"...on the outside, the whole thing seems like a pleasant upper-class philosophical group. But that's bullshit."
"IndigoCharm" wrote on the DeviantArt website, January 16, 2009:
'The Fellowship of Friends' cult
Jan 16, 2009, 2:58:01 AM
Having no other blog to type this on, and wanting people to know about it, I will type it here--- since I guess writing very honestly about something could be considered writerly skill, and I suppose that qualifies as art.
The Fellowship of Friends -- also known as the School -- is a "school of thought" my parents got introduced to when I was around 10 or 11. While I was not old enough to join, over the years I got pulled into it somewhat, and plenty brainwashed from even that contact, to the point where I knew a good amount of their terminology and beliefs and actually followed them somewhat, with my parents' sort of detached encouragement (I have to add, my parents are pretty detached from me and the rest of the world in the first place, and the Fellowship just enforced that).
When I first started living with my parents in third grade, I found them to be very obsessed with finding Something Higher, if that makes sense -- they read Castaneda obsessively and went to Mexico to take peyote, the [sic] such. But eventually, they got tired of this and found something new. They started talking obsessively about the Enneagram, a system for classifying people, perhaps not originally invented by the Fellowship, but elaborated and made into a strict guideline of Human Types. At 10, I thought this was something like astrology -- you know, like the Chinese zodiac -- and since I was interested, they gave me a book of theirs on the subject. We often sat in the living room identifying people we know, with my parents usually criticizing them. My parents told me I'm a Jovial-Lunar (the types were named after planets) -- Lunars were considered "doughy," pale, thin and light haired, antisocial, and morbid; Jovials were fat and flamboyant. They also had sub-types, named after card figures -- Jacks were primitive, narrow-minded personalities, Queens were dramatic and "most likely to commit murders and kill their children" (what I was classified as), and Kings were altruistic and perfect.
I soon found that my parents took this classification system quite seriously. At that age, I started getting into many fights with them -- at least 3 per day -- and when faced with me saying -- anything, really, it seems -- they would fold their arms defensively and angrily and say that I am "acting from my Queen of Hearts center". If the fight continued, it got a lot worse and I won't go into that bit. I tried running away a couple of times, but I never had the guts to, well, finish.
At that point, I think they started paying more money to the School (it was the duty of a good Student) and we got to being fairly poor. They also got obsessed with the idea of "being conscious" and "present" -- they called the regular people, ones not in the School, "Machines". As I said, I got brainwashed just as much, and since I was naive enough to want to be liked by my parents and be a Good Daughter (despite at the same time hating them), I made a strong effort to "stay present" and was full of a sort of inward sneering at the Sleeping Machines (i.e. everyone else). I, like my parents, believed in omens of good and bad, messages regarding my progress to the higher self.
They had different exercises for every week (or maybe it was month) to increase their consciousness -- sitting with feet flat on the floor, eating a certain way, not being allowed to eat certain things, listening only to Classical Music. I got really sick of hearing Mozart's "The Magic Flute" playing. [ed. - Many Fellowship members may have experienced a similar response!]
They would spend the little money we had on wine and nice food to take to Atlanta every Sunday, to the cult meetings -- they'd buy a bunch of good cheese and desserts, but I never actually got to have any, and they locked most of the remaining food up so I couldn't eat it.