This portrait of Robert Earl Burton and his Fellowship of Friends religious cult stands in stark contrast to the Fellowship's
Living Presence website and the array of alluring sites created by
Burton disciple Asaf Braverman.

Material presented here derives from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the cult.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Robert Burton kisses the Absolute's feet

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 28, 2016:
This photograph of the spontaneous act of kissing the ground in the presence of “The Absolute” is, supposedly, from June 2014. Note the spontaneous handkerchief perfectly placed under Robert’s knees, not to mention the photographer spontaneously ready with the camera.

Robert’s words in 2016 describing this scene from 2014:
“This is a photograph of me kneeling and bowing, kissing the ground during the first visit of the Absolute. It occurred right in the front of the Gallery at the beginning of the rose arbor, after you walk through the four cypress trees and turn left. Petrarch said, ‘I bless the place, the time, and the hour of the day/that my eyes aimed their sight at such a height.’ Here we see that. Then we walked straight ahead, beyond the path on the right, and our dog Apollo was doing his business—number two—on the lawn. It was the third state. N***y was with Him. N***y is now in drug rehab.

“Afterwards Sasha and I went into the house. (Dorian came later.) He (the Absolute – Insider) then did an act of humility for me. All I could think of was to get down and kiss Sasha’s feet as an act of humility too. Who are we that He should do an act of humility for us? But that was the only response I could think of.”

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, 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.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 29, 2016:

So, now we know the Absolute is a ‘he’, and that ‘he’ takes time off from the broad strokes of creating not just one, but many universes, to “perform an act of humility for Burton”. What does that mean? Kind of ‘him’ to bother, anyway. Diving into metaphysics, if Burton’s mind can encompass the Absolute, or even recognize ‘him’, doesn’t that mean… Uh–oh. Backing off a bit, this makes Burton at least a Man #33 (using the google to the exponential google power super–enhanced–beyond—logarithmic all–vertical scale, since the actual number approaches infinity). I guess the photo, when it appears, will show JC as a mere flyspeck on the sole of one of his Gucci shoes. BTW, what does Leonardo have to say about all this? Enquiring minds want to know!

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 29, 2016:

23. Ames [above]

Not so fast about “he” and “him.” More from Robert:
“The Absolute’s higher mental center is World 1 and His higher emotional is World 3. Something else of interest is that the first visit was male—higher mental—Nicky—Nicholas—St. Nicholas—Santa Claus. The second visit was female—higher emotional. He took World 1 on the first visit and World 3 in the second. We do not know if they are separate bodies or not, but they are very definitely separate identities."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Robert Burton channels the Absolute

Robert Earl Burton, self-proclaimed Avatar of the Age

[ed. - From "The Canons of The Fellowship of Friends" (bolds added)]
Higher Forces

The Fellowship teaches that the universe comprises a hierarchy of worlds governed by orders of laws, that the Absolute created the world and Higher Forces [also known as "Influence C"], and that Higher Forces created humanity. Higher Forces pass on the knowledge of how to create and prolong Divine Presence through the medium of Schools, and have done so throughout known and unknown history. Behind human history is Divine Presence, behind Divine Presence is Schools, behind Schools is Higher Forces, and behind Higher Forces is the Absolute. By mastering Divine Presence, a man becomes immortal, thereby entering the City of Paradise to join the company of Higher Forces.
[Below, a follower struggles to make sense of Robert Burton's latest revelations. It appears Burton has now established a direct connection with the Absolute, creator of the Universe. He no longer needs to go through intermediaries such as the 44 angels (well, 45 counting Alex Horn) the Fellowship knew as "Higher Forces," or "Influence C." Apparently the Absolute has instructed Burton to prepare his followers for Armageddon, and the destruction of the world beyond the Fellowship's Apollo compound. That message has of course been delivered many times before, but by mere angels. This time it's coming right from the top.]

"Mad Cult Member" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 13, 2016:
For me it is important, because I am in FOF and I mad🙂 The Absolute visited Robert and he kissed his feet and now we are so lucky because this never happened before. Our grandfather is the author of the Universe! And soon we will be having the brightest times because when Life [all non-members] will have the darkest hour it will be the brightest hour for the Schools [the Fellowship]. Life is an unsolvable problem, it only exists to realize Holly Scriptures: the end of the worlds. And we certainly deserve it because we were supporting Influence C for half a century. We can not overestimate this Gift! Christ said nicely it in 6 words: I’ve done what you asked – I completed the theme of the sequence: Be.

"Mad Cult Member" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 14, 2016:
I wish I had my best friends agree with my point of you, but they don’t. They think I am loosing the school. And on my end I don’t know how to replace my life-long friends just because fucking Robert is gone crazy. You did not understand my sarcasm? Well, you did not come to the events recently, did you? I wrote word to word what Robert says. I couldn’t make it up if my life depended on it. Insider knows what I’m talking about.

"Mad Cult Member" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 14, 2016:
The other day I passed the folks in Yuba City holding signs: Are you suicidal-here is the phone number, your life matters. I laughed. Who is suicidal? But after a few days I regretted that I did not memorize that damn phone number.

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 16, 2016:
Everything Mad Cult Member said in #95 [above] is true. For the second time in 800 days, Robert Burton (by his own unbiased admission) was visited by The Absolute. Robert was told to “Be ready.” I didn’t hear about the kissing of feet, but there were around 9-10 events at which Robert spoke about this, to the exclusion of almost everything else, so the story had a chance to “evolve” over the course of the week following the “visitation.”

Naturally, everyone is talking about this. After all, it’s probably the most important event in the “school” since Robert’s “crystallization” in 1976. Here’s one (paraphrased) comment I overheard: Now it is probably necessary to identify which students continue to believe in Robert, and which ones are doubters; and we should think seriously about expelling the remaining doubters.

To say that the Fellowship is now 100% a religion is self-evident. But in a sense not much has really changed from 2 weeks ago, 2 years ago, or even 45 years ago. Robert (and probably Alex Horn before him) always mixed “religion” in with the knowledge brought by Gurdjieff to Russia. “Influence C” was being preached from almost the beginning of the Fellowship, even though it had almost no practical value to those members who, correctly, were focused on studying the basic “Fourth Way” ideas. The preaching of “Influence C” (and a few other related ideas) guaranteed that the Fellowship would always be a religious cult under the veneer of a “Fourth Way School.” Of course, even the veneer fell off a long time ago.

So now Robert’s hard-core followers blame/credit “The Absolute,” rather than “Influence C” or “Leonardo,” for everything that happens in the world or in the Fellowship. For the faithful, the past 10 days have seen little more than a swapping of words. And now “The Absolute” is all the rage amongst the Burton Believers.

"Mad Cult Member" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 16, 2016:
Robert went to his knees in the rose garden and kissed the feet of the Absolute. They showed a photo of this special moment at the Sunday meeting where Robert indeed is on his 4 points wearing white shoes. The story though was a bit confusing for me. It happened either at the same time or at the same place where the dog Apollo was taking his “big business” as Sasha put it. And it had something to do with Nicky, the young fellow responsible for walking the dog (who as Robert said, now is in the rehab because of drug addiction). After that special day Robert requested students to send him some thoughts about the meaning of it. And they do. Now at the meetings the messages from the students are shown on the big screens and are commented by the Teacher. He also requested that everyone should come to the meetings from now on. So there is an increase in attendance lately.

"We Were There" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 22, 2007:
When there was a wave of departures from the Fellowship of Friends after ‘the worldwide depression’ failed to happen, a dear friend (an ‘older student’ who I think remains a member) said to me with surprising vehemence:

“I HATE former students! I wish they would just go away and leave us alone!”

The same, if more restrained, theme is recurring here in posts from current members along the lines of

‘It’s fine for those who don’t want to be in the Fellowship of Friends to leave, and we respect that. We just ask that you respect us and leave us alone.’

Those posters miss the point that many here are not much interested in reaching the ‘true believers’ but rather in letting those who are disappointed know that we have found there can be a good, healthy, spiritual life after the Fellowship – as well as in letting anyone who might be thinking about joining have the benefit of our long years of experience.

‘Things are often other than they seem,’ and we are trying to shine light on the unfortunate dark corners of the Fellowship.

So, I say to current happy members,

‘It’s fine for those who want to be in the Fellowship of Friends to stay, and we respect that. If you don’t like the postings here, simply don’t continue to visit.’

A final thought.

RB will soon refer (perhaps he already has?) to this forum as his long-predicted ‘crucifixion.’ It would be more accurate to say that the existence of this blog is an example of ‘his being attracting his life.’

Monday, August 8, 2016

Robert Earl Burton, in eternal pursuit of youth

Robert Earl Burton with Sacha his favorite boy
Robert Earl Burton with one of his favorites

“Insider” submitted the following via e-mail, August 28, 2016:
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.

According to a close friend who dined with Sasha several months ago, Sasha told everyone at the table that Robert had told him (Sasha) that Dorian would be assuming leadership of the FoF (no time frame given), and that Sasha should do all he could to support Dorian.

Sometime in April/May of this year, I attended a Sunday meeting Dorian led while RB was traveling in Mexico. Dorian was very much in command, both of the material he wished to present, and over the audience. It was a 1-hour presentation, no questions or comments permitted. He said that the FoF is ready for a new phase or cycle, the current one having lasted now for 10 years, clearly referring to the introduction/invention of the “sequence” in 2005. I would guess the “sequence” will be tossed out.

He told people the change would be difficult, and advised everyone to hold on tight, and that many people would “fall off,” or something close to that. He referred to the new cycle about 10 times. As an obvious low-blow to Asaf, he further mentioned that any “intellectual” aspects of the school or system would no longer have a place in the new order. He did not use the terms duality or non-duality, but was clearly describing the new phase in non-duality language. To me, this was really an admission that there’s no longer any practical work being done in the Fellowship; and any prior resemblance of the FoF to a practical “School of Awakening” is gone, entirely replaced by a religion based on worshiping and serving Robert Burton (soon to be Dorian Matei).

Up until recently, many of us “sideline observers” felt that Rowena Taylor (aka Renee Taylor, Rowena Lamb, etc.) was always the force behind Dorian. She helped him acquire and remodel his house (maybe even bought it for him), and lived there until recently. (Now she is apparently living back in her own house with her husband, Robert Taylor, who did not die as expected last year, nor is even ill, though they both played up this myth/hoax for a good year or so, for whatever reasons. Taylor has been predicting his death for the past 30-35 years, in part to manipulate Rowena. She seems to have fallen for it yet again.) The proposed takeover and makeover of the FoF Board, Administration, Council, and all leadership roles, going back about 5 years, is well-known, the ringleaders at that time being Rowena and Steven Dambeck. And that will surely be happening if/when Dorian assumes full command. In fact, Rowena is already Dean of the Fellowship Council, as Asaf resigned from that position around June 2016. This gives Rowena and Dorian enormous power and control over FoF members who live in the distant centers. (All centers and center directors report to the Council. The Council can set or alter the teaching payment formula for a given center. They can make donations exceptions for individuals as needed. They also hire and fire center directors.)

(It should be mentioned here that it is common knowledge, although second-hand for me, that Rowena used her position as director and mentor to the Russian centers, virtually since their inception in 1991, to screen and approve of candidates for Robert’s harem. With what she knows about Robert, coupled with what Dorian knows from having been in the harem and having lived in the Galleria for many years, the two of them can get just about anything they want from Robert and the FoF. They are two members you really don’t want to upset.)

Asaf is on his own with his websites, his “teaching,” the lectures and webinars, though there are more people behind the scenes. His writings are being translated into 10-12 languages. After resigning from the Council, it seems he no longer has a visible role in the FoF. He does not promote, and I don’t think ever has promoted, the FoF using his websites and teaching. He does not seem to support Robert’s current teaching religion, even though, ironically, he did more than anyone to get Robert to move away from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and towards the religion that replaced them. It’s really not clear to many members why Asaf remains in the FoF, although of course social bonds are strong.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Fourth Way/Gurdjieff-Ouspensky/Ark in Time/Be./Ancient Wisdom/Esoteric/ (Whatever) School on the internet

Fellowship of Friends cult leader Asaf Braverman be period scam
Above, detail from Asaf Braverman's Gurdjieff - Becoming Conscious Facebook page, showing Braverman on the threshold!

[ed. - To lure seekers from other spiritual traditions, and to also mitigate the effects of negative publicity, the Fellowship of Friends continually re-brands itself. Recruiting sites proliferate under a myriad of titles and themes. The websites below are generally grouped according to their primary target market. The "unofficial" sites are mostly critical of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

At the bottom are grouped English language sites critical of Burton and the Fellowship. Updated June, 2016.]

Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (Spanish)
Recuerdo de sí (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires (Facebook)(Spanish)
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial)(Spanish)
Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (Dutch)
Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (French)
Spiritualia (Unofficial)(Dutch)
Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (Portuguese)
Gurdjieff Tornando-se Consciente (Portuguese)
PRESENÇA DIVINA (Portuguese)(Inactive)
Centro Sao Paolo on Google + (Portuguese)(Inactive)
Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (English)
Be. 4th Way Tweets (English)
Toronto Friends of Presence (Meetup led by William Scholte of the Fellowship)(Discontinued)
Be. (The Fellowship of Friends Online School) (Chinese)(under construction)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (English and Chinese)
The Great Way: Journey to the West (English and Chinese)
Journey to the West (Facebook)(English)
The Secret of the Golden Flower (English)
The Taoist I Ching

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nick Spaulding and Charles Sharp continue to lobby for Fellowship of Friends developments

[ed. - Reportedly, with the help of a get-out-the-vote effort by Fellowship of Friends leadership, Randy Fletcher defeated incumbent Hal Stocker for Yuba County's Fifth District Supervisor seat. Fletcher, who has been a business partner with Fellowship members Steven Dambeck and Charles Sharp, is sympathetic to Fellowship development interests in Oregon House and the surrounding areas. I sympathize as well. If the gods are demanding you build a City on the Mountain that will survive Armageddon, these development restrictions are just plain crazy!]
Unnecessary Fear in the Foothills vs Blunt Facts

eTerritorial Dispatch

by Nick Spaulding
18 April 2016
First, the bad news: It was Fear Night in the Foothills last Wednesday. Stocker Calls Special Town Hall Meeting: The Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and planning staff are all trying to pull a fast one! Railroading an issue through without a public vote! The Voice of the People once again choked off by a sinister group of special interests. This time The Developers from The Dark Side are sowing the secret seeds of Cluster Housing destruction. Don’t trust having any more folks moving up here. They’ll just suck the aquifers dry and then, these clustering newbie’s are more likely spark the wildfires of Stocker’s Development Apocalypse. . .which for some reason has never materialized.

Scaring the bejeebees out of an admittedly uninformed and older audience should be a crime. . .but as Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to deceive someone, than to prove to them that they’ve been deceived.”

Blunt Fact: Prosperity will never take root in the Foothills when Stocker’s lopsided attempt at a Town Hall event is produced and controlled by apparent propagandists. The nine “official speakers” on the agenda were each hand-picked and in with Stocker on his issue. His moderators then, not only denied an official speaker spot to the known and qualified Stocker opponent (mentioned by name in his mailer) but they also refused to project his slide materials which were presented to them earlier. Apparently, the projector could only be used for their side’s benefit. Some behavioral professionals refer to this type of controlling activity as “fear of the other."

Monday, February 1, 2016

"No hope for man without the Ark..."

[ed. - In his Ark in Time "Fourth Way School," Asaf Braverman adopts Robert Burton's use of the Ark theme, and subtly seeks to instill a sense of dread in his audience. From the start, Burton used this technique, especially through prophecies, to gradually bind the naive and gullible to his Fellowship of Friends, convincing them his "esoteric school," with its direct link to the gods ("Influence C" as Burton calls them) provides mankind's (and thus, the devotee's) only hope for redemption and immortality.

In similar fashion, Braverman assures those fortunate enough to discover his teaching  (the "chosen ones" in Burton's words), "There is room aboard."

On this path, it is only a matter of time before Asaf's Ark assumes the grandiosity that has long characterized Burton's narcissistic and delusional world.]

Asaf Braverman's Ark in Time Fellowship of Friends Fourth Way school
[Text below]

Monday, January 25, 2016

Holy Hell

[ed. - Premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival was a documentary about the relatively small (in comparison to The Fellowship of Friends) Buddhafield cult. It was filmed and directed by former member Will Allen. Here is an interview with Allen: Holy Hell. (I recommend reading the entire interview.)

This Vanity Fair article reveals a cult of personality, similar to that seen in Robert Burton and the Fellowship (and to which Asaf Braverman appears to aspire.) The cult indoctrination process is virtually identical.]

Friday, January 1, 2016

Kids say the darnedest things

[ed. - For many adolescents, relationships with their parents can be strained. But when your parents are members of a cult, it is even more complicated. In these essays from over six years ago, "Masha" provides a fascinating perspective on living with parents who also happen to be Fellowship of Friends members. See also this related post: Children's Stories]

"...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

by IndigoCharm
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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Asaf Braverman's "Be." website Terms and Conditions

I hereby release and discharge “Beperiod” and “Ark in Time” of and from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, losses, liabilities, rights, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, obligations, costs, expenses, liens, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, damages, judgments, extents, executions, claims, and demands, of every kind and nature whatsoever, whether now known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, matured or un-matured, suspected or unsuspected, in law, admiralty or equity (collectively, “Claims”), which I ever had, now have, or hereafter can, shall, or may have against “Beperiod” and “Ark in Time”...

[ed. - From Asaf Braverman's Be. website. Can you imagine if Robert Burton's "students" had to sign such a waiver upon entering the Fellowship of Friends? At least here there is a nod to accountability, or more appropriately, the lack thereof.]

WEBSITE TERMS OF USE expresses a certain psychological perspective and suggests techniques to increase self-awareness. The context used is for educational and spiritual purposes only.

By paid or unpaid use, of the website or affiliated Ark In Time websites, (including but not limited to Facebook and Google + sites, webinars, seminars, videos, tutorials, apps, website interactions, suggested exercises and practices, and all other presented material), you are agreeing to enter into the terms of the General Release.


I attest that I am 18 years of age or have reached the age of majority in the country in which I reside. I agree to assume sole responsibility for the use of the website or affiliated Ark In Time websites, including Facebook and Google + sites, webinars, seminars, videos, tutorials, apps, website interactions, suggested exercises and practices, personal interactions with Asaf Braverman, his associates, paid employees of the Ark in Time company, paid contractors, or volunteers, and that, Ark In Time and other affiliated websites and its present and former, officers, directors, members, affiliates, successors, assigns, and agents (collectively, “Beperiod” and “Ark in Time”) shall not be liable for the content of the website, the material, videos, webinars, seminars, tutorials, website interactions, and suggested exercises, writings of the Fourth Way, of Asaf Braverman, George Gurdjieff, PD Ouspensky, and other suggested readings and references (collectively, “website and tutorial material”).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boldly breaching Burton's boy barrier

Robert Burton is perpetually surrounded by a detail of young men which serves, among many other things, as protection.

"aarrgh me buckos" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 2, 2015:
The following is an excerpt from a letter and is Not My Story:
Now, on a lighter note, I recently had an encounter with Robert Burton at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I was sitting on a bench at the far end of one of the big rooms, waiting for [name omitted] to return from one of the heads. I saw a small person turning the corner into another room, caught a part of his profile, but thought he was way too small. Then I noticed that three young men were following him with their hands in the “protect your gonads” position. Finally I decided to check it out. So, I walked through one room, not there, walked in the next room, and there they were, but the little man still had his back to me. I walked on, turned around and came back and he was facing more towards me so I could definitely see it was him. So somehow the whole thing tickled me. I started stalking him, moving towards him, and when he would turn, I would go sideways and get closer, and when he would turn again, I would keep going sideways and keep getting closer. I became aware that his three companions were aware of my movements, and were watching me closely. They were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, with their hands in position, and they looked like soccer defenders waiting for a free kick. That tickled me even more. Finally I got within about three feet of the little fellow, and he was finally alerted to my presence and looked at me. He was pale and gaunt, and his eyes looked confused and slightly maniacal. He said, “My age and my memory…”

And I said, “I’m [name omitted].”

And he said, “Yes, of course.”

I put out my arms and we had a hug. I stood back and he went into the same act that I remember from 40 years ago. He bowed his head slightly, squinted, looked off into middle-distance and said, “Conscious influence is still working with us and there’s more to be revealed.” This tickled me even more. And when he finally looked back at me, I was starting to laugh. So I put my arms out again, we had another hug, this one a little longer than comfortable, so I stepped back, turned, and walked away. He said, “Say ‘hello’ to your brother,” and without turning, I waved my hand back at him.

I went back and sat down; at about the same time that [name omitted] rejoined, and I said, “Robert Burton is in the second room there. Do you want to say, ‘Hi’?” And she said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Again, the amazing thing was how small he was, maybe 135 – 140 pounds, and I swear, I was looking down at him. End of story.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Moscow Officials Help Citizens Avoid the 'Moonies,' Other Cults

[ed. - This story may be relevant to The Fellowship of Friends since, over the past 25 years, Russia (and other former Soviet Bloc nations) supplied the majority of the Fellowship's new recruits worldwide. The young and naive are drawn not only by the Fellowship's (falsely-claimed) connection to the Russian Gurdjieff and Ouspensky teachings, but also by the promise of American religious visas and the prospect of "being close" to their teacher, Robert Burton. A particularly handsome young man stands a very good chance of becoming intimately involved with Burton, and joining his inner circle of "spiritual prostitutes." I don't know if the Fellowship is among the 80 cults to be listed.]

From The Moscow Times, September 28, 2015:
The Moscow city legislature plans to release a booklet warning Muscovites against unorthodox religious "cults" operating in Russia, and providing instructions on how to report such organizations to the authorities, the capital's M24 news website reported Monday.

Russia has classified about 80 organizations as "cults," the report said. Those range from domestic movements to transplants from international groups, including the Unification Church, or Moonies, Russia's "God Kuzya" movement, whose leader has been detained on swindling charges, and the Grigory Grabovsky group — whose founder proclaimed himself the second coming of Christ and offered to resuscitate the dead, but was sentenced to prison for swindling.

"Today many people are searching for spiritual calmness, while charlatans, such as the 'God Kuzya' and his likes, are exploiting that," a member of the Moscow City Council committee for public and religious organizations, Renat Laishev, was quoted by M24 as saying.

The booklets will instruct readers on how to recognize a cult, stressing that "cults do not necessarily take a traditional form, many of them are posing as lectures, personal development courses, or even yoga classes," and will provide instructions on "where to turn to, if a citizen discovers a cult," Laishev was quoted as saying.

The Moscow City Duma may discuss a draft booklet during a session this week, the report said.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Life people" say the darnedest things

The devil worshipers' Poseidon (from Associated Press.)

[ed. - Fear- and ignorance-induced tales such as this perpetuate a few of the myths surrounding The Fellowship of Friends. In the 70s, some locals (non-members, also called "life people" by the Fellowship) described the group as "devil worshipers," offering as evidence the Fellowship's large bronze sculpture of Poseidon. It is highly improbable the library described below actually contained books that were "ALL of satanic/cult subject matter." Even without satanism added to the mix, the truth about the Fellowship is horrifying enough.]

"Anonymous" wrote on the Religion and Child Abuse News blog, August 16, 2015:
I lived in Dobbins [neighboring Oregon House] for several years and I had no idea 'the fellowship' existed, until the last month I lived there. Off of Marysville Hwy, on a side road, there was a very small market/gas station that everyone went to. Every time I went there, inevitably, there would be these well dressed people, in linen clothing, wearing handmade shoes for comfort, they spoke Swedish, and other foreign languages, many were very blonde, they'd drive up in BMW's, Mercedes...and they really looked OUT OF PLACE. They looked drugged up, always seemed nervous, or paraniod [sic], and they avoided eye contact. They gave me the creeps! You could spot them instantly because 98% of the true local guys were missing teeth, wore snap button plaid shirts, that they bought at that same little store, smelled faintly of goats, wore dirty ball caps, and drove up in dirty, banged up trucks, pulling metal fishing boats.. I found out about them from a co-worker after I had invited her & her husband to come visit. She happened to tell her mom, who was retired, WAS VERY WELL READ, was an artist, and a world traveler. She and her husband decided to end their travels by driving across the entire USA, staying at all the Thousand Trails campgrounds, BUT ONE, they had missed on the catalog. The one in/near Dobbins. So, they went camping there, and saw the signs for 'the winey' [sic]. My friend's mom and husband went to visit it. They meandered through the garden, and then they went inside, and they noticed a door in one of the rooms. It wasn't locked so they went inside. It was a small library. My friend's mom started looking at the book titles, and her being so well read, could see that they were ALL of satanic/cult subject matter. It startled her, but not as much as the foreigner who caught them inside the room, and started screaming at them, at the top of his voice, for them to get out!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fletcher Gets Board Consensus

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends political operative Nick Spaulding has for years been working on behalf of Fellowship landowners (and, some say, for Oregon House rancher Tom Richards) to loosen development restrictions in Oregon House. Now, with Supervisor Randy Fletcher's sympathetic ear, prospects for the Fellowship's development plans appear brighter.]

"Nick Spaulding wrote in a letter to eTerritorial Dispatch, July 29, 2015:
Fletcher Gets Board Consensus


After the 1996 General Plan’s adoption, policy 16LUP became Yuba Ordinance 12:80:060 et al, and balanced rural property rights against Calif. Dept. of Fish & Game deer herd restrictions. Without 16LUP, the density for residences outside rural community boundaries was 1 single-family home per 20 or 40 acre parcel. With 16LUP, the density could be 1 residence per 5 acres IF half of the total parcel acreage was dedicated to open space. So, if you had 40 acres, with 16LUP you could create 8 residential lots, IF the home sites were “clustered” together and thereby leaving the rest to open space use.

The consensus of agricultural professionals then, was that 16LUP clustered housing is superior to checker boarding the foothills with big 20 and 40 acre parcels with a single house in the middle.

Rural property rights policy “16LUP” is soon to receive a public hearing promised over 4 years ago.

Just as this political football was about to be kicked down the road for another few years, Yuba County’s 5th District Supervisor, Randy Fletcher differed with Planning Director, Wendy Hartman’s version of recent events. Hartman’s staff Report stated that the Board and Planning Commission’s decision on handling 16LUP was that it would mean an Amendment to the General Plan, and it was too late to review it now, but could do so in the next General Plan Update,” still years away.

Before you board the Fellowship of Friends Ark, a warning

Fellowship of Friends cult Ark in Time logo by Asaf Braverman
"Ark in Time" logo
"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 28, 2015:
If anyone who has had no connection to the FoF, but is interested in that organization reads this, I’m writing just for you. And of course, the following is just my opinion.

If you want to join a group of people who mostly (but not all) started off as sincere, nice, well–meaning folks, but whose entire ‘spiritual’ center of gravity is based on faith, know that in advance—and accept the consequences. Look through earlier pages of this blog for posts by folks like ‘Daily Cardiac’, or in later pages by ‘I in the sky’ for excellent representations of the typical follower’s point of view. Know that many of us (I dare say, probably most) who have ‘been through the mill’ have concluded that the leader, Robert Burton, is a sexual predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and that having sex with large numbers of the heterosexual young men who depend on him for spiritual guidance is his chief occupation—and has been for more than forty years. Know that if you are a young, even moderately good-looking young heterosexual male who enters his orbit, you will most probably end up having sex with him. Know that your fellow followers will approve of this, encourage this, and the less than good-looking ones will envy you (though these are few, Burton’s tastes are very catholic). In other words, in their world–view, this is completely normal and expected. Know that he has no control in this matter, and has never demonstrated will or restraint; he is a complete slave to his lust. Know that his followers excuse and even justify this ‘supersex’ (as he terms it) because he is a ‘conscious being’.

Know also that Burton is a life–long misogynist. He has no use for women, unless they have money or influence. Moreover, he states that they cannot ‘awaken’ as women in this lifetime. This means that if you are a woman, you will (according to Burton) definitely have to wait for a ‘role in a future lifetime as a man’ (with the sole exception of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, for some reason) to be able to ‘awaken’, whatever that is.

If you happen to be here because you are interested in the Fourth Way, know that, apart from words freely borrowed from books about the Fourth Way, this cult has no connection with the Fourth Way whatsoever.

Friday, July 24, 2015

It’s a labor of love on ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ at Arts Summer Festival in Oregon House


Friday, July 24, 2015 10:03 pm

By Leticia Gutierrez

William Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," with a cast of people with international backgrounds, arrives this week in a location that may not be well-known to many.

The Arts Summer Festival, presented by Apollo Arts regularly for about the past 20 years, is at the Renaissance Vineyard and Winery in Oregon House.

"We're trying to have it more open to the public," said Greg Holman, president of the Fellowship of Friends, owner of the location.