Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Cimarron's" research into psychopathy

Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton self-remembering gaze
Robert Burton self-remembering
[ed. - I took the liberty of converting "Cimarron's" post from "all caps."]

"Cimarron" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 20, 2007:
Dear friends in “search or the miraculous”

I’ve been reading the blog for the last few weeks and I find it very inspirational (even the weird postings help me gain some understanding). I’d like to thank all of you (in and out of FoF) for your contributions; specially the Sheik for his valuable support. I spent over a decade in the FoF until I was kicked out a few years ago.

Because of the idea that “an unexamined life is not worth living,” since then I’ve been trying to figure out, like most of you, what the hell happened to me in all those years. After regaining some emotional stability, I tried to follow Ouspensky’s sound advice after he announced that he would abandon the system, meaning “everyone has to reconstruct everything by himself”. In doing so, and for the sake of some mental clarity, I thought it practical to separate the system, the school and the teacher. It is about the teacher that I’d like to share some thoughts with you today. My questions were no different from what has been expressed here so far. Is he a real teacher? Is he really conscious? Is he a “normal” guy or just a clever psychopath? I pretty much agree with the notion of pathological narcissism, although it looks a bit incomplete. I tried to put together some information on the subject and I found that the concept of psychopathic personality (of which narcissism is one manifestation), in my opinion, depicts his behavior very accurately. One of the descriptions that quickly caught my attention was: he will say anything the other person needs to hear in order to move from point a to point b. This seems to correspond exactly with the postings of Joelf (“by telling me that I would be the next conscious being after MB, he delayed my departure by 10 years”), Sandra C (“I think of this as an example of his ability to read people. Because for me these were the magic words”) and I think Whalerider mentions something also, like everything would belong to him (sorry if these are not the exact words but I believe the meaning is the same). I wonder what he might have told to his “inconditionals” that they behave the way they do…. Also the description of the sexuality in this condition seems to apply very accurately to the postings by students who “verified” it. Predatory sex, promiscuity, lack of emotional evolvement, incapacity to develop a healthy, loving and lasting relationship, etc. I found Bonita’s posting very helpful, particularly because the experience dates from so long ago. Special thanks for those sincere postings! Other expressions that describe the picture are: irresponsibility, insincerity, unreliability, impulsiveness, fearlessness, the ability of faking noble human qualities, charming, very manipulative, capable of inspiring love in sometimes fanatical degree in others, uses his ability with words to talk his way out of trouble, unable to feel sorry for others, lack of empathy, valuing others only for the enhancement of his own pleasure or status, completely egocentric, they often pass lie detector tests. While the psychopath is charming and makes friends easily, those who come to rely upon him soon painfully find out that he has no sense of responsibility. Continually promises are made and broken without regard for the gravity of the consequences, for which the psychopath will then deny responsibility. He can solemnly lie while looking the victim in the eye, showing no anxiety whatever. Their way of dealing with money is often irresponsible and chaotic. The list of the “amenities” goes on and on, but I think you already have an idea. For the sake of relativity, the demographics show an incidence of as high as 3 percent among the general population (which seems to be an underestimation due to heavily relying on institutionalized people), males outnumber females by at least 5:1. (I was just wondering: if FoF has over 1000 students, statistically speaking, how many psychopaths would fit in the picture?) If you want more information, just google “psychopath” and you’ll find a lot of info. Most psychiatrists consider psychopaths untreatable. They say that the relationship with a psychopath is a “one way ticket.” (you figure that out.) The advice in a nut shell that you frequently hear is: run as fast as you can and never look back. People usually take years to recover from the emotional damage that comes with the exposure to those individuals (if they ever recover). This is what I read in almost every posting of ex students.


The main reason I wanted to share this with all of you is that, if I am correct in this assumption, the situation is hopeless. I address here to those well intentioned and charitable souls that think it possible to “change” RB. Psychopaths are born and die as such. The only alternative is to institutionalize them if they become a threat to society.

I apologize for writing with a pseudonym, but you know what happens when some people don’t like the message: they shoot the messenger…. And I don’t want to deal with the identifications of others. If some of you dislike the content, please fell free to use it as toilet paper.. Unless you want to contribute something valuable in a civilized way.

“with generosity to all, with malice to none” A. L. [Abraham Lincoln]

Let me finish with a quotation I read sometime ago and I thought I should tattoo it on my forehead while pondering these past years.

“people usually show more common sense to buy a second hand car than to embrace a religion”

Unknown

Cimarron

"Be Hold Everything" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 22, 2007:

Cimarron (356) [above]: Excellent post.

“ONE OF THE DESCRIPTIONS (of a psychopath) THAT QUICKLY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION WAS: HE WILL SAY ANYTHING THE OTHER PERSON NEEDS TO HEAR IN ORDER TO MOVE FROM POINT A TO POINT B.”

Your comments get to the heart of the matter: If we somehow believe Robert Burton has our best interests at heart, he’s got us, and we will never quite understand what’s been occurring in the fof. But when we start questioning his intentions one-by-one, the illusion begins to crumble.

“WHILE THE PSYCHOPATH IS CHARMING AND MAKES FRIENDS EASILY, THOSE WHO COME TO RELY UPON HIM SOON PAINFULLY FIND OUT THAT HE HAS NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY. HE CAN SOLEMNLY LIE WHILE LOOKING THE VICTIM IN THE EYE, SHOWING NO ANXIETY WHATEVER… (and) THEIR WAY OF DEALING WITH MONEY IS OFTEN IRRESPONSIBLE AND CHAOTIC.”

In the fof, there’s this idea of the “imaginary picture” that we have of ourselves. It’s a very useful concept, but what we REALLY should have been talking about was the imaginary picture we had of Robert Burton. My idea of “who he was” was nowhere near the above description, and yet today I see how well the description fits.

“THE DEMOGRAPHICS SHOW AN INCIDENCE OF AS HIGH AS 3 PERCENT AMONG THE GENERAL POPULATION (WHICH SEEMS TO BE AN UNDERESTIMATION DUE TO HEAVILY RELYING ON INSTITUTIONALIZED PEOPLE), MALES OUTNUMBER FEMALES BY AT LEAST 5:1. (I WAS JUST WONDERING: IF FOF HAS OVER 1000 STUDENTS, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, HOW MANY PSYCHOPATHS WOULD FIT IN THE PICTURE?)…”

I have thought about this often. Unfortunately, one of my closest friends in the FOF (many years ago) fit the description very well, and I’m sure there are others. Once I realized this person did have psychological disorder (partly coming to this realization through discussions I had with others who knew him), I began avoiding him more and more. But this baffled certain others who really liked him… “He’s such a great guy! There must be something wrong with YOU!” Sound familiar? After years of trusting this friend, being loyal to him when others criticized him, and feeling a deep love and respect for him, I finally wised up and left this person’s school within a school. It took a long, long time, and a lot of mistakes in the process. But the experience was very much a microcosm of leaving the Fellowship, and in an odd way it may have prepared me for it.

“THE ADVICE IN A NUT SHELL THAT YOU FREQUENTLY HEAR IS: RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND NEVER LOOK BACK… PEOPLE USUALLY TAKE YEARS TO RECOVER FROM THE EMOTIONAL DAMAGE THAT COMES WITH THE EXPOSURE TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS (IF THEY EVER RECOVER). THIS IS WHAT I READ IN ALMOST EVERY POSTING OF EX STUDENTS.”

I’m still recovering from my proximity to both individuals — Robert Burton and the above mentioned. And I didn’t have sex with either one of them.🙂 But I can truly see that I was mostly a victim of my own stupidity, and keeping that fact in mind (without judgment or shame) has helped me immensely. One of the best cures for me was to extricate myself from my own vanity. Psychopaths recognize that and use it. I learned to just be, and didn’t try to “be something.”

And by the way, I loved your quotation:

“PEOPLE USUALLY SHOW MORE COMMON SENSE TO BUY A SECOND HAND CAR THAN TO EMBRACE A RELIGION”

UNKNOWN

I’ll add one from Abraham Lincoln that has been sitting on my desk for quite some time:

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

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