Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970.

Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and an ominous, yet unspecified new threat late in 2018.) While non-believers shall perish, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers will be spared, founding a new, and more perfect civilization.

Many regard Robert Earl Burton a narcissist and sociopath, surrounded by a largely greed- and power-driven inner circle. The following pages offer abundant evidence supporting that conclusion.

This archive draws on official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the (former) Fellowship Wikipedia page, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wiki project, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Era of the Sequence

Image from Lallous' Lab
[ed. - the following post was supposedly written by a new student!]

"Lateral Drift" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 11, 2007:
361 Still Trying [post number and blogger]

‘The Sequence’ is a relatively recent – and very practical – Burton contribution to the 4th Way school of thought. It involves using the 30 work ‘I’s to practice being present or self-remembering in daily life. Students are encouraged to start out doing 20 or so sequences per day in groups of 3. Each step lasts about one breath (3 seconds) for a total time of about 30 seconds.

During Robert’s travels in Egypt, following practical observation, there was a refinement to the sequence of six work I’s which bring presence.

The current format for the sequence is:

1. Be— 2. Hold— 3. Theme— 4. Back— 5. Theme again— 6. long BE – followed by the four wordless breaths (steps 7-10).

Theme is the appropriate work ‘I’ in the moment.

It makes the sequence more effective as there is one less work ‘I’ to remember and draw our attention away. For example during a concert the sequence would be: Be—Hold—Hear—Back —Hear—long BE.

The work ‘I’ ‘Back’ –called the middle coming – is an invitation for the steward to come forward and a command to the lower self to go ‘back’ to its rightful place.
Another way to look at it, is that the fourth work ‘I’ in the sequence, actually reaffirms the short ‘Be’ and prepares for the Long BE. ‘Back’, therefore, represents another form of ‘Be’.


The Thirty Work ‘I’s

1. Be (Be present)
2. Hold (Hold the sequence with Presence)
3. Pray (Choose the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear)
4. Back (Watch the lower self)
5. Turn (Return to the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear)
6. Long BE (Prolong Presence)
7. Act (Engage Presence)
8. Peace [Pax] (Avoid the entire spectrum of negative emotions)
9. Leave (Avoid identification)
10. Kneel (Do not resent friction)
11. Drop (Do not judge or keep accounts)
12. Use (Use voluntary suffering)
13. Wit (Avoid wit)
14. Now (Think neither of the past nor of the future)
15. Look (Look with presence)
16. Move (Move with presence)
17. Taste (Taste with presence)
18. Hear (Listen with presence)
19. Feel (Feel with presence)
20. Smell (Smell with presence)
21. Talk (Speak with presence)
22. Think (Think with presence)
23. Read (Read with presence)
24. Write (Write with presence)
25. Child (Remain in essence; avoid false personality revolving around chief feature)
26. Serve (Do not inner consider, externally consider)
27. Scale (Use scale and relativity)
28. Aim (Keep aim and complete octaves; be aware of third forces)
29. Time (Remember the brevity of life)
30. Gods (Remember the gods)
Robert Earl Burton Fellowship of Friends cult leader keys rhino poop cave painting
Robert Earl Burton, the Fellowship of Friends cult leader, explains the esoteric
symbolism of rhino excrement. (See below.)  Image source.

[ed. - The following provides the esoteric "keys" to the above image, however the poster seems perplexed.]

"No Person" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 15, 2007:
This is uncomprehensible to me. Could anyone please explain how this knowledge can be used practically for being present here and now?
“It shows a mammoth with a falling man, and to the left, a rhinoceros with excrement in six small dots passing from him.
This verse explains the image of the rhinoceros, keyed as the lower self, who is excreting the sequence. The lower self is in control of the sequence at this point and the steward is falling back, failing to act. It is a failed sequence mouthed too weakly, without heart, and it cannot engage presence with it.”

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2007 at 4:22 a.m.:
Guys, I think FOF will collapse all by itself and probably sooner than we think… Teacher will teach only if he gets cash. The way things are going there is less and less of cash coming in.

Please keep shedding light, keep exposing the lies, keep telling your stories. Truth doesn’t need to be defended it just needs to be seen. FOF is so corrupted and commercialized but doesn’t show this ugly side to new seekers. The teaching became so clearly absurd and insane so all we have to do is simply post it without adding anything. It speaks (screams) for itself!

I’ll continue to post the original stuff from FOF as it is – unaltered, and let it speak for itself. I encourage others to do the same. Let buyer beware. Hopefully those students who are still in doubt will make up their minds. Let us see the brainwashing, shameless money sqeezing, and purely delusional interpretations of various images being sold to students as “Sacred Teaching”. Let us see it for what it is and be honest with ourselves.

Dear Friends,

The Video Distribution Octave is undergoing further refinement. Our Teacher underlines the importance for each of us to be as closely connected to this sacred Teaching as possible. He has listed as one of our highest priorities the viewing of the Teaching Events on DVD.

The School is moving at lightening speed. C Influence continually reveals new knowledge. The level of Robert’s Teaching becomes ever more distilled and objective.Each student will now be able to go to propylaia and access the list of the Teaching videos. You will find the list of videos under the Link “From the Teacher”.

Dear Friends,

Robert has pointed out that the task of our school is to gather all the expressions of the system historically, and that we have now come to the earliest expressions of the system in prehistoric times, before Egypt. He requested that the following message with accompanying images and quotations be sent to the School:

Although the prehistoric school did not use written language to transmit their knowledge, we can understand their images with the help of the writings of other traditions. In particular, our understanding of the Egyptian School is now serving as a bridge to help us understand the Prehistoric Tradition, as pre-dynastic Egypt is essentially the end of the Prehistoric Tradition. Below are three examples of Prehistoric images with accompanying quotes that help explain their keys:

1) The first image is the The Head of a Woman with Cross-hatched Hair. It is from France, dated 25,000 BP (Before the Present). It is carved from mammoth ivory and is about 4 cm tall.
Image source
Hair is a key for the many ‘I’s, the ten thousand. Hair put into order represents the many ‘I’s, the passions, under control with the sequence (as opposed to chaos, imagination). This passage from Going Forth by Day refers to the steward coming out of imagination with Short Be.

The neatly arranged cross-hatched hair of the woman shows the order brought to the steward/ the nine of hearts with the sequence.

2) The next image, The Hunting Scene, is a rock painting from a cave in Lascaux, France, dated approximately 15,000 BP. [Top of page]

It shows a mammoth with a falling man, and to the left, a rhinoceros with excrement in six small dots passing from him.

What I detest is excretion and I will not eat it…I will not be satisfied with filth.

Image source
Coffin Texts

This passage from the Egyptian Coffin Texts (Late Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom texts found on coffins) describes the steward who does not want to be in imagination; he is not satisfied having ‘I’s unrelated to promoting presence, here called filth and excrement.

This verse explains the image of the rhinoceros, keyed as the lower self, who is excreting the sequence. The lower self is in control of the sequence at this point and the steward is falling back, failing to act. It is a failed sequence mouthed too weakly, without heart, and it cannot engage presence with it.

3) The third image is a Flute, from France, dated 34,000 BP. It is made from vulture bone.

The vulture is known for its ability to fly at high altitudes for long periods of time, and it became a symbol of Long BE in the Egyptian School. Tutankhamun had a cobra head and a vulture head on his golden mask, Short Be and Long BE.

The flute made of vulture bone has four holes—after Long BE, sustain the four wordless breaths.

Robert called it the Magic Flute.

"Ollie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 11, 2010:
33. zannos [blog post and blogger]

Regarding “the shoddiest bunch of claptrap imaginable”: Robert Burton in a Fellowship meeting on the subject “The Nothing that is Something” (May 09, 2010): ‘A photograph shows a boy in an airplane wearing a tee-shirt saying “Yes.” His arms are outstretched in long-BE form and he is looking up. There is a great meaning behind this simple photograph. The twenty-first Olympics just finished, but before it began there was a tragic accident in which a young athlete died, leaving the Georgian delegation with six athletes. An American athlete named Apolo Ohno won eight medals in the winter Olympics. When my B Influence teacher died on the tennis courts at fifty-seven, his last words were “Oh no!” because he knew he was having a heart attack. He said, “Oh no!” and died right there. Apollo may survive the Last Judgment – oh no – yes! All things end in yes for schools if this comes to pass. There is a formatory phrase in life, “Seeing is believing.” Jesus said, “If you would believe on me” – if you would make the sequence act, so seeing is believing.’ There you have it. Wake up everybody, this rubbish will not turn you into a “conscious being” one day, nor will a thousand sequences or a million wordless breaths! Don’t listen to it any longer. Get out of the Fellowship and take time to heal. Learn again to be quiet with yourself, away from the relentless propaganda. Don’t let the Fellowship obscure the sun of your true being. There is a silent peace, beyond all efforting, beyond all “gripping of the present”, beyond all those desperate desires to “be immortal”. Don’t be afraid. Relax. Trust it. Be silent. This silent peace is you. Has always been, will always be. Forever and ever.

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2007 at 4:35 a.m.:
Another example of “fishing” for sacred teaching, or Sacred Teaching in the making.

Let’s collect all your random I’s, then have Robert and Asaf [Asaf Braverman] regurgitate them, then stage a meeting and make sure it’s filmed and then printed as “Thoughts from the Teacher”- and here’s our new “sacred teaching” for sale!

How can anyone in their sane mind take this “teaching” seriously…
Dear Friends,

We are attempting to understand the esoteric meaning of the Zodiac. Our aim is to understand how it relates to the sequence of six work ‘I’s-the essence of the system-rather than life’s psychological interpretations of the signs.

A few initial observations: There are twelve signs in the zodiac, roughly corresponding to the twelve months in a year. This suggests that they occur in time, in sequence, where one follows another. At this point, however, we do not know why twelve and not six. Another instance we see a sequence of twelve is in the Egyptian teaching, in the twelve hours of the Amduat, where the night bark travels through the twelve hours of the night before emerging into the daylight hours. Note that there are also twelve hours of daylight, suggesting long BE lasts as long as the steps it took to reach it-although at this point we are only presuming this and are not certain whether or not this is the right interpretation.
In a school, it is enough that one student make a connection for the whole to benefit, as has been the case several times since we began working with the keys. We would therefore like to invite any suggestions and insights you have that can shed more light into the esoteric meaning of the Zodiac. Keep in mind that ultimately the answers are simple and obvious once revealed.
If you have any relevant thoughts on this subject, please send them to xxx…
Thank you,
Asaf [Asaf Braverman]

"Traveler" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 8, 2007 at 8:07 p.m.:
I’d like to propose that uninformative language, rife with buzzwords and appeals to a commonality of experience, is a hallmark of Fellowship thinking and teaching. The basic allure of the message is: We share something important that nobody else knows about, and we are all in it together.
To take a few examples right from the blog: Howard Carter posted several quotes by Robert at 11/116, to illustrate how self-remembering is related to prehistoric pictures. Thank you. As Ames pointed out nicely, “their semantic content adds up to zero”. Yet, over the years, Robert has learned to use big words to disguise the basic (lack of) meaning. As one of my teachers once said, “Sounding impressive often passes for deep thought.” Take a look:
“The prehistoric tradition is the backbone of the esoteric.”
- Prerequisite: you have to believe that there is such a thing as a “prehistoric tradition”. Pre-pre-requisite: you have to believe that Robert Burton interprets the world objectively. Loaded words: the prehistoric tradition, backbone, the esoteric. Form of statement: A is B.
Translation: “What I claim to be true is really very important.”
“Schools are indifferent to the form of the message, which is why we are able to understand the prehistoric.”
- Prerequisite: you have to believe in the tradition of esoteric schools as interpreted by Robert Burton. Pre-prerequisite: you have to believe that Robert Burton knows for a fact what other schools in the past have been like. Loaded words: schools, the message, we, the prehistoric. Robert Burton speaks in all-embracing pronouncements in order to give himself some validity and credibility, hence the use of “schools” when he means “I” and the use of “we” when he means “I”. Form of statement: A, therefore B. Translation: “I don’t care what it looks like, it always means the Sequence – and that’s why I can interpret anything.”
“A student asked why we are studying the prehistoric school, and I said that it is consistent with what we are doing – gathering the teachings of the schools before us.”
- This is beautiful. He re-words the question to provide an answer. Loaded words: the prehistoric school, consistent, schools. Form of statement: A because B. Note how you could leave out “consistent with” and it would still mean the same thing. The word “consistent” is there only for impact, to evoke positive associations of what you want to be like in your work. Translation: “We are doing this because it is part of something we are already doing.”
Similarly, if I look at the statement by King of Clubs, 11/193, 11/195,
“Ex-members need to set up their own blog, because the octave has become too influential not to be householdered by one of us.”
I can see this is still expressed in line with the Fellowship way of thinking. Loaded words: octave, influential, householdered, one of us. Translation: “I think ex-members should control the core of blog activity, because something bad might happen if ex-members are not the ones who control what is going on.” I don’t quite follow that reasoning.
The Sheik mentioned above how limiting work language is. One of the reasons is that it operates subconsciously. When Robert or students use phrases that you are familiar with, you automatically think they must be correct. Language is mostly a tool of the rational and logical mind, but it is being used daily to act on your instinctive and emotional functions. Of course we all know that, and we explain it by saying “Robert is centered in the King of Hearts”, so he speaks to our emotions. He sways the emotions. Holds people in fascination. If you want to look at what he is saying rationally, you will be immediately dismissed: “Oh, you’re so intellectual…” And we all know that being intellectual is baaaaad and unhelpful. We can only understand Robert by abandoning reason. Well, at least that much is true.
The Thoughts from the Teacher are full of eloquent formulations:
Put your cleverness away: mere words will never unite you to the state we are in. - Kabir
In John 17:4, Jesus—the steward—said, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do”—I have completed the sequence. One of the most wonderful moments in our school was when we discovered the image of this prehistoric flute, dating to 34,000 BP. The flute, which looks like an obelisk, and represents the sequence, has four holes, representing the four wordless breaths. It is made from a vulture’s carcass, the vulture being a symbol of work ‘I’ number six, because it can soar effortlessly for prolonged periods at high altitudes. Quite interestingly, even though this flute is more than thirty thousand years old, it was found in 1939, the year I was born. Related to this, Ibn Arabi said, “God is one, unique, eternal, and perfect.” He names four attributes, like the four wordless breaths. (3-25-07)[- Robert Burton]
But imagine if the Thoughts came to you neutralized, in the form of actual informative content and everyday language:
“Don’t be clever. You want to be in a higher state. Words won’t help.” (Kabir)
“I did what you told me to do.” (Jesus)
Robert: “This means Jesus is the steward and he used the sequence.
Some students found a picture of a flute that is 34,000 years old. I thought that was awesome and that it will benefit the Fellowship. The shape of the flute reminds me of an obelisk. The flute means the sequence. The flute has four holes, they mean four wordless breaths. The material used to make the flute was the bone of a vulture. According to me, a vulture means the sixth work “I”: a vulture and the sixth work “I” are similar in that a vulture flies high for a long time without effort, and it’s the same with the end of the sequence.
I find it fascinating that this flute was discovered in the same year as I was born (1939), and this seems surprising to me, because the flute is more than 30,000 years old.
I think this is related to what Ibn Arabi said: God is one, unique, eternal and perfect. The reason it’s related is because the things Ibn Arabi mentioned about God, are four, just like four wordless breaths that I talk about.”
Note how in the original Robert does not “own” his opinions. He projects them onto the School to become everyone’s opinion: “one of the most wonderful moments in our school was”, “a flute which looks like an obelisk” (yes, and a cigar among other things also looks like an obelisk, by the way), “being a symbol”. How much less convincing is it if I say “I think”, “this reminds me of” “it seems to me as if” – have you ever heard Robert speak like that? It’s strange, isn’t it? He can support the idea he is conscious because he sounds so sure of himself. People who sound sure of themselves sound like people who can be trusted. At least they know what they’re talking about, thank God.
I guess I have to mention the misappropriation of quotations that has been staring everyone in the face for years but has been justified as a means to a valid end. Robert wants to show us something valuable, so he uses quotes to make his point. Okay, he may tailor the quotes (and pictures) a bit to suit his needs, but the point is still fair, we say. Don’t you see what’s happening? He’s using anything he can get his hands on from any past authority to support his own fantasy, and we are asked to play along in the interest of a greater good. He is exploiting magical thinking in students who unconsciously believe in “greatness by association” – by placing himself in the same context with Kabir, Rumi, Whitman, or other people that you have found inspiring, he takes credit for your inspiration and will now reinterpret it for you so that you will understand it “correctly”. He creates these people in his own image. Some students are actually literally believing that the sequence has been known for 30,000 years and used by Buddha, Christ, Lao-Tze and the rest of them! (Other students who don’t believe it, live in a split personality.) Because we agreed to play along. Because it’s intended to make us more emotional. We allow the first step, we close one eye when he kind of doesn’t make sense, and it’s all downhill from there.
Do you ever hear Robert babbling? His thoughts running on in a perpetual non-sequitur? What did you feel when you read the part about him being born in 1939 and the 30,000 years of the flute? Is he making sense? Is that an expression of his consciousness which you are yet to fathom? Or of his fascination with himself and fixation on numbers?
A fixed idea is typically a decision or conclusion the person has made on his own at some point that has set up an automatic way of dealing with life. It is one specific idea that is regarded as having great value for the person, but which he isn’t conscious of using. He uses it as truth, and it appears to make everything right for him. It is a fixed, aberrated way of handling life. It is a way of being right. Often it involves making others wrong at the same time. The fixed idea makes a certain concept or behavior the right way, per definition. The person has a blind spot about the fixed idea. He doesn’t know he is using it. He is so confident about it that he never has to re-evaluate it. If he gets close to it by himself it just appears as obvious truth and he doesn’t look any further.
I think Robert has a fixed idea that angels are communicating with him through numbers, and some students (especially Girard) have a fixed idea that Robert is something called a “conscious being” and therefore his interpretations of the world are objective and true no matter what. But of course, real students know that it’s not just a fixed idea, because they happen to know that it’s true and it’s just that all those billions of life people out there are so asleep that they can’t see it. Of course.
But the original question was, what is the connection between keying ancient images and self-remembering? I never got it, obviously, so this is my speculation of how it happens. You are given an image, for example, a 15.000 year-old picture on a cave wall, and told that it represents ancient esoteric knowledge, exactly the same knowledge that the Fellowship possesses (5 deer heads over a black stripe = entering the 3rd state through the sequence of 6 steps and controlling 72 divisions of centers). Is it the sheer magnitude of the idea, that you are discovering something not understood by anyone else on the planet, that just makes you quiver and gape in awe, and then that brings you closer to self-remembering?
I wanted to look at some of the Newspeak produced by the Fellowship. And I’m not talking only about expressions like “the sequence” and “the steward” that you need a name for if you’re going to invent a concept and talk about it. It’s subtler than simple units of reference. It’s emotional. It penetrates the heart directly, and if you have learned to turn your head off as unhelpful to your evolution, it does not enter the mind to question the implications of promotional language. You repeat the set phrases designed to evoke a certain feeling, and eventually this becomes the only way you are able to express yourself.
“2006 was the year of the sequence, and what we accomplished in understanding the system exceeded all of our expectations.” –Robert
In the Fellowship, you are repeatedly told what you (we) are thinking and feeling and what state you (we) are in. I know all the arguments, it is only for our own good, and even if it’s not true yet, it’s to encourage us to really think and feel that way, to induce us to really manifest that higher state. Doesn’t that strike you as eerily similar to The Secret? Doesn’t it seem like a hypnotic technique? Maybe you think that’s really useful, but I find it incredibly manipulative and naïve on the part of the students. It works for producing obedient malleable smiling content people, and to me that’s a particularly high evolutionary achievement.
“Safeguarding the nine of hearts from drifting into imagination for fifteen seconds after you have completed the sequence is the greatest achievement in the universe.” –Robert, Jan 5, 2007
Once upon a time, we were told not to express ourselves in absolutes, because it would be lying. Robert, however, is not being grandiose, he is being conscious, so he really knows what he is talking about when he says “greatest achievement in the universe”. If our reason accidentally kicks in, we explain him away, and we say, well, he didn’t mean it that way, he has to speak like that to shake us out of our sleep, it’s supposed to be emotional and evocative. Right. Just like he didn’t really literally mean
“To make the machine conscious and immortal is the ultimate task, and to achieve this, everything is asked from us.” – Robert, May 17, 2007
Nowadays Robert doesn’t talk about predictions much publicly any more. He doesn’t have to. The core of his students have internalized the idea that the Fellowship is the last conscious school on Earth at the end of this civilization. Robert only needs to hint at it.
“The beautiful Egyptian artworks are sacred messages from the first school to the last school.” – Robert, January 2, 2007
Note the emotions contained in the “sacred messages” and “the last school”. It could make one cry. No wonder people become so attached to the Fellowship if it gives their life such a deep purpose in God’s grand scheme of things.
‘The sequence has the incredible privilege of associating with divine presence. By transforming the lower self we produce the pearl of great price – divine presence. Stay away from ‘I’s unrelated to your precious sequence; fast from lifeless, unconscious thoughts. When third eye is doing everything it can to escape from the tentacles of imagination and the diabolical control of the lower self, it does so with ‘Be’. What a mercy it was when they delivered the sequence to us; we can all be conscious beings now. All schools teach us the same thing – how to begin and complete sequences. It is critical to begin a new sequence as soon as the old one is exhausted.’ -Robert
Again, little actual informative content, mostly loaded phrases evoking imagery of a great, formidable, noble and epic battle between good and evil, spanning countless centuries, delivered fresh to your inbox every day for you to feel special about: “incredible privilege”, “divine presence”, “pearl of great price”, “precious sequence”, “lifeless thoughts”, “tentacles of imagination”, “diabolical control”, “delivered the sequence”, “conscious beings”, “all schools”…
But you have seen that presence is everything, and you insist that this is all about presence.
If that is so, dear Friends, please enjoy your wonderful and inspirational teaching events and intimate buffets for 30 with our Beloved Teacher, dining at cozy tables with special friends in gentle conversation, followed by charming concerts. Afterwards, you might wish to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to take a beautiful photograph with our Beloved Teacher. Group discounts (up to 3 people) will be available. Cash and checks accepted. I also invite you to take part in the 2nd auction this year to resume construction of the Theatron – please help raise tens of thousands of dollars so we can share more moments of presence in this very special place. Purchase your tickets online. You will also have the pleasure of experiencing our newest dining venue at the Nile Garden Terrace. Treat yourself to a wonderful teaching event ($150 sitting, $75 standing) and enjoy the spectacular view (look with presence) before the event. Please move with presence on the Path of Presence as you walk up to the dining event with our Beloved Teacher.
With love and sugar-dripping presence,
“Four legs good, two legs baaaaa-tter.” – The Sheep

"Moon Angel" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 12, 2007 at 2:48 a.m.:
For those who don’t want to scroll back here is my post from 275
Most people on this blog are probably not familiar with the most recent teachings.
The teachings are one of the most important aspects to consider since they keep people in the school. 249 Traveler gives some idea of what is going on.
But for those of you on the blog who haven’t been in the “school” for the last four years the teaching has changed course away from Forth Way and Ouspensky and G no longer serve as the foundation. Much of the teachers ideas and terminology have also changed as well, e.g. you rarely hear about Leonardo anymore.
My recollection is that soon after a meeting on “know thyself” personal angles were not considered for Sunday meetings and the teacher started delving into the Sufis and the bible among others. Students were asked to stop reading forth way material and the teacher went in a new direction.
During this period Girard seems to have become marginalized (a few Giradites- ardent followers of Girard still follow his struggles to interpret the new teaching with the desperate hope of making sense of it in forth way terminology.) and a new being Asaf has been developed to replace Girard. Asaf has been pivotal in helping Robert establish the new teaching. Rumor is that he is conscious, but like Girard in days of old he denies it for now.
Anyway, the new teaching advocates that the idea that being present is ancient and goes back to prehistoric times and that is part of some secrect message carried on by schools. the Fellowship is the last school in humanity and its job is synthesize the info. from all other schools, e.g. sufis, gothics, christians, moslems, jews, egyptians, prehistoric peoples, etc.. The teacher got a windfall of material from Egypt, and the “school” took several trips there to study Egyptian art and architecture. During this period the teaching became more arcane and dogmatic. Everything was related to presence, or the sequence. The teacher is constantly is telling everyone we are present, and the school has been a money making frenzy for the last few years pushing students to give as much as possible and buy raffle tickets, auction items etc. The property was developed to a large extent during this period as well and the teacher become more inacessible except during paying teaching events. Several prominent students also died during this time. The property was reanamed to Isis and many world class ballets were performed in a newly made greek theatron. The winery is no longer a focus.
Getting back to the teaching, the main point is this idea called the sequence. The sequence is a series of six syllabus used to introduce and prolong presence. I it goes something like this (coordinate with your breathing)
1) Be
2) Hold
3) subject e.g. look, taste, feel, hear, etc.
4) back e.g. go back to presence
5) subject
6) long Be e.g. be present
You are supposed to repeat this until you are present. When you are present, you stop because it is the Sabbath. You no longer need to seek because you have found. For worldess breaths.
The sequence seems to be a form of prayer to protect you from being possessed by the devil (King of Clubs).
The devil is the king of clubs (a direct key illustrated in numerous pictures and text by the teacher)
The steward as the nine of hearts, an angel that brings the keys to heaven by helping you to promote presence(world twelve).
Imagination is keyed as evil. Sin. To be in imagination is to be in a state of sin. To be possessed by the devil.
Many students say that someone is “possessed by their king of clubs” if they question the teaching, have thoughts about putting their interests above the schools, or if they leave the school.
Basically if you are not using the sequence…(prayer)…you are sinful..(in imagination)…and therefore possessed by your lowerself..(the devil)…if you do not become present…(in a redeemed state…heaven)…you will forever be asleep…(in hell).
Basically, the “school” seems to be a version of fundamentalist Christian religion put into a more exotic package.
Personally, I do not buy the claim that the teaching is a new way, or a veiled reference, to the system. Some students insist the teacher is not being literal, and this the king of clubs, devil for example is just a metaphor for lower self, etc.
If you actually attend teaching events, pay to watch the numerous DVD’s at center events, or read the weekly thoughts from the teacher it is stretch to say these ideas are a metaphor and they are presented in a deadly serious manner as some of the most important ideas in the history of humanity. This does not seem to be the system dressed in new clothes. It seems to be religion.
I would like others familiar with the current teaching to comment on this interpretation.

"Traveler" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 18, 2007 at 6:58 a.m.:

...I would like to also address # 9/233, Hava Nagillah [blog page, post number and blogger]
“The Sequence is a deeply rooted esoteric method to eliminate imagination and reach presence. It has been a major part of many traditions for thousands of years. Robert Burton did not invent the Sequence and YES it IS meant to reduce “thoughts” and increase wordless presence. This is the whole aim of the school.”
Dear Hava Nagillah, I totally agree that the Sequence is designed to stop thought and I do believe you are having some success with it. If you don’t mind, I’d like to deconstruct how you know about the Sequence’s ancient origin. Then you can correct me if I got something wrong.

“The Sequence is a deeply rooted esoteric method… major part of many traditions for thousands of years…” I assume you don’t speak with C Influence directly, so your knowledge of the Sequence and its historic import comes from Robert and through him from C Influence, which is unquestionably the most authoritative source on the matter. At some point, Robert or one of his researchers found a quote in the Philokalia that presence is reached in a sequence of six steps. As we know that Influence C communicates with Robert through numbers, he got quite excited about this and started looking for other ancient sources containing the number six. Of course he found many, specifically in Egypt, and then extended this to all multiples of six to mean the sequence. Work I’s were assigned to each of the steps, and with the help of the group of researchers and personal experimentation they were changed several times before the last version came out. Robert then started teleologically looking for more evidence confirming the role of each of the work I’s in the sequence, and even when the images didn’t quite match, he explained that the ancient civilization had cleverly hidden the key by making a mistake. In other words, his interpretations were still right. Keying was further perfected by assigning sequence-related meanings to other numbers that were encountered, namely, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, ~30. Robert declared that anything depicted in ancient Egypt had an esoteric meaning. Proofs of the sequence were found in ancient images around the world. This culminated in the discovery that the sequence was used even by prehistoric peoples, and though they did not have a written language, they attempted to communicate to us about the sequence by painting six hands or six animal droppings on cave walls. Soon we had enough knowledge to be able to have meetings with the topic of “Antlers”, which had six divisions.

Now obviously if Joe Blow from Dobbins started seeing a connection with number 42 just about everywhere and concluded that it was a divinely inspired message, an ancient code for objective truth, perhaps the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything, it wouldn’t mean much because he’s not conscious, right. Only conscious beings see the world objectively through signs and symbols.

So, since all of your knowledge about the Sequence being thousands of years old and an ancient tool for awakening, comes from Robert’s interpretations of pictures and symbols, and from other students repeating what Robert says, and since you seem pretty sure that it’s very true, you must have also verified that Robert is conscious and that his interpretations are objective.

Opus 111 wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 1, 2007 at 7:41 pm:
To Elena (various posts):
You mentioned in several of your posts that you think/know that the FOF leads to illnesses and untimely deaths in its members.
Quantifying  illnesses in and out of FOF, in a valid epidemiological  way would be  difficult, but quantifying death is easy (using a dualistic  approach,  dead or alive!). That is what one of my friends did to  investigate the  statement that RB often made in the past, that is:  C-Influence is  persecuting the FOF by taking the lives of its members at  a seemingly  high rate (I paraphrase). This friend inventoried all  deaths that  occurred in the FOF since 1977 (FOF did not keep very  accurate  statistics before, but few students, if any, died before then).  Only  deaths of members were quantified (Kevin K. would be tallied but  not  Brian S., for instance). It came to about 2.3 deaths per year, with 2   years when there were as many as 6 deaths and several when there were   none. He then applied the age-adjusted US death statistics published by   the CDC to the roster of students during that same period, to predict   the expected yearly number of deaths. The results were not even close:   predicted number of yearly deaths was 4-5 times that observed. In other   words, one could say that being in the FOF keeps you from dying an   untimely death, on the average. Obviously, these are only statistics   (lies, damn lies and stat…), but at the very least, it does not support   the statement that the FOF “makes people die early”. I would venture to   say that one might find similar conclusions with somatic illnesses,  and  even psychological illnesses, but I have no evidence for it.
Elena,  and others also call Robert and the FOF misogynistic. I don’t  get it,  and I have not seen it. I would accept that one would see Robert  as  misanthropic, perhaps, but not just misogynistic. After all, he does   women a huge favor by not inviting them in his bedroom. You do not find   women in his regular entourage, serving his events or house cleaning   his quarters, hardly something to complain about. But women have equal   access to events, they pay the same dues, and can leave whenever they   wish, as do men. Historically, they have occupied positions of   authority, in administration or teaching, to the same extent as did men.   Currently, the FOF president is a woman, the CFO is a woman, the Isis   Directors have 2/3 female representatives, the person organizing  travels  is a woman, etc, etc… My observation is that RB has been very  good at  sponsoring women with talent and leadership qualities, in a  position of  leadership, while allowing them to be themselves, not just  token males.  All know how much he learned from some amongst the early  prominent women  in the school, and no, they were not all rich. I simply  do not see that  Robert treats women more poorly, or better than he  does men, again on  average.
Elena also mentioned that half the  males in the school have slept  with Robert, and later states than at  least 90% of men have been  approached, while the remaining 10% regrets  or inner considers having  been left off. Would you, Elena, care to try  and substantiate such  claims (outlandish, in my view)? Do not get me  wrong, my intention is  not to invalidate everything you wrote (a  daunting task), but simply to  point out that you may get carried away  with some of your statements.  After all, one of your stated intentions  was to collect facts and debunk  lies about the FOF.

To Tereza (10-348)[blogger, blog page and post number]

“It  is NOT gossip when you pointed out that Renato died of aids. You  are clarifying a situation. By pointing that out, you are protecting  other  people from the dangers of the disease.”
I do not agree with that  statement on 2 counts. May be it is not  gossip, but it certainly is  lack of decency and invasion of privacy, and  I am not talking about FOF  privacy here, but Renato’s and his family.
I also do not see how  revealing the possible (probable?) cause of  Renato’s death, in any way  protects people from the dangers of HIV. HIV  is contagious. It does  not present a danger to casual relationships  however, only to intimate  ones. Is it not the responsibility of those  involved in intimate  relationships to be open and truthful about  themselves? Is it not the  responsibility of those “old enough” to engage  in intimate  relationships to know its potential dangers? What does this  have to do  with throwing old friends’ reputation under the bus? That  seems to me  what Kiran is doing, not improving public health.

To Moon Angel (10-347), about the school cosmology.

Some  statements are accurate, others not. Robert does not present  himself  as Christ equivalent any longer. In fact, he rather rarely  mentions  C-Influence nowadays. As to predictions, this subject has  largely been  off the table since 1998. I know those two points remain a  big part of  the demonized aspects of his personality, but they have  largely gone by  the way side. In addition, he does not say  presence=heavens and  imagination=hell. He did say heaven=presence and  hell=imagination. The  point is that he was trying (my word) to key  passages of the bible and  give them a practical significance for his  students, by using work  terms that students understand and have had the  opportunity to verify.  He was not trying (my assumption) to revive the  guilt/morality that are  linked to such terms as hell and heavens, which I  find is implied in  the way you present your post. While it is  impossible for me to know  whether such keys are true or not, it allows  me to use a layer of  reading of the Bible that I did not have before.
In general,  unlike many here, I do not see RB as someone  intrinsically nefarious,  who carefully planned the whole thing for his  greedy and personal  benefits. Call him deluded if you want, that would  make him rather  ordinary, if that were all he is. I think he grew in his  role,  propelled forth by his students and held back by his own  limitations.  The result is there for all of us to witness and the  subject of this  ongoing chronicle.

Moon Angel wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 2, 2007 at 5:47 am:

Dear Opus 111,
Thank you for your reply to my post.
I too got some nice images from the bible keys…e.g. the story of the damsel awakening, world twelve rising.
If the keys are helping you that is great.  I don’t want to rain on your parade.

I  respectfully disagree, however, that the teacher does not mention the  fall, or Armageddon, anymore.  Attend any event and at least once he will make some ominous statement to that effect as a means to dampen and quiet everyone while creating some drama to add texture to the mood of   the presentation.  He is usually deadly serious…but maybe he is just kidding around.
While you are correct that you will not hear him  talk about being Christ, many students make this comparison and they constantly say that  he is either a man number seven or eight. The  teacher is treated like a god and if you question anything it is blasphemy and will get you  scolded, ostracized or kicked out the  school.

Most people on this blog are probably not familiar with the most recent teachings.
For  those of you on the blog who haven’t been in the “school” for the last four years the teaching has completely abandoned the system. Ouspensky and G no longer serve as the foundation. Soon after a meeting on “know thyself” personal angles were not considered for Sunday meetings and the teacher started delving into the Sufis and the bible among others.  Students were asked to stop reading forth way material and the teacher went in a new direction and insisted everyone follow.
During  this period Girard became marginalized (a few Giradites - ardent  followers of Girard still follow struggles to interpretation the new teaching with the desperate hope of making sense of it in forth way terminology.) and a new being Asaf was developed to replace Girard. Asaf has been pivotal in helping Robert establish the new teaching.  He is a very nice young man, and charming and truly believes in what he is doing, as does the teacher. Rumor is he is conscious, but like Girard in days of old he denies it for now.
Anyway, the new teaching advocates that the idea that being present is ancient and goes back to  prehistoric times. The teacher got a windfall of material from Egypt, and the “school” took several trips there to study Egyptian art and  architecture. During this period the teaching became more arcane and  dogmatic. Everything was related to  presence, or the sequence. The teacher constantly is telling everyone we are present.

The  main point of the current teaching is this idea called the sequence. The sequence is a series of six syllabus used to introduce and prolong presence. I it goes something like this (coordinate with your breathing)

subject e.g. look, taste, feel, hear, etc.
back e.g. go back to presence
long Be e.g. be present

You  are supposed to repeat this until you are present. When you are present, you stop because it is the Sabbath. You no longer need to seek because you have found. 
I stand by my interpretation that the teacher, in his recent teachings presents:
The sequence as a form of prayer to protect you from being possessed by the devil (King of Clubs).
The devil is the king of clubs (a direct key illustrated in numerous pictures and text by the teacher)
The steward as the nine of hearts, an angel that brings the keys to heaven by helping you to promote presence(world twelve).
Imagination is keyed as evil.  Sin. To be in imagination is to be in a state of sin.  To be possessed by the devil.

Basically  if you are not using the sequence…(prayer)…you are sinful..(in  imagination)…and therefore possessed by your lowerself..(the  devil)…if you do not become present…(in a redeemed state…heaven)…you will forever be asleep…(in hell).

Basically, the “school” seems to be a version of fundamentalist Christian religion put into a more exotic  package. Many devote students  may stay in the school due to fear of sinning and going to hell. Basically the same fears that keep people in the pews are keeping people loyal to the school.
I would like others to comment on this interpretation.

"X" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 24, 2007 at 3:32 a.m.:
Many of us have joined this group because we had hopes to “know thyself”. Or – to be liberated, or – to achieve awakening. Some joined out of boredom to meet new friends, spouses, some were in need for a father figure. Some just wanted a visa to America! As time went by, some of us got visas, some got married and met friends. Lots of young insecure males (kind of like our friend Alexis) got their “daddy” feeding them and buying them clothes, and puling their pants down… Did anyone awake? Did someone got to know himself? I mean, honestly. Anyone liberated? No! No one! In almost 12,000 people that went through this school for over 30 years – no one got liberated. And if you think mister Girard got liberated – why don’t you ask him, or even better – go visit him at his house and see how (and what) he is doing … The reality is that lots of people got damaged emotionally and financially, got totally lost, entangled in themselves, broke down. Lots of people are so scared of the world that they are incapable to live their lives outside the Fellowship. Sounds really liberating, on all levels. Does it tell you something?
FOF is a great business, and the ONLY goal is – to make money. You are promised something you’ll never get, (well, not this lifetime, dear) and you asked to pay through the nose for it.
Because you don’t know any better, or just get “hooked” on high states (just like a drug addict) – you get sucked in, brainwashed, and actually don’t mind paying. You start liking your cage after 10plus years! You defend it, and attack anyone who comes near.
Whatever the teacher does – he charges a lot for it. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, reception, meeing, picture taken with him – each of this will cost you from a 100 to 1000. The guy is simply raking it in. It’s all about the money...
What does it tell you? Isn’t it just an aggressive recruiting campaign? Why there is such a burning desire to attract members, may be to “wake people up”?
Well, because it brings 5 million a year in teaching payments, plus another 4-5 mil in additional charges for dinners, photos and such. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. Again, It’s all about the money.
And that would be almost fine, if the teacher gives you back. If he actually teaches you to wake up. Or -cares about your progress. Then – who care what it costs! But the truth us – HE DOESN’T CARE! AND HE HAS NO CLUE!!! He really has no idea how to be present, he cannot communicate a thing to his students. The bullshit he is saying lately is so absurd – even the “followers” are starting to loose faith. This is from “Anatomy of the Sequence”: However, Christ is behind Judas, and the nine of hearts is behind Christ, so Judas’ failure is ultimately the failure of the nine of hearts. – Huh?
Or read this: “His name was Gilgamesh from the very day of his birth”—from short Be—the birth of the steward. “He was two-thirds god, one-third man.” “One-third man” refers to short Be; “two-thirds god” refers to middle Be and long BE. Schools assume that if you successfully pass through middle Be, you will complete your sequence. – Sounds so 4th way! You joined the 4th way school, remember?
Or – this one: Following Robert’s recent comment that “behind the steward is the nine of hearts, and behind the nine of hearts is divine presence, and behind divine presence are Influence C, and behind Influence C is the Absolute,” we will aim at better understanding the responsibility of the nine of hearts in this divine equation and how to ensure its proper work.
If this is not MADNESS, then – what is?
Sadly, many students are so conditioned, addicted and stuck, that they have no other way but listen, obey and believe. And, most importantly – PAY!
Again – if any of you for some crazy reason have a thought about joining this group – please don’t! Do yourself a favour and go elsewhere. This man, RB, has no clue about awakening, he has no clue about the nature of things – all he does is squeezes out money and sperm from people.
I am so happy to finally be out of it!

[ed. - Below, Burton applies "The Sequence" as he "keys" quotations and works of art.]

"somebody" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 23, 2007:
Hi, folks, in case you are missing the new teaching, here are some Robert’s thoughts current students hear every time they go to an event. Hope you don’t get a headache…

“Rama strung his bow and said, ‘It is wrong for people in love to be separated!’ He shot, and his arrow went through seven old ironwood trees as strong as towers.” [Ramayana]

Be and Hold have been separated, and it is wrong for “people in love”—the sequence—to be separated: they must be united. “As strong as towers” refers to obelisks—short Be and long BE. A wall painting from the tomb of Meresankh in Giza depicts a procession, in which the last figure on the right represents long BE. We are familiar with this image, as we are familiar with the images of Christ on the cross with his arms outstretched in long BE. However, an image that is new to us is a rock painting, dating to 5,000-4,000 BP, depicting an archer. The Giza procession depicts a traditional long BE; however, the prehistoric archer, which was painted many millennia before, is more advanced. The archer holds two arrows in each hand, representing the four wordless breaths. His bow is upside-down, because long BE has been reached.

“Let your silence be long.” [Egyptian Teaching of a Man to his Son]

Let your silence be long BE. This is the teaching of a “Man to his Son”—of the third eye to the steward. A wall painting from the tomb of Meresankh in Giza depicts a procession of six figures. It is one of the best images we have for showing Be and Hold—the first two figures on the left—as being separate, but together. The third figure, Back, was put intentionally in the third rather than the fourth place. The distance of the first five figures together, representing the first half of the sequence, is the same as the distance of the outstretched arms of the sixth figure, representing long BE.

Similarly, a bronze state of Shiva has five limbs on the right, representing the first half of the sequence; while the sixth limb on his left represents long BE. The first fifteen flames surrounding Shiva represent the first half of the sequence, which lasts fifteen seconds, and the second fifteen flames represent the second half of the sequence, which also lasts fifteen seconds. Like the Giza procession, the distance of the two halves of the sequence is the same. The Naqshbandi Sufis considered safeguarding the heart for fifteen minutes—which actually means for fifteen seconds—from evil thoughts—imagination—to be a remarkable achievement.

“Let your silence be long.” [Egyptian Teaching of a Man to his Son]

We need to use relativity to understand these verses. Here, quite surprisingly, the third eye is called “man,” and his “son” is the steward. Let your silence be long BE. The wall painting from Giza portraying a procession of figures is one of the best images for showing Be and Hold—the first two figures on the left. Although they are two separate figures, they are connected together as one. Schools were very clever for our benefit. They put Back in the third, rather than in the fourth place, so that we do not take them on faith alone. However, they put Back in the fourth place often enough for us to know that is where it belongs.

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles, and move continually to what is right—this is the way to exalt one’s virtue.” [Confucius]

“Sincerity” is the sincere desire to complete the sequence. The “first principles” are Isis and Nephthys— Be and Hold. In a wall painting portraying a procession, from the tomb of Meresankh in Giza, the first two figures, who are close together, represent Be and Hold. The length of the rope held by the first five figures is the same as the length of the cloth held in the outstretched hands of the sixth figure. This is the same cloth as the one worn by Tutankhamen on his gold mask. Because it is made of gold and lapis lazuli, we forget that it actually represents a garment that covers his head. In Journey Forth by Day, it is written, “Take your garment, your staff, your loincloth, your sandals, and all your weapons.” All of these objects represent the sequence.

“God has the last word.” [Ibn Arabi]

Five steps belong to the first half of the sequence; work ‘I’ number six belongs to the second half of the sequence—the state we are in. “God has the last word.”

A fourth-dynasty wall painting from the tomb of Meresankh III in Giza portrays a procession of warriors. The first five figures represent the first half of the sequence. The distance of these first five figures together is the same as that of the last figure with his arms outstretched. The third figure in the procession, with his back turned, represents Back. It was usually put in the fourth place, but here it was put in the third place in order to hide the key.

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 28, 2007:
[In response to above] Somebody and all,

Here’s some recent stuff from the Beloved Retarded. Tylenol may not help this time, you may need something stronger… His insanity is so obvious, it’s not funny.

The Arnolfini Marriage in the National Gallery, London depicts the nine of hearts feeling the sequence in her womb. The five fingers on her right hand, plus the thumb, which is detached from the four fingers on her left hand, represent the sequence, while the four fingers represent the four wordless breaths. The chandelier has six branches, which, starting from right to left, represent Be, Hold, Look, and then in the back, Back, followed by Look, and then BE—the only one with a candle that is burning. Reflected in the mirror at the back is a self-portrait of Van Eyck as a transcendent God the Father, as well as the steward and the nine of hearts, who is pregnant with the sequence. Like Tutankhamen, in the lower left-hand corner the steward has removed his sandals. The nine of hearts also wears a white headdress, like the head of the Sphinx.

"Pensate un attimo" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 8, 2007:
Another pearl from Robert Burton, today’s DAILY CARD:
If you are using the sequence and the telephone rings, you may drop the sequence, but by no means drop  presence.
Love, Robert

"Ollie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 16, 2007:
Fresh offerings from the Teacher (copyright, of course, 2007 Fellowship of Friends) – bon appétit:
“The first thought I had after I crystallized in 1976 was: ‘It worked!’ It worked for me because Leonardo was behind it, and it is going to work for all of you.”

“Even though I appreciate the refinement of the arts, I value much more the message they contain.”

“Now we have not so much to find more keys as to find unusual expressions of them.”

“Like or dislike will always be determined by the presence of good ‘I’ or evil ‘I’.”

“Our life could not be any different than it is. Not one thing could be different – and it will eventually lead us to the present.”

“Controlling unnecessary talk makes room for sequential presence.”

[Regarding a license plate saying "599 RAT":] “This refers to failing to reach work ‘I’ number six – forgetting to say ‘the perfect ceremony of love’s rite.’”

“Position in a real church is determined by presence, and the amount of presence produced by one’s sequence is what counts.”

“We have been given the ultimate truth, and the school has reached its zenith.”

“Sometimes it takes all one has not to become negative.”

"Ollie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 16, 2007:
And maybe also this one (from Nov 25, 2007)…
“The Egyptian obelisk later became the Islamic minaret. In the East, the obelisk became chopsticks. A Zen Master said, ‘Thank you. I am satisfied; I have laid down my chopsticks’ – short Be and long BE.”
Woman with horn

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 26, 2007:
A lovely piece of Scared [sic?] Teaching for your education:

“He who controls the stomach diminishes the passions.” [The Philokalia, Evagrios the Solitary]
[New teaching interpretation:] He who controls the lower self, which is located in the intestines, diminishes the ten thousand ‘I’s. In Jonah 2:2, it is written, “Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” A rock relief found in France, dating to 22,000 BP, depicts a pregnant woman with a horn. It refers not to child-bearing, but to fertility of sequences, like the figures of the laughing Buddha. Her two breasts represent short Be and long BE, while her hand covers the lower self. It means that the sequence is controlling the lower self. She holds a ram’s horn with twelve divisions, representing the four wordless breaths, lasting three seconds each.

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 24, 2007:
Daily Card, Wednesday, October 24, 2007:
The sequence is a reflection of prehistoric man. Its simplicity had to arise from such a psychology.
One can awaken without the sequence; however, the sequence is a perfected school method for awakening.

Love, Robert
In between tracking mastodon by their poops (at least 6 poops) and hunting them as a third line octave, prehistoric man, who likely had single syllable vocabulary, found themselves perfectly suitable for developing the sequence in their spare time. And, so it has been written and pass down to us from ancient times.

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the  Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 13, 2007:
OK, let’s collect pictures folks and make our own unique FOF teaching. Robert will turn many I’s from many people into the new objective teaching by adding even more I’s. Experienced PhotoShop users needed.
July 2005

Dear Friends,

Several weeks ago, Mi-ch–l G—ng sent out an email with a draft of the revised Thirty Work I’s, inviting suggestions or comments to help refine the list. There will be a new publication in mid-August and the aim is to include images representing the Thirty Work I’s. Robert has said that symbols can bypass the intellectual center and go straight to the higher centers.

The focus for gathering the images is the Thirty Work I’s rather than each individual work I; also those which symbolize the first two work I’s,Be and Hold. We have a number of images already and the hope is by opening up the search to students around the world, it will benefit us all with new discoveries.

Dear Friends,

We are asking for help again searching for images. This time the focus is on images that represent each of the individual thirty work I’s. Some of you sent these in with the last request for images.

For example, for the second work I, HOLD, the stained glass of the angel holding onto the second rung of the ladder is a good visual image of HOLD.

Again of particular interest are images from the Egyptian, early Christian, Gothic, Byzantine, Persian, Hindu and now Chinese sources; there have been some revealing images outside these traditions and if you feel they depict a particular work I well, please send them.

Images are used in Robert’s meetings and other teaching events and help us penetrate the state we are after. A picture is worth a thousand words.

With Love,


Dear Friends,

Robert would like students to use the attached image as a desktop image on their computers.

Thank you.

Linda [Linda Kaplan], Isis

Few days later after many questions:
The source of the desktop image is from the Royal Portal at Chartres Cathedral (right bay archivolts of the West facade). Circa 1145. The archivolts depict the Seven Liberal Arts, with scholars who best illustrate each art.

The two scholars shown in the picture represent Music on the left, and Grammar on the right. The quotation is not part of the original picture, but was entered via PhotoShop.

In presence,

Linda [Linda Kaplan], Isis

"Email" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2007:
From: Linda T [Linda Kaplan]


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" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 11, 2007:
From: SE

To: “”

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,


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.
- Robert Burton


—– Forwarded Message —-

From: SE

To: “”

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,


"ryanopoo" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 17, 2015:
The true story behind the miraculous appearance of the Sequence.

Braverman [Asaf Braverman] was given the book “A Lasting Freedom” by Francis Roles, – a close student of Ouspensky’s and within a few months, the prototype versions of the sequence began to emerge. By 2011 as the quote below demonstrates, the sequence had become folklore.

Here’s Dr. Roles quoting Ouspensky from, A Lasting Freedom
…. “Something was missing in the system. If man is meant to remember himself there must have been some simple method. But it has been lost. I could never find it. Once in India, I heard an echo of such a method. If you find the method you may find the Source.”
and here’s Conscious Bob [Robert Burton] on 09/21/2011:
“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.”
Ouspensky and his close associates, including Roles and Rodney Collin, were convinced by the latter part of O’s life that, “The system” didn’t work, Ouspensky said it needed to be recreated from scratch. Collin took a stab at re-creation with his book, Celestial Influence and Roles went off in search of the method and the source. They understood that dividing attention and Gurdjieff’s third state, was not self-remembering, (nor could it ever lead to it), in the deepest sense of unity consciousness – Turiya, the fourth state – in which it is meant.

Collin came up with three forces in self-remembering and Roles came back from India with a method of meditation using Mantra.

Roles understood about the 4th state, unity consciousness in which the Self with a capital “S” is remembered and the sense of being a seperate someone is absorbed within it. It very definitely is NOT, the so called third state and the third state is not and never will be, the means to it.

Bob found in Ouspensky’s quote, a simple method to amplify his own glory, while Assup [Asaf] found a reason to wear that stupid Bow Tie, very often indeed. Also Bob needed something to distract the sheep in between failed predictions. So Ouspensky was demoted to, “D list” conscious being, while the cosmic cowboys, Braverman and Burton went about inventing the lost method.

Before long, they are unearthing it everywhere, – paintings, poems, Rhino shit, it was there all along, now we are blessed to see it, halelujah.

Now just a bit of jiggling with the quotes here and there, to make them a bit of a closer fit to the truth, – as Laurel and Hardy now see it, and voila, Conscious Bob’s your uncle. Horseshit, 120 bucks a plate, for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner until humanity is finally once and for all, expunged. Amen

Bob heralded his invention as the newly revealed gift of C-influence, proof of his being way more important than Ouspensky and very obvious proof that the now 43 angels like him much more than the Russian guy.
What the dynamic duo came up with and then endlessly pumped down the throats of good people, is a guaranteed method for never entering the fourth state, 6 canine commands to bark at oneself. The poverty of Bob’s being is revealed here, in all it’s delusional, manipulative, desperate, lying glory.

And If you’re open enough to look, and if it doesn’t make you wince too much, you may get a glimmer of a shocking but definitely dawning realization. – Conscious Bob doesn’t really understand about Self-remembering, his speciality, does he, – I mean how could he, right?

Don’t worry though comrades. I bet within a few months you’ll be hearing all about the 4th state at a breakfast near you and how Bob was always in it all along.

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