Introduction


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, and heir apparent, 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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Asaf Braverman introduces the Fellowship of Friends "Online School"

[ed. - Welcome to The Fellowship of Friends' latest recruiting tool for the naive and gullible, "Be Period: Weekly Video Tutorials on the Be Pyramid." Be.Ware. 

Asaf Braverman, who assumes the role of a teacher and role model, has for over fifteen years been Robert Burton's devoted companion and assistant. On the subject of ancient spiritual traditions, Braverman speaks with an air of authority, while remaining oblivious to the nature of the mind-control cult that lured him into its ranks.

Complying with Burton's wishes, he is reported to have entered a "marriage of convenience" to gain American citizenship. When he later married a young Fellowship bride, chosen for him by Burton, he was apparently still legally married to his "green card spouse." It seems Braverman, officially a bigamist, then ran afoul of both American and Israeli immigration authorities and was waylaid in Italy for a couple years while his case was resolved and he was permitted re-entry into the U.S. His is but one example among many in which the Fellowship of Friends "church" willfully and blatantly violates the law in order to fulfill Burton's personal wishes and desires.]


"THE ONLINE SCHOOL WILL LAUNCH ON 30 MAY 2015" (beperiod.com)
[ed. - For more on the narcissism that characterizes both Burton and Braverman, see The Classic Narcissist. Below, "ton2u" posts the 1999 video "Mind Control Made Easy". Though the production might appear far-fetched, the Fellowship of Friends has exhibited most characteristics described in the video, even a prominent "church leader" who is reported to have said he would kill if Robert Burton asked him to do so.]

"ton2u" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 2, 2015:
re: braverman’s “polished schtick” – I listened to / looked at the video link – the bullshit gauge was pegging out, dissecting particular contradictions was impossible… (thanks whalerider).
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”
A more general concern is that he’s attempting to spread this disease… it starts in the video as a kind of verbal shell game which – I know from “personal first hand experience” – is intended to turn into a long con.

“In Confessions of a Confidence Man, Edward H. Smith lists the “six definite steps or stages of growth in every finely balanced and well-conceived confidence game.” “One follows the other with absolute precision. In some games one or more of these acts, to use a theatrical comparison, may be dropped out, but where that happens the game is not a model one. The reference to the stage is apt, for the fine con game has its introduction, development, climax, dénouement and close, just like any good play. And this is not the only analogy to the drama, for the scenes are often as carefully set; the background is always a vital factor. In the colorful and mirthful language of the bunko man, all these parts of the game have their special names. I give them with their definitions:

The Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Fourth Way/Divine Presence/Gurdjieff-Ouspensky/Esoteric/(Whatever) School on the internet

Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton in roses with roses

[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. Updated June 30, 2015. (Photo of Robert Burton courtesy of "Bares Reposting".)]

ARGENTINA
Recuerdo de sí
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires on Facebook
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial)
BELGIUM
Spiritualia (Unofficial)
BRAZIL
Gurdjieff Tornando-se Consciente (Portuguese)
PRESENÇA DIVINA (Portuguese)
Centro Sao Paolo on Google + (Portuguese)
CANADA
Toronto Friends of Presence (Meetup led by William Scholte of the Fellowship)(now defunct?)
CHINA
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (English)
The Great Way: Journey to the West
Journey to the West (inner) on Facebook
The Secret of the Golden Flower
The Taoist I Ching
FRANCE
Rassemblement des Amis (Living Presence) (French)
Rappel de Soi - Paris on Facebook
Rappel de Soi - Paris Meetup
Newbodying (Unofficial)
Prevensectes.com (Unofficial)
http://prevensectes.com/fof1.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof2.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof3.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof4.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof5.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof6.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof7.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof8.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof9.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof10.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof11.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof12.pdf
GERMANY
Living Presence (German)
HUNGARY
A JELENLÉT MŰVÉSZETE (Hungarian)
Gurdjieff Tanítása Ma (Hungarian)
ISRAEL
BeingPresent.org (Hebrew)
Fellowship of Friends on Facebook | בית ספר של
Jerusalem of the soul on Facebook
ITALY
Dopo la Fellowship of Friends: Una libera discussione sul lavoro su di sé (Unofficial)
Gurdjieff – Divenire coscienti (Italian)
Il Credino  (Unofficial - "Robert E. Burton e la Fellowship of Friends/La Presenza")
La Presenza [Defunct]
Living Presence (Italian)
Tutto quello che avreste dovuto sapere sulla Fellowship of Friends (Unofficial)
JAPAN
Gurdjieff (Japanese)
Gurdjieff (on Facebook)(Japanese)
Symbols of Presence in the Japanese Culture
MEXICO
Alasart. Art and Time. (Facebook)(also on Ning, and fund-raising on gofundme. The goal: $44,044!)
Mesoarte. Data Base for Prehispanic Art (also on Ning)
Recordandonos
Fraternidad de Amigos Monterrey on Facebook
Popol Vuh and other videos by David Tuttle
THE NETHERLANDS
Living Presence - Amsterdam (Dutch)
PORTUGAL
Gurdjieff Tornando-se Consciente (Portuguese)
Living Presence (Portuguese)
ROMANIA
Fourth Way School - Bucuresti on Facebook (Romanian)
Living Presence (Romanian)
RUSSIA
Living Presence (Russian)
Esoteric School (Russian)
Fourth Way School on Facebook | Школа Четвертого пути 
"Fellowship of Fools" (Unofficial)
Pathway to Presence (Russian)
Gurdjieff - Гурджиев Сегодня (Russian)
Трезвый взгляд на Fellowship of Friends (Unofficial)
IKIRU a theater of awakening (Unofficial)
SLOVENIA
Gurdjieff - pot k zavesti (Slovenian)
SPAIN
Gurdjieff enseña hoy (Spanish)
Gurdjieff - Volverse Consciente (Spanish)
Living Presence (Spanish)
Cuarto Camino/FOF (Unofficial)
TURKEY
Dördüncü Yol Okulu - Fourth Way School on Facebook
Özgür Zihin (Unofficial)
UNITED KINGDOM
The Art of Divine Presence [Defunct]
Living Presence @CenterLondon (Twitter)
UNITED STATES
Be Period - The Fellowship of Friends online school (with Asaf Braverman)
4th Way Tweets on Twitter
Living Presence
Living Presence on Facebook
The Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/The Fourth Way on Pinterest
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!
The Fellowship of Friends' Ark in Time Network led by Asaf Braverman:
Ancient Wisdom
As Above So Below
Awakening
Be Present First (also on Facebook)
Consciousness
Gurdjieff
Gurdjieff - Becoming Conscious (on Facebook) (also in Portuguese and Spanish)
Gurdjieff & Ouspensky - Psychological Commentaries by Maurice Nicoll (on Facebook)
Know Thyself
Mysticism
Ouspensky
Spirituality (Brian Flynn's spooky "Spiritual Legacy of Egypt Unveiled")
Alasart. Art and Time on Facebook (also on Ning, and fund-raising on gofundme. The goal: $44,044!)
Apollo University
Blue Logic Press (also on Tumblr and Facebook)
Consciousness San Francisco (sub-group led by Farzad Zarrin)
The Day Barque: A Review of Poetry, Prose and the Arts (from the Apollo Poetry Society)
Decoding the Bible stories through art Meetup (Discontinued as of December 2014)
Inner Circle Squared - (aka Propylaia)  The official Fellowship of Friends internal communications portal
Mesoarte. Data Base for Prehispanic Art (also on Ning)
The Power of Now - Las Vegas Meetup (Led by Alex Ayuli, aka "Al Martini," of the Fellowship)(Discontinued as of December 2014)
Propylaia  - (aka Inner Circle Squared) The official Fellowship of Friends internal communications portal
The School of the Heartist (Yanna Bat Adam's new "school")

Fellowship of Friends cult Gurdjieff Ouspensky Fourth Way Self Remembering banner

UNITED STATES - SITES CRITICAL OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS
Cult Education Institute (formerly Rick A. Ross Institute)
Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog (This series of three blogs contains nearly 50,000 comments about the Fellowship of Friends:)
Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals
Part 1 through Part 10

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through current page
Fellowship of Friends Wikispaces (No longer active, however material from that page is found throughout this blog. In such cases, the Wikispaces source is cited.) 
Freedom of Mind Center

Internet Archive
Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (your current location)
The Fourth Way (Facebook page by Greg Goodwin)
The 4th Way - Gurdjieff - Ouspensky on Facebook
Wikipedia (Hotly-contested Wikipedia draft, which moderators eventually abandoned. See an archive on this blog.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Welcome!


[ed. - A former Fellowship of Friends member engages in a bit of satire.]

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 15, 2010:
We were “founded” forty years ago by someone who claimed to understand Fourth Way teachings of George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, but who admitted early on that he had actually never read Gurdjieff’s writings.

We deceptively advertised for decades by placing bookmarks depicting oil paintings of these luminaries, together with the words, “Gurdjieff Ouspensky Centres,” in the books of these authors. For many years only the name “Gurdjieff Ouspensky Centres” appeared on the bookmarks, while “The Fellowship of Friends, Inc.,” which is the actual corporate name, did not appear.

In 1977 the founder claimed that we were the only people who had the right to teach the system at that time (http://bit.ly/byOjMf), and that our group was the greatest mystery of the Twentieth Century. However, the Twentieth Century has been succeeded by the Twenty-First, so we have recently ditched any claim to be following the Fourth Way.

In the mid-1980s we drafted canons (http://bit.ly/bpRGnj) modeled after those of the Catholic Church, in an attempt to hoodwink governmental authorities into believing that we were a genuine religion and should pay as little tax as possible. This effort was only partially successful, as California refused museum status to the founder’s residence (noting it was not a “museum,” but a “warehouse” where art [was] stored)(http://bit.ly/cXPmVc), and the neo-Catholic veneer of authenticity was abandoned as lightly as it was adopted. Later the founder commented that his new civilization would not be founded on “Judeo-Christian principles,” and that he hadn’t decided yet what principles it would be founded on.

Today we appear to embrace the practical wisdom of all great spiritual traditions, but the truth is that we have no enduring allegiance or principle except self-abasement and subordination to the founder’s sexual predations and inexhaustible need for narcissistic supply. Everything is fungible here, including each of us.

Won’t you join us?

Friday, February 6, 2015

The "art" of deception

Asaf Braverman Fellowship of Friends cult leader
Asaf Braverman
"We are a group of people in Miami who practice the methods and teachings of the Fourth Way tradition."

[ed. - This announcement from Asaf Braverman's Gurdjieff website, provides an example of the subtle deception behind virtually all Fellowship of Friends recruiting efforts since its founding in 1970. Braverman is "the brain" behind The Sequence, the Fellowship's latest trance-inducing technique purported to "create presence." In 2005, Burton abandoned the Fourth Way, as taught by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and instructed followers to dispose of "work books" by those and other Fourth Way authors. A dramatic member exodus and accompanying loss of revenue no doubt caused Burton and his lieutenants, including Braverman, to rapidly rethink this policy.]


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Apollo Symphony Orchestra

Apollo Arts logo
"In 1981, as if by fate, a young conductor named Michael Goodwin moved to Northern California from Germany and learned of this desire of a group of people to form an orchestra ‘from scratch’."
[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends is well-practiced in rewriting its history. Michael Goodwin, a conductor with an established reputation, joined The Fellowship of Friends in Munich, Germany in 1979. It was no coincidence that he later moved to the Fellowship's headquarters to work on what was then called "the orchestra octave".

That it "evolved in a most unusual, yet natural way" is an interesting way of portraying the history. In addition to known musicians, Robert Burton directed some members with no musical experience whatsoever to learn to play an instrument. (This writer's assignment was the string bass, which was after two weeks handed off to a more willing participant.)]

From the Apollo Symphony Orchestra website:
The Apollo Symphony Orchestra’s beginnings evolved in a most unusual, yet natural way, as all music does: it starts from the heart that yearns to be moved by beautiful music. This evolution started in 1977, when a group of people within a small community in Northern California, most of whom were non-professional musicians, wished to form an orchestra. Encouraging and inspiring these people was a professional musician [and Fellowship member] named Anna Gold who had early in her life established an international career as part of a three-sister trio within Russia. Although Anna, who was the pianist, left the stage to raise a family, her sister Zara Nelsova continued her career to great success. Pablo Casals once remarked about Zara: “There are only two great cellists performing today: myself and Zara Nelsova”.

Anna and Zara reached out to many famous friends to schedule a series of Chamber Concerts. The goal of this series was to educate as well as entertain. Among the artists who performed were the Beaux Arts Trio, the Guarneri Quartet, the Telluride Quartet and soloists such as Nicanor Zabaleta (harpist), Laszlo Varga (cellist), Jeffey Kahane (piano), and Richard Stolzman (clarinet). Vocalists also joined in this series such as Maureen Forrester (Canadian Contralto), Francesca Howe (Soprano) and Donna Peterson (Mezzo-soprano).

Although the desire to establish an orchestra remained, it lacked a dedicated conductor. In 1981, as if by fate, a young conductor named Michael Goodwin moved to Northern California from Germany and learned of this desire of a group of people to form an orchestra ‘from scratch’. He took on the task and established the orchestra’s concert schedule, and lent his skills to honing the talent of his musicians, often arranging Master Classes led by these famous guest performers. Within a few years, the Renaissance Orchestra (later changing its name to the Apollo Orchestra) was ready to perform Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with guest artist, Menahem Pressler, who was an early supporter of the orchestra’s formation.

The Fellowship's "Living Presence Monthly" takes a break

[ed. - The on again, off again Fellowship of Friends monthly newsletter is going on hiatus, perhaps a casualty of the Fellowship's new "Online School."]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Robert's TweetHearts" on Twitter

Image from "Robert's TweetHearts" on Twitter

[ed. - With 615 Twitter followers worldwide (as of this date), it appears many of the Fellowship of Friends' 1,500-plus members are not particularly interested in Robert Burton's 2,201 tweets.]

And, with just 343 followers worldwide, the Fellowship's 4th Way Tweets seems to be suffering a similar lack of support.

Decades before the creation of the 140-character tweet, Robert Burton and the Fellowship had become a mind-numbing, aphorism-generating machine.]

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fellowship of Friends sues Yuba County over tax status

Robert Earl Burton Fellowship of Friends cult Goethe Room dinner, Apollo, Oregon House, CA
Robert Earl Burton leads a formal dinner inside The Fellowship of Friends Galleria. Source: Living Presence

"We do what we can when we can and would wish to do more as we can. We ask nothing in return as this is what community supporters do." - Fellowship of Friends President, Greg Holman, May 27, 2014
[ed. - see also: Group's tax refund shot down and Fellowship of Friends Request for Tax Refunds Based on Religious and Welfare Property Tax Exemptions]

From the Appeal-Democrat, September 25, 2014:
A Yuba County foothills organization is seeking a $600,000 property tax refund, claiming its worship center should not be taxed.

The Fellowship of Friends filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the county, asking for the refund and a declaration the center be protected through religious exemptions from future taxation.

Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown said Wednesday he would not comment on pending litigation.

The complaint filed in Yuba County Superior Court says the Fellowship was erroneously and illegally taxed between 2009 and 2013 when the county assessor refused to recognize the Fellowship's right to religious and welfare exemptions.

The Fellowship, headquartered at 12607 Rices Crossing Road, Oregon House, describes itself as a nondenominational church with principles based on "universal religious teachings that transmit the art and science of recognizing and experiencing a Divine Presence."

There are 1,600 members of the church in more than 30 countries throughout the world, according to information included with the petition. The central focus of the suit is a multi-use 5,600-square-foot building referred to as the Galleria, described as housing books, antiques, sculptures, tapestries, instruments, and other arts considered by followers to be vehicles for transmitting the immortal state of Divine Presence.
Read more at Appeal-Democrat.com


"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 26, 2014:
From the Appeal-Democrat article Tim linked to above (referring to ‘The Academy’) [now, The Galleria]:
… The Fellowship closed the property to the pubic and it now “remains exclusively a place of religious worship and ceremonial religious events.”
Ha, ha, ha!

Of course, I have no idea what the layout is now, but for many years after ‘The Academy’ was built, the north wing was devoted solely to the use of Burton, including the ‘emergency escape tunnel’ leading from under the floor of his bedroom. IIRC [if I recall correctly], there was also a TV/entertainment room, and certainly lots of storage for clothes and shoes. There was the brick-lined cellar where wine was stored, with enough space for two bedrooms used by the ‘boys’ in favor at the time. The south wing contained a kitchen, ‘Wordsworth dining room’, a library, and a couple of rooms decorated with Egyptian furniture, mostly used for Burton and small FoF [Fellowship of Friends] business meetings, where he gave out the day’s orders.

The main central part consisted of an ornately decorated entrance foyer, and the large events room. On the west side, there were large doors leading to a covered semi-circular portico area, the roof supported with pillars. This was used for outdoors dining, and from there steps descended to the enclosed, rather formal, rose garden.

So, the north wing was devoted solely to Burton’s comforts, and was the scene of many of his ‘religious events’ of a sexual nature. The south wing was also devoted to Burton’s comforts, though followers were invited to share in the dining experience and fruits of the kitchen from time to time (but now also transformed into a lucrative fundraising gig). The cellar held his collection of expensive wines and housed his sexual playthings of the moment. And the main center room was used for concerts and other events, including ’symposiums’ and more prodigious fund-raising.

In reality, pretty much the entire building centered on Burton and the attempt to satisfy his insatiable desires and proclivity for dominance and control.

Admittedly, there were a lot of possessions there, paintings by third-tier artists, gaudy (but always expensive) trinkets that happened to catch Burton’s eye, plenty of ormolu. In various places on the GF [Greater Fellowship] site are some photo updates since that time, including one of a fresco on the ceiling celebrating the rampant erection of a particular (and easily recognizable) follower—perhaps caught in a religious sexual ceremony that was particularly memorable for Burton. And there is always the oil portrait of Burton-and-dog as a reminder of the ‘brightest light in 2,000 years if one tires of the rest.

Back to the article. I remember the furor over the Yuba county tax claims on real property—which included the contents—this is usual. Abraham Goldman came up with the scheme to make it into tax-exempt museum. That left a small problem: it was actually mainly the luxurious residence of Conscious Bob. So, Dr. Ethan H., offered his splendid, just completed, residence half a mile away, to Burton (I have no idea what the quid pro quo was). Burton accepted, and the circus had its base there for a number of years, and Ethan rented another house in the meantime.

So the FoF applied for a permit to make it into a museum, ostensibly ‘open to the public’, which AFAIK [as far as I know] was a requirement for tax-exempt status. That didn’t sit well (one of the ‘onerous conditions’, I suppose; another may have been a requirement to upgrade the access road to the museum to make it fit for the public to use, I don’t know). Long story short, it didn’t suit the FoF to meet the conditions. Later, Ethan got his house back, and Burton returned to the Academy.

So now the FoF is making what seems to me to be a rather weak claim for a tax refund. This is odd, since they requested the change to ‘museum’ status in the first place. They didn’t meet the terms, which means the county taxed them in the meantime at the usual rate for the value of the building and the contents. Now the FoF wants a post-dated religious exemption. But, if the county wishes to look more closely, they will discover the reality: this is just another facet of the ongoing and illegal inurement. That is, the building is mostly used, IMO, for the pleasure of Robert Burton, not for the benefit of the members of the church, and should not have tax exempt status. Moreover the private use value to Burton should be added to his personal income and taxed as such.

[ed. - The following is apparently a message to Fellowship members from Girard Haven, who for decades has been Robert Burton's surrogate.]

"J.D." wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 29, 2014:
Message from the Whitman Glen Office [the Fellowship's business office]:
“Galleria property tax exemption effort”

Dear Friends,

We would like all of you to be aware of a legal action the Fellowship initiated earlier this week. A suit was filed against Yuba County for the recognition of our Religious Property Tax Exemption for the Galleria. You may read about it in today’s Appeal Democrat front page top or online at the Appealdemocrat.com.

We have tried very hard to work with Yuba County to obtain the religious and welfare exemptions that we are due under the law, but we have been denied at every turn. We are now forced to sue the County, incurring additional legal expenses for both the Fellowship of Friends and the County’s other taxpayers, in order to receive the tax-exempt property status granted to dozens of other religious organizations in Yuba County.

As part of our court filing, the Fellowship is seeking a refund of property taxes that have been erroneously and illegally collected by Yuba County over the last four years. Recently, there has been some misrepresentation by others about our intentions for this property, so we want to be clear: this property is used as our primary place of worship and other ceremonial religious events. Our intention is that this property remains exclusively a place of religious worship and ceremonial religious events. The County should live up to its obligation to provide the Fellowship of Friends with the same property tax exemptions afforded to other places of worship in Yuba County.

Please be advised that now that this is an open case in the courts that we will not be talking about it any further. You may refer any inquires to me at 530-692-[xxxx] ext. 8217 or my cell phone 530-301-[xxxx].

Thank you,

G. H. [assumed to be Girard Haven]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dear President of Fellowship

Greg Holman. From Territorial Dispatch
Yuba County 5th District (Oregon House/Foothills) Supervisor Hal Stocker wrote on the YubaFoothills.com political forum, September 10, 2014:
Dear Mr. Greg Holman, [Fellowship of Friends] President:

In the interest of harmony between the Fellowship and the rest of the community, please do your best to get the Fellowship to not push a local agenda that is at odds with the wishes and desires of the great majority of residents in Dobbins-Oregon House.

By this I refer to the Fellowship's efforts to rezone much of their lands for housing projects.

Most of the local (non-Fellowship) residents want to keep Dobbins-Oregon House much the way it is.

As stated in their Plan: They prefer tree-tops over roof-tops. They don't care to be another Grass Valley.

And, with this severe drought, there is not enough water for the present population, let alone for new-comers.

Personally, I have had no objection to North Yuba Grown, and I have supported that effort. I support Gary and Kim Hawthorne in their local ag efforts. Also, I am in favor of more recognition for our excellent local wines and olive oils, etc., etc. And tourism is fine, kept under control.

WE ALL NEED TO GET ALONG TOGETHER. Let's make an effort.

Hal Stocker. 675-2282

[ed. - A lively debate has ensued, including this comment from, one might guess to be, a certain Charles Walter Sharp, Fellowship member and business partner of Randy Fletcher. In November, Stocker will face Fletcher in a run-off election for the 5th District Supervisor seat. Also jumping in on the "conversation" is Nick Spaulding, Fellowship political activist and outspoken critic of the incumbent, who has for years pursued development rights for Fellowship interests, ]

"cws2352" wrote on the YubaFoothills.com political forum, September 10, 2014:

Hal, old news and you know it could never actually happen. This type of posting is beneath an ethical person. You are trying to incite the haters and use the FOF as a scapegoat to trash Fletcher. Why do that when you already have their (the haters) vote? It's not likely that you'll sway any clear thinking individuals.

Petty, pathetic and perilous.

Like you said Hal, "WE ALL NEED TO GET ALONG TOGETHER. Let's make an effort."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

High quality pot, North Yuba grown

[ed. - Long-time Fellowship of Friends member Jonathan Fairoaks, aka John Schaberg, was arrested in yet another in a series of North Yuba pot busts involving Fellowship members. In the early 80s, Mr. Fairoaks was forced to take a hiatus from the Fellowship due to involvement of a similar nature.]

From the Appeal-Democrat September 4, 2014:
Illinois pot stop leads to foothills’ bust

By Monica Vaughan/mvaughan@appealdemocrat.com

Local law enforcement, tipped off by police in Illinois, busted a marijuana grow operation near Oregon House; and the case serves as an example of Yuba County's role as a supplier of high-quality, high-price marijuana to nationwide distribution channels, an official said. Yuba-Sutter narcotics agents were contacted Tuesday by Illinois State Police, who intercepted 35 pounds of marijuana grown in the Yuba County foothills and on its way to Philadelphia.

That led the local agents to a 97-plant outdoor grow site, where they arrested Jonathan Fairoaks, 63. "This is very high quality weed we're talking about," said NET-5 Task Force Commander Martin Horan. "The marijuana coming from our part of the country is known as being top quality and bringing in top dollar."

Fairoaks' wife, Merry Stehling, 63, was stopped by police in Illinois and found with packaged marijuana in the trunk of a rented car, Horan said. She was arrested on suspicion of transportation of marijuana, conspiracy and possession for sale.

As a result of the seizure and Stehling's cooperation, the Illinois State Police made a controlled delivery of marijuana to a residence in Philadelphia, where officers seized heroin, hash oil, and $90,000 cash.

Illinois police advised Yuba-Sutter agents that Fairoaks was at his residence in the 9700 block of Wildwood Trail in Oregon House, leading to a search warrant.

NET-5 agents served the warrant Tuesday afternoon, leading to the arrest and seizure of property related to the grow operation.

"Wildwood Trail is off the dirt road in the boonies," Horan said. "The guys had to walk in a half mile and caught (Fairoaks) on a four-wheeler and arrested him."

Horan said Yuba County is a major supplier for channels across the nation to distributors, particularly on the East Coast.

"It's going for $4,000 a pound back there," he said.

Last week, he received a call from police in Nashville looking at Yuba County as a source of marijuana to their jurisdiction.

Read more at Appeal-Democrat.com