horn today


Posted by: Marie27
Date: July 21, 2005 11:24PM


To some extent I can understand your feeling that Alex and Sharon had a positive impact on your life. I certainly feel that I learned and experienced some positive, eye-opening things, mainly because of the ideas in the books that I read in one of Alex’s groups, with which I had an on-off relationship for some ten years.


But for me the bottom line with regard to Alex is this: his relationship with his “students” is manipulative and deceitful. He told us we must give up our will to his for many, many years because this is how a student learns from a teacher. But he never told us who his teacher was, or whether this is the kind of relationship he ever had as a student. He said contradictory things about who he’d studied with, and it’s possible he really never studied with anyone for very long.


He told us when and how to break off relationships, to get married, to have children. We spent hours and hours in class each week, and hours recruiting people and working on Alex’s projects. We were not supposed to tell even spouses what we were doing when we were on Alex’s work.


It was impossible to disagree with Alex, because you were always cast as revealing your own hideous flaws when you disagreed. I saw him excoriate one student in public to the point of verbal murder — the student never returned. When I questioned him about it, Alex said mildly, “He’s a new student and I was just giving him some help.”


I think you might need to separate the ideas of Gurdjieff, Nicoll, Ouspensky, Collin, from the class that was run by Alex, and I suspect Sharon as well. To me, Alex’s class was a milder version of a Communist re-education camp, where you are forced to recant if you show any signs of independence, and where you must utterly submit in order to advance in the Party. Alex may have been sincere at one time, but I believe he is driven by ego now.


Interestingly, Ouspensky talks about the ideal student (a paraphrase) as someone who has already experienced and been disillusioned by life. Someone who’s had a full life, and is now looking beyond. By contrast, the vast majority of students I saw in Alex’s class were young or struggling. He takes advantage of people’s vulnerabilities and plays them right back at them.



Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area-mid-seventies


Posted by: wasthere

Date: November 22, 2005  9:23AM


I was a member of Alex Horn’s group from the Red Mountain Ranch to the Everyman Theatre. I paid $200 per month to be a member, and paid it in cash. Robert Klein and Fred Mindel were my friends and co-students. Sharon Gans joined [married] Alex [in SF – Fall of ’72] and together started the Theatre. I found Alex’s gym at 24th and Mission, which was turned into the Everyman Theatre. I was there when the theater was built. I took over the job of overseeing the construction of the theater after Fred Mindel cut and ran when it became too intense for him. There was physical, mental, and emotional abuse. There were no sex acts in front of adults nor children. I never saw any child abused. I know Dave Archer and he has never said that Alex was a true ‘Gurdjieffian’. He has stated that Alex is a magus, a man of power. There was something very real about Alex as well as something demonic. A lot of the power Alex had was given to him by us, his students. We believed in him. At the time I can say I totally believed in him and loved him. He gave me invaluable things. Rather I paid for in cash and force of will for invaluable things. He also caused great harm and destruction in me. If you were not there, you will never understand what those times were like. You can pass judgment on all of us, as I have done. But we all were drawn by something primal in ourselves. We truly wanted to connect with something magnificent and meaningful. And in some ways we did. We also connected to something that caused great destruction and harm in ourselves and others. I am sorry that I was part of that process. I apologize to those that I hurt, please forgive me. I believe that I was on the wrong path for those years although I gained greatly and also lost greatly. The gain was not worth the loss.



Horn/Gans/Klein Cult


Posted by: sar

Date: May 30, 2007 06:56AM


I was a member of [the SF] Theatre of All Possibilities and the Boston Group.

App. 1977-80.



I read with great interest most of the posts associated with this group, including OSG and the New York incarnations.


Found them interesting and informative (and a little triggering) — most valuable to me were Cber7, moishe3rd (who I know and remember quite well) and wasthere. They all covered a lot of ground in providing an accurate picture (in very different ways) of what the group (and a destructive cult) are like. Would like to explore that in more detail in future posts.


I’m still struggling to come to terms with my years there.





Alex Horn today


Posted by: Marie27 

Date: July 24, 2005 11:58PM




I’m not sorry to hear that you had a different experience with Alex when you knew him. I struggled with conflicting emotions about him for several years after I left the group for good six years ago. Unfortunately, I think that the path Alex is on now is one that was set a good many years ago, back to the 1970s at least, when he and Sharon left San Francisco in the middle of the night to avoid charges of physical abuse and child neglect.


Funny how he never mentioned that, or who his teacher was (was it John Bennett, very briefly, as others say, or was it Rodney Collin, as he told us once, but only once, and very much in passing?). Who knows. Like everything else, so much about Alex is secret from his students and comes out in little, weird, jarring incidents.


This group is perhaps more subtle than some other cults — you aren’t, for example, taken into a room for three days and brainwashed. But it’s true that while you are not physically trapped inside that classroom having Alex and your “friends” tell you what a piece of garbage you are, you are psychologically trapped. And you may be trapped in that room for many, many years inside your head.


I was in that place for several years after leaving. It was only when I was able to bring myself to do some research about Alex (like the SF Chronicle article) and see a therapist who specializes in cults, that I began to see the reality of it all. Even then it took a long time for me to accept what had really happened. I was just a mark. There was no great good and evil drama about my being in the class, or my leaving it. Alex simply saw me, saw my vulnerabilities, my ability to pay, and my usefulness. I was a business proposition, nothing more or less.


At this point I view my years with the class as a somewhat harsh lesson in human nature. I saw that people like Alex exist, in all their charm and destructiveness. I saw my “friends” eager to gain power and hurt me in the process. I saw myself join in the mob to drive other students out.


For those who stay in the class, I have no comment — I don’t know what their experience is. For those who leave, I hope that they find help and are able to accept it.



From The San Francisco Progress article by Jack Brooks, Jan. 12, 1979





    The Horns were very big on people getting married and reproducing. If one member of a married couple left the group, the remaining member was instructed to divorce the defector and marry someone else. Time limits were placed on the process.
    A long-term member, single at the time, was directed to marry up – or get out . . .  The problem was that the young lady he met and married didn’t know about the package deal, i.e., that she didn’t just get a husband, but a weird theatre group, and the Horns, too.  When she did get the big picture, she also got out.  She got two things for her pains:  a beating and an annulment.  She was pregnant at the time, by about a month, and, because of her physical and mental condition, she was advised by her doctor and her rabbi to have an abortion. She did.

    Kathleen Salmon-Mandis was also pregnant when she left.  When I asked her (given the facts that members spent all of their spare time working at the theatre, often ‘til near dawn, when they would go to their daytime jobs) what child-care was provided, she answered with anger in her voice.

    “None! The babies and toddlers were kept in cribs backstage until all hours. The parents didn’t have time to give to the kids and the theater, too. The theater took precedence.”

    Reproduction was a big factor in the group. At one juncture, Sharon Gans-Horn directed all of the couples to get pregnant within thirty days. All complied, except one couple who just didn’t seem to be able to meet the deadline.

    When Kathleen Salmon left the group, Mark divorced her. Shortly after the birth of the child, Mark Salmon and Fred Mindel appeared on her doorstep and demanded custody of the child. Using the usual tactics of the Horn philosophy, they told her that “she was an unfit mother who would kill her child.”  The terrified mother finally placed a call to the police and the pair fled.



Re: Alex Horn today


Posted by: sar
Date: October 25, 2007  5:00AM


“No one was ever told when and how to break off relationships or to get married – certainly not by Alex. Sharon did often suggest these sorts of things. Some students who had been there many years took her suggestions. Some students who had been there many years did not. The same with newer students.”



When I was in the group, these were often not “take it or leave it” suggestions.


At least twice in my experience, Horn told women that they had two weeks to find and marry a man or leave the “school”.


Gans not only suggested these things, but when I was in the group (’77 – ’79) a short time before you, she demanded that at least one couple in the “younger student” group get married or leave the “school” (admittedly unusual for the “younger student” group — but it happened, and I witnessed it).


In the “older student” group, a huge percentage of “students” were in arranged marriages by Gans – people you and I both knew — whether it was “get married or leave” I don’t know, but judging from my experience it’s possible it was her way or the highway — and a lot of those couples were absolutely miserable. Between Gans’ cute philosophy (“hate n’ mate”) and Horn’s “If a woman gets in the way of your evolution, kick her in the teeth and move on” (love that “kick her in the teeth” — Horn’s psychopathy and misogyny always added that extra oomph to his teachings), they probably created enough unhappy families to populate San Francisco.



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.



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 — 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.



Brad says on The Gentle Souls Revolution blog

March 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm


George Moshe said:


   “What you and others have described is an absolute nightmare compared to the relatively benign insanity that we participated in way back when…”
   “I understand it is hard to imagine but, as many were the negatives back in the day, there were far more positives.”
   “It just makes me sad to see people like Bob, who really were sincerely trying to become better, “more conscious” human beings, to fall so far down their “evolutionary ladder.”



I’m not sure how one can ascertain what Bob’s sincere intentions were.


Bob did not have far to go in order to fall down that ‘evolutionary ladder’.  He was practicing and perfecting his form of psychic abuse and malevolence, along with many other ‘older students’, thirty five years ago – using cult of confession techniques to confuse and solidify an individual’s bond to the group; with that quietly rolling voice and gentle lisp, Bob could pour out some of the most ridiculous to horrid nonsense you’d ever want to hear; or in a fury during one of the gang beating rituals, threaten to cut someone’s throat. I would not characterize this particular insanity as benign or just over-heated rhetorical flourishes. I think the mind-numbing idiocies were always pretty apparent, camouflaged by frenetic activity, group hysteria and suppression of critical thinking (as well as the sincere aspirations and excitement of some of the ideas).


GSR, you mentioned something that Bob once said (I’m paraphrasing): ‘The stronger side always wins’ – not the truth, not the right or ethical, but the stronger side – and the stronger side can impose any truth that it wants. One doesn’t have to pick up an Orwell novel to see the implications of this – it’s immediately apparent from history, or the front page of today’s newspaper, or the Horn/Gans group of the ’70s-early ’80s, or any malignant cult.


And Alex was not just a ‘violent jackass sometimes’. He imparted an ethos of violence to the group which led to the institutional use of physical force. Even the women’s groups would attack various female members at different times. And given Gans’ pathologically narcissistic insecurities, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine her encouraging physical attacks on someone she felt was being ‘hateful’ or a threat to her.


What I’m saying is that the narrative of the group as relatively benign, until a certain jaded attitude set in, is manifestly false: violence, constant fear and intimidation were deeply ingrained from the onset (intensifying during “3rd line of work” – i.e. ticket sales, book promotions, open meeting recruitment).


Perhaps in the post SF Examiner story period, it was felt that the violence produced diminishing returns. I believe it was a change of tactics rather than a change of heart.


I remember one meeting where a couple was talking about the husband’s sister, who had been raped in a laundromat. Gans and Horn deconstructed the story, and by the end concluded that she had not really been raped (their rationale? She knew her attacker and shared a joint with him before the crime).


“She was a little raped,” I remember Horn saying genially, and Gans repeating the phrase, nodding. (The couple left the group not long after – I’m pretty sure this was their epiphanic moment.)


Sharon’s attitude toward many of the attractive female members in the group often ranged from bizarre to abusive. A first-time attendee, a young attractive woman, was asked out of the blue by Gans: “Do you have any desire to come between my husband and me?” The woman’s jaw dropped slightly and she shook her head no. That was the last time I ever saw her, which maybe was Gans’ purpose in the first place. She obviously felt threatened by young women in the group, which might have been due to Horn’s predilections.


That, and other “discussions” and impartments regarding gender and sex, attitudes expressed and mimicked, Gans/Horn’s fucked-up need to play out their intimate psychodramas through the group, along with everything I’ve read about people’s experiences and the psycho dynamics of cult leaders, leaves very little doubt in my mind that there was a strong predator vibe going on.



Pearl says on GSR

March 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm


In the mid 1970s, on the West Coast: Sharon left to go out of town and told some of us women to expect a call from Alex. We could accept his offer to come to our homes for a sexual call. Which he did. He was like a cold fish. It’s abuse of power, which I don’t think I recognized at the time. Also, at one point, mothers were told to put their kids in a daycare run by one of the mothers, who had no clue about taking care of children. This was short term. It was replaced by a day care arrangement which was rather good, but run by a friend of Sharon’s and thus ultimately a form of control. The money pressure even then was fierce. Dues to pay. Huge pressure to sell tickets to the plays, which was the gateway to new recruits. Lack of sleep was a big part of life. Humiliation and ridicule were instruments of control as well, but we probably did not understand it as such. We did know about and read all the work books, many of which I enjoyed. We often talked about G and O and Collin and Nicoll and Orage. Sharon had poetry written by Collin’s wife – which I think I still have. There was pressure on unwed mothers to give their children up for adoption to fellow students; many marriages were arranged and broken. This was all **before** the ’80s, **before** the older group migrated to the East Coast. It only got worse on the East Coast. Many children of the older students of the ’70s and ’80s are still not recovered from the trauma of growing up in this atmosphere.



PearlApril 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm


When I said “It only got worse on the East Coast,” I was speaking generally. Perhaps it got worse because I was in such a long time. I am also now a long time out, and grateful to the now defunct Esoteric Freedom blog which was an eye opener for me, in the same way this blog may be for others. It is very difficult, however, to mend the large chunks of time in which I was not present to my children’s lives. We keep working on it. My message to anyone still in would be, how much time are you spending in quality time with your kids?



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 (it’s 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 (fetii?) 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.



The Sharon Gans Cult News Blog



Friday, June 28, 2019


Happy Pride Weekend


I “came out” yesterday. About my years in the cult. In EAST Magazine.



At some point, this unsigned letter was sent to The Gurdjieff Club by one of Horn’s victims:


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



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



Rape is perhaps the most misunderstood crime of all. It is also the ultimate violation, short of homicide. Yet too many people tend to blame the victim, saying she was asking for it. As a result, survivors are often reluctant to speak about their ordeals.


Dr. Leslie Hartley-Gise



“Cut the crap and take your clothes off — I don’t have much time.”


“DON’T mention this to anybody — do you hear me? ANYBODY!!”


Alex Horn


In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity, one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies, or it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.


Dr. Judith Herman,

Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror



“If I have to slap you around, girl, it’s for your own fuckin’ good so you can start to wake up!


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.”


Alex Horn



Most rapes occur along with other crimes — robbery, burglary, assault, kidnap, attempted murder, or even murder. We must realize that rape is always a crime of violence, even if the woman is not beaten. Rape is not seduction and we are never going to understand rape if we view it as sexual behavior— rape is a hostile and cruel act of violence which threatens the life of the victim.


Andrea Rechtin – Advocate for rape victims



From an interview with Dr. Lee Sannella by Jack Brooks in The San Francisco Progress, Feb 25, 1979, A Psychiatrist’s Appraisal of Alex Horn


“The violence,” said Sannella, “was employed to prove to himself that others shared the same weaknesses that he had. Some of your witnesses said that they never saw any violence toward women. I saw plenty. Horn hates women. His sexual use of them was a punishment, not a reward. I saw him strike one woman so hard, she hit a concrete floor and bloodied her head.”



“I hate her – can’t stand the sight of her – just want to kill her.”


Alex Horn



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.


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. 


   Rape provides a good example of the callous, selfish, and instrumental use of violence by psychopaths.


Dr. Robert D. Hare,

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us



“I got trapped inside a psychopath’s web of deceit and this is what I’ve learnt:”





The Gray Rock Method of Dealing With Psychopaths



BBC World Service


The Colin McEnroe Show


All Cults Are Not Created Equal


By Chion Wolf . Nov 6, 2017


According to His Highness A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness: A woman likes a man who is very expert at rape. Rape means without consent.



India: Gurus Gone Bad | 101 East
Aug 22, 2018


He called himself a Messenger of God. As one of India’s most powerful gurus, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh claimed to have 60 million devotees. Politicians lined up to secure his support. Disciples showered him with money in exchange for his blessing.


But the spiritual leader was far from holy. In August 2017, he was convicted of sexually assaulting two female followers, blowing the lid on a seedy underworld of rape and accusations of murder and mass castration within the walls of his ashram.





57. brucelevyJuly 17, 2019


They’re ALL the same…





10. Nancy GilbertJanuary 28, 2020




More guru abuse!



From The Mask of Sanity ~ An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About The So-Called Psychopathic Personality, by Hervey Cleckley, M.D., Fifth Edition © 1988


It is perhaps worthwhile to add here that not all those suffering from a typical psychosis, even when the disorder is serious in degree, give an obvious impression of derangement. Severe paranoid conditions, particularly those of the most malignant type, may exist for years in persons who lack all superficial signs that the layman often feels should be apparent to establish psychosis (insanity).


Sometimes such people appear not only normal but brilliant, and their powers of reasoning in all areas except those dominated by delusion are intact. The delusions themselves may even be withheld when the excellent judgment of the subject discerns that they will not be accepted by others or may interfere with psychotic plans toward which he is assiduously and ingeniously working. “Why, if I’d let the public in on these facts, a lot of fools might have thought I was insane,” one such patient explained. Another patient, who had for years been hearing imaginary voices which he accepted as real, admitted that he denied this to the draft board because, “They might have thought something was wrong with my mind.” He had been doing a satisfactory job and, on the surface, making a good social adjustment in his community. He was accepted for service in the army.


Another man with clear-cut paranoid delusions prospered for years by selling stocks and bonds to opulent widows and to others in whom his enthusiastic optimism and shrewd reasoning powers worked marvelous conviction. He was indeed persuasive. To my definite knowledge he induced a friend to believe that a serious mental disorder threatened him, or was perhaps already present. Offering to help the friend, who naturally became alarmed, the paranoiac made arrangements for his hospitalization and, accompanying the other, had him voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric institution. After a period of observation the friend was found to be free of any such trouble. Months later the real patient’s delusional system was elicited and his commitment deemed necessary.


Even today one often encounters popular misconceptions of what constitutes psychosis or seriously disabling “mental disorder” that seem to belong to earlier centuries. Even when patients are speaking frankly and continually about hearing voices from the next county (or the next world), relatives occasionally express surprise at the opinion that anything could be wrong with his mind, insisting that he had been running the store as well as ever, adding up the accounts without error, and showing his usual common sense in daily affairs.

Fanatics and false prophets who show real but not so obvious signs of classic psychosis, as everyone must by now have learned, sometimes attract hundreds or thousands of followers who contribute large funds to projects founded on delusion. If news reports by many observers can be relied upon, even those showing plain evidence of very serious disorder, persons as fully psychotic as many on the wards of the state hospitals, also succeed in appearing to large groups not only as sage leaders or men with supernatural powers but also as God.



34. WhaleRider – February 9, 2017 




“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.



93. J.D. March 28, 2018


Definitions of:




Lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness; unmindful; unaware of; not aware of or not noticing something, esp. what is happening around you: (Usually followed by to or of)


“She was oblivious to her own belief.”




A rigid system of beliefs with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the logical absurdity of the beliefs and a lack of supporting evidence.


Delusions are symptomatic of such mental disorders as paranoia and schizophrenia. They vary in intensity, extent, and coherence and may represent pathological exaggeration of normal tendencies to rationalization, wishful thinking, and the like.




1. Having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions:
2. Maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts.


“People who think that what G.I. Gurdjieff claimed is real and true are delusional.”




A psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.


The choice to refuse reality.


A mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is denied and kept out of conscious awareness in order to prevent them from causing anxiety.


An unwillingness to accept that something unpleasant is true.


“She’s still in denial about the groundlessness of awakening and spiritual evolution.”



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.





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



238. Rabbi Burns Says

February 27, 2007 at 7:57 am  


Seems like the general trend in this blog is now acceptance and sweetness (always popular), but there’s a lot that hasn’t been said yet. So here’s another disturbing concept: white slavery.


Most of us (maybe not FOF students) are aware that there’s a trade in women from poor villages in eastern Europe who are told that they will get a well paid job as a waitress if they move to, say, Austria, but when they get there, they find they are compelled to work in a brothel until their expenses are paid off, and those expenses seem to increase rather than diminish. In other words, they find themselves in a living hell.


In the FOF, “traveling teachers” visit FOF centers around the world, and if they are truly members of the “inner circle” look around for attractive young men whom they think “the teacher” might find useful for his sexual activities. They send photos of a desirable young man to “the teacher”, thereby gaining points in his favour, and if he likes the photos he pays for the airfare of the unfortunate youth (generally from Russia these days) to California. The youth arrives in Oregon House with the belief that he has been honored by “the teacher” for his outstanding spiritual potential, but soon discovers that sexual favors are expected. So what happens then? He calls for a cab and escapes to Yuba City? Unlikely. Probably he doesn’t speak English at all, or only a little. He has a “religious visa” provided by the FOF, which does not entitle him to work outside the FOF. There’s no way he can pay his own airfare back. He becomes a sexual slave.


What goes on at the Galleria (Robert’s home) has only been hinted at here so far. The obsession with blow jobs is only the tip of the iceberg. Some very strange sexual perversions are practiced there. This is not the place to go into the disgusting specifics; just ask any current or former student who lives at “Isis” and who is well enough connected to know about these things. I was not directly involved myself in these activities, but I have spoken one on one to students who were, students who were, unsurprisingly, seriously psychologically traumatized.


All you FOF members who sit on the fence on these issues, or in some cases offer “psychological counseling” to the victims, are indirectly supporting these activities, like the Germans in WW2 who preferred to believe that atrocities were not happening in the camp down the road.


Please try not to buffer this.



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.







What to know about compulsive sexual behavior



1. blogbuster Says:


Rumours & Lies we need your humour and I`s


Is it possible that RB suffers from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder and from a Compulsive Sexual Behaviour? Could it be true for him, what is true for so many other cult leaders who believe to be superior to others? Cult leaders, who believe they have an important role in the world history to play? Cult leaders who make false prophesies about the end of the world? Is that the secret behind him? We hope not.


We do not want to spread rumours, so we need your help.
Please post a few videos of RB holding meetings on youtube, so we can show them to some professional psychiatrist. Any footage is fine, but would be good if it contains passages, where he explains that he is the brightest light in 2000 years, or something similar, or talks about Armageddon. Also interpretations of cave drawing would be good, even explanations about the sequence. Actually best would be a passage, where he talks about himself as being an angel.


To come to a clearer picture, it would be nice to know about his childhood, especially the first years, when kids are in their oral phase.


Since you seem to have direct access to RB, please verify for us the following rumours:
Is it true that RB mentioned being abused sexually by his mother and elder sister?
Did his father leave the family early?
Was he raised with a stepfather, who was a butcher?
Did he lose his job as a school teacher because of his sexual orientation?
Did Alex Horn kick him out of his group because of his sexual orientation?
Can one say that he is overly preoccupied with sexual activity?
Is his oral fixation possibly linked to an overwhelming and dominant mother?
Did he refuse to go to his mother’s funeral?
Did Robert have hundreds of lovers but never a friend?
Is he HIV-positive?


I am sure you can help to clarify and destroy any rumours and lies with facts and humour.




Thanks begorra 8/431 for linking the video


To Alice in wonder 4/415 Yes, I agree. One ‘key’ to understand RB behaviour lies in his childhood. Who knows something about that time?



MONDAY, MAY 21, 2007


The Fellowship of Friends: creating a psychological


“Catch 22” or “double bind”



96. SusanT Says:


Hello all—


Learning about this blog reminded me that I had some detailed notes from a conversation with Robert thirteen years ago. It seems worth sharing in this wild west of free speech and truth telling. Some background: I had been in the FOF for twenty-one years when this conversation took place. My husband and I had led centers in Palo Alto, Zurich, and Rome. We spent five years in Europe. At the time of this conversation, I was recovering from cancer and couldn’t stand on FOF ceremony anymore; my voice—long absent—was waking up.


On 2/24/94 at 10:00 a.m., Robert called me at home. His call was a surprise, but there was a pad by the phone and I scribbled as we talked. Afterwards, I called my husband, Patrick, at work. “Susie”, he said, “While this is so fresh, write it all down. Word for word if you can. Years from now, you will need to know that what you did was right and good and whole. Write it down and save it. For yourself.”


It is tempting to edit this now—to make Robert seem a little stranger, me a little more confident. But I’m not going to do that. The strength of the simple truth is that everybody gets to come to their own conclusions. People who have not had a long conversation with Robert in awhile may be surprised at his inability to do anything more than repeat decades old platitudes. See for yourself if you think it is really worth paying for this:


RB: I’ve just returned from Rome. There were many shocks this time. I missed Lea, and of course, you. We are returning to European Art, we had to study Asian art for a time so that we wouldn’t draw a blank after 2006 when all the world’s treasures come to Renaissance.


ST: I heard some details of the trip from Kristina on her way back home.


RB: Yes, we had many shocks in Milan. A student’s mother had consumed some acid in order to end her life. I said that the shock indicated that acid rain would begin falling on humanity and two days later it rained, an actual acid rain. (more talk about the student and dinners in Milan…..)


ST: I imagine that you are calling because you heard that I was thinking about leaving the school.


RB: Well, I really just called to see how you were doing and also I did hear that you were experiencing some difficulty. (mention of the Dante class, wondering if I was coming up over the weekend….)


ST: Yes, there are a number of growing conflicts in me now related to my commitment to the school.


RB: Well, what is your relationship to influence C?


ST: I believe that I have a connection to C influence now that is my own. I feel very connected to help from the gods. In this past year I have received such specific help that there is no question about it anymore.


RB: Yes, I don’t doubt that you have a connection. The thing is though that there must be three lines of work. You can’t just take, you have to give C influence something for their help.


ST: Robert, I deeply understand payment and efforts and the need to carve out an emotional life. Whether I stay or go I have to do this. But I’m not interested in all the prophesies and in the movement towards Renaissance being a closed community. It’s interesting to me that although C influence is deeply personal for you, it allows you to live in such a way that you don’t have to take any real responsibility for anything.


RB: We are not a closed community, people from Life come and go there a lot, especially to the Winery.


ST: That’s not the kind of closed I’m talking about.


RB: You are somewhat sentimental about Life. Joel is like that too. You want to believe that C influence is for everyone, but they are not. The laws are very hard. Many are called, but few are chosen. (some other quotes about Life and how they are destined to suffer…..)


ST: You gave me that photograph the first time you met me, I’m sure it’s true to some extent, however, I’m not a fool. You talk to me as though I was a fool. It doesn’t take higher centers to see that there are descending octaves all around us.


RB: (Some acknowledgement of that….some loosening up….) Yes, humanity will suffer. Russia and the U.S. have nuclear bombs, etc…(then the story of his mother’s death, ARK KAN C, strange disconnect…..)


ST: It’s very hard for me to continue to hear these things over and over again. You have been my teacher and you have opened my heart and my mind to hundreds of new things. Now, it’s almost like the repeat of all these stories is closing my heart to you. You know, opened it at one level and now closing it at another?


RB: Yes, it is odd, isn’t it? This may be the last conversation we ever have, so I need to say everything I can. I want to feel that, as a teacher, I have done all I can. However, I like the tone of this conversation. It’s like friends talking. You are calm. I am calm.


ST: I am trying to be present and I’m experiencing no fear.


RB: Good. Fear is not self-remembering, nor is power self-remembering.


ST: I want to ask you something important and personal for me. (pause to calm myself…). If I leave the school and discover that I have made a mistake, may I return?


RB: Oh yes, of course. You can pay the re-entry fee of $1,500.00 and return. But I don’t advise it, the odds are only one in forty of staying again. It’s very very bad to lose a school..(some heavy statements about Life People about to be expunged…). When Miles left, sixty people left the school, now this, some people will lose the way, but it is necessary to prune the vine to prepare for 1998.


ST: How do you know what people do when they leave? How can you be sure that they are losers?


RB: I am an experienced teacher and I have been working half of my life with influence C. I understand these things. It’s curious that the two centers that are having the most difficulty are Marin and Palo Alto—places where people are concerned with their careers and with money. The instinctive center begins to take over.


ST: I don’t think this is about people’s instinctive centers. This is mostly an emotional process of loss of confidence in the way the school is working. I have talked to a number of students at Renaissance who would leave too, but they can’t. It’s a little like a poker game where the longer you sit at the table the more you resist folding and walking away—you have so much invested.


RB: That is a good analogy, I like it.


ST: For someone like me, it’s also hard to see that some of the people that I’m thinking are growing and evolving are leaving, like Molly, whereas others like Helga stay in a very narrow groove.


RB: The school is larger now than it has ever been. And our students are doing so well. Girard is doing very well. Kristina and Peter and Colin are all here.


ST: Yes, you have your ark. You will always have enough people to keep your own ark afloat. I don’t know if it’s my ark anymore.


RB: (Becoming defensive) When you are offered a life boat, you don’t question the color of the raft.


ST: I want to change the subject as long as you have called me and I am very appreciative of the call. I wondered if you’d tell me what you see in me—I mean changes that you see after twenty years with you? This is such an emotional and positive time for me. This past year was the best and the worst of my life.


RB: Oh really? What happened?


ST: You did call me after surgery, remember? I had cancer. You called me in the hospital. (really flustered….can’t believe he forgot….).


RB: I see. Well I’ve lost many of my women students to breast cancer. The last time I saw you…(struggling to answer my question….), you looked healthy, seemed emotionally good and balanced, if anything I would say that maybe you seemed a bit, you know, too successful. Maybe too much A influence.


ST: (Laughter….couldn’t help it….) Well, they took that all away pretty quick, so I’m not nearly so successful anymore. And it wasn’t breast cancer. Well anyway Robert, we pay all our teaching payments in advance, so if I have a re-entry fee, I’ll have a big credit.


RB: (Very surprised) You mean that you are still paying? So even though you don’t go to meetings now, you are still paying? Well, I didn’t realize that, that’s good then.


ST: Yes, you see, it’s not the instinctive center. There’s something else I want to ask you. I haven’t said that I’m leaving yet. This is not a trivial inquiry for me. Please let me do this in my own time.


RB: No one is pushing you out dear.


ST: No, but you have established an attitude about people leaving the school [that] permeates throughout.


RB: I used to make jokes, but then I asked myself if that was necessary. Now I don’t talk about my former students, I just say that they have lost the way and that the instinctive center has won and….(more of the same.)


ST: This is what I mean. You have set the tone. It all comes from you. Robert, you may be able to keep more of your more mature people if you disallow this kind of talk about those who move on. This is just one thing, there are lots of things like that.


RB: Well goodness, I am running out of steam.


ST: I am too. Thank you for calling.


RB: Goodbye dear.


ST: Bye.


Following this phone call, Robert told people, “Susan T. has left the school.” I didn’t get to do it in my own time because my friends wouldn’t speak with me.


Only Abraham G. called. He huffed and puffed and said I was fomenting rebellion; a junta. A junta?? I am not making this up.


Old friends, if any of you are wondering how you will ever survive leaving, you won’t know how strong you are until you do. There may be hard days; how does a person prepare for being “expunged”? But you’ll probably be okay. If you are like me, you’ll have the best days of your life. What is on the line is integrity, that and maybe some real unconditional love, if you are lucky.


I wish you all that and more.


See you down the road,


Susie T.



Graduates on June 13, 2007 at 5:32 pm 


Various posts that got deleted from blog eleven:


I had a friend in S.F., an Israeli who went by the name of J. B. (can’t use his name) and one day he told me an interesting story: he had visited an Israeli friend who was working as a psychiatrist in Los Angeles and during his visit he told this old friend who shared an interest in various spiritual ideas that he was a student in a school with a conscious teacher. In point of fact J. B. went to meet with this old friend to “introduce him to the school.” The psychiatrist asked for the name of the conscious teacher and when J. B. said Robert Burton the psychiatrist said sorry but your teacher is not conscious. Being as superstitious as we all once were J. B. was of course rather taken aback. Gathering some composure he asked his friend why he would say such a thing. Without disclosing the name of the client, of course, the psychiatrist told J. B. a story of a young man (barely 20 or so) who was in the FoF for just a few months who was allegedly sexually put upon by Robert Burton during a lengthy encounter while visiting the FoF property. He then left the organization with severe psychological problems. J. B. reported this meeting to Miles Barth forthwith and Miles requested that the psychiatrist ask his client to meet with Miles and tell his story, which then took place. One month or so later Miles Barth left the school without informing the rest of us why he had done so. What if we had all known, I mean all of us, way back then?


Burton on Armageddon (from a circulated memo):


[Florence, Italy, Nov. 2, 1982]


“Revelations: ‘…the seventh angel…’ After the seventh conscious being appears, Armageddon will come.” (Burton believes that his teaching will produce seven conscious men.)


[Nov. 3, 1982]


“C-Influence will ensure that all that is left of culture will be taken to Renaissance [the Fellowship compound] for posterity.”


“Florence, Venice, Siena will probably not be bombed. C-Influence has indicated to me that Naples (home of NATO), Rome, and Milan will be bombed. Neutron bombs may be used. (Neutron bombs destroy only humans.) ”


[Nov. 4, 1982]


“We are founding a new civilization.”


“Armageddon has wrung a school out of the gods.”


“The only error in Christ’s teaching was the statement “my yoke is mild.”


[Nov. 9, 1982]


“My role is to predict the fall of California and Armageddon.”


“People must come to us for souls.”


“Don’t put money into banks after Dec. 1983.”


“The depression will work to our advantage, we will go through it unscathed. We are very well prepared for the coming depression in 1984.”


“California is the artichoke capitol of the world…It means it will choke in 1998.”


“Haley’s Comet is going to ruin it all, this whole decade is not a good decade.”


[Nov. 11]


“We are a very high school on earth, Rembrandt and Goethe are in a higher school. There are angels at this table right now.”


“The 44th president of the US will be in office at the occurrence of Armageddon, 2006.”


[Nov. 14, 1982]


“After the year 2006, Genoa may be the port where art is taken by ship to the East Coast – from there by existing highways to Renaissance [now called Apollo].”


[Nov. 12]


“We are the greatest school since Christ’s.”


From Burton (recorded from early “teachings”):


“The formation that a human’s scale of vision sees as coral may be in reality the earth’s set of teeth. Coral is found near shorelines and what we see as waves is, alarmingly, the earth’s tongue rolling upon the shoreline. The shoreline, then, would somehow be the earth’s lips. As one observes this phenomenon one can easily visualize the waves as a tongue licking the earth’s shorey lips. Storms, which are a strong negative force, are created out of hunger by the earth. The variety of organic death they leave in their wake is washed back into the earth’s main bloodstream, the ocean.”


“As one awakens one sees the earth, humans and organic life on earth objectively, and finds one’s visual properties are of the scale of an electron microscope. What we take for trees and rivers are, surprisingly, the earth’s hair and blood veins. What appears to us as a cloud formation is most probably the earth perspiring. On hot summer days clouds form over mountains, and fog sometimes rolls onto the land masses. Similarly, on hot days beads of moisture emerge from our body or cosmos. We call this noteworthy event perspiration.”


From court records, considers himself a “goddess in a man’s body”:


“Burton explicitly told Troy that the ‘angels’ wanted Troy to disrobe, and the ‘angels’ wanted Troy to submit to Burton’s sexual advances because Burton himself was an ‘angel’, a goddess in a man’s body.”




Ex-boyfriends have threatened Burton’s life several times, he travels with an armed bodyguard. On one occasion, it was reported, a young man from Bakersfield showed up at the Fellowship dining lodge armed with a 22 rifle looking for Burton. He was tackled, disarmed and put on a bus. The police were not contacted. At one time guns were not allowed, but now almost every male member of the Fellowship living in Oregon House has a gun. There is an informal militia armed with shotguns, rifles and 44 magnum handguns in order to protect the ‘Teacher’ from the disgruntled ex-members who regret their sexual encounters with Burton.


This is a direct quote from Robert Earl Burton (from an internal memo):


“I am the Avatar, and I was born in 1939. I am not Christ, yet I am the Christ of the age…and I assume I prepare for him.


“I would like you to take the idea simply. It simply means that of all the humans on the planet, I suffer consciously the most.”


Girard Haven, “Creating A Soul”, page 62:


“However, some things can be verified only by adopting the attitude that they are true. For example, to verify that this is a real School, it is necessary to act as if that had been verified and then see if it produces the desired results. This means that we need to adopt attitudes at will without prior verification.”


From Girard Haven:


“Strangely, the shock which bridged this interval for me was the ‘non-depression’ of 1984. On the one hand, it was no longer possible to believe the predictions, for the depression obviously had not occurred as predicted. At the same time, Robert was still my Teacher and I had no doubt that he was conscious, so how could I believe anything else? In particular, I refused to allow myself to disbelieve him, that is, to believe that what he said would not come true. Not only would this have been a denial of my teacher, but it would also be one of the most mechanical responses possible, based as it is on both opposite thinking and feminine dominance in the form of the desire to minimize friction. Being thus unable either to believe or disbelieve, I was left in a state which could best be described as non- or suspended belief.”


From Girard Haven:


Page 576, “Creating A Soul”:


“In particular, if he [Robert Earl Burton] knows what he is doing and we don’t, we have no basis for judging or doubting him. Instead, we simply have to trust him, as a child trusts his parents, or dog trusts its master. If he asks us to do things which seem to have no connection to awakening – or even to be ‘wrong’– we have no choice but to do them anyway.”



SandraC on June 14, 2007 at 3:24 am


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



Was KathleenW on June 14, 2007 at 4:10 am


Here’s a post-FoF story.


A couple of years after I left in 1984, I read a book titled Messages From Michael. It was supposedly channeled. It presented a spiritual system based on the idea that each person comes into a lifetime with a set of “overleaves,” that overlay essence in order to have certain types of experiences, lessons, etc.


Some of the overleaves were body type, center of gravity, chief feature and several other categories not used by the Fellowship that, in some ways, made it a more complete system. The overleaves were seen as tools with a purpose rather than flaws, though tools that need to be seen for what they are (subjective).


The book was based on information that came from a small group of people in the East Bay (No. Calif.) that got together on a regular basis and supposedly channeled Michael. I was told later that at least one person in that group had a connection with the Fellowship.


A few years later, two people who studied the material, J.P. Van Hulle and Aaron Christensen, began teaching, channeling and writing books on the subject and attracted a group of people who came to meetings, read the books, learned about their overleaves and hung out socially. Aaron had been in the Fellowship a few years earlier. (This is reasonably public information.) It presented an interesting spin on the FoF material, and I liked the people, so I hung out with them for a year or two.


It was not a school, there were no rules or “suggestions” about behavior, no conscious beings, no teacher, no pressure to attend events or any of that. There were no fees except for private channeling sessions, and a small donation at the meetings to cover hall rental. It was all very loose. Self-remembering and presence weren’t really part of the package. It was more about self-understanding.


I rarely heard anyone question whether the material actually came from Michael. It was just accepted and believed for the most part. Clearly the FoF stuff had been expanded into a larger system, and it seems unlikely that all of it came whole cloth from Michael, even assuming there is anything to channeling or that there is a Michael.


Maybe it didn’t matter. If people grew and gained something from the experience of seeing themselves in a new way, then it was of some value. People weren’t being exploited, controlled or expected to support anything unethical. Discovering that you believed some pretty outrageous things can be enlightening in itself.



WhaleRider on June 14, 2007 at 5:42 am


Was KathleenW #90


Thank you for your post. You sparked a post-FOF memory that I’d like to share.


When Miles left the FOF he attempted to start his own group. I remember that when he gave his first open meeting in the bay area, hoards of people from Renaissance drove to it, including yours truly.


Amazingly, many of us drove in Renaissance vehicles using FOF gas to get there and back! Nobody tried to stop us from going or made a list of who went. I seriously doubt this would occur in today’s FOF, but I could be wrong.


During the emotionally charged meeting he spoke of leaving the FOF because of his conscience. He thought that too many people were being permitted to join the school whom he felt did not have enough being to seriously under take the work. He felt these people were only being allowed to join to fill the FOF coffers with cash. He was going to be more selective in who joins his group. He charged five bucks a head for the meeting that night. I remember our group drove all the way back in silence without discussing a word of what he had said.


Anyway, after I left the FOF later that year, I contacted Miles to inquire about his group. I learned that he was experimenting with the Michael channeling stuff. I was quite surprised that Miles had broadened his views of the fourth way in this direction. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I was left with the impression that Miles had diminished himself by relying on a ‘spiritual medium’ to do the ‘channeling’ of higher knowledge (or whatever) instead of coming from his own being. So I didn’t join his group and went another direction. Miles’ group later dwindled. So he eventually closed it down and went to college to study counseling.


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 a 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.



The Wizard of Iz on June 18, 2007 at 12:40 am (excerpt)


The author of this text is an imaginary person who doesn’t exist except in the minds of those who believe him to be real. Any similarity to real persons or events is pure coincidence.


“The only way to get something from a School is by owning one”
The Wizard of Iz


There exists a kind of man who is destined to direct and dominate. Men that with just one look or a word, enforce their desires where others would need great effort and eloquence. Men who seem to find themselves in a place inaccessible to the rest of humanity, and possess something majestic and incomprehensible which distinguishes them from common men who submit hopelessly to them. Their arguments – when they speak – subjugate more than convince, and originate from a strong and magnetic character that seems more to give orders than present persuasive arguments. Even the strongest wills are subjugated, in a solid and secret bond to these men.


Speaking simply and without hypocrisy, we can say that human society is divided between those few that dominate and the great majority that suffer domination. As you already know from experience, I belong to that select few that dominate.


This simple truth has always been disguised particularly in religious and political realms. For centuries every kind of theory has been created which has tended to produce the illusion of “equality” in politics, or “divinity” in spirituality.  In the political, where the people are really different, we try to make them believe they are equals.  In the spiritual, where people really are equals, we try to make them believe they are different.


Having established what seem to me these clear and natural principals of human existence, I’d like to comment on what it means to create and direct an organization like ours that – although small – has all the essential characteristics of any society.


Any man intending to place himself over and above a group of followers must above all consider the problems of mind control, and the direction of the attention of his disciples.


Alex was a great teacher of this art, and I learned from him the elementary rules that I would later develop for myself into an original form.


In my last posting (3/156) I explained how – with the creation of an imaginary and fantastic world full of gods and supernatural events – I was able to imprison many minds and take them where I wanted. The secret is in the creation of an ample belief system that allows any visible contradiction to be resolved by ideas found within the system itself, thereby impeding all personal reflection. Due to the subtlety of my influence, and after a certain time, a kind of mind control – originating inside you – became possible. You began to manipulate yourselves internally, and in some cases went still farther than I myself could have hoped.


It’s true that the essentials of mind control came principally from myself, and in this I carefully refine that which renders a good result.


All this has formed part of the Great Plan that has produced the masterpiece of mind control and domination that some students have ironically called “Masculine Dominance”. This concept is quite complex and involves many factors that perhaps I will speak of in another moment.


For now we could reduce it to these three principle objectives:


1) The invention of a fantastic world in which I made you live for all these years.
2) The sexual possession of hundreds of young male students.
3) The imposition of innumerable exercises that needed to be followed without exception.



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!




Yesri baba on July 28, 2007 at 8:02 am


Bravo Life Person, Bravo!


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


Now we are getting to the ‘heart’ of the matter.



Via Del Sol on August 8, 2007 at 9:39 pm 


Early in its history, the Fellowship of Friends produced a printed publication (published approximately once a week), called “Via Del Sol”. This issue (Volume 2 Number 9, December 19th 1972) featured a collection of Robert Burton’s intellectual gems and purest distillation of his high understanding on the subject of sex. These sayings were published while he claimed celibacy yet was forcing some male students to have sex with him. Italics are in the original.


Physical sex, in its deepest meaning, is designed to perpetuate the species, and insure nature of a vehicle for transmitting planetary and celestial influences to the earth. Man’s physical pleasures are secondary to this aim, and, in general, a by–product of nature’s hidden aim.


The sex center is not an intelligent brain. It has a dull, plant–like intelligence. At times, it is quite a vulgar brain, and may be easily aroused by uncivilized levels of intelligence.


If a person has a full relationship with another, then sex may be a part of the whole. Without this factor, then one is in tramp and their sex life does not relate well with the mass or whole of their being.


Humans have been tricked by having their sex organs covered or hidden since birth, making them appear mysterious. This is why some people move from person to person having sex. They try to discover (or steal) what is hidden about the other person, and having found the secret move onto another person seeking the same hollow goal.


To have sexual relations with a partner who is at a lower level of being is to be in tramp. Flirtations are a form of tramp in sex and are sex energy leaks.


Martians, as a type, have the least need or desire to abstain from sex. Mercuries follow them in this area.


The machine creates enormous quantities of sex energy; nevertheless, when we lose sex energy, it can be a weary day.


Most men deviate in the quest for their Self by being engulfed in a woman’s problems, which she often offers a man as a means to gain his attention. Women put themselves to sleep by being conditioned to accept a subservient role to men. This refers to machines in both cases and not thyself. One of the ways schools in the past avoided this mechanical manifestation was through monasteries. The higher we can raise our level, it will be seen we are a vacuum moving amongst life, each a monastery amongst humanity.


It is not generally harmful for students to be at a level in their life where they are confused about sex aims. They may fluctuate between a desire to engage in sex and a desire to abstain. Remember the Self is born as a result of friction; and sex is most often an area of friction.


The sex center is a machine designed to seek out its magnetic opposite in physical union. It does not care for abstinence or transcending itself.



Brain Police on August 9, 2007 at 5:00 am


There was a whole lot of material being passed around in the Fellowship back in my day that I found very hard to believe – in fact, that I considered incredible enough that I had no interest in trying to believe it. You know – the angels dancing on the pinhead, the predictions based on license plates, etc. But I could still have an intelligent conversation with someone who might believe some, or even all of it. When we’re dealing with someone who believes any part of the stuff described in 38 (Purchasing Awakening), we’re talking about a level of mindless credulity that goes well beyond anything I can imagine wasting my time on. I mean, either the person cranking this stuff out is literally insane (and I don’t mean just sociopathic, but seriously delusional on a daily basis), or considers his flock so stupid that they will believe anything at all. If a member wants to post and say “Of course I don’t believe any of that nonsense, and I really don’t feel the need to have an opinion about whether Robert is conscious or even a decent teacher because I don’t hang around with him or listen to what he says, but I value being present,” I can understand the desire to engage in conversation. But when someone says he (or she) thinks this stuff is ancient wisdom, and who are we to judge, or someone else goes on and on with adolescent rantings, I say “Come back when you grow up, if only just a little.” Come on, you guys – let’s save our energy for people who are capable of some level of understanding.



BRAINWASHED? on August 9, 2007 at 9:03 am


Cult methods of recruiting, indoctrinating and influencing their members are not exotic forms of mind control, but only more intensely applied mundane tactics of social influence practiced daily by all compliance professionals and societal agents of influence.


Cult leaders offer simple solutions to the increasingly complex world problems we all face daily. They offer the simple path to happiness, to success, to salvation by following their simple rules, simple group regimentation and simple total lifestyle. Ultimately, each new member contributes to the power of the leader by trading his or her freedom for the illusion of security and reflected glory that group membership holds out.


Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope.



Veronicapoe on August 10, 2007 at 3:19 am


77/Laughing Love


On the origin of “Feminine Dominance” as applied in the Fellowship of Friends.


Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:171-189 (1994)


Veronicapoe’s editorial comments, which are speculative and which are not part of the original abstract, appear in brackets:


The Role of Mother-Son Incest in the Pathogenesis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder


Glen O. Gabbard, M.D. and Stuart W. Twemlow, M.D.




Psychoanalytic case material is presented to illustrate how mother-son incest may be involved in the pathogenesis of a particular subtype of narcissistic personality disorder. Male patients with this disorder have a grandiose view of themselves [“I am the avatar of the age”] as entitled to occupy a special position with others, combined with a paranoid tendency to anticipate imminent betrayal. The enormous guilt related to perceived oedipal transgressions leads these patients to fear retaliation from an enraged, vindictive, and castrating father [“C influence is going to expunge humanity] at any moment. In addition, these men often feel that their special role vis-à-vis mother is a precarious one contingent on doing her bidding. [i.e., “being under feminine dominance.”] Hence, they also live in dread of an impending disaster involving either abandonment or humiliation by their mothers. [Ergo, why “feminine dominance” must be “overcome” in order to “evolve.”]



Veronicapoe on August 10, 2007 at 2:12 am


For those interested, “Crystallization Party Photos, Nos. 1 and 2” are now online:





Purchasing awakening on August 10, 2007 at 10:56 pm 


Where is OUR BISTRO? What happened to the funds we donated?

Dear Friends,


Our Teacher has launched a new beginning for the Bistro; it is being rebuilt in the same location at Isis. Work has already begun..


Several special celebrations are coming also: Valentine’s Day, Robert’s 30th Crystallization anniversary on March 19th, as well as his birthday on May 12th.


Robert has requested that gifts for him be given as donations to the Fellowship of Friends, which will be used for the rebuilding of the Bistro. Further information will be forthcoming.


Your continued and reliable valuation is much appreciated.


Patricia Ch

Robert has returned to Isis and we continue making Isis more beautiful and useful. In this spirit, Robert is asking that your gifts to him for Valentine’s Day, his 30th Crystallization anniversary March 19th and his birthday May 12th be given as donations to the Fellowship of Friends, in order to continue construction of the Bistro, which was destroyed by fire eighteen months ago. The Bistro project is our new focus for this year.


You may send your donations with a beautiful card directly to Robert at the Galleria or go to Propylaia and follow the links to contribute online. All donations are appreciated.


Patricia Ch

March 2006


Dear Friends:


Many thanks to all of you who have already contributed to our fund for re-building the Bistro.


Your donations have brought in about 10% of the $200,000.00 needed at this time to reopen the Bistro on July 4th, which is the 35th anniversary of Isis.


In Wednesday’s daily card Robert wrote,
“We have many events in order to strengthen one another, so that we become too strong for the lower self.”


And now he is aiming for us collectively to re-establish the Bistro, which shall provide another enchanting venue for being present and strengthening ourselves with our 30 Work I’s.

Dear Friends,


So many of you are responding positively to the Bistro Fund emails and wish to contribute. Here are more details on sending gifts:
When paying by checks please make payable to:
Fellowship of Friends
Post Office Box 100
Oregon House, CA 95962


OK, I get it. He asked for the gift money to go through FOF as tax-free donations (and not his personal taxable income). This is smart and also makes him look good. And then… it looks like he simply spent it on god knows what. I haven’t heard anything about the Bistro project for over a year. Does anyone know the details? What’s up?


Members of the ‘church’ have a right to know how their donations are spent.



Email on August 10, 2007 at 11:55 pm


From: Linda T
To: students@beingpresent.org
Sent: Monday, March 6, 2006
Subject: [Students] Message from the Teacher: Thirty Imperishable Stars


Dear Friends,


Robert is asking students to keep making efforts to support the fine press publications of the “Thirty Imperishable Stars”. These publications will continue to come out quarterly, and are the best nourishment we can partake of in literature. They are publications that have a lasting value.


They are more significant than we realize. It is difficult for us to value what is happening in our times, and it will be easier for posterity to recognize their true value, in that they serve as milestones in our teaching. We will always be known for this: combining school knowledge with images from all the traditions that preceded us. Thus, these publications are a reflection of what we do.


Robert feels these publications are the true beginning of the School, and considers them far superior to his book “Self-Remembering”. Once these are printed and are sold out, they will not be reprinted. Volume I has been sold out. There are 100 copies of Volume II still available. Volume III is being printed these days by the Golden Pyramid Press for Robert’s Crystallization Celebration. Copies can be purchased through the Auction link on Propylaia.


In presence,


Linda T, Isis



Email on August 11, 2007 at 12:05 am


“Galleria Crystallisation Anniversary Dinner
7:00 p.m-$350./$300./$250.”


“Students may use time payments, raffles (on voucher events), cash, and credit cards to pay for events. We accept VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.”



Email on August 11, 2007 at 12:28 am


From: SE
To: “students@beingpresent.org”
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006
Subject: [Students] Change in Work I Touch to Feel


Dear Friends,


The work ‘I’ Touch, after practical observation, has been changed to Feel. This seems to more accurately describe what we are experiencing and helps us bring presence to this sense. Used as the fourth work ‘I’ in the series of six, it can help keep imagination away in situations like showering. Be-Hold-More-Feel-More– Long Be.


With Love from Isis, SE



from an email sent to all followers in March 06:


“My dears, the thirtieth anniversary of my crystallization is upon us. I woke up at 4:05 this morning, remembering the event. On that day we broke through time and death as a school. The school proved itself as a school; what one gains, we all gain. More than the pyramids along the Nile, more than the Taj Mahal in India, more than the Forbidden City in Beijing—in my life, I loved you more.”




—– Forwarded Message —-
From: SE
To: “students@beingpresent.org”
Sent: Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Subject: [Students] Revising our Sequence of Six


Dear Friends,


Robert is revising our sequence of six work ‘I’s after more closely studying the Egyptian image of the first six warriors in the now familiar Hatshepsut procession of thirty. In the procession of thirty, the first three warriors arm in arm represent, ‘Be’, ‘Hold’, and ‘Pray.’ The next one is ‘Back’, then ‘Turn,’ and ‘Pax’.


Judging by this, it became clear that the third work ‘I’ would be the one that changes according to the situation, the ‘theme’ of the sequence as Robert says, rather than the fourth work ‘I.’ That is why it is designated as ‘Pray’, choose the work ‘I’ according to the situation.


The fourth work ‘I’ would then be ‘Back’. At this step one is anticipating interruption from the lower self, and responds appropriately with ‘Back’. Robert says that in this way we watch the lower self before he watches us.


The fifth work ‘I’ in our list of thirty, designated as ‘Turn’ means turn from imagination, to the theme of the sequence, to work ‘I’ number three. Thus, it will be ‘More’ of whatever one chooses to do in step number three; for example more ‘Hear’ or more ‘Look’ or more ‘Feel.’


Finally, ‘Pax’ stands for Peace, or presence; long Be.


This is how the sequence now looks: ‘Be’, ‘Hold’, ‘Pray (theme of the sequence)’, ‘Back’, ‘More’, ‘long Be’. In a concert, for example, one will use: ‘Be’, ‘Hold’, ‘Hear’, ‘Back’, ‘More’, ‘long Be’.


The next study group will explain more about this new sequence and it will be mentioned in the next ‘Travel Notes’ issue of the Teacher’s Thoughts.


With Love from Isis, SE



Somebody on August 11, 2007 at 12:32 am


146 Purchasing awakening


Maybe they never collected enough funds? Who will donate $5000 for the Bistro? Maybe they tried, but gave up? I personally never donated anything for the Bistro. Do you?



Purchasing awakening on August 11, 2007 at 1:21 am


Somebody, I doubt that they didn’t collect the funds. They are usually pretty pushy about collecting it. (Guess where the pressure for money is coming from?) I’ve never seen them giving up. Usually there is more and more e-mails pushing you to donate. Yes, I usually personally donated to most things (what a fool I guess). At least my donations were in the hundreds or below, not thousands.


Here’s few previous reports, not all related to Bistro. There are much more as we all know – there is always some money-squeezing going on.


Have you bought your tickets for the Holiday Prize Drawing?
We have only raised $5000 by now!


WE ARE NOW AT $85,000!
This leaves only $55,000 to be raised for Robert’s Crystallization Gift, so if you did not have time to contribute last week you can go to https://www.propylaia.org now to enter your gift amount.


The winners are:
All of us, who reached together the biggest ever challenge of $107K at a Live Auction!


Congratulations and thank you to everyone!
We reached the Live Auction target of $80,000.


Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to our Abundance Auction.
We raised $56k, which helps us to continue building the beautiful Park of Abundance.
We still need $24k more to reach our goal of $80k, however.


Dear Friends,
Thanks to your love and support yesterday at the Auction, we reached our goal of $100,000.


Dear Friends
A very heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone who supported the 30th Crystallization Auction yesterday, which raised a magnificent $91,000.
This money will go towards helping to complete the work on the Theatron, the Park of Abundance and towards the rebuilding of the Bistro.


Dear Friends,
We have exceeded our goal of 100K at the Live Auction this morning! Thank you very much for keep supporting the growth of Isis.


We truly appreciate everyone’s contributions during this last Autumn Auction. We were able to raise $70K at the Live Auction among a little company of willing friends. We also raised a total of $9K from the Rise & Shine Prize Drawing.


We truly wish to thank everyone who attended and contributed to last Sunday’s Holiday Auction. We were able to raise $72,000 at the Live Auction. Also the Quest For Immortality Prize Drawing raised $9,000.



Steve Anderson on August 11, 2007 at 9:58 pm 

Recently seen on a bumper sticker.


“Those that can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”



cyclops on August 11, 2007 at 11:03 pm


Hi all.


A leader is best
When people barely know
That he exists,
Less good when
They obey and acclaim him,
Worse when
They fear and despise him.
Fail to honor people
And they fail to honor you.
But of a good leader,
When his work is done,
His aim fulfilled,
They will all say,
“We did it ourselves.”


 – Lao-Tzu



Veronicapoe on August 12, 2007 at 2:33 pm 


Just me wrote,


What can affect me is sincere, mutually considerate dialouge.


You know, I offered that to you, but I understood you to indicate that you didn’t want it. Did I get that wrong? I did ask you to introduce yourself, but I didn’t and don’t need your name or, really, identifying information. I don’t believe that preaching at anyone, let alone anonymous preaching, ever affects the listener’s understanding.


Real dialog involves at least some self-disclosure. I mean, if I can’t frame your words as being grounded in a person, even if I don’t know much about that person, it makes dialog all the more problematic.


Real dialog also involves a basic measure of trust. I understood you to indicate that you didn’t think you could trust me because of all the old stuff I have been dredging up about FOF. I don’t know what to say about that except that the past is not gone, it belongs to the present.


Think about it! If the only thing that is real is the present, then the present, the “eternal now,” includes the past. Those whom you should distrust are those who tell you that it doesn’t matter what happened in the past.



Purchasing awakening on August 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm


Our Beloved Slave Driver is having fun, or how the brainwashed slaves glorify Robert’s cruelty and worship their abuser…


From Julian b.


Greetings from the Council!


This is the second in a series of bulletins that will be sent worldwide on the Journey Forth by Day events in August.


At one of the recent Wednesday meetings at the Prytaneion, there was a discussion on using the work under pressure.


A student described his experience of building Robert’s new oasis at the Galleria. Robert would visit the oasis everyday and, for an hour or so, sit observing students at work. Then Robert would often ask for changes—right after the workers thought they were finished!—for example, extending the lawn another 10 feet, moving the fountain from the garden to the center of the table, moving a road, relocating newly planted palm trees! The weather was hot, the days long and work continued through the weekend.


At the height of intensity in the octave, Robert then said that he wanted his students to learn how to use the system under pressure….


…To finish with another anecdote from the building of the oasis – a student asked one of those working what was Robert trying to achieve with the octave. “He’s taking us with him,” the student replied.



Ames Gilbert on August 12, 2007 at 7:01 pm (excerpt)


The recent post about Burton’s breath smelling of sperm reminded me that I had my own ideas about why Burton has so much sex (and what invisible energies, if any, are connected with the large quantities of sperm he ingests, and what control he has over those energies) around the time I got the Big Boot in 1996. So, I made a mock-up of a “Dear Abby” column, which I didn’t share then, but I will now, seeing it is a Sunday, and any readers are hopefully mellowed out and open to the off–beat. Is there any truth buried in the (alleged) humor?


(The heading was:)


Dear Abby Answers from way, way out there in ‘left field’…


“ …a certain degree of goofiness is the legitimate excretion of mental activity. However, what follows is patently ridiculous, and Abigail van Buren in no way condones this kind of drivel. In fact, she disassociates herself from it entirely. Stand by for a lawsuit!”



Elena on August 12, 2007


From Girard Haven’s booklet “Best Thoughts”:


“I am more and more convinced that one of the keys to right awakening is that nothing changes. The machine goes on exactly as before; it is just that something emerges and watches. We are sometimes fooled by the fact that Robert was very intense as a man number four, and this carried over when he woke up. But it seems to me that for us, being in a large and loving School, nothing need change, nothing need be extreme; we merely add consciousness to whatever else is going on, without disturbing that at all.


What I would say now is that after doing that – that is, after consciousness is added on top of everything else – the fact that there is consciousness is such a big stimulus for the machine that the machine will start to act differently. But this is merely a consequence of the presence of consciousness. Things change because the machine has a new and very strong stimulus.”


This last two sentences are actually a masterpiece of the kind of thinking Girard has used to justify Robert’s machine and his own.


By simply adding “consciousness” to Robert’s mechanicality, which does not need to change at all to continue being conscious, he has taken away the need of any work on the machine to become conscious.


The sad thing is that this is exactly the mind frame that he has used to continue watching pornography, treat his wives like Robert treats his boys, that is, with perfect detachment from true emotional caring, and support Robert as the one and all conscious being that has provided him with the opportunity to be a “conscious” teacher in the Fellowship of Friends.


Someone mentioned recently his Psychological Thinking. Is there a recent booklet published with that name?


“The Teacher often reminds us that we need to remember that there is a higher right. And the higher right in the work is to remember ourselves, even if that means being “wrong” on the level of the machine. The idea of payment can be useful. If being wrong is the payment I have to make in order to be awake, then I am willing to make it.”


This is the way “brainwashing” occurs in the Fellowship of Friends and it isn’t even subtle. One does wonder what makes students listen to Girard endlessly without actually questioning him, but of course, I fell in love with him…….but still argued every time……so they call me crazy! I am crazy for a thousand other things but not that.


Let’s distill this quote:
The higher right is to remember ourselves, (that is, agree with Robert at all cost), even if that means being wrong on the level of the machine (condone all of Robert’s mechanicality, Girard’s and yours, just add consciousness).


“The idea of payment can be useful. If being wrong is the payment I have to make in order to be awake, then I am willing to make it.”


This is a very personal statement from Girard that he wishes students to imitate. What he is really saying is, “if being wrong is the payment I have to make in order to be awake (to belong to the fellowship), then I am willing to make it.”


Is it really surprising that Girard would find it very attractive to be the second conscious being on the planet, be heard and loved by students who listen unquestioningly at his amazing capacity to rationalize everything and “make sense” or justify every absurdity inside the Fellowship of Friends?


“The aim is not to alter or perfect the machine – for one thing it cannot be done – but rather to learn to separate from the machine.”


So if we all learn to separate from the Fellowship of Friends “machine”, the Robert and Girard machine, and every I in us that tells us that something is not quite right, we’ll all go straight to higher centers.


“The machine is under the illusion that it can make decisions, but if we understand that we really are machines – which means that everything is mechanical, everything happens- then we can begin to verify that there are no decisions – The process we normally call “decision-making” becomes, instead, a question of trying to find out what is supposed to happen. With this attitude, one is much less identified with the process. One begins to be able to watch the machine, with all its ‘I’s and all its confusion, and see that that is also part of the process of what is supposed to happen.”


This is perfect Fellowship indoctrination and it is designed only for the acceptance of the Fellowship’s status quo. It takes away the ability of anyone to make decisions for himself and puts us in a place of having to find out what is supposed to happen. Just watch one’s confusion without ever questioning Robert because he is the only one with enough being to make decisions, according to Girard and Robert.


What is supposed to happen in the Fellowship is that NO ONE questions the show. “If you don’t like it, leave, it is Robert’s school. You are not school material.”


“Real doing is to have something in oneself that is not affected by what the machine is doing or not doing; whether it is happy or sad; whether it has tears or laughter. The issue is to keep one’s inner world – one’s ability to observe what happens to the machine – separate and unaffected. That makes one truly free.”


“SEPARATE AND UNAFFECTED.” No feelings. This is how both Robert and Girard have crystallized and expect us to crystallize. If you can’t numb your emotional center you are not conscious enough.


“Real doing is not feeling” is the essence of this sentence.


It has changed the idea of not being identified with one’s feelings with not feeling itself. It states that freedom comes from not feeling or being in any way affected by the outside world.


The point is subtle here because it is easy to confuse not being identified with not feeling which is what Girard and Robert and so many in the inner circle have become masters of. They, for example, cannot feel the absurdity of being the only ones to talk for the rest of their lives. They cannot feel that others have something to say. And it is not about talking, it is about “belonging”. They feel that they are the only ones that have a right to belong to what the rest of us support. They have made a private property of the spirit.



Janna on August 12, 2007 at 10:26 pm


Hello everyone,


When I think about my joining FOF 12 years ago, I recall a few interesting things. Mainly, that certain things were not disclosed or presented to me until after certain commitments were made.


No one mentioned a thing about apocalyptic predictions at prospective meetings, also there was no mentioning the fact that the Teacher regularly and excessively engages in sex with his students. Just these 2 things would have been major red flags for me, and both were not mentioned upfront. Both things were/are major aspects of the FOF, and please don’t say that this is “not important”. Ask Robert whether his predictions are important, and whether having sex with boys is important.


I recall joining, paying the fee and then having a brief conversation with center director after the meeting. “We should tell you that there are exercises.”




“No smoking, no drugs and no sex outside marriage. There are large fees if you break any of these exercises.”


– Well, why didn’t you tell me that BEFORE joining?


“Also, we work with two predictions from our Teacher. First – in 1998 California is going to fall into the ocean as a result of a major earthquake, and second – in 2006 there will be Armageddon.”




“Well, the End of the World, but our School will survive it.”


As soon as I heard this one, I felt slightly dizzy, and thought – oh no, no! Apocalyptic predictions! It’s all bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, just another creepy sect, run run!


But … I stayed. I had such a longing for “awakening”, and these people were nice and interesting, they were into 4th way ideas… They also told me not to take predictions seriously, kind of dismiss them, and just wait and see if the whole “school” works for me. They were so kind and supportive. So I ended up staying, and the “school” started to work on me, forming new concepts, behaviors, discriminations, bonding experiences, and also ripping connections with my family and “life” friends.


All this time there was not a word about [the] teacher’s homosexuality and his engaging in lots of sex with his students. What, our center director R.T. and his wife R. didn’t know? What, older students D.C. or I.W. didn’t know? But it was not mentioned at all, and I had no idea that this takes place on such a large scale.


In my opinion, there is no real “equality” when a priest or teacher or doctor engages in sex with those who came to him for help and guidance – students, patients, members of the church… They are looking for his advice or help, or even submit themselves to his will. There simply can’t be any equality in such situations. If you think there is equality – ask any FOF student if he feels “equal” with Robert…


But no one was talking about it in the center.


So I finally decided to move to Apollo. I rented my apartment, packed some bags and departed to USA. As we were approaching the misty foothills, I suddenly asked my friend – is the Teacher married?


“No, he doesn’t need to – he has plenty of lovers.”


-Oh… his student lovers?


“Yes… Many! He is a homosexual, and has male student lovers, lots of them! Actually… I am one of his lovers too.”




I felt so bad, I felt like immediately turning around and going back! Why no one told me this before? I wouldn’t have joined a school where the teacher screws his students and predicts Armageddon! This is such bullshit. I felt it with all my heart.


But again, just like before my outraged conscience was calmed by “wait and see” attitude. And the more you wait, the deeper you go… The harder is to see, the easier is to wait…We all know this, don’t we.


I felt like lots of things in the school are kept secret, and not disclosed to the prospective students for the reason not to scare them away and get them to join. And then they join and get “worked on”, or “sucked in” – whichever you prefer, and then it is so hard for one to quit because of developed emotional connections, sense of belonging to a special community and important commitments like marriage to a student or moving to Apollo.


I am (and was) sincerely appalled by school’s recruitment campaign. It just didn’t ever seem right. It is just not fair, not honest. Prospective students are not told upfront the truth about various aspects of the organization. The payment schedule is not fully discussed either. Usually, there is a blurry phrase “payments will increase in time as your valuation for the school grows”. Well, wouldn’t it be honest to actually say how it is going to increase, and that it will end up being way more that 10% of one’s income with all additional payments and expensive teaching events?


There is also no disclosure of tasks and exercises. What if one doesn’t agree with all of them? Wouldn’t it be simple fair to spell it out upfront?


Wouldn’t it be honest to mention that the Teacher is seriously into sex with young male students, and most likely a prospective young male will eventually end up in his bedroom, because this is what tends to happen?


These days for example FOF members offer an “Esoteric Tours of the Metropolitan Museum” – as they are advertised in TONY. Sounds exciting, right? Once we met a guy who actually went on this tour. He said it was a strange presentation, very weird and the interpretations of artifacts were questionable, and he also felt that there was some hidden agenda…


Of course! The agenda is to get you to join. But it is presented as something else – mysterious esoteric tour to educate you – as if FOF really cares about educating “life people”!


I am writing this not because of anger. I don’t feel like a victim. What happened in my life – happened. It was a mixed experience, both very good and very bad, so I have no regrets over the past. I don’t think anything is ever “wasted” in one’s life.


But I am writing this to point out the continuing dishonesty in recruiting of new students. Any prospective students should be warned: FOF is not being upfront and honest about many important aspects of the organization, and this is simply not right. If anything, it is a bad business practice (mildly put).


It is ironic that FOF now has a “keeping quiet cherub” on their main page – what a joke.



Veronicapoe on August 13, 2007 at 1:58 am 


For those interested, “Noble Child” is now online:





if memory serves on August 13, 2007 at 2:52 am


288/Veronicapoe: Wow, that image was deeply familiar to me. It’s been 22 years, but wasn’t that a painting on porcelain that hung in the Meissen room? I could be wrong about that, but seeing the image had a strong emotional effect on me. I’ll bet memory works differently in different people, but for some reason, this one took me back to the heightened atmosphere of that dining venue, with all its attendant anxieties, egos, desires, states, and expectations. Thanks for gathering and posting these.



Veronicapoe on August 13, 2007 at 4:39 am


For those interested, “The Fellowship Trance” is now online:





vera.mente on August 13, 2007 at 2:27 pm


296 Veronicapoe: the Fellowship Trance:


Great picture, those were the early days I suppose, when I met RB he was 44 that year. He almost looks like an actor from the “Easy Riders” days.


Fascinating to look back at the roots of this now full blown cult.
Thanks for the post.



Veronicapoe on August 13, 2007 at 7:02 pm




Being treated as an object causes the same feeling of betrayal, shame, fear and powerlessness and it is how everyone in the fellowship is treated in as much as everyone is treated as “a student”, a “generalization”.


It has been this way since the beginning:


“It is good weak students leave as they are weight. It used to bother me but now it’s like a useless object being gone.”


Handwritten note of Teacher from The Period of Silence, 1971





Steve Anderson on August 13, 2007 at 9:15 pm


Signs of the Second Coming


I moved to the property, then called Mt. Carmel Monastery, in late fall 1975. My primary reason for moving there was to determine, if I could, the validity of the school and the teacher of the school. Admittedly, I was about as dumb and naïve as the rest of the membership but I had high hopes of finding truth. If I were to immerse myself in the 3 lines of work, as my center directors said I must, then maybe my questions and doubts would be answered.


November nights in the foothills of the Sierras are cold. Living in my VW van in the parking lot presented a myriad of challenges, not the least of which was staying warm through the night. There was always the option of staying in the Lincoln Lodge on the floor, which had its own peculiar downside, especially on weekends when hordes of the faithful would arrive for the curious forms of self-flagellation that we all went through. I think we called it voluntary suffering. I could probably think of other names for it now.


Living like this for 6 weeks was tolerable and at least I had a safe refuge for independent quiet time that many others did not have. And I could always get in my humble mobile home and drive off the property any time the wish should arise. Since I was not on salary I was able to be a little bit of a free floater and eventually landed the chore of being the kitchen shopper. This made sense since I had the van and knew food having worked in the restaurant industry for 6 or 8 years.


Then seemingly out of nowhere I was invited to share a house with Virginia Jenkins, Linda K (now T) and Mark F who would come to be the closest essence friend of my adult life. And of course little 4 year old Eli who would become the poster child for why children were not allowed on the property. (Most mornings Eli would ride his big wheel down our hallway, crash into the wall, all the while screaming “it’s wake up time, it’s wake up time”) Mark was from the Hawaii center and was part of the James Trattner entourage of Beelzebubian named “I am not identified with my name” scruffians that arrived en masse about the same time that I did. If anyone knows the whereabouts of my friend Mark, please let me know.


Anyway, I willingly and naively accepted the invitation to move into the house with the above mentioned people. I had known Linda from her time as tri-director of the Seattle center as some of us regularly traveled from Portland to Seattle and she came occasionally to Portland. As I had a car and was an unemployed semi free floater and Linda did not have a car and was on salary of some sort and also seemed to have loads of free time, I became for a while her designated driver of sorts. Virginia was also in the “driving Linda about here and there” business as well.


At this time, Linda was the editor of the Mt. Carmel Journal which was the weekly journal for the bay area meeting and spent much of her time rewriting said journal with the clear intention of making the thing more coherent and intelligible than the actual meetings were. A daunting but manageable task given the frequent inane and often absurd “angles” that the ever not so intellectually bright teacher spewed forth. I would, as many others would as well, often read those journals and wonder if Linda had even been at the same meetings as the rest of us, although I knew she was because I occasionally drove her to them.


These journals were then sent to the various centers to the anxiously awaiting flocks of grateful students. They were not expensive, $10 an issue I think, and even though the material between the covers was, well, almost useless drivel, they at least had pretty artwork on the cover and lovely quotes or poetry on the back.


So spending a fair amount of time hauling Linda around, she came to openly speak to me about her latest theories about Robert. She told me on one occasion that she had told Robert that he was the second coming of Christ. She had all of the appropriate biblical quotes to support her theory and had manufactured what was to her a plausible comparison between Christ and Robert. Oh puleeeze Linda give me a break. To his credit Robert, at that time, rebuffed her claims as nonsense. This of course did not deter Linda from pursuing this line of study. If nothing else, Linda was persistent. In due time the biblical quotes started to become more frequent at meetings and Robert seemed to take to the idea.


Sometime much later, after I had left the fof, there was an article in the Los Angeles times around the Troy incident where Robert was queried as to whether he was the second coming and he replied, “Thou sayest”. The transition was complete. I wonder if he would have come to this on his own without the research and prodding of Linda.


On a related note, following the death of Meher Baba, Robert said that the torch of consciousness was being passed to him. I never have figured out how that one worked.


Best to You All



Skeptical Optimist on August 14, 2007 at 9:02 pm 


#344 Dick (I’m not a) Moron


I remember the “crystallization party” pretty well. I was living at the “farm”. Burton had gone to Arizona so he could “crystallize” at the Arizona Biltmore (tells you a lot right there). Didn’t happen there, so he came back. The photo doesn’t do justice to the lovely decorations students slaved over, and the rose-covered bowers were beautiful.


I mentioned to Burton that he was the only one who knew what we were celebrating. I don’t remember his exact reply, but it was something along the lines that we wouldn’t even know if he was making it up. How true.


Burton had often mentioned that he thought after his “crystallization” he would no longer have any “I”s to deal with. He was, of course, disappointed in this, since the arising of thoughts is well out of conscious control. It was another in a long list of oddities and dissonances that I learned to ignore over the years, to my own detriment.


Truly, there was no subject like these in which Burton showed any particular “inside” knowledge or discernment and, of course, he was always woefully ignorant of other traditions and their teachings on the subject of “consciousness” etc. After all, he had everything he needed for what it was that he really wanted to attain, didn’t he?





a former student on August 15, 2007 at 2:30 am


on 14 Aug 2007 at 9:02 pm 346 Skeptical Optimist


#344 Dick (I’m not a) Moron

‘I remember the “crystallization party” pretty well. I was living at the “farm”. Burton had gone to Arizona so he could “crystallize” at the Arizona Biltmore (tells you a lot right there).’


I was in Phoenix with Robert at the Arizona Biltmore the evening he was to crystalize. I spent the bulk of the day with him. I met him at the Airport with Mildred Smith and Vincent Bell, the center directors. We spent the day at the Biltmore and in Scottsdale. I think he had been attracted by the opportunity to buy a very large set of Meissen in the Red Dragon pattern at a good price. After a long day I was with him and other students in the evening, and I can recall having a drink in the lounge after dinner of Johnny Walker black label scotch, something rare for me, and accompanying him to his cottage where he proceeded to talk me into letting him have oral sex. He used the “externally consider your teacher” line and negotiated a deal or bribe by offering to transfer me from Phoenix to another center.


I travelled to Renaissance with Mildred Smith and other Phoenix students for the crystallization party. I had mixed feelings about seeing Robert after my experience at the Biltmore. Even today the evening at the Biltmore is a very blurry memory. It is oddly disjointed as I can recall things like what shoes and socks I had on, Burgundy Guccis with Cashmere socks, both gifts from Robert, my suit, a Cream Colored Italian silk I got for myself and a floral silk tie I still have. I can remember the decorations on the furniture and carpets of his room, all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but only the vaguest dark image of Robert having oral sex. The image in my head is always like a dark angel or demon.


I seriously have questioned whether this was not a moment of choice for Robert, in that instead of crystallizing he chose to indulge himself and continue his lying sexual behavior. This experience stunned me. It was an ultimate betrayal. I did not speak to anyone about it until I disclosed it to my psychiatrist last week. I had buried the memory.


It took several years before I left the Fellowship. This shows the deep conflict between what I hoped was true, imagined was true and had to accept as a reality. A certain fog was lifted and I was able to begin to see that Robert was as mechanical as he appeared. Self indulgent, selfish, dominating and given to micro management which was often grossly incompetent, that was justified as being for “our evolution”. This was part of the developing myth of needing to accept the teacher’s will to free us from the law of accident.


The other evening I was musing after reading a post from Ames and a thought came that Robert was taken over by a demon. In Milton’s Paradise Lost it is the “fallen Angels” who resist the will of God that become the demons. Another idea is that a “demon” refers to the “lower self” or “King of Clubs”. So the thought is, what if Robert did “awaken” and experience the “truth” that we as creations are “the angels” and what we need remember is that we partake of the divine nature.


What if this is a test on the “way”. One of the conditions that all must meet to become man #5. Perhaps the si-do interval. The nature of which is to see without buffering the different contradictory sides of one’s being. This is not about higher states but of being honest with oneself. You cannot become one and continue to lie to [your]self about contradictions.


This seems to be what Robert did. He lied about his sexuality. He developed a criminal inner circle of those who knew and perpetuated his lies. He, as Elena has stated, became two.


I have heard some demons referred to as “eater of souls”.


This very clearly describes what Robert has become. His “school” attracts magnetic centers and cultivates them for his food. Instead of nurturing and feeding his spiritual children, he is feeding off of their finer energies. He is a spiritual vampire.


This also explains why many who have left seem to have lost their desire to awaken. It also explains the apparent contradiction between the experience of higher states and apparent results and the existence of a criminal center to the “school”. It is necessary for “the school” to cultivate higher energies and essence in order for Robert to feed upon it.



Synonyms & Antonyms for duplicitous




bent [chiefly British], crooked, deceptive, dishonest, double-dealing, fast, fraudulent, guileful, rogue, shady, sharp, shifty, underhanded


given to or marked by cheating and deception



Words related to duplicitous


unconscionable, unethical, unprincipled, unscrupulous, deceitful, deceiving, deluding, delusive, delusory, false, artful, beguiling, cagey (also cagy), crafty, cunning, foxy, slick, sly, subtle, wily, defrauding, devious, furtive, slippery, sneaky, tricky, insidious, perfidious, treacherous



Near antonyms of duplicitous


conscientious, decent, ethical, honorable, just, scrupulous, upright, forthright, straightforward





aboveboard, honest, straight



The idea of doubleness is at the core of duplicity. Duplicity comes from a Latin word meaning “double” or “twofold,” and its original meaning in English has to do with a kind of deception in which you intentionally hide your true feelings or intentions behind false words or actions. If you are being duplicitous there are two yous: the one you’re showing and the one you’re hiding. And—key to the idea of duplicity—you’re hiding that you in order to make people believe something that’s not true.


The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
— Proverbs 11:3 (New International Version)





The Roots of Evil Exposed (excerpts)




Vampiristic types are not merely suckers of energy. They are dumpers. Spending time in their presence will eventually make you tired, confused, emotionally flooded and unwell. However, even if you remove yourself from their toxic presence, you may find it hard to heal. This is because the poisonous energy they’ve dumped into your field is not cleared quickly. It can take years to decord and return to a hygienic state. Moreover, going to certain healers may be counterproductive. Many New Age “healers” can be vampiristic in their own way.


Vamps believe themselves to be entitled. They think they deserve not only physical possessions, but the time, care and servitude of others. They are arch-pragmatists who do not care for you as a person. On the contrary, they care for you as a resource and means to the ends of pleasure and security. In the beginning, and during the early stages of your relationship, they will say anything they think you want to hear. To win your interest and trust – to “cord” you – they come across as exceptionally attentive yet strangely elusive. Initially they attempt to “walk in rhythm” with you so that, like a cunning predator, they get to know your “scent” and “pace” – your personality type – as much as they are able. They expertly give the impression that you mean something to them. . .


Vamps often make an appearance in your life when you’re not doing well emotionally or financially. They appear as welcome confederates when we find ourselves especially vulnerable and likely to be overly appreciative for slight acts of kindness. When we feel broken, alone and desperate, we tend to place helpful people on pedestals above us. This is attractive to vampiristic types who love to be adored for something they’re not. They adore bathing and shining in other people’s light.


Remember that real people experience and display real emotions, including those emotions which society pretends to condemn . . .  Long term observation of a vamp reveals a conspicuous absence of deep emotion . . .  Most vamps are incapable of fighting for causes and being angry and passionate about injustice and tyranny. This is because they are extremely shallow and don’t have access to the deeper layers of lifeforce needed for persistent resistance and hard graft. The emotional tank is, so to speak, almost empty.  Consequently, you will see that they live in a bubble and never act with passion. Don’t assume this facade of tranquility and saintliness to be a good sign. Real people have real scars and bullet holes.


The vamp’s guise of grace and lightness also exists because they don’t care about the suffering that infests the world. This is because they are emotionally dissociated episodics. . . Recoiling from scenes of suffering and horror, casually conversing and intellectualizing about it, or showing no concern whatsoever are red flags.


What is more, a vamp is often in denial about their true nature and not necessarily conscious of inner conflict and hurt. Nevertheless, when consciously aware of their “wounds,” vamps convince themselves that they alone have suffered. Consequently they feel justified if and when they seduce, manipulate, con, deprive or otherwise hurt their victims. Like most psychopaths, the average vamp never grieves for the considerable suffering they inflict. . . As far as they are concerned, past hurt exonerates them of blame and even entitles them to act in a ruthless, self-serving manner.


Sadly, since good people are often compulsive fixers and healers, self-wounded vamps have no problem victimizing them. In the end, after being well and truly drained and poisoned, idealistic fixers realize that they have made no progress whatsoever.  The vamp has merely upgraded their arsenal and become more experienced in deception. They vacate the wreckage of their making, and move on to the next gullible victim.


Vamps falsely imagine that everyone’s attitude toward and outlook on existence is similar to theirs. They certainly do not believe that people intentionally act morally. Instead they prefer to believe that everyone around them is fake and hypocritical. It’s convenient for them to believe that most people are just as shallow and narcissistic as they are themselves. They adopt this attitude so they never need to accept blame. What is more, their detached icy stance allows them to expertly point out moral foibles in other people. We frequently mistake this ability as a sign that a vamp is insightful and super-moral. This is what the vamp intends us to think. Later we realize how misguided we were.


Vamps are incapable of accepting blame or taking responsibility. It does not matter if the incident or infraction in question is small or large.  Moral people accept blame and experience remorse, whereas immoral people continually and irrationally blame others for their own mistakes and misdemeanors, and never feel guilty. Learn to test for this foible. To progress in life is to be able to admit fault and learn from mistakes. The vamp does neither.


Their lack of conscience and general irresponsibility means that vamps are lackadaisical and inept when it comes to performing simple chores and duties. They may even be inclined to shun domestic and professional obligations. Commonly, they seek praise without earning it, and tend to rely on others . . . When money comes their way, they spend it frivolously and without stint. Being narcissistic and hedonistic, they are incapable of delaying gratification. Surface image is of paramount importance to them. It is their stock in trade. . .





Bistro Fundraiser on September 25, 2007 at 5:39 pm


By the way, even the term “non-student” falls short of the mark for me (even though I used it above), but I’ll leave it at that for now.


On another topic, sort of, I copied Traveler’s post below from two days ago. It’s remarkable that we (current members and former members of the fof) think we are different or unique. Traveler comments on the topic below.


400 Traveler
We are not unique. Thought I’d drop by to post this: a closure to another blog that ran for 3 years before it exhausted itself:




Quote from April 2007 (just as the Fellowship blog was starting to take off):


I hope it will not be regarded as overly dramatic if I say that I look back over what has occurred on this blog with awe, gratitude and humility. This blog’s truly collaborative, interactive and collective nature makes it, perhaps, unique in the blogosphere, on the Internet, and, perhaps beyond. I haven’t seen anything really parallel. I believe that, beyond the collaborative nature of the editorial work here, the collective intelligence, truthfulness and vulnerability of the contributions, responses, arguments and discussions have made this effort at healing and truth-telling unprecedented. I don’t think that so many have spoken out before with such rawness and honesty in an attempt to warn the unwary, comfort the injured and understand humbly how something they believed in so totally could go so wrong. For this effort and honesty, on behalf of all of the editors of this blog, I bow to everyone who has participated here, whether anonymously or named, and whether former student, interested observer or friend.


Off traveling,


Best to all…



‘I see’ said the blind man on September 25, 2007 at 8:36 pm

465. Still Trying


This cuts to the heart of the matter for me. Thanks for the topic.


You write about the term ‘life people’:


“The term discriminates between two kinds of people based on what they hold most dear in their ‘heart of hearts’ – those that pursue C influence and those that pursue A influence.”


I would suggest the split is more like this:


Those that have subscribed to a world view in which the lives of the current members of the organization are the justification for the hopeless existence of the remaining 99.999% of the earth’s population and – the 99.999%.


The whole concept of A, B and C influence is deeply flawed. Robert Burton has ridden the idea of C influence into the ground with his corruption on the back of our gullibility.


Amazing that the magician can be discovered as a fraud and yet the audience still believe his tricks were magic. This is a strange human phenomenon, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary, we cannot just disengage from the lies – we are too heavily invested. Same happens with the break up of a marriage or disenchantment with a political system where one previously trusted and attended rallies.


What is our ‘heart of hearts’? Sounds like mumbo jumbo to me. You are ascribing an irrefutable value to something on no other basis than your most desperate desire to believe.


How do you know that your sentimental projection is not what you term ‘A’ influence, it has all the trappings of it. You qualify this ‘higher power’ objectively like any of the millions of morons who believe Vishnu, Mary, Satan, Buddah, Zionism or economic and military power are the ‘higher power’.


The biggest challenge is not to physically leave the school, but to get the lies out of your system, wherever you go. C influence as presented by Robert Burton is clearly a lie.


I remember watching him walk around in the garden on his own for a while after a dinner several years ago. He later announced that the oldest conscious being in the universe had visited him and had given him the message ‘gratitude, gratitude, gratitude’. If he had experienced this most profound of visitations on that night, it did not seem to affect him much as I saw him when he came in from the garden too. At the time it struck me as very odd, but I was too accommodating and considered my own insights as dubious unless they supported the form of the school.


Robert Burton has branded higher forces – absolutely brilliant. Not just a charlatan, but a highly accomplished manipulator who does not hold anything sacred, except our aim to awaken. He has carte blanche to use any and all means and we have nothing to counter this supra-dominance with, as the ‘aim to awaken’ trumps any of our reservations. This is how men gain power over others, by employing a higher ideal that they serve unreservedly. This makes it acceptable when much is asked of you, who follow them and your morality, intelligence, logic, humanity, conscience etc become obstacles to your purpose and must be dispensed with. This is a major ingredient in galvanizing your supporters. Just look at what George Bush has done, it is similar. Other ingredients are things like fear, greed, loyalty, service and, of course, ignorance, stupidity and weakness amongst the followers who are drawn into the maelstrom of deceit.


We really are luckier than others aren’t we. We who have left the school – it is not that influence C has released us – it is that this is all part of the perfection of the play. We are getting what we need. If things weren’t the way they are they would have to be made to be like this. So hey ho for influence C. Let us toast to our great good fortune.


I would fight to the death to avoid regressing into those weak-minded, shallow, petty, conceited, soul-less and just plain stupid attitudes.


Do not be afraid of superstition and blaspheming against a lie. Take C influence and stuff it back up Burton’s ass where it came from.



Real Reborn Turbot on September 26, 2007 at 1:48 am

‘Robert Earl Burton is a false prophet.’


If anyone can cast reasonable doubt on this statement – I swear to pay them the sum of $1,000.00




en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic authority



More history needed? on September 27, 2007 at 6:50 pm


My sexual experiences with Robert Burton started after one of the dinners at the Academy. I was 19 years old at that time and I had been at Renaissance for about a month. I had been to a dinner before but this time things went different than what I expected. After the dinner Robert asked me to stay a minute. When everybody had left he invited me into his “office”. He seated himself on the couch and invited me to come sit next to him. After a little bit of small talk, he suddenly unzipped my pants and started to give me a blowjob. I was stunned, paralyzed and perplexed of what was happening. I had not even the slightest clue this was going to happen, and there was no time to say no.


When I came to my senses, I said that I had to go to the bathroom (which was true). In the bathroom next to his office I was alone for a moment and this gave me a little time to recover from the shock and think things over. I really did not know what to think of it. This wasn’t something that I would have pursued on my own. But I felt that I couldn’t possibly reject the person that was my teacher, and the fact that Robert said that it was for my own good added even more weight to this. After a few minutes I went back, feeling ashamed that I was having sex with a man.


After I returned he took me to his bedroom where he continued to give me a blowjob. Physically it was somewhat stimulating but emotionally it was repulsing. Robert had noticed this because I had trouble keeping an erection. He said that I could “come between his legs if I wanted to” but that idea sounded totally disgusting to me and I didn’t respond to that.


I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible but I still felt I could not say no to Robert. In the end I managed to climax by fantasizing about having sex with women instead. Afterwards we were lying on his bed when the lights went on and off erratically. Robert said that C-Influence did that, and that C-Influence wanted us to be intimate.


Robert led me out of the front door. I was so happy that I did not have to pass through the kitchen, and that I saw no other people. Ashamed I disappeared in the night. Strange as it may sound, all of this hadn’t undermined my trust in Robert. I just didn’t know how to handle the situation and my own feelings.


About a week later we were working in the vineyard when Robert’s metallic 4wheel drive drove up to our spot and stopped. We were in the harvesting time and we were just having a break from the hard work and hot weather. Rosemary Rexford came walking up to me joking “Somebody must like you very much because you’re going out swimming.” We went swimming in a river not far from Renaissance. There were about 10 young men my age and a few older men that usually accompanied Robert wherever he went (like his secretary and the 2 men living at the Academy). Everybody was swimming naked, which somehow felt strange considering the strict swimsuit dress code in the Fellowship of friends. It was only much later that I understood that Robert took his Harem out for a swim.


A few days later I was at the lodge. It was quite late and most people had gone home. I was called to the phone because Robert wanted to speak with me. Robert asked me to come to him. I said that I’d like to be around him, but that I did not want to have sex with him again. Apparently that was the deal and I told him I was not coming.


Shortly after, I was invited for a dinner. It happened to be a small dinner in Robert’s wine cellar at the Academy. There where 2 small tables. I sat with Robert on the one table. Robert’s secretary sat with another man on the other table. I could not see them because I was sitting with my back to them. Robert was Clearly “not amused” about our phone conversation. Seeing him trying to hide his irritation I asked him, “Is that a ‘conscious’ negative emotion?” He said, “Yes …” In all my naivety I believed him. After dinner I thanked Robert for the nice dinner. I persisted that I did not want to have sex with him and I went home.


From that moment on, a lot of things changed for me. When it became clear to Robert that I wasn’t going to have sex with him again, a lot of doors slammed shut. No more attention or kind words from Robert. No more dinners. No more presents. No more teaching. No more unconditional love. Even when I stopped his car he totally ignored me. (As a side note: his male companions in the car gave me their feminine-dominance-raised-eyebrows-look that made my confusion even bigger.) I felt very alone during that time and didn’t (dare to) speak with anybody about it. He did call me once a few weeks later [to know] if I would reconsider having sex with him, but I had already made up my mind that I would not do anything like that ever again.


I went on to stay at Renaissance for the remainder of my 1 year visa. After I returned to my home country I remained in the Fellowship of friends for another 3 years. At the end of my membership I stayed in the Fellowship of friends because of all the sincere people at the Centre, who have been really helpful to me in many ways. However, there came a point that I saw that students were becoming more and more identified with the form, and I could no longer bear the feeling that I was still supporting Robert by staying there. At one point I tried to talk to our Centre Director about my experiences with Robert. She replied: “Sometimes one has to transform the teacher’s weaknesses.”


It took me a long time to sort this thing out by myself. This hadn’t been a relationship of equals. Instead Robert abused his authority and my naivety to force me into having sex with him. If he had asked me first, telling me that it was for his own personal pleasure and that there was no obligation to have sex with him, then I would certainly have said no. Instead he jumped on me when I had all my personality defenses down. He used my naivety by telling me that having sex with him was for my own good and that it was with the consent of C Influence. He used everything he could find to get me into his bed: dinners, gifts, attention. And when that did not work, he took all that away and used that to force me into having sex with him again. And most of all, he made me do something I felt disgusted about.


I am very sure Robert has no conscience, and therefore cannot be conscious either. I made the mistake in believing that “the lower cannot see the higher”. But in reality it is more like “The lower cannot see anything – not above and not below”. I do believe he is another kind of very special person. Ouspensky writes about this kind: “A hasnamuss is someone who is a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. […] he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions.”



Bruce on September 27, 2007 at 7:23 pm


584 More history needed?


Thank you for that. Many of us shared almost identical experiences, so I know how hard it is to share it with people who cannot and will not ever really understand what it’s like. It was a noble and brave gesture on your part, and will help with the healing.


Those who do not believe that this happens all the time, or those who think one can “just say no” readily, can go [bleep] themselves.


Again, thank you.



‘ton on September 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm


584 More History Needed?
I add my voice to the chorus of thanks for your story.


I’m not easily shocked – I was after-all, one of “conscious bob’s boy-toys” many moons ago… but I was indeed disturbed when reading your story.


I left the fof in ’83 and I’ve spent years in therapy. When I left, I found myself “alone against the world,” without support, and after my rescue from the streets, therapy was a means of surviving and understanding something about that episode in my biography. I can say now, many years removed, that time does change one’s perspective. You are lucky for the support of friends here, something I didn’t have. I’ve “verified” the blog can have a therapeutic effect… “all things in moderation.”


My years in therapy eventually led me to work in the therapeutic field, interesting work… I suppose I have the fof experience to thank for that. Also interesting to note that the word “therapist” can be broken into two words — “the rapist.” I bring this up because it is a reminder to me of the potential for abuse and the necessity for scrupulous observance of the trust and boundaries involved in the therapeutic relationship… The soul of a “client” is touched by the therapist. Without said observance, a therapist can become a rapist on many levels.


Likewise in teaching, there exists a maxim or principle / principal which goes-without-saying, that is to say, there’s an understanding of the potential for abuse because the relationship is based upon a certain power a teacher has over students… That power is in part based upon a student’s trust, it is a type of surrender on the part of the student, a teacher touches this bared-soul. Chronological age is a non-factor in the relationship, it matters not if the student is 10 or 21 years of age… Trust by the student and responsible care for that trust on the part of a teacher, defines the relationship.


Without an impeccable respect of boundaries, a teacher does damage to the student… In this regard, need more be said in the case of the rapist RB… The evidence of damage is clear. (I lived with Brian Sisler for a brief time at the academy and considered him a friend. Because I trusted “the teacher,” my unborn offspring was scraped from the womb of my wife). “Lines” were, and are crossed by “the teacher” — as we used to refer to this “thing” who still occupies the time and energy of too many good and self-sacrificing people here… these “spiritual warriors.”


The issue of age (I was 21– going on 12), consent and responsibility for my actions is something I’ve wrestled with for a long time. I know this is a topic of some discussion here, most recently with “vinnie the fish.” I’ll “cop” to it without going into garish detail; I did make a “conscious choice” to get as close as I could to “the source,” “the teacher,” “the horse’s mouth” ( the horse’s arse – hey Malcom, grace us with a limerick again, sometime). I did let the man suck my cock; I didn’t have the sense to recognize the situation in order to avoid it in the first place. I am culpable because on my part it was a selfish act; I thought it would accelerate my evolution to be closer to the supposed fount of “C-influence.” As a result of my action in this case, my wife and child suffered physical damage and even death because I was only thinking of my own “evolution.”


I owe my ex-wife, my dead child, my own “greater-self” and “The Universe,” apologies for that selfish act and I know there’s hell to pay… I’ve lived it. In my own defense I’ve rationalized and chalked-it-up to naivete, the situation dictated choices that I made or at least limited the choices I could make… I was young and didn’t have the good sense to realize what the situation was in order to avoid it… “You live and learn” as Granny used to say, how true… That may be an acceptable excuse on one level…


On-the-other-hand, during the sex act, I did realize I was acting against my own “natural inclinations” but I did it because I thought it would lead to something more profound than a blowjob. My compliance in this case meant not being “true to myself,” that’s another one of the sins I live with. I can’t change the past, I can change the way I look at it though, and I would like to think that involvement here might in some small way contribute to changing this particular abuse of power. Some measure of retribution would be satisfied (for me) if the abuse of power were to cease.


Ignoring the problem (as I have for many years) apparently doesn’t make it go away. For what it’s worth, to the gods of the blogosphere if no one else, I offer up apologies for my ignorance in this… and many thanks to those who have made it part of their purpose here to expose “the terror of the situation” to the light-of-day.


(For what it’s worth) part of my process involves “spending time” reconnecting with great-nature… Continual regeneration of this being called “Earth,” is represented by the seasons… It is early autumn here, the air is clear and cool with sunlight as the leaves begin to turn from green to gold and red…



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.



Elena on October 1, 2007 at 4:30 pm (excerpt)

Thank you Old FoF for your clarification. I think for the past seventeen years that I was in the Fellowship, the multiple absurdities walked around in day light for anyone willing to look at them. One of the problems is that we all wanted to be in a conscious school working for something better than life so badly, that we willingly overlooked the absurdities, humiliations, rapes, until a violent enough shock was able to focus on the reality of the general decadence better than one’s own inflated desire.


I personally did not believe my own reality check for such a long time and thought that at least these people were trying to work for something worthy. It was when it became shockingly clear that they weren’t willing to work for anything but Robert’s lust, that the whole thing took the dimensions it has taken.



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,



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,



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.”




“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.



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.





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.’





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


Updated on February 1, 2019


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.





56. Rear View Mirror July 29, 2008




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.



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.)



Conscience: A Search for the Truth
By P. D. Ouspensky


From part 1 of chapter 5


Notes on Decision to Work  137
Notes on Work on Oneself  140



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.


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.





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.



154. lauralupa August 8, 2008


As an experiment I have applied a bit of Maybe Logic to some of RB’s “teaching” statements. It’s remarkable what difference a word makes. Maybe.


Jan 12, 2003_I feel our good fortune quite deeply this morning. Maybe we are at the dawn of another year of working with the Gods. Maybe we have been chosen out of six billion people to consciously evolve.


Jan 26, 2003:_I do not think; maybe I am present. Therefore maybe I am —a conscious being.


Feb 02, 2003_I find it unique that maybe I am the first man in history who asked for “Presence Please” from his students.


April 6, 2003_Maybe it is within my power to make my students immortal, and maybe it cannot be achieved in any way other than that which the Gods dictate. Maybe immortality is yours,—maybe you just have to accept their methods. Maybe you cannot expect to have a normal life with Gods in your life, because it may be already abnormal to have Gods in one’s life.


Nov 2, 2003_Curiously, maybe we are the only people on the Earth attempting to stay out of imagination.


Nov 23, 2003_I cannot think of anything more important that I will do with my eternal life than maybe helping my students escape. Although maybe I have all eternity before me, maybe the work I am doing now is the most important I will ever do.


June 13, 2004_We have a new religion: self-remembering and maybe working with the forty-four Gods. It may be the highest religion ever given to man.


June 13, 2004_As your teacher, maybe I can see Influence C’s plans. Maybe I can see the part in you that counts.


August 7, 2005_It is incredible to see that maybe Gurdjieff and Ouspensky missed, while maybe we have gotten it right.



One question to DC and other current members: what difference do you think it would make to you if Robert spoke in terms of possibilities instead of certainties?



A Former Believer Takes On The Leader


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



230. ton May 17, 2009


“When abuses are publicly exposed, the leader either denies or justifies the behaviors by saying that ‘enemies of the truth’ or ‘the forces of evil’ are trying to subvert his true message. Core members of the group have a huge vested interest in believing him, as their identity is wrapped up in believing in his righteousness. Those who begin to doubt him at first become confused and depressed, and later feel betrayed and angry. The ways people deny and justify are similar: Since supposedly no one who is not enlightened can truly understand the motives of one who is, any criticism can be discounted as a limited perspective. Also, any behavior on the part of the guru, no matter how base, can be imputed to be some secret teaching or message that needs deciphering.


By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations, their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. Some deeper, occult reason can always be ascribed to anything a guru does: The guru is said to take on the karma of others, and that is why his body has whatever problems it has. The guru is obese or unhealthy because he is too kind to turn down offerings: besides, he gives so much that a little excess is understandable. He punishes those who disobey him not out of anger but out of necessity, as a good father would. He uses sex to teach about energy and detachment. He lives an opulent life to break people’s simplistic preconceptions of what ego-loss should look like; it also shows how detached and unconcerned he is about what others think. For after all, ‘Once enlightened, one can do anything.’ Believing this dictum makes any action justifiable.


People justify and rationalize in gurus what in others would be considered unacceptable because they have a huge emotional investment in believing their guru is both pure and right.”
(Guru Papers, p. 52)



39. BryanJune 28, 2011


Renald (36), quoting from Cali:


“After all, those folks at the sweat lodge were there voluntarily. Some have characterized them as followers of Ray’s. Nonetheless they chose to be there. He did not force them…From the soul perspective, from our perspective, there is no blame or guilt. There is only responsibility — the responsibility of each of you for yourself.”


Cali might want to keep in mind that cult leaders rely on their followers to adopt the above described attitude.


If anyone states a concern about the cult leader or about the cult, they are generally admonished to “look inside themselves” and to “stop playing the victim” and to focus on their inner worlds, while paying less attention to the external realities that could victimize them. If they see something wrong, it must be that they’re “creating their own experience.” No one is really hurting them. They are only hurting themselves. If they would just change their attitude, it would change their experience within the cult to something positive.


But when a person perceives and acknowledges the destructive and criminal behavior within a cult, this is a healthy first step toward NOT playing the victim, and toward taking responsibility for themselves.


Ironically, cult leaders want them to believe just the opposite. They want to discourage the expression of complaints or dissent. Followers often remain psychologically trapped in cults because they are afraid to criticize anything outside of themselves. Cult leaders are very good at directing people inward, and redirecting them from anything external. They discourage activity — encourage passivity. But the impulse to question authority and articulate complaints is the only way out of the mental trap (and often this occurs only after leaving the cult).


When Cali writes that “We are not being callous and hard-hearted here,” they actually are. This tendency to downplay the suffering of others and the external causes of that suffering – suggesting it was something they brought on themselves without acknowledging the actions of the perpetrators – just sounds like the typical erosion of conscience that all of us could see occurring within the FOF. It sounds more like a mechanism to avoid facing uncomfortable truths about the world, and remain blissfully ignorant about another person’s suffering and the causes of it.


— If we are sincerely concerned about another person gaining the maturity to take responsibility for themselves, and if we sincerely want to help them to avoid “playing the victim,” then turning a blind eye to the external realities — such as a sociopathic cult leader — is not going to serve them. You can turn inward and look for solutions inside, but if you don’t acknowledge the effects of the outside world, you will never be able to “look inward” quite enough.


Cults thrive on the passivity of their followers.



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


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




124. nigelSeptember 26, 2011


…..just clicked on Blue Logic site. and found this:


The Art of Presence: Perspectives from a Fourth Way School Girard Haven (July 2010). A collection of six essays, whose opening paragraph reveals the extraordinary power of metaphor. “In order for a key to be of any value,” Mr. Haven reminds us, “one has to know what lock it fits and how to use it to open that lock. One then has to open the door, and finally, one has to pass through the door to reach what was inaccessible before.” 130 pages later the essays reach their coda: “The advantage of the sequence is that mechanical responses only have to be controlled for thirty seconds at a time; the advantage of passing through death on the larger scale to a state of presence … is that one need not seek the rather special circumstances of the sequence to experience the state. But our biggest advantage is that by working simultaneously on both scales, each will grow much more rapidly. At death, the scales will merge, and ‘now’ will become ‘forever’ a remarkable vision of consciousness transcending functions worthy of quiet reflection.” 156 pages illustrated, and in full color. A Glossary of such terms as sequence and functions included.





121. The FOFionSeptember 26, 2011


Haven kicked out of the school after criticizing new policy to allow criticism of the school


OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Sources have confirmed that Girard Haven was kicked out of the school Sunday after criticizing Robert Burton for implementing a new policy that allows criticism of the school.


Haven was summarily tossed when he criticized Robert Burton’s new Criticize Openly Policy (COP).


“Not a good idea,” Haven said. “Open criticism will open up a can of worms. I strongly advise against this.”


Within minutes, Haven was shown the door.


“This was indicated to me by Influence C,” Burton said. “COP is such a lovely acronym for this new direction of the school, is it not? COP gives my beloved students the authority to protect themselves from criminal behavior, and from any damaging or unhealthy experiences they may experience in the school. Fortunately, there will be no need to enforce this new policy, as I have the best interests of my students at heart.”


Editor’s note: The FOFion apologies to readers who are now experiencing a wave of nausea. We don’t create the news — we just report it.



127. I’ll Never TellSeptember 26, 2011


@121. The FOFion:


Very funny.


Here is part of a Sufi story:


A certain man caught a bird in a trap.
The bird says, “Sir, you have eaten many cows and sheep
in your lifetime, and you’re still hungry.
The little bit of meat on my bones won’t satisfy you either.
If you let me go, I’ll give you three pieces of wisdom.
One I’ll say standing on your hand. One on your roof.
And one I’ll speak from the limb of that tree.”


The man was interested.
He freed the bird and let it stand on his hand.
“Number One:
Do not believe an absurdity,
no matter who says it.”


The bird flew and lit on the man’s roof.
“Number Two:
Do not grieve over what is past. It’s over.
Never regret what has happened.”


“By the way,” the bird continued,
“in my body there’s a huge pearl
weighing as much as ten copper coins.
It was meant to be the inheritance of you

and your children, but now you’ve lost it.
You could have owned the largest pearl in existence,
but evidently it was not meant to be.”


The man started wailing like a woman in childbirth.
The bird: “Didn’t I just say, ‘Don’t grieve
for what’s in the past’? And also, ‘Don’t believe
an absurdity, no matter who says it’?
My entire body doesn’t weigh as much as ten copper coins.
How could I have a pearl that heavy inside me?”


The man came to his senses.
“All right. Tell me Number Three.”


“Yes. You’ve made such good use of the first two!
Don’t give advice to someone who’s groggy and falling asleep.
Don’t throw seeds on the sand.
Some torn places cannot be patched.”


Do not believe an absurdity,
no matter who says it.


* * * * * *


124. nigel:
The Art of Presence: Perspectives from a Fourth Way School Girard Haven:
“In order for a key to be of any value,” Mr. Haven reminds us, “One has to know what lock it fits and how to use it to open that lock. One then has to open the door, and finally, one has pass through the door to reach what was inaccessible before.”


Here is part of a Houdini story:


‘Looking to capitalize on Houdini’s immense popularity and fame, a London bank challenged him to break out of their vault with its new, state-of-the-art locking system. They were CERTAIN that even the great Houdini would finally meet his match.


Houdini accepted, and on the appointed date, the press turned out in droves to see if the master could get out in the three and a half minutes allotted.


This time he got to keep his clothes on. But he had another trick up his sleeve!


His contracts always specified that before he disappeared into the trunk or cell or behind a small curtain (when performing on a stage), he could kiss his wife. After all, many of his feats were seriously dangerous, so who could refuse the couple what might turn out to be their last goodbye?


But what no one knew was that he was getting more than a kiss! As their lips met, his wife would secretly pass a small piece of wire from her mouth to his. Then, once he was alone or hidden behind the curtain, he’d use the wire to pick the locks.


This time out, though, the wire didn’t seem to be doing the trick. Here’s what Houdini wrote about that experience …


“After one solid minute, I didn’t hear any of the familiar clicking sounds. I thought, my gosh, this could ruin my career, I’m at the pinnacle of fame, and the press is all here.


“After two minutes, I was beginning to sweat profusely because I was not getting this lock picked.


“After three minutes of failure, with thirty seconds left, I inadvertently reached into my pocket to get a handkerchief and dry my hands and forehead, and when I did, I leaned against the vault door and it creaked open.”


And there you have it, my friend. The door was never locked! But because Harry BELIEVED it to be locked, it might as well have been. Only the “accident” of leaning on the door changed that belief and saved his career.


It’s the same way with all of us. The things we believe to be insurpassable barriers, obstacles, and problems are just like the bank vault door. The only lock is in our minds, and as long as we simply believe that we CAN’T, well, we can’t.’



The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.


You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.


People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.


The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.


~ Jalaluddin Rumi
13th century mystic poet



129. OllieSeptember 26, 2011

57. WhaleRider
58. We Were There
61. Arthur
62. Red Hat
66. nigel

WhaleRider wrote, “My guess is that the cult is currently preoccupied with the next doomsday prediction in 2012.”


Indeed, Robert Burton is, when there is some spare time and he is not detecting “the message” in yet another circle or square, a number six or four. I came across some recent material:


Robert Burton on 06/22/2011:


“We received wonderful information on our visit to Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, and had four very nice dinners with two students in Dallas, GC and CE. As we were leaving, I mentioned to them that I felt the end was quite near for humanity. Just then there was a flash of lighting in the sky, and that night a tornado appeared in the region. I have been in many earthquakes with Influence C, but this was my first tornado! Related to the ‘circling centuries’ [this refers to a few lines by Virgil: ‘Now the last age by Cumae’s Sibyl sung/Has come and gone, and the majestic roll/Of circling centuries begins anew’], a group in Oakland predicted that the earth would come to an end on May 21st – the day we were leaving Texas. As soon as we drove away and waved goodbye to the two students, within thirty meters we saw this license plate in front of us saying ‘ALL DUN.’ Unbeknownst to us, when we left G and C, it was six o’clock at Apollo – the time at which the prophecy claimed that the world would end. There is a video we made of L pushing a globe. We call it ‘turning the world.’ After the globe began turning, he stopped it, and it weighed five thousand pounds! Then he started turning it again, pushing it four times. What this means is that Leonardo will see us though the Last Judgment. I believe that the Last Judgment will be the work of the angel Paul. Then Leonardo will begin a new civilization here at Apollo, with the new seed people from around the world. Only when we walked away did S realize that it was six o’clock Apollo time.”


Robert Burton on 09/14/2011:


“We have been working with Influence C for forty-four years, and are still waiting for them to realize their plans. But we are much closer – everything is in place now for the Last Judgment. It is becoming much more probable.”


“Next month, on October 4th, there will 444 days to the Mayan prediction of the end the cycle on December 21, 2012. The messages I am receiving indicate that they will not enact the Last Judgment in 2012, but more likely in 2018. It is based upon several signals they have given. In fact, as I was speaking about this with Dorian today an email arrived and my iPad chimed just as I said ‘2018.’”



131. WhaleRiderSeptember 26, 2011

Priceless! Thank you so much for your invaluable report.

“as I was speaking about this with Dorian today an email arrived and my iPad chimed just as I said ’2018.’”

“As we were leaving, I mentioned to them that I felt the end was quite near for humanity. Just then there was a flash of lighting in the sky, and that night a tornado appeared in the region.”

“As soon as we drove away and waved goodbye to the two students, within thirty meters we saw this license plate in front of us saying ‘ALL DUN.’”

~Robert E. Burton


Ideas of reference and delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous phenomena in the world refer to them directly or have special personal significance: ‘the notion that everything one perceives in the world relates to one’s own destiny’.

In psychiatry, delusions of reference form part of the diagnostic criteria for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or bipolar disorder during the elevated stages of mania.”


YOU ARE BRILLIANT! Keep up the good work!

One laugh out of a follower would be enough to break their delusion and start them on the road to recovery.



134. Jomo PiñataSeptember 26, 2011


Let’s not forget Burton told us that Dixon Hill Road was named after Jeane Dixon. (Anybody out there remember her?)



135. OllieSeptember 26, 2011


Just got some more recent material. Apologies, it’s very long, but I thought it might be worthwhile…


Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:


“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 an ‘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.”)


“We are expecting to see several conscious beings produced here in our lifetime. This [referring to a photo] is my crystallization celebration at the Lincoln Lodge in 1976; it was quite sweet. … Influence C gave me the date of March 15, 1976 for my crystallization. I went to Phoenix and stayed at the Arizona Biltmore in the desert waiting for it to happen. The astral body was breathing, but the crystallization did not occur. So I returned to Apollo a few days later and my last thought before I went to sleep was ‘Well, it’s not going to happen tonight.’ That was about at 11 pm; then I woke up at 4 am and it was upon me. It was March 19th and world six immediately rose to handle it. I was facing Mount Apollo at the time with my back turned to California.”


“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 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. . .


From The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law







Look at the phenomenon of lying in its relationship to fools.

Fools lie to explain or conceal their foolishness. It is not a remedy, but they use it.

Liars, again, are fools because a lie may be found out, and gambling fools are not different from the ordinary kind.

The liar fools himself that he will not be found out, and the fool fools himself that his lie will cover his folly.

It is not easy to avoid being a fool. It is possible to realise that one has been one. The remedy is not lying.

Again, it is possible to realise that one has lied, and to avoid it. Foolishness and lying being so much of a continuum, being truthful can help towards being less foolish.

It is for this reason, because it is con­structively useful, that traditional teachings have stressed the need to tell the truth and be as truthful as possible. Truthfulness means being efficient, effective. Lying is an attempt to make efficiency into its opposite.

This is why all forms of self-deception are ‘lying’, and the person who foolishly cannot see the truth can approach it by practice in avoiding at least, for a start, some forms of lying.

Many durable ‘moralistic’ teachings are specific and effective exercises gone wrong.


~ Idries Shah, Reflections



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.


Dr. Robert D. Hare,

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us



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”



146. Just the Facts Ma’amSeptember 26, 2011


Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“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.”


That statement is so ridiculous, absurd and a lie as would make one cry. Burton pursued an higher education degree at San Jose State Teacher’s College to become employed as a fourth grade elementary school teacher prior to his date of claiming ‘meeting with Influence C.’ And, if there were anyone to look to see a classical example of ‘teacher feature’ (chief feature of having/wanting to teach people – that is, do fourth line of work – work ON other people), it would be Robert Earl Burton. But there is some truth there: teacher feature is a significant downfall of many a guru.



147. Tim CampionSeptember 26, 2011


135. Ollie


Truth is indeed stranger, and more entertaining, than fiction! Though he’s in large part addressing a new audience, the script is right out of the 70s. (Though I must admit it’s even more candid and detailed than anything I heard at the time. Perhaps we are approaching the final chapter, and he feels the need to tell his personal story, colorfully embellished as it may be, filling in the blanks.)


Returning to that “hallowed” September 5, 1967 date assures the maximum number of 44th anniversaries to be celebrated in the coming years (along with their attendant fundraising campaigns. Some clever marketing there.) And the newly-repackaged loving relationship with Alex Horn is “sweet”.


And those ALL DUN license plates have a habit of showing up at the wackiest times! (This is at least the third occasion that one’s been trotted out.)


But does it really matter that he makes this stuff up? Perhaps those around him are content to just watch and occasionally participate in the show, to humor the man in his twilight years, heedless of the personal cost and the fact they harbor a criminal.



149. Golden Veil September 27, 2011


“Wanting nothing with all your heart, stop the stream.” Buddha


The above quotation (laughing to myself) is one of the many inspirational quotations accompanying new photos of The Teacher and his devoted Students seen in the opulent surroundings of Apollo d’ Oro on the Living Presence website, photos that show an outrageous number of non-native transplanted palm trees, gilded statuary, dinners where Students are seated before rich table settings of Meissen porcelain dishes…


I suppose The Teacher has selected this quotation in reference to one’s inner stream of many “I”s, not in reference to the want of the material luxuries and riches that he is so fond of… or the infinite variety of male heterosexual partners that he so dearly wants and requires for his own personal satisfaction…


Ah, I see the photo of an old Friend, one not seen for many years, looking so happy, remembering himself, perhaps, in a way, but surely forgetting with great effort and intention all that he knows that would darken his shining gaze, if only he reflected more on the realities of this gilded farce…


“We must always remember that we are fighting for this most beautiful state of divine presence.” The Teacher (probably)





150. For the record September 27, 2011


“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo.”
– Robert Earl Burton


It’s possible that the survival of humanity will depend on protecting itself from people like yourself — psychopaths, and especially those who also own very large weapons.


Apollo can’t even watch over the welfare of it’s own small group of inhabitants, let alone take care of “humanity.” But still he extends his predictions of an “ark” to 2012, and now he’s saying 2018? And of course later it will be 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024…


A few weeks ago, someone wrote in to say everything is “business as usual.”


Well, based on these quotes, definitely Burton is “business as usual.” What is not so clear is whether or not the thinking of his followers is “business as usual,” especially after Goldman’s very bizarre death. Lots of damage control being attempted right now, spin doctoring, distractions, denial, and flat-out lying. I don’t think things are business as usual.



151. ShirleySeptember 27, 2011


135 Ollie


Thanks for that. The expression “poverty of the imagination” really applies to almost all of it. The content is limited and not especially interesting. I can picture the students sitting quietly and attentively, listening to the humble-toned pronouncements. Isn’t it great to be free of that?


Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Inscribed on one of the [bells] 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.”


Hey, I face a small museum complex, and those exact words face my window, chiseled on the stone wall! What a coincidence! Does that make me special, and graced by C Influence, and put me on the path to immortality? Seriously, though, it is deeply ironic to think that “truth” is approachable in a society that practices mind control. The sad thing is, is that when you’re in the grips of it, you don’t recognize it for what it is. It’s only when you’re free of it, looking back at what had happened to your mind and emotions, that you realize what a rigid, invisible prison it was.


Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“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.”


How does he, or any one, know who is going to survive the death of the body and become immortal? (And what’s the guarantee? That you join the FF and, ergo, your final stop is Paradise?) That is, at best, a palliative statement, meant to comfort “the masses.” A few weeks before my father died, he recounted a dream to me and my friend that made him anxious. We talked about it, and she said to him, “You know you’re going to die, and you don’t know what’s on the other side. No one has come back from the other side to tell us.” I was astonished at her forthrightness; no palliative words there! Death has a finality that is very unsettling. RB’s words deliver certainties where they do not exist.



Parataxic distortion is a psychiatric term first used by Harry S. Sullivan to describe the inclination to skew perceptions of others based on fantasy. The “distortion” is a faulty perception of others, based not on actual experience with the other individual, but on a projected fantasy personality attributed to the individual.


As a defense mechanism, parataxic distortion protects one from the emotional consequences of a past event. A person may not remember a certain event, or be acting on it consciously, but will act a certain way to protect themselves from an outcome with the use of parataxic distortion. This behavior is a pathological attempt to cope with reality by using unreality.





152. My2BitsSeptember 27, 2011


I recall once, in a more private setting, a brave student asked RB if ‘the sequence’ was a form of brainwashing. RB answered obtusely and off-the-cuff: Most people don’t have a brain to wash.


There were a few quiet chuckles as, of course, those present were not “most people”.


Ah, the irony.



153. WhaleRiderSeptember 27, 2011


Cult Leader Makes Startling New Claim


OUT HOUSE (CA)-Robert E. Burton, spiritual headmaster for Living Pretense School for Boys, has made a startling claim in his newest book of old quotes, “Conversations with Me, Myself and I”, that “never before could I detect the nature of the lower self” because he has been “living in too much comfort” and recently realized that “insecurity is a wordless higher state.”


“It is that devilish lower self that craves feelings of security, feelings that undoubtedly will satisfy it and create even worse feelings of peace and serenity,” said Burton in a bewilderingly long and convoluted book launching speech, marking the 444,444 day since he started talking to himself.


“We know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal, warm, and fuzzy figure is located,” he said, eyeing the bulging crotch of the boy standing next to him.


His speech was chock full of his own peculiar style of non sequiturs, ideas of reference, magical thinking, and trance logic.


“One of his best,” said one dazed and confused follower.


He began his speech with a newly revealed date for doomsday recently communicated to him by the angels hovering in his personal conscious iPad.


Apparently in order to provide his followers with even more blissfully wordless states of higher insecurity Burton stated that “instead of December 21, 2012” as predicted by “those unreliable Mayans” the date is now been pushed back until the year 2018.


Followers breathed wordless sighs of relief as Burton shattered their comfortable expectation that the insanity was soon going to end next year and now might last even longer.



154. Tim CampionSeptember 27, 2011


151. Shirley


The fact that you look out onto a building with the inscription “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” does not count as a shock from C Influence, because you are not one of the Chosen. So please stop trying to make sense of that message.


You were one of the Chosen, but for some reason the Gods decided to find a substitute. And though your name suggests surely you’re one of the Chosen, and your post number 151 could indicate you’re a Woman Number 5, be assured that according to Robert you have no brain to wash and you are no longer chosen.


Actually, the Gods seem to be having a bit of a problem down here on earth. They’ve sent Robert around 15,000 hand-picked Chosen Ones, yet he can’t seem to hang onto them. Well a few of them he does…


This doesn’t exactly promote the Intelligent Design theory.



155. My2Bits September 27, 2011


Re: Whalerider’s #153




A good laugh is a healing experience. Thanks.




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!





It was fifty years ago today…



97. Golden Veil February 29, 2016 (excerpt)


Take note, prospective students, wherever you may be in the world –


If you are researching The Fellowship of Friends (The “Teacher” of this group is Robert Earl Burton) BEWARE OF JOINING THIS GROUP!


The below is reprinted (from this blog) yet again – (as there are those who may wish to distract you from this history – I reprint it again.) There are many students in The Fellowship of Friends (heterosexual male students) who have experienced seduction by the “Teacher”. BEWARE!


By the way, the “DC” referred to below, is a Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog poster from the 2009 time period – who was thought to be an apologist for the Fellowship of Friends…


Thank you, Ames Gilbert, for relating this sequence of strange events:


240. Ames Gilbert – December 9, 2009


I’ve tried to avoid telling other people’s stories, but since this one was told to me and it had a really big effect on me, I’m going to go ahead.


When I started asking people about their sexual experiences with Burton, something unexpected happened. Somehow the word that I was interested got around, and people started approaching me, unbidden and unexpected.


One night, a man called and asked if I would talk with him. I agreed, and expected the conversation to continue over the phone. Instead, he asked if he could come and talk in person, right away. I said okay, and then, just before [hanging up], he said, “By the way, I want to bring my wife”. I said that was fine, and did he mind if my wife was present; I told him that she was completely trustworthy and would provide balance.


Five minutes later, he was there, with his wife. They were pale and distraught and obviously in turmoil. The next hours were some of the most amazing of my life. This man told me about his relationship with Burton in detail, and it was revolting from every point of view. The relationship had been going on for four years. One of the more surreal aspects of all this is that most of this was new to his wife. She had only learned the fact of the sexual relationship the previous day, without details. She was processing all this right in front of my eyes, and I could see her reaction to all the details as her husband told them. He was confessing to her and us at the same time, and his grief and shame and agony, and hers, was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had in my life.


As all this unfolded, I was also conscious that this was a very rare moment, that the unvarnished truth was being told, and I must remember everything.


When the first wave had finished (about twenty minutes), I was aware of the incredible anger building up in his wife. She was boiling with rage and plainly wanted to be elsewhere. I felt I should say something, so I asked him if he minded if I asked him questions. Obviously, I asked how it started. He told me that Burton asked him to stay on after a ‘Symposium’ where everyone had a great deal to drink. Burton took him to a bedroom and told him to get undressed. The man knew enough about Burton to guess what was about to happen, and protested. Burton told him that his reluctance was due to ingrained mechanical morality, and specifically that working against this would aid his evolution. This convinced the man; he for sure agreed that this would be deeply against his nature, so it would indeed be very strong ‘work on his mechanicality’. After oral sex on the man, Burton then told him to lie on the floor. Burton then masturbated to climax over him.


This was the pattern of the relationship. Every time the man had doubts, Burton told him that he was advancing, that he was on the fast track of evolution, that the angels approved, that he was privileged, that his spiritual future was assured. It was also the sexual pattern. As this unfolded, I was conscious that I was hearing a description of pure, unmitigated evil.


So we found out that all this time, his wife had no idea. She was not a follower when they met, and only joined because he was already a member. She liked the people, but did not particularly empathize with what the FoF claimed. She had had a strong (but not fundamentalist) religious upbringing. But she did know she loved her husband. She started talking, her words were of disbelief and betrayal. “How could you have done this?” she asked over and over again. My wife and I were just spectators for the next hour, and we might just as well have been invisible for most of the time as they thrashed with the issues.


When the second wave was over, we tried to comfort them. I could see that now a period of doubt and regret had started. Why on earth did they come to two strangers and spill all this out? After a while I asked. Because the people that they knew, the regular Fellowship folks, could not be trusted. They had no one to turn to. They had to express and confess. The wife felt so stupid. The man felt such shame, felt such a fool. He should have known better, he should have told his wife immediately, but the longer he avoided it, the harder it became.


Then we started talking about conscience. I buried mine, the man said, I can see that now. I knew at the time that this was wrong for me, but I thought that Burton knew better, and that sacrificing mechanicality was what was needed for awakening. Burton assured me over and over again that I was on the road to awakening, that my understanding hadn’t caught up yet.


We talked for another hour about what this meant. What is the nature of betrayal? What can be learned from it? What is the nature of forgiveness? Is there such a thing as volitional forgiveness, or is all one can do is prepare the ground as best as one can and invite forgiveness in when it is time?


The last fifteen minutes we spent hugging and caring, and then they went back home, with at least a temporary peace.


And they did stay together.


From this, I deeply understood why a man would submit to Burton. As I’ve said before, I don’t know what would have happened if Burton had pressed me, had not taken ‘no’ for an answer. DC is right in one way, anyone could say ‘no’, and most of us were adults in the technical sense. But DC is very wrong in the most important way. Burton uses his authority and power to get his way. The Fourth Way demands that one give up one’s will to a teacher, and Burton certainly demands that. What do you do when it comes to the crunch? Burton either claims outright or by implication (and it’s a damn strong implication, DC, whatever you say) that this is an excellent way to ‘work against mechanicality’. And the idea that once we’ve turned 18 we are all adults, all competent and able to prevail in the world is nonsense. In some very important ways, many people attracted to the FoF are children who want to be told what to do.



98. WhaleRiderFebruary 29, 2016


It won’t be real


You won’t know how it feels


Until it happens to you.


~Lady Gaga


Take the pledge to intervene when consent is not or cannot be given.


~VP Joe Biden


These words resonated very deeply with me last night. Moving on doesn’t mean keeping silent or sitting idle while others continue to be abused in the rape factory surrounding Robert E Burton.


Let’s drain the victim pool.



31. brucelevyDecember 26, 2015


They’re ALL the same…







Rabbi Fired Over Sex Claims,
Defenders Offer Mea Culpa


By Jennifer Siegel
May 19, 2006


At least five female students and staff members have come forward to accuse Rabbi Mordechai Gafni of luring them into sexual relationships through intimidation, psychological manipulation and deception.


The Bayit Chadash accuser who spoke with the Forward said she hopes that by sharing her experience, she has helped spare other women pain.


The line between teacher and perpetrator, the woman said, is far too easy to cross, and any violation of boundaries must be taken seriously as a red flag for abuse.


“Seduction and education, they come from the same root as educe, which means to draw forth,” she said. “So with education, you’re drawing someone forth and helping them see themselves. With seduction, you’re drawing someone forth and leading them astray.”



127. WhaleRiderMay 6, 2016


I came across this in my reading today, about the origins of the meme: Man is a machine…


“One of the original founders of biophysics in Berlin, Ernst von Brücke brought the challenge of this movement to Vienna, where he inaugurated its first physiological laboratory in 1849. He considered all nervous functions, including brain functioning, to be a reflex action whereby incoming excitation traveled along sensory nerves and was discharged by motor nerves. Psychic events were the side-effects of reflex action and never caused biological events in themselves. Brücke’s model had no room for human agency or free will. Man was a reflex-driven, churning machine.


~Revolution in Mind, by George Makari, Harper Collins, 2008.


Gurdjieff was born around 1866 or 1877, Ouspensky was born in 1878. As young men, the idea that man is a “stimulus-response machine” would have been around for 50 years already and was a scientific challenge to religious dogma.


It was not their idea, (nor burton’s) and I seriously challenge G’s assertion that the idea originated from some secret society in the boonies. Eastern thought and philosophy regards man not as a machine but as a vessel inhabited by unseen spirits and demons or as a “slave” to the senses in need of a “master”, in order to become a master himself. How could a machine be other than a machine?


“Man is a machine” with no will was a contemporary idea which generated fears in superstitious spiritualists of the era that G exploited. (“Ok, so you are a machine, you don’t have a soul, you have no conscious control over yourself, but I can help you get control and grow a soul, for a price. But you must allow me to control you.”)


Also the idea that man operated his life for the most part in a suggestible, “hypnotic state” of sleep was a contemporary (and frightening) idea during their lifetimes as well, since in the middle of the 1800’s and later hypnosis was widely practiced and was the progenitor of the modern study of psychology.



“All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”


~Aldous Huxley



15. Golden VeilJune 20, 2016


In one of the most bizarre twists ever, “Fourth Way” author / guru E.J. Gold appears to have completely gone off his rocker. Apparently he has achieved a certain amount of success by shilling his weird interpretation of “The Work” via the virtual world of Second Life. His avatar is Gorebagg and he has a penchant for donning sexually objectified female avatar alter egos (sound familiar?) He/she urges his followers to abandon the night club dance floors and seductive virtual hot tubs of the greater Second Life for “The Work” at his Prosperity Ashram, and to Donate Now! He recommends letting your Avatar do your spiritual work for you. His description of what doing “The Work” entails at his virtual cult club is incredibly outlandish:


“Here’s exactly how: you get all the advantages of living on an Ashram without the pain of having to walk away from house and home and family in order to carry out your spiritual path.


As I have said before, you can have some breakfast, walk around naked or in undershorts, sit down at your computer with a cup of coffee on a side-table, and place your Avatar into an Ashram Activity…say, a Circle Dance, have your coffee and donut, watch a little daytime TV, get ready for work, take your Avatar out of the Dance Circle and place it into a Movements Class, go to work, come home, have dinner, put your Avatar into the Plasma Tank for the night, and get some shuteye, so you can dreamwalk a while, still connected to the Ashram.


When you’re a member of the Ashram, you’re entitled to keep your Avatar there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some fun events at the Ashram are the Halloween Come-As-You-Were Reincarnation Costume Ball, the Christmas Pageant, and the New Year’s Eve Dance Extravaganza.”




In case you’re wondering, I discovered E.J. Gold’s residency on Second Life via a friend – whose friend is a current Ashram member and apparently fully under this charlatan’s spell. By the way, there are lots of E.J. Gold / Gorebagg You tube videos. He seems as avaricious as REB, and the virtual world experience he offers takes what Rilke writes of “neglect the body” to new heights!



16. brucelevyJune 20, 2016


E.J. is clearly a fraud. I live up near him. Most of our two towns know him and what he does. He built his domain with money from his mother after she hit the California lottery super spin. He was a poor hack before, then he became a wealthy hack. He’s a very fine painter, but other then that he’s your run of the mill snake oil salesman. He used to have several children running around his house/castle that are the results of him fucking many of his female followers. These gurus are all the same … clinical narcissists and sociopaths and pathological liars. It’s as if they all took the correspondents course “cult 101”.



22. Mind Out of Rhyme July 3, 2016


$50 a month…





23. Golden Veil July 5, 2016


See this link for more perspectives on Asaf Braverman – the long time inner circle companion of Robert Burton online Fourth Way websites, touting himself as a teacher who is qualified to answer Fourth Way questions from seekers.




Potential BePeriod.com members may Google Asaf Braverman and BePeriod.com.



27. MickJuly 23, 2016


My experience & study has led me to the conclusion that the very idea of “Schools” where consciousness can be bought & sold is bunk.



28. Out of TimeJuly 23, 2016


Bunk and betrayal.



43. InsiderAugust 29, 2016 (excerpt)

Photo of Robert Burton with Sasha Shalapanov


I will offer a few comments on this photo, as well as other related happenings within the Fellowship of Friends.


The young man with Robert is Alexander (Sasha) Shalapanov. He appeared from Russia several years ago, and was fairly quickly put on the “list of 7 conscious beings to be produced by the school,” the others at that time being Asaf and Dorian. (Now there is another: Samuel Mercer, son of Maya Mercer who is the daughter of Maria Machado and former wife of David Springfield, the former Fellowship attorney. The last I heard earlier this year, Samuel was studying ballet in London. Why he was given “conscious being” status, no one seems to know. But Robert seems to have a special place in his fantasies for ballet dancers. (But then, who doesn’t?) The photo is from March 2015, but they have worn these costumes on other occasions since then.



48. ton2u August 30, 2016


re: 43


“But more and more, people shake their head and silently wonder if what Robert says has anything to do with anything ‘spiritual.’ “


The sheep are finally catching on ? Oh well… better late than never.


(That ridiculous photo of blow-job-bob and his girlfriend in matching pajamas says it all).


@ 47 “Burton is in his 70s. He is retiring a multimillionaire. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong.”


If this is not intended as sarcasm you have a warped notion of “right” and “wrong.”



86. Bares RepostingSeptember 10, 2016


All tyranny needs to gain a foothold
is for people of good conscience
to remain silent.


Edmund Burke


* * * * * *
FoF Blog Page 5/#363:
‘Perpetua Says:
April 7th, 2007 at 8:42 am
I found this letter in Stella Wirk’s website.
I think some of you might like to know about it.


Samuel Sanders Tries to Help FOF


The following Letter to the Board of Directors, Fellowship of Friends, was presented by Samuel L. Sanders, one of the FOF board members, in an attempt to have the Board of Directors take appropriate action to censure the unethical and criminal behavior of Robert E. Burton, self-professed prophet of the Fellowship of Friends.


(Around this same time, a precedent was set for this by the San Francisco Zen Center which had done the same for their leader for similar activities, and had given their leader a year off as leader to get straightened out with counseling or whatever. This had given some hope to FOF members that something similar could be accomplished.)


It was not discovered until later that Burton’s unethical activity already had transpired unabated for fourteen years!


Samuel’s letter to the Board:


March 4, 1984


Dear Friends,


What is to be said can only be heard through your heart. Please try to listen from that part. For a long time we have been part of a criminal process which has hurt many individuals. Some of these individuals have been sacrificed because we have chosen not to listen to our conscience.


Robert has over the years pursued and sodomized young men. He has used his position to seduce these young men with the promise of immortality. His actions are simply that of a degenerate being no matter how refined. We in our blindness have allowed some dear individuals to be defiled and damaged by his appetites. Our ommission, and it is one in the strictest sense, is allowing it to continue.


Some of these young men have become seriously psychologically impaired through this process. Yet we go on minimizing it because it is safer not to know. These acts are a violation of Robert’s position. If we excuse this by saying that it is his privilege or his private weakness we are both accomplice and victim. If it is allowed to continue, the karma which we attract will bring down our school and leave very heavy stains on our being. It is simply not worth the contamination wrought.


There may be much discomfort which comes from these words. But please try to think of the anguish some of these young men have been subject to in the name of evolution; and ask yourself whether you would knowingly, as a higher being, conduct your life in this way.


Can you truly accept that one can enter higher worlds by such actions? Would you wish to enter these worlds by such acts? This reasoning leads to one final not-so-profound conclusion; the Emperor is indeed very naked and we sadly provide his mantle.


Robert is a victim also. The highest that one can extend him is compassion and help. If one becomes angered at him or oneself or me the cycle continues. He is and will be confused and hurt by these actions. Yet firmness and equanimity are what is needed. We do great harm to our school and our being should we choose not to act.


We have talked and preached an ethic of love and acting for the higher right. Now is the time to be the words. It would also be a solemn and humane act for us to help the young men who have been hurt and damaged by Robert. It would be a proper legacy to pass on to the next generation.


If you find in your solitude that fear and or the wish to defend has kept you from hearing what has been said, you lose a very dear friend. You lose yourself!


In friendship,
Samuel L. Sanders



Update within a day:


The Board of Directors would not discuss this letter or its contents and closed the meeting to “think about it.” The next day, unbeknownst to Samuel Sanders, the Board of Directors voted to remove Samuel as a Board member and excommunicate him from the Fellowship of Friends.


On June 6, 1984, Case Number 36937 was filed in Superior Court of California, County of Yuba, by Samuel L. Sanders, Plaintiff, versus Defendants: Fellowship of Friends, Inc., a corporation; Robert Burton; Miles Barth; Frank Annis; Gerard Haven; Helga Ruth Mueller; Abraham Goldman; Charles Frank; Charles Randall; Clair Bowan; and Does 1 through 50, inclusive.


The Lawsuit Complaints:
1. Fraud
2. Conspiracy to defraud
3. Breach of fiduciary duty
4. Conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty
5. Injunction
6. Damages


During this time, Stella Wirk still was publishing a small newsletter called “The WirkShop,” in which she had reported on the lawsuit and letters to the editor contained comments about the situation. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Stella and Harold were out of the group, the members of FOF who subscribed to the paper had subsequently cut off their subscriptions per FOF rules about not communicating with former members in any way. (Part of the conspiracy is that the usual line given members is “If you don’t communicate with former members, they have a better chance to come back into the teaching!” The “Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap” approach, and it works.)


Abraham Goldman, lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends, brought a copy of “The WirkShop” to court and asked the presiding judge to put a “gag order” on the case, and charged that Stella was “out to destroy the Fellowship” with gossip and slander. The “gag order” was ordered by the Judge, all this without any notification to Stella Wirk. The result was that none of the participants in the lawsuit were permitted to speak about it to each other or anyone else!


(Abraham Goldman has gone so far as to state publicly for newspaper articles that Stella is merely a “disgruntled former member” who is leading a *conspiracy* to destroy the FOF because of a personal vendetta against Burton! Stella finds it amusing that a lawyer would make such a ridiculous statement. A conspiracy to expose the truth?)


The outcome of the lawsuit, some three or so years later, was that it was settled out of court. That is, the Fellowship of Friends made a financial settlement payment to Samuel Sanders, and the case was over and would not go to trial. Samuel was not permitted to reveal the financial nature of the settlement, due to the “gag order” and Robert Burton told members of the Fellowship of Friends that the case was “dropped for lack of evidence,” or words to this effect, lying to the FOF membership.


It was considered by members to be a 4th Way Work effort to follow Robert’s task of not speaking about this issue among the members, which effectively gagged most of the FOF and thus insuring the secret life of Robert Burton would remain secret for several more years.




It was approximately two years ago that an upsetting event took place at a meeting held at the FOF farm at Oregon House. From information received, the meeting was led by Belinda Rockwood (formerly known as Linda Kaplan), who asked the members attending, “Are there any questions?” the standard opening for an FOF meeting.


Yes, there were several pointed questions about what was occurring with Robert Burton’s activities, to which Belinda would redirect the meeting by re-stating her required topic. Some people still tried to ask questions and Belinda abruptly ended the meeting. Those people who had stood at the meeting and asked questions were excommunicated from the Fellowship by the next day. Emily Gordon, Ramona Merryweather, to name two long-term members (Ramona from the 1970s!), thrown out of the group for no other reason than requesting truth!


Of course, people being ousted from FOF are not said to be “excommunicated.” The line for their removal is, “They were *released* by higher forces.” Mmmm Hmmm, sure. “Higher forces” are supportive of the life Burton leads, according to Burton, which is almost as absurd as Goldman’s remarks.


It was about this time in 1995 that approximately 250 members left FOF (although rumors erroneously report about 400 people left).


Last we heard, the farm, now called Apollo, is no longer open to the public one day a week and no tours are being made there. The restaurant, La Cochina, is closed to the public and only open once a week for the membership.


The Fellowship conspiracy to “cover up” Burton’s activities is not explained by weather balloons flying over Apollo, yet it may be becoming more clear that these terrible secrets may be coming out at long last.


If a board covers green grass on a lawn, the grass turns brown and all sorts of insects, worms and other wiggly things take up residence under the board. When lifting the board and allowing the sun to shine in that former dark spot, the grass immediately begins to heal in the sunlight, and the bugs, beatles and other insects scurry out of sight fast! Healing for the Fellowship requires that light be shed on all that has been kept in the dark for a quarter of a century and the group must return to adhering to the *original principles* of the Fourth Way!


Everyone in the hierarchy involved in keeping the membership in the dark certainly is responsible for supporting this unfortunate situation.’



1. ton2uSeptember 20, 2016


pg 154 #138


“The wound that helped us get hooked into the scam is at the center of our experience.”


A person does not come to a cult as a “blank slate” – there are antecedents, preconditions of soul, social and emotional conditions and conditioning which lay the groundwork in an individual causing him / her to become a likely candidate for cult membership. I think that’s broadly speaking the “wound’ jomo refers to. He’s right, the ingredients that go into the make-up of an individual soul – wounds and all – are the result of life experience… “sustained scrutiny” – the self-reflective process is where transformation of experiences can take place.


While I may rant here against burton and the FOF scam, I don’t forget my part in it… this requires that I examine my own soul-conditions – what led me to the FOF in the first place and where I’m at now in that respect. I think there’s accountability on both sides of the the ledger… and though outwardly (here) I may “blame” burton for setting the FOF trap, inwardly I realize that’s only part of the equation, there’s my responsibility to consider – and I do. But as far as that goes there’s “breach of fiduciary responsibility” to consider when it comes to burton in his role as “teacher” in relation to his “students” – because of the relative positions and the “power” imbalance of teacher in relation to student, I feel the greater burden of responsibility is on burton … but that’s probably moot at this point… especially since burton is not going to change – he has no conscience when it comes to using people, he has no regard for consequences of his actions as they may impact other lives – he cannot see beyond his own immediate gratifications.



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



3. ryanopooSeptember 24, 2016


So, Bob claims the Absolute visited him, washed his feet and told him to, “Get ready”?


Nice of him to pop out of Bob’s chimney like Santa in summer. Presumably was in the neighborhood making mercy calls on morons.”Get ready your ambulance is coming, can’t have you going to the asylum with smelly feet” is most likely what he meant.


To my recollection Bob has claimed to have been visited in the shower by Leonardo Da Vinci. Visited by Peter Ouspensky in the Nut Tree, (I kid you not), where he telepathically communicated to Bob that, “Yuba’s not so bad if you come straight down”. Then the oldest conscious being in the universe visited one xmas time, can’t remember what he said, but then I suspect Bob doesn’t either. Now the Absolute’s come to ingratiate himself like a fawning toady.


Bob likes to tell whoppers to render his superior specialness apparent and impress the potential sperm donor. Told me once that the 76 garage on Hwy 20 was put there by C influence to celebrate the year of his crystalization. It’s a Chevron now.


What’s next one wonders? Who could possibly beat the Absolute for universal appeal when he needs to manipulate the sorry assed sheep who swallow this poop.


The Absolute’s Mom and Dad perhaps, they pop out of Bob’s chimney at thanksgiving say, “Surprise, Surprise”, reveal, little Ab has an evil twin brother named Lex who does all the bad stuff. They change Bob’s diaper and beam up.


Bob’s desperate, his claim is an obvious absurdity. It reveals many things, including the fact that he never awakened for one and doesn’t really understand what self remembering might be for two.


The sheep are getting restless, having spent 50 years building an Ark rotting in dry dock, a failed winery, bankrolling several failed prophecies, a failed teaching, including the last ten years being milked dry by the last big whopper – The Sequence.


So Bob’s going for the end of the world again to scare the bejabers out of the flock and keep them corralled in the Fellowship compound, funding his obscene, lamentable existence, poor taste in art and clothing, viagra and giant dildos.


The other big threat he’s currently trying to neutralize is non-duality, which he obviously doesn’t understand but which increasing numbers within the compound seem to. Just like when the 44 conscious beings gave way to the plethora of sorely misinterpreted beings served up morning, noon, and night by Asaf and Bob, remember the Greeks, the Egyptians etc., the Bible? Now it’s non-duality with Dorian, Spider in Chief, as teacher.


It’s a scam to give the kids what they want in hopes they don’t finally get off their lazy, apathetic, brainwashed asses and look elsewhere for something more real or at least less insane. Truth is if non-duality were to replace the current dogs dinner of a teaching with any depth, truth or sincerity, then Bob, his cronies and delusions would be in the trash can along with the matching hideous suits.


“The most significant event in the history of the school”, is apparently how the crazies in the compound with the shared delusion are responding to Bob’s proclamation. It’s possibly the biggest lie in the history, how much more “molestuall influence” can people take?



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




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.



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.





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.




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.”



PREDATORS: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders


Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children


By Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.



Chapter 2 – Deception – pp. 25-29


    Recently I interviewed a psychopath. This is always a humbling experience because it teaches me over and over how much of human motivation and experience is outside my narrow range. Despite the psychopath’s lack of conscience and lack of empathy for others, he is inevitably better at fooling people than any other type of offender. I suppose a conscience just slows people down. A convicted child molester, this particular one made friends with a correctional officer who invited him to live in his home after he was released – invited him despite the fact that the officer had a nine-year-old daughter.


    The officer and his wife were so taken with the offender that, after the offender lived with them for a few months, they initiated adoption proceedings – adoption for a man almost their age. Of course, he was a child molester living in the same house as a child. Not surprisingly, he molested the daughter the entire time he lived there. Later, when this was disclosed and the offender was reincarcerated, the guard and his wife continued to try to visit him in prison. They wanted to understand how he could do this. They wanted to see him. They were still attached to him. Even the offender was astonished by their behavior. He told his psychologist, “I feel like saying, ‘What the fuck is wrong with you, lady, I molested your fucking daughter.'”


    The saddest part of this story is that if this offender wasn’t tired of toying with the guard and his wife, he could easily do it again. All he would have to do is cry and feign regret, and in all likelihood the guard and his wife would shortly be advocating for the inmate’s release with the parole board.


    What these experiences have taught me is that even when people are warned by a previously founded case or even a conviction, they will routinely underestimate the pathology with which they are dealing. Niceness and likability will override a track record of child molestation any day of the week.


    Likability is such a potent weapon that it protects predators for long periods of time and through almost incomprehensible numbers of victims. Mr. Saylor, an athletic director in an elementary school, operated undisturbed for almost twenty years. He tells me there is almost no limit to the number of molestations that one can get away with.


I created my first victim when I was thirteen, a female victim.  . . . Sally was six and I was thirteen, and I raped and molested Sally by forcing my hands and fingers on her vulva and in her vagina and forcing objects into her vagina. Sally is my only female victim, my one female victim. I created my first male victim when I was fifteen, and I have been victimizing male children virtually nonstop until my incarceration.


Q: How old are you now?
A. I’m thirty-three now, and I have been incarcerated for three years.


Q. How many total victims did you have?
A. I have eleven male rape victims, one female rape victim, and I have approximately 1,250 male molest victims, and I say approximately because I really don’t know.


    I am stunned by this number and fumble around for a few minutes. Finally I find my voice.


Q. How many kids were you molesting a week to have a rate like that?
A. There were times when I went a whole week, two weeks, three weeks without ever molesting anybody. And there were other times that I molested daily. Two and three times a day. On average I would say I molested five children a week over that twenty year period. 


Q. And you mean five different kids?
A. Yes.


    There were several outcries by children over the years, but it was not easy for parents to accept that a man with Mr. Saylor’s impeccable credentials and otherwise responsible behavior might be molesting children.
    One child’s family, by no means atypical, simply said to their son, “John loves you. John wouldn’t do anything to hurt you. There must be some mistake.” Mr. Saylor told me the child made no mistake at all. It took almost twenty years and well over a thousand child victims before a single allegation stuck.
    Such a long period of molesting without consequences changed Mr. Saylor.


After so many years of raping and molesting, I finally reached a point to where it was like I felt invincible. The children love me. They care about me. They’re not going to tell regardless of what I do. And my thinking was also, even if they do tell, based on past conditions which parents did not believe the children, my thinking was they’re not going to believe the child anyway, and I got very bold with my molest. . . .
    There is no . . . Let me rephrase that. There were no boundaries for me. No place was off limits. No time was off limits. And no set of circumstances was off limits. At any time that I saw an opportunity to get what I wanted, which was to rape or molest, I took advantage of it.
    There were other times that I molested and raped while at work. Or I simply manipulated the child into coming into my office, and I just simply locked the door and proceeded to do what I wanted to do, which was to rape the child.
    My nephew, I raped him for a period of nine years. Raped and molested him for a period of nine years. And very few cases did I rape him in which no one was in the house.


    I sit silent for a moment, thinking. How many mothers over the years have I heard testify that he couldn’t have molested their child? They were always present.
    Did they ever sleep? I would ask. They would always look at me incredulously. How could anyone get up in the night and molest a child without the other parent knowing? After all, they always assure me, they are very light sleepers. But I have had victims and offenders both tell me of offenders who molested children while the wife was sleeping in the same bed. That Mr. Saylor would molest a child in an office adjacent to a gym full of people does not surprise me. I have seen an interview with an offender who talked about leaving the door open and molesting a child with his wife in the next room. The possibility of getting caught just added to the thrill.
    But still, Mr. Salyor does manage to surprise me, for he has done something I have never seen before.


There were times that I raped in a car with the parents in the front seat, me in the backseat with the children. The child would feel such a bond of trust that the child would decide okay, I’d like to go to sleep, and I’d manipulate the child and lay him across the seat and molest the child with my hand on his penis. By forcing my hands on his penis while the parents were in the front seat.


    Why would a child not tell? Because, for reasons we do not clearly understand, children freeze when confronted with something they cannot make sense of. A child in the back seat with an adult’s hand on his penis is not going to know how to understand or explain that. He will think that an adult whom he loves and respects can’t be doing anything wrong. Besides, this is an adult his parents respect. He will likely wonder if his parents even know and approve. After all, they’re in the front seat. Or he’ll be embarrassed and wonder if he will be blamed.

    Regardless of the reason, the fact seems undeniable. It is only a minority of children who disclose abuse at the time.  No study I can find on this topic has ever found otherwise.
    If children can be silenced and the average person is easy to fool, many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people. One molester, who was himself a minister, said:


I considered church people easy to fool . . . they have a trust that comes from being Christians.  . . . They tend to be better folks all around. And they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people.  . . . I think they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words.


    In interviewing victims in the growing number of cases involving priests, I have been surprised – although I should not have been – by how deeply religious many of the victims’ families who were thrilled to have a priest take an interest in their children, who wanted their children to be altar boys, who could not believe that a priest would do anything wrong.

    The growing crisis in the Catholic Church just underlines the fact that offenders can recognize ideal settings for child molesters even if the rest of us can’t. In truth, a deeply religious and trusting group of people, plus the requirement of celibacy (an ideal cover for any man who has no sexual interest in adults), plus a hierarchy that doesn’t report complaints to the police and simply moves the offender on to new and fresh territory with new potential victims, is the ideal setting for pedophiles. Even without such extreme conditions, however, interviews with offenders had convinced me that people in general are just plain easy to fool. What makes fooling us so easy is not the worst in us, it is often the best. As one rapist said,


Because people want to believe in something. They want to hope. And they want to believe. They want to, there’s something inside of people that makes them want to believe the best in things and the best in others. Because the alternative is not very nice.


    True enough. The alternative is not very nice.



From Chapter 9 – Rose-Colored Glasses and Traumapp. 157-160


A neighbor sits in my kitchen. “I choose to believe there is good in everyone,” she tells me, “because of the unintended consequences to my life if I do not. I feel an openness to others that wouldn’t be there if I didn’t believe that there’s good in everybody.”


    I like this woman a great deal, and I worry for her. What she is saying sounds naive to me, and worse, dangerous. But this woman is neither naive nor foolish. She is, in fact, one of these people of whom the world needs more. She goes to medical school half-time so that she can be more present for her family. She is an outstanding parent, a gentle and responsible person, an altogether constructive force in the world. She does not think salvation lies in a bigger VCR or a new DVD. As a result, her children have grown up without the mall-hunger that eats into the souls of so many. Instead, they are responsible and self-assured. Each spring her family goes to Haiti so she and her husband can volunteer in the health clinics. She wants her children to see the larger world and all that must be done before everyone has a roof over his or her head.


    What do I say to this woman? Nothing I can say will change her outlook and, actually, it’s working pretty well. If her beliefs allow her to function this well, shouldn’t I be saying, as the woman did in the When Harry Met Sally restaurant scene, “I’ll have what she’s having”?  I’m silent for a moment, thinking that anything I say will make me sound like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.


    Finally, I decide I respect this woman too much to be evasive. Shutting up means closing up, and I would like to expand my dialogue with her, not strangle it by not being present. And then again, it is also true she peels back the skin on cadavers and dissects the muscles. As if anything I could say would shake her.


    So I answer honestly, the backlog of interviews with rapists, child molesters, sadists, and psychopaths jangling like discordant bells in my head. “You’d be lunch,” I say, “in a prison environment. The psychopaths would see you coming. And they would very quickly figure out what you want to see and give it to you. Before you know it, they’d be talking about spiritual values and poverty around the world.” The problem is, of course – and we both know it – the types of people who exist in prison also exist outside of prison. People run into psychopaths every day, and I am thinking that sooner or later, she may also.


    “To me,” I say, “you sound like a minnow arguing there aren’t any bass in the world. You believe what you want to be true. What you’re really doing is projecting who you are out there.  But there are people out there who are very different from you.


    “Not to mention it’s a moot point,” I go on, “as to whether there is good deep down in everybody because there are some folks where you and I are never going to find it.”


    She laughs. The fading sun lays ribbons of light across the blue table top in my kitchen. Vapor rises from her tea. What I’m saying sounds surreal here, belied by the murmur of children’s voices in the play room, the sound of jazz, the smell of wood burning in the fire place. In this easy moment, the joy that is never far from the surface of her face lies open and exposed. The wariness that is never far from the surface of mine is banked. I think the world I’ve built in this small, comfortable home is a bubble that I will protect with tooth and claw. She feels the world she has created in her own loving home is a mirror of the larger world. She would reason with an intruder. I would shoot him.


    Do we live in the same world? Yes and no. What world each of us lives in has as much to do with our beliefs as it does with the facts in front of us. The facts are always swept up in theory, in our beliefs about the meaning of what we see. My neighbor and I both see assault and suffering in the world. We just don’t draw the same conclusions from it. I will argue here that one’s worldview is a complex and paradoxical issue. The most optimistic viewpoints on the world can be shown to make us healthier and happier, but also can – unchecked – make us vulnerable to predators as well. But how and where and when to scan those around us for predators as opposed to looking for the good in everyone are not easy questions to answer.


    People want to make the world have meaning, but the randomness of trauma defies meaning. Malevolence defeats it. When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a book that tries to make sense of the fact that dreadful things happen for no good reason. It was a best-seller when it was published twenty years ago, and it is still in print today. Why is this book so successful? Because it tries to make sense of something that most people find senseless and unnerving, the randomness of trauma.


    It is a curious phenomenon, this need to find meaning, even justice and purpose, in the random events that afflict humankind. After all, logic would question the notion that there is any meaning to be found. Why shouldn’t bad things happen to good people? What reason is there to think that smallpox or brain tumors select on the basis of virtue or vice?


    What the success of When Bad Things Happen and countless other books on the same topic demonstrates is that the meaning that seems most comforting to people has a distinct rose-colored look to it. I would argue – and the research would concur – that almost everyone lives with illusions that make the world less frightening. Most often, these illusions imply that diseases, hurricanes, faulty brakes, and nuclear bombs are moral entities that are sensitive to issues of justice. Alternatively some believe that such disasters are tools in the hands of a higher power, which uses them selectively and with discretion. But what kind of a higher power would use smallpox? Nobody you’d want to meet, that’s for sure.


    These illusions have their pros and cons. Once I was hiking in the Sierras and came across a giant sign at the entrance to a trail. The sign said, “The Mountains Don’t Care.” The rangers, it seemed, had had enough of hikers who ventured up to commune with Mother Nature without ice axes, warm coats, or water. Lost in the glory of the mountains, they would trust the Great Spirit to take care of them. But the Sierras obey their own gods, ones that have to do with wind and temperature and altitude. The temperature can slide like a bobsledder on a record run, and spring days that begin with sweat and suntan lotion can end with whiteouts and frostbite. Too many people have died in T-shirts, curled up in snow banks, with no idea even which way leads home. What concern is it to the mountains whether these two-legged ants live or die?


    Why do bad things happen to good people? Because the mountains don’t care. But we so badly want them to.


    The great gift of consciousness, of course, is that you don’t have to live with what’s “out there” in the “real world.” The mountains may not care, but we are free to believe they do. In the “real world” we live in – the one inside our heads – the dialogue goes on endlessly between what’s out there and what we want to be out there. All truces in this endless war are transient, all settlements subject to later interpretation. “Things as they are/Are changed upon the blue guitar,” Wallace Stevens wrote. And then he warned us, “I cannot bring a world quite round/Although I patch it as I can.”1


    Of course, he lies. Stevens brings the world round quite nicely, as all the great poets do, but then again, if it’s a question of just taking the rough edges off reality, you and I are as gifted as he. A vast body of research confirms my suspicion that my friend’s rose-colored point of view is more common than my more cynical one.2  In fact, as early as 1978, there were more than one thousand articles on what are termed “positive illusions,” the tendency of people to soften the world, ignoring and minimizing its bad aspects and overgeneralizing its good ones – and the research has only picked up speed since then. In general, people hold positive illusions about themselves, about the amount of control they have over their fates, and about the benevolence of the world. I will look at each of these in turn. As will be seen, these positive illusions have an impact on our functioning (mostly pro) and on our susceptibility to predators (mostly con). Finally, these illusions are themselves susceptible to the impact of trauma, which sometimes shatters them, leaving a bleak world in its wake.



From The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best-kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military.


“This is not an issue of sexual orientation; this is an issue of power and violence. Male sexual predators have targeted whoever is there to prey upon…” 


“A great wall of silence has gone up to protect the guilty.”


“…rapists prey on other human beings and stalk them. They wait until the victim is at the most vulnerable point in time to perpetrate their crimes.”


“Most sex offenders have this hidden persona that nobody ever sees but the victim. Therefore, when they’re caught, or if somebody reports, people don’t tend to believe that [report or victim] because they don’t see the ‘typical’ sex offender.”


“Most sex offenders are hunters. Just like any hunter, they study their prey – study their movements – study their behaviors – study the environment.”


“Particularly for a savvy perpetrator, to work within a relatively closed system, like the military, it becomes a prime sort of target-rich environment for a predator.” 


“If he does it once and gets away with it, he thinks: ‘Wow, this was pretty easy. I’m gonna try it again.'”



Considering Sex Offenders: A Model of Addiction


By Dr. Judith Herman





Phone call from Robert Burton to James Battaglia



THAT GIRL on July 25, 2007 at 9:55 pm


Re:  “There is no doubt that even with Robert huge sex life and greed he loves his students from his heart, and guess what even loves his former students. He is very sensitive in my opinion. ….I had a sexual relationship with the teacher and because I was homophobic at first it was dificult; but in my case I set the limits with Robert and he agreed. Now with others, I understand that they may have had bad experiences. ….There is alot of morality around sex and so many of us will have our opinions of what should be right or wrong. It is really subjective.”


Dear Fat Boy


There are few stories from wives of RB boys for good reason – the shame involved is incredible. But, believe me, we are around in numbers. The shame is two fold, one at being a wife or serious girlfriend whose beloved man is having regular sex with someone else. But the shame I most want to talk about is living with, witnessing, the man’s shame. My husband was with RB a long time ago and he is NOT homosexual and the sex was coerced (he was an ‘idiot’ type). He was shamed into it by not being a ‘high’ being as RB. After being shamed into the sex, it was incredibly shameful for him to have enjoyable physical sensations. It haunted him for years and impacted his manhood – his perception of his manhood. This is VERY IMPORTANT for a man, it goes to the very CORE OF HIS ESSENCE and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with feminine dominance or morality. RB shit on these men a festering scum cloud deep into their core. It takes extreme measures to heal from that and clean it out. I feel very sorry for you and very sorry for a woman who loves you – your cloud is still festering.



Joseph G on August 12, 2007 at 8:12 am (excerpt)


I saw an ad on a Muni bus the other day that said: “I thought he was a great guy until he raped me.”


Following is copied from a gay-and-lesbian website. Sorry it’s so long but the whole thing just seems incredibly pertinent. If you don’t have time to read it, I suggest at least scanning through “Gay Rape Myths” at the end…


Male rape: when Mr. Nice turns nasty
Published Thursday, 12-Jul-2007 in issue 1020



‘I see’ said the blind man on August 12, 2007 at 7:39 pm


Male Rape. Thanks for bringing it up Joseph in 261.


The perpetrator of rape is traditionally the one who penetrates the victim without permission.


Although there have been attempts to bring charges against women who have forced men to have sex with them, I don’t think it has ever been made to stick because having an erect penis is seen as evidence of arousal and therefore of complicity in the act of penetrating another. It looks very different from a man forcefully penetrating a woman or other man.


The only cases I know of where someone has been sexually abused even though it was they who had the hard on, is with minors or the mentally handicapped. In these cases the victim has been stimulated in order to be taken advantage of. Think Michael Jackson masturbating boys in his bed.


Viagra changes things rather. If it can be proved that a man has been stimulated with sodomizing in order for him to be sucked or made to fuck another man when he was not aroused by that other man, you surely have the makings of a case for rape.


Not only that, but if a system is in place to turn this into a production line of penises for sucking and stimulating the prostrate, it includes institutional rape, where the organization that knowingly creates the necessary conditions is guilty of rape.


Out of all the circumstances for a smart criminal attorney to earn his spurs, this has to rate high. It is a great opportunity to win fame and glory for putting away a perverted monster and destroying the institution that fed a homosexual elementary school teacher come prophet and head of a cult [and his] appetite for heterosexual men. You can just see it in the papers, can’t you.


We have an authority figure who is the founder of a church and self proclaimed angel, a system of victims looking to replace themselves with new meat so they can move on from suckee or poker to procurer, an institution that actively supports this in all ways, money that changes hands for the sole purpose of making this possible, drugs administered and pornography shown (straight, not gay!) to the victims in order to make them erect, so they can be milked of their sperm, explicit and also more obscure threats for those who do not go along with this, including the withholding of ‘benefits’, victims who for the most part come from a background where abuse is acceptable, favors and benefits for complying (as with all prostitutes, you never give them enough to leave, but just enough to lock them in), round it all off with lots and lots of mumbo jumbo, peer pressure, economic hardship, fraudulent immigrations statuses (an R1 visa is not for sex slavery) and the insecurity of vulnerable young men and this is what you get.


If you feel love for Robert Earl Burton, affection for Isis and your dear friends, and place value on the years you have spent in the Fellowship of Friends, that is not a good enough reason to refuse to look at what is going on in your name.


Do Robert Earl Burton’s crimes amount to the ‘systematic rape of numerous vulnerable men?’ (around 700 men abused, 10,000 instances – after all he currently has sex for around 3 hours with 4 people a day – do the math.)


If you heard this about some other ‘esoteric school’, what would you say?


Just to anticipate a ‘no-one put a gun to their head’ argument. Prostitutes who enter their profession unwillingly are tricked, drugged, deceived and threatened into it, no one holds a gun to their head either. Once they are in, it is very hard to get out. As with everything else, humans adapt – especially if a system exists to accommodate them. People can do the most outrageous things if it seems that it is normal within the group of people that they belong to. The Fellowship of Friends has without doubt made all of this possible, you could even sympathize [with] Robert Earl Burton as he has been let down by the cowardice and petty self-interest of his loving students. The Fellowship of Friends supposedly consists of people who are on a higher level than ordinary life and yet this corruption and crime goes unchecked. What a wake up call. It could almost have been done on purpose to show us what we are really made of.



BRAINWASHED? on August 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm


Destructive cults


The People’s Temple, led by
James Warren (Jim) Jones


This was a Christian destructive, doomsday cult founded and led by James Warren Jones (1931-1978).


Jones developed a belief called Translation in which he and his followers would all die together, and would move to another planet for a life of bliss. Mass suicides were practiced in which his followers pretended to drink poison and fell to the ground.


During the late 1970’s, Jones had been abusing prescription drugs and appears to have become increasingly paranoid. Rumors of human rights abuses circulated. As in most high-intensity religious groups, there was a considerable flow of people joining and leaving the group. Tim Stoen, the Temple attorney and right-hand man to Jones left to form a group called Concerned Relatives. They claimed that Jonestown was being run like a concentration camp, and that people were being held there against their will.


religioustolerance.org/dc jones.htm



Joseph G on August 13, 2007 at 2:43 pm


#284 “I see” said the blind man:


“…if a system is in place to turn this into a production line of penises for sucking and stimulating the prostrate, it includes institutional rape, where the organization that knowingly creates the necessary conditions is guilty of rape.”


I have to confess my previous complete ignorance about the definition of rape between men. If you are NOT gay, why would you ever think about such a thing? Seeing the ad on a Muni bus was a revelation of sorts for me. (“I thought he was a great guy until he raped me.”) Of course, I thought. That is what’s really happening.


The gay community is not so naive when it comes to respecting ethical boundaries around sex between men. These boundaries have apparently been validated by US law and are being enforced by police departments, at least in cities with sizable gay populations.


If you read the definition of rape in the article cited in my #261, rape and sexual coercion are clearly defined by law to include precisely the type of activities that are Robert’s standard operating procedure. Even more pernicious: this criminal activity has become institutionalized by both the passive/permissive as well as the active/proactive support of the FOF organization.


The common myths about rape between men were also a real eye opener for me, seeming obvious now but a blind spot previously. e.g.:


Myth 7: Men are strong protectors and providers, so they can’t be raped.


In fact…”whether through physical or emotional coercion, threats or drugs (such as the “date rape” drug, GHB), men can be victims of rape.”


Isn’t this why Robert is able to be so brazen? As a practical matter, psychologically, how does a young hetero male admit to being raped? The only way for a straight but vulnerable young man to buffer this degrading experience is by labeling it. Consensual, loving, non-formatory, a blessing…any words that allow one to move forward with some shred of self respect.


Consider several other myths (quoted):


Myth 6: He was aroused, so it wasn’t rape.
Male victims can be sexually or physically aroused during the rape due to psychological causes or fear or excitement, as well as physical causes such as the stimulation of the prostate. It’s not uncommon for a male rapist to go out of his way to make sure the victim does have an erection – and possibly even ejaculate – as this adds to the victim’s confusion and subsequent non-reporting.


Myth 4: He just had too much to drink, so it’s not really his fault.
Alcohol is a leading factor in sexual assault, and it is not a legal excuse for a rapist’s actions.


Myth 5: It isn’t rape if you’re in a relationship.
Any sexual act that is the result of being coerced, forced or is non-consensual, whether it is a stranger, a friend or a partner, is considered rape. A partner can be charged with the same crime as a stranger.


I am not writing this to try to provoke legal action. I am writing it for the victims, and for the enablers. Think about it. The correct expression is “rape”! Not “abuse of power.” Not “gay lifestyle.” Not “conscious love.”


If you were ever in that room, you knew it then. But something in you made you forget…that you really did not want to do it. You were coerced. You were raped.


If you were not in that room but you know this is true, shame on you. Shame on you.


Quoting again: “Control isn’t about size; it’s about psychological [control]. [A recent paper] says: ‘Male rape in the 21st century resembles nothing so much as female rape in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries. Men are afraid to come forward for many of the same reasons women were [and some still are]. [Men] fear they would be blamed for their victimization, that their sexuality would be the issue, not the defendant’s wrongdoing, that they would never escape the stigma, no matter how blameless they were.’ ”


Whether multiple rapes of male students by RB can be legally proven is not my issue or my aim. The bigger issues are recognition of the truth and subsequent emotional healing by the victims, as well as hopefully an awakening of conscience and responsiveness within the FOF community.


With love to all, both in and out,


Joseph G



Purchasing awakening on August 13, 2007 at 4:53 pm


Male rape:
I cannot possibly picture a normal straight guy voluntarily fisting an old gay. Or voluntarily sucking his old cock. Or voluntarily having anal sex with him. Or shit and piss on him. These acts are against the very nature of a straight male. People who were forced to do this spoke privately to their close friends about their horrible experiences. There is a lot of shame in talking about this. They were coerced. There was nothing consensual about this.


A lot of these young males are married, some are fathers. They have families and young kids. They are put on a schedule to sexually serve Robert and it’s called ‘duty’. After they ‘voluntarily’ perform ugly sexual acts with an old gay fart, they return home to their young children and wives. Does this look normal to anyone?


These guys are turned into whores and they absolutely hate what they have to do. But they learned to buffer it – they had to – to protect their sanity. Most think they have no choice but to continue doing this. They are coerced. They are raped.


The amount of emotional pain Robert is inflicting on others is simply unimaginable. This is the same man who is talking to students about ‘controlling the passions’.


One day he will be stopped and hopefully that day comes soon.



Joseph G on August 13, 2007 at 4:55 pm


From the following link on rape:


sfsu.edu/~dps/html/crime prevention/sexual assault.html


California Law defines rape as sexual intercourse, sodomy or oral copulation accomplished against the victim’s will:


– By use of force or fear
– Whether the victim is male or female
– When the victim is prevented from resisting by alcohol or drugs administered by or with the knowledge of the offender
– When the victim is unconscious of the nature of the act



15. paul gregoryJuly 31, 2014


I don’t get how rape equals sex, whatever kind of sex it is, or rape, for that matter. Rapists have preferences for a sex, his preference is for the male sex, particularly that part of the male sex that doesn’t want to have sex with itself, or him, but wants to have sex with ladies, which we call ‘heterosexual’. When, to take an example, a ‘heterosexual’ has violent non-consensual sex with a lady, do we take that as the act of making love to a lady? The act of sexual violence is a negation of all of life’s values and meaning. Violence never makes sense.


Bob is a ‘goddess in a man’s body’.  It does sound a bit gay, doesn’t it? The ‘A’ influence analog of bob would have to be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. A person, with a beard, breasts, and a long glittery dress like starlight, provoking mingled confusion, fear and wonderment. A hallucination at the end of a rather long strange party – in this case, a fancy dress party where everyone came as accountants, librarians and university professors.


How is a rapist entitled to the term ‘heterosexual’ or ‘gay’?  By committing an act of deliberate sexual violence and harm, surely you forgo the sex part of the sex act.  Is rape sexy?  Is rape ‘gay’?  Is it ‘straight’?  Gay is a word for same sex love and relationships. Love is nice. What bob’s doing isn’t. Where is the love in his actions? Where is the love of men in his ‘homosexuality’?  How is it that malice aforethought towards others’ minds, hearts and genitalia on a mass scale can be regarded as being harmlessly, just a bit ‘gay’? or ‘gay’ at all?  Maybe, for some, it’s ‘one of the expenses of being in this school’.


It is not merely promiscuous, but a deliberate violation of what should be sacred to every individual, by means of grooming, corruption, intimidation and insinuations, leading to sexual violence which can and almost certainly must have lifelong implications. Not gay. Not even remotely ‘homosexual’.  More Holocaust.


‘You’re a wasted face
You’re a sad-eyed lie
You’re a holocaust.’


– Alex Chilton



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: malesurvivor.org/index.php


See also:  https://1in6.org/



Just Another Voice Out Here on December 5, 2007 at 2:14 am (excerpt)

And in today’s news….

NEW YORK (CNN) — The suicide of a young man and the murder he committed before he killed himself are being blamed on a cult led by his mother.

Also disturbing, former members who spoke to CNN say they witnessed Ricky Rodriguez having sex with his mother, Karen Zerby, the leader of the sect now known as “The Family International.”

The sect’s activities and history are detailed in a newly released book, “Jesus Freaks.” The sect was founded in California in the 1960s by David Berg, who referred to himself as “Mo,” short for Moses. Berg was a self-proclaimed prophet.

Former sect members tell CNN Berg encouraged adult-child sex. More often than not, they say, the chosen child was Rodriguez, the son of Karen Zerby, who Berg called his queen. Zerby became the leader of the sect when Berg died in 1994.

“Jesus Freaks” author Don Lattin says Berg “wanted his child to embrace sexuality, to be a sexual being as an infant and growing up.”

Former members say Berg and Zerby wrote about their beliefs in papers distributed to members. It was Berg’s how-to guide for raising sexual children. The Family International now says all “questionable publications were officially renounced and expunged between the late 1980s and early 1990s.”

In Berg and Zerby’s manifesto, Rodriguez was the main character.



Associated Press on December 5, 2007 at 6:40 am (excerpt)


Follow on to ‘Just Another Voice Out Here’ ~ 558


Talk about inappropriate boundaries and incestuous behaviors à la Fellowship of Friends:




‘It was a murder-suicide, former Family members say, spurred by the haunting echoes of a life wrecked by sexual, psychological and religious abuse.’


Rage turns to vengeance against ‘Family’
Anguished ex-cult member decried years of abuse before killing ‘molester,’ himself


San Francisco Chronicle
By Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer


Ricky Rodriguez was exhausted, scared, frantic. He’d just fled his Tucson apartment, leaving behind the body of 51-year-old Angela Smith. He’d stabbed her three times and slit her throat.


As a baby, the 29-year-old Rodriguez had been christened “Davidito,” the young prince and future prophet of the Children of God — a freewheeling religious sect founded in the late 1960s by Oakland native David “Moses” Berg.


But heading west into the desert last Saturday night in his Chevy Cavalier, all Rodriguez could think about was whether to kill himself. Or someone else.


He pulled out his cell phone.


At Elixcia Manumel’s Seattle apartment, the phone rang. She was not surprised to hear the drowning voice of her husband on the other line. It had been only a matter of time, she told The Chronicle, before Rodriguez committed suicide.


Rodriguez had disavowed the Children of God, now called the Family, five years ago, but he could not escape his own demons. His mother had set up the toddler for sex acts with his nannies — all part of her being a missionary for the international evangelical sex cult.





San Francisco Chronicle: Rage turns to vengeance against “Family” – Children of God



Berg on Incest


David Berg, deceased founder and prophetic leader of The Family International, practiced and condoned incest, seeing “man’s laws” as a nuisance. Following are excerpts from a number of Family publications where Berg dealt specifically with incest . . .



Berg on Rape


David Berg criticized “man’s laws” on rape and went so far as to equate rape with God’s natural laws and express sympathy for jailed rapists. He romanticized primitive societies in which rape was not punished beyond a mere fine.


Berg’s advice to women about rape invariably advocated acceptance of the rape. When sending his female followers off for Flirty Fishing he anticipated situations where rape would occur and told the women to “yeild”. He also published fantasies of gang rape (See Heaven’s Girl) and depicted scenarios where women being raped would use rape as an opportunity to witness to their rapist and told women to pre-empt rape by “giving it freely”. Berg discouraged legal redress and advocated that women satisfy the sexual “needs” of men who would rape them.


His apologism for rape was tantamount to telling rape victims to expect and enjoy it and to submit to it to get “credit” from God . . .




60 Minutes  New Zealand: The Children of God | Aug 22, 2005


60 Minutes  Australia: Sinful Acts | Oct 16, 2005


CNN Headline News: Religious Sect Accused of Child Abuse and Pornography — 1993-09-03


CNN Larry King Live: ‘The Family’ – Preachers or Pornographers? — 1993-10-20


CNN Anderson Cooper 360: Twisted Cult — 2007-12-04


CNN Anderson Cooper 360: Young man’s suicide blamed on mother’s cult — 2007-12-04


CNN Newsroom: Born into a cult — 2007-12-05


CNN Larry King Live: Cults: Sordid Sex & Secrets? — 2008-07-31




JESUS FREAKS: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge, by Don Lattin © 2009


In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks is the story of a shocking pilgrimage of revenge that left two people dead and shed new light on The Family International, one of the most controversial religious movements to emerge from the spiritual turmoil of the sixties and seventies.



Incest: A Family Tragedy
Director: Edward Blackoff


This dark documentary explores the deeply corrupt yet shockingly widespread practice of family members sexually abusing their own children.





Cult Witness Documentary – Real Stories – Aug 20, 2016

. . . an intelligent exploration of how cults attract and manipulate their followers, sharing the disturbing firsthand experiences of Cult Witness director Samuel Stefan and six others who have freed themselves from cults: Jill Mytton (The Exclusive Brethren), Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey (The Gentle Wind Project), Lea Saskia Laasner (The Janus Project), and Celeste Jones and Amoreena Winkler (The Children of God).



Megyn Kelly TODAY – June 2018


Children Of God Cult Survivor Speaks Out About Life Since Her Escape


“This cult was about control. And controlling somebody’s sexuality is one of the best ways to control somebody. Sexual abuse is always about power—it’s not about lust. So, if you control someone’s sexuality, you control the most intimate part of their soul. And then, after that, you can ask them to do all kinds of things.”



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.”







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


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


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.





60. John HarmerMarch 3, 2018


Just saw this article about James Levine. It struck me as very reminiscent of the situation Burton created for himself. In this case there was no totalitarian magical spirit system being used to enforce the cult like position of the leader, so it seems that Burton’s setup was and is founded on Burton’s own domineering personality rather than the misuse of the Gurdjieff system. I had previously been of the opinion that it was a characteristic of the ideology, and that nearly all religious closed groups would end up as a personality cult, but maybe it is more the man or woman at the top.


npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/02/590282661/new-details-emerge-in-abuse-allegations-against-conductor-james-levine?utm campaign=storyshare&utm source=facebook.com&utm medium=social



65. Ames GilbertFebruary 24, 2019


A few of you may have wondered, “What happened to that Epstein fellow, the billionaire that was accused of having sex with hundreds of underage children, who supposedly procured them for sex vacations in the Caribbean for his buddies, folks like Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton. You know, the one organizing what the tabloids called, ‘The Lolita Express’?


Reporters at the Miami Herald wondered why as well, and started digging again. And it turns out that he had a powerful friend, the then U.S. attorney in Miami (a political appointment)—now the present–day Secretary of labor in Trump’s cabinet, Alexander Acosta. Another political appointment by his friends in high places.


This is a sickening story about powerful men protecting each other, and the betrayal of hundreds of underage girls: miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html


When you read the story, make careful note that Acosta broke federal law by not notifying the victims about this agreement before the meeting with the judge! And, under the U.S. ‘justice’ system, there is no recourse.


And why did Acosta do this enormous, gigantic favor? Why, he went to law school with Epstein’s lawyer! This formed an imperishable, sacrosanct bond, apparently. Look at Acosta’s picture: another snake in a suit, if there ever was one. Reminds me of some Fellowship lawyers I have known.


Not entirely unrelated, I remember ‘back in my day’ how the Fellowship of Friends gave regular lavish dinners and tours of the winery to the local big–wigs, such as the owner of the Appeal–Democrat newspaper. I’m sure nothing untoward happened™, but this is an illustration of how influence is gained. Favors here, favors there, and maybe an editorial decision to tone down or squash a story follows, or to not bother to look into a report of domestic violence up there in the foothills, so far away from the center of things in Marysville…


Ditto with wining and dining and charming the local supervisor(s), a bottle of wine or olive oil at Christmas, all these little things are remembered, even if subliminally, when it comes to making decisions that affect the Fellowship of Friends.



68. Ames GilbertFebruary 24, 2019


Anyone following up on the Miami Herald story, please watch the videos. Particularly the testimony of Virginia Roberts. This is one brave woman! She talks about how she was recruited, how she was persuaded to recruit other under–age girls, how she escaped to Australia and made a fresh start, how a decade later Epstein and his lawyers demanded her silence, how the FBI contacted her, and her mission now to see this all through.


There are so many parallels with the Fellowship of Friends. The recruitment of vulnerable or desperate young men. The way young men already ‘in the know’ recruited new fresh meat. I saw this happen many times, where the already initiated invited prospective prey to a nice lunch at the Bistro as part of the ‘grooming’. The pipeline of procurers and pimps, a pipeline eventually extended all the way back to Russia, eastern Europe, south America…


And others were involved in the grooming. In my day (1978), Burton somehow persuaded Sheila Grunwaldt that it was her duty to instruct potential victims about what was expected when Burton issued a certain kind of invitation. Yes, that nice well–groomed ‘older student’ with silver hair, who had a special gravitas because she had been with him from near the beginning (follower #29, ooh!). Burton told me to ‘arrange a breakfast with Sheila’ several times, and was miffed when I repeatedly said that I’d forgotten or could not arrange a mutually convenient time. Although, as I have said previously, I had no idea what was actually going on, the refusal was because I was repelled by Sheila as a person, and her unbelievable bad breath in particular. Petty, I know, but it helped save me. It was half a dozen more years before I discovered what ‘breakfast with Sheila’ really meant…


The liberal application of money and gifts (and in the case of the FoF, prestige). The liberal application of money for lawyers when things went wrong. The pressure on witnesses (I’ve told previously about Goldman getting advice from the Scientology people and him hiring their star ‘investigator’, a member of their cult, the odious PI Ingram, to harass and threaten me and my family, and Troy Buzbee’s mother, amongst others, and the bugging of phones), the grinding away of their will and the mounting costs of their defenses (as in the case of Stella and Harold Wirk) and on and on. The same sleazy, revolting, conscienceless tactics, just on a smaller scale. Epstein was and is able to bring the unmatched power of the State to bear on his victims, Burton and Goldman could only hire the best lawyers from Sacramento.


The insatiable sex needs of Epstein only matched by the insatiable sex needs of Burton, the huge number of people involved in both cases, whether victims, enablers, or those in authority. So many people who knew, so few who acted to help the victims.


Eerie, eerie parallels, yet when one looks at it, exactly the same mechanisms are at play, and I use the word ‘mechanism’ deliberately. So much for ‘conscious beings’!



Politics and Prose
Oct 21, 2019


Ronan Farrow with Sunny Hostin


In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost, in Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.


In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. . .





From SHE SAID: Breaking The Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite A Movement, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey © 2019


“He was pathologically addicted to conquering women.”


“I was nothing, I was a kid, I was signed up. I was petrified, I thought he was going to fire me.”


“He counted on my shame to keep me silent.”


“Why are we not speaking out?”


“I’ve been waiting for this knock on my door for twenty-five years.”



P. 54

    Jodi cut to the point: The United States had a system for muting sexual harassment claims, which often enabled the harassers instead of stopping them. Women routinely signed away the right to talk about their own experiences. Harassers often continued onward, finding fresh ground on which to commit the same offenses. The settlements and confidentiality agreements were almost never examined in law school classrooms or open court. This was why the public had never really understood that this was happening. Even those in the room with long histories of covering gender issues had never fully registered what was going on.


    But if Harvey Weinstein had entered into settlements with women besides Rose McGowan, and if those claims had been hushed up by lawyers, could those women even be found?


P. 77


    West and Allred refused to comment on the firm’s representation of Matthau. But in a separate interview, Allred made the same case for confidential settlements that the reporters had already heard: They were better for clients, many of whom wanted privacy and feared being shunned by employers; going to court was risky and could take years. “Nobody has forced anyone to sign an NDA,” she told Megan. “Nobody is holding a gun to their head.”
    Allred also acknowledged the harsh truth about confidentiality clauses: They served perpetrators of sexual misconduct too. “A client will say, ‘I want to be compensated, this is a significant amount you’ve been able to achieve for me, I’m very happy with that, but why should I have to keep secret?'” Allred said, “That’s because that powerful figure wants peace, wants to end it, and wants to move on in the same way that you want to move on.”
    By 2017, a group of consumer lawyers in California, Allred’s home state, had come to see danger in that line of thinking. They thought victims of sexual harassment deserved financial compensation, but settlements shouldn’t be used to cover up – and thus perpetuate – predatory behavior. “If there’s a serial perpetrator out there, you can’t keep these secrets repeatedly because the actions will continue,” Nancy Peverini, a lobbyist for the consumer lawyer group, later told Megan.


P. 109


    Harvey Weinstein had long conscripted some of the people and practices of his illustrious companies – from lawyers to assistants, contracts to work expenses – to further his predation or hide it. Some employees knew little or nothing as they worked on movie marketing posters and release dates. But over that two-year period, Reiter, the company’s most active board member, and Weinstein’s own brother and business partner all became increasingly aware and worried about allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against Weinstein. One by one, they all failed to address the problem, and the producer showed a remarkable ability to create his own reality, to make a series of problems simply disappear.
    How could a company become so deeply complicit in abuse?


P. 124


    Bob convinced himself that his brother’s problem was sex addiction, and that no one could stop Harvey Weinstein other than Harvey Weinstein. It was a convenient, and arguably disastrous, moral choice, by which Bob justified his failure to do more. He stayed in business with his brother but excused himself from intervening in his brother’s actions. He refused to take responsibility or even help employees who came to him upset about his brother’s belittling language or lacerating tactics.
    “People would come into my office and say, ‘Your brother’s screaming and yelling at me,'” he said. “I said, ‘Quit. You’re talented.'”
    That was what passed for his management credo. “Send a note to HR,” he would sometimes say to his employees, even though the human resources operation at the company was weak and offered little recourse. “Write a letter.”
    But in the weeks after the public accusation from Gutierrez, Bob finally felt compelled to act. . .


P. 181


The Weinstein story was solvent for secrecy, pushing women all over the world to speak up about similar experiences. The name Harvey Weinstein came to mean an argument for addressing misconduct, lest it go unchecked for decades, an example of how less-severe transgressions could lead to more serious ones. An emerging consensus that speaking up about sexual harassment and abuse was admirable, not shameful or disloyal. A cautionary tale about how that kind of behavior could become a grave risk for employers. Most of all, it marked an emerging agreement that Weinstein-like conduct was unequivocally wrong and should not be tolerated.





Harvey Weinstein and his army of spies


60 Minutes Australia

Jan 14, 2020





Alaina Demopoulos
Feb 13, 2020


The Harvey Weinstein Trial Shows Why Forced Oral Sex Is Rape




March 11, 2020



Hi Linda,


Today Harvey Weinstein was sentenced in New York City for sexually abusing two women. While this was a victory for the survivors, the constant media coverage can be emotional for others coming to terms with their personal experiences

Whether you want to share your story with others, or someone shares their story with you, here are some resources to help you talk about rape and sexual assault.


If you need to talk, we are here for you. Safe Horizon’s rape and sexual assault hotline is available 24/7: Call 212-227-3000.

If you are outside of New York City, you can contact RAINN, who operates a national sexual assault hotline: Call 1-800-656-4673.

In solidarity with survivors,

Carmen Fleming 
Senior Manager 
Special Victims Division, Crime Victim Assistance Program




What To Say When Someone Tells You They’ve Been Sexually Assaulted Or Harassed

It can be difficult when people you know — friends, family members, distant acquaintances, coworkers — come forward about their experiences with sexual assault or harassment on social media. Here are some things you can say.



100. OscarMarch 1, 2016




“It’s on us:


-To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
-To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
-To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
-To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”



Tools and tips:


Consent is voluntary and mutual and can be withdrawn at any time.


Past consent does not mean future or current consent.


There is no consent when there is force, coercion, or intimidation.


One cannot always consent when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.


Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.


Don’t just be a bystander – if you see something, intervene in any way you can.


Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.


Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re okay.


Get someone to help if you see something – enlist a friend.


Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.


Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it’s rape.


Never blame the victim.


If you are a victim or survivor, or helping someone in that situation, go to notalone dot gov to get the resources and information you need.


You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.



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