Introduction


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, Burton and his followers, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including Burton's divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) 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.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

44 personal stories of Robert Earl Burton's abuses

Pedophile Larry Nassar at sentencing
Convicted serial child molester Larry Nassar appears at his sentencing, January 24, 2018. Photo: Sky News

On sentencing serial child molester Larry Nassar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina stated:
Aside from the letter you wrote, a couple of months after your plea which tells me that you still don't get it, there is something I don't understand and I want to make clear. Sir, you knew you had a problem, that's clear to me. You knew you had a problem from a very young age before you were a doctor. You could have taken yourself away from temptation and you did not.
Worst yet, there is not a survivor who has not come in here and said how world renowned you were. I trust what they say. You could have gone anywhere in the world to be treated. You could have gone to any resort and any doctor or place where you can get treatment. In Europe they have all sorts of hidden places for things like this.
No one had to know and you could have found treatments, some help, taken some medicines. You would have done that if you had cancer. I know you would have. You are about self-preservation. But, you decided to not address what's inside you that causes this control urge that causes you to be a sexual predator. So, your urges escalated and based on the numbers, that we all know go unreported. I cannot even guess how many vulnerable children and families you actually assaulted.
Your decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulated, devious, despicable, I don't have to add words because your survivors have said all of that, I don't want to repeat it. You cannot give them back their innocence, their youth, you can't give a father back his life. One of your victims, her life and she took it. You can't return a daughter to a mother, a father to a daughter. You played on everyone's vulnerability.

[ed. - As the "#MeToo" movement shakes up America and the world, we are in a "kairos moment" for exposing the decades of abuses perpetrated against women and children in our society. But there is another demographic that has been Robert Earl Burton's target for over fifty years: young heterosexual males (including, in some instances, underage boys.)

A self-proclaimed spiritual teacher ("second only to Christ"), founding minister of The Fellowship of Friends "religion," and ruler of the cloistered Sierra Foothills community of Apollo, Burton has preyed upon his youngest and most naive followers. Hidden within this secretive cult, where the "beloved Teacher" is protected by a code of silence, Burton's crimes have largely been shielded from the scrutiny of governmental agencies, the press, and local communities.

Though Burton has reportedly admitted having sexual relations with hundreds of followers, his abuses are not limited to the sexual arena. Abuse in a cult takes many forms, and in some cases, it clearly led to suicide.

Like Larry Nassar, recently accused of "molesting at least 265 girls and young women," Burton is surrounded by a network of enablers (who know who they are), most long-time loyalists benefiting in many ways from membership in Burton's inner circle. Their names appear throughout this blog and include Girard Haven, Wayne Mott, Ethan Harris, Rowena Taylor, Linda Kaplan, Dorian Mattei, Sasha Shalapanov, Greg Holman, Alisanne Frew, Nick Spaulding, Karen Johnston, Benjamin Yudin, Judith Grace, Steven Dambeck, Elizabeth Blake, Diana Kay Eaton, Edith Minne, and Guinevere Mueller.

As he approaches his 79th birthday (celebrated May 12th), it is clear that Burton still does not, and likely will never "get it." From the earliest days, his "decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulated, devious, despicable."

The following 44 stories, selected from hundreds, represent some of those who had the courage to speak out, and a few who never had the chance.]

Steven A. ("Simon")

"Living the Questions"
"Anonymous"

Sharole M.
Sally B.

Steven M.
Kimo B.

Shelley M.
Richard B.
Richard M. ("dick moron")
Troy B.

"More history needed?"
Sandra C.

"Old FOF"
Marlane D.

"P."
Thomas E.

Wim P. ("Johan Van Gaal")
Ames G.

Charles R.
Abraham G.
Samuel S.
Joseph G.

Kiran S.
Roger G.

Brian S.
"Inner Circle facts"

Darota S.
"Innernaut" ("Former student")

"Susan"
Elena H.

"ton"
"Janna"
Anna T.
Stephen J. ("my2bits")

"That Girl"
Kevin K.

"unoanimo"
"Lady B."

Stella W.
Bruce L.

"Whalerider"
"Life Person"

Norman Y.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

With Robert in Egypt - De Nial

[ed. - Ames Gilbert discovered a rare copy of the classic DVD With Robert in Egypt, available for a limited time only on eBay. This "non-rated" edition stars Robert Burton, renowned actor, director, and conscious being (second only to Jesus Christ.) Produced by Isis Media Productions in 2005, the DVD includes such special features as "cult." But you must hurry! At only $30, this offer is a steal!*]


Fellowship of Friends cult leader video - Robert Earl Burton in Egypt the Nile (De Nial)

* “For use and viewing by members of the Fellowship of Friends only. Not for resale, reproduction or any other viewing.”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Robert Earl Burton's 2018 Prophecies

Delusional Fellowship of Friends Fourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky teacher Robert Earl Burton predicts the end of the world...again
"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 11, 2018:
News from the farm: Just when it seemed he had given up on the prophecy end of the “conscious school” racket, Robert Burton is back to making some more of his trademark predictions.

The first prediction is that Dorian M*tei [ed. - Dorian Matei] will “crystallize as a conscious being” this year. As many will remember, Burton “predicted” this of himself back in 1976. It was, apparently, the only one of his dozen or more predictions to “come true,” and coincidentally the only one whose outcome he could control simply by stating that “it happened,” when there was no way for anyone else to verify what, if anything, actually occurred. Insiders feel that Robert is running out of energy to fundraise enough to meet his spending addiction (primarily for antiques), which by all accounts is totally out of control. Thus he needs a #2 conscious being to help bring in the dollars. Dorian owes his house, its furnishings, his gardens and orchards, even his bakery business, to Robert and the Fellowship, not to mention his very nice salary, likely second only to Robert’s. Thus, Dorian is all too happy to go along with Robert’s “conscious being” scheme. And I predict that this one will “come true” just like in 1976. And I further predict that many people, way too many, will believe it, just like many of us did 40+ years ago.

Fool me once, shame on you (Robert Burton); fool me twice, shame on me, and on you (current Fellowship members).

But wait, there’s more. It’s 2018 and time for another end-of-world/civilization prediction. This one is set to occur on Oct 21 (though some heard Oct 18) of this year. No specifics are being shared at this time; no doubt “Influence C” is withholding that information for their own reasons. All the student body is “invited” to vacation in Oregon House/Apollo for 1 month at that time. Meanwhile, all gatherings amongst centers are suspended for 1-1/2 years, so people can save their money to give to Robert in October.

It must be some weird psychological mechanism, but for some people (like most of the 1500 current members of the Fellowship of Friends), the more these predictions do not happen, the more easily the next one is believed. Really bizarre.

And the beat goes on.

Monday, January 1, 2018

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

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult logo
[ed. - To lure seekers from other spiritual traditions, and to 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.

At the bottom of this post are sites critical of Robert Burton and the Fellowship. Updated April, 2018.]



ARGENTINA
Recuerdo de sí (Unofficial) (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires (Facebook) (Spanish)
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial) (Inactive)
BRAZIL
PRESENÇA DIVINA (Portuguese) (Inactive)
Centro Sao Paolo on Google + (Portuguese) (Inactive)
Living Presence (Portuguese)
CANADA
Fourth Way School - Toronto (Facebook) (English)
CHILE
Living Presence Santiago (Facebook) (Spanish) (Inactive)
CHINA
[ed. - The following Fellowship sites are managed by Walther Sell.]
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (English and Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook) (English)
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
COLOMBIA
Ouspensky Gurdjieff (Facebook) (English) (Inactive)
FRANCE
Rappel de Soi - Paris (Facebook) (French) (Inactive)
Living Presence (French)
GERMANY
Der Vierte Weg Deutschland (Facebook) (German)
Living Presence (German)
GREECE
Fourth Way School - Athens (Facebook) (Greek)
The Art of Divine Presence (Greek)
HUNGARY
A JELENLÉT MŰVÉSZETE (Hungarian) (Inactive)
Robert Earl Burton: Önemlékezés Út az öröklétbe (Hungarian) (Inactive)
INDIA
FoF India (Facebook) (English)
FoF - Mumbai India (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way (Facebook) (English) (Mohan Vaishnav, Administrator)
Fourth Way School - India (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way School - Surat (Facebook) (Gujarati and English)
Living Fourthway Presence (Facebook) (English)
ISRAEL
BeingPresent.org (Hebrew)
Fellowship of Friends (Facebook) | בית ספר של (English and Hebrew)
Jerusalem of the soul (Facebook) (English and Hebrew) (Inactive)
ITALY
Il ricordo di sé. Pratica e tradizione spirituale. (Facebook - Closed Group) (Italian)
Living Presence (Italian)
Scuola di Quarta Via - Gurdjieff Ouspensky (Facebook) (Italian)
JAPAN
Self Remembering | 自己想起 Japan (Facebook) (Japanese)
Symbols of Presence in the Japanese Culture (English and Japanese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions | グルジェフ「第四の道」と「秘教的な伝統」 (Facebook) (Japanese)
MEXICO
Escuela del Cuarto Camino - Monterrey (Facebook) (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends Tijuana-San Diego (Facebook) (Spanish) (Inactive)
Fraternidad de Amigos Monterrey (Facebook) (Spanish)
Living Presence (Spanish)
Mesoarte Data Base for Prehispanic Art (Facebook) (also on Ning) (English and Spanish)
Recordandonos (Spanish) (Inactive)
THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam Being Present Meetup (English)
Living Presence - Amsterdam (Dutch) (Inactive)
NORWAY
Levende Tilstedeværelse Oslo - Fjerde Veis Skole (Facebook) (Norwegian)
PORTUGAL
Living Presence (Portuguese)
ROMANIA
Fourth Way School - Bucharest (Facebook) (Romanian)

Living Presence (Romanian)
RUSSIA
Esoteric School (Russian)

Fourth Way School | Школа Четвертого пути (Facebook) (Russian)

IKIRU a theater of awakening (Facebook) (Russian) (Inactive?)

Living Presence (Russian)

Онлайн школа четвертого пути: четвертый путь - система, теория, практика (Russian)

Pathway to Presence (Russian)
SPAIN
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de España (Facebook) (Spanish)
Living Presence (Spanish) (Inactive)
TURKEY
Dördüncü Yol Okulu - Fourth Way School (Facebook) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Okulu Türkiye (Instagram) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Türkiye (Twitter) (Turkish)
UKRAINE
Школа Четвёртого Пути, Киев - Fourth Way School Kiev (Facebook) (Russian)
UNITED KINGDOM
Living Presence London (Facebook) (English)
Living Presence (Twitter) (English)
UNITED STATES
Fellowship of Friends (Google +) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends/Blogspot (Google Blogger) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends Videos (YouTube)

Fourth Way School - Northern California (Facebook) (English)

Fourth Way Today (English)

Fourth Way Tweets (Twitter) (English)

Gurdjieff Ouspensky Self-observation (Facebook) (English) (William Scholte and David Tuttle, Administrators)

Living Presence (English)

Living Presence Monthly (English)

Living Presence (Facebook) (English)

livingpresence44 (Instagram) (English)

Propylaia (Inner Circle Squared) (The Fellowship of Friends member portal)

Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today (English)

Robert Earl Burton: Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher (English)

Robert's TweetHearts (Twitter) (Robert Earl Burton's Twitter page) (English)

The Art of Divine Presence (English)

The Fellowship of Friends Apollo University (English) (Inactive?)

The Fourth Way (Pinterest)  (English) (Julian Branston's site)(Inactive)

The Fourth Way (Google +) (William Page's site) (English)

The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook) (English) (Walther Sell, Administrator)

The 4th Way - Gurdjieff - Ouspensky (Facebook) (English) (Public discussion, exploited by Fellowship recruiters)

Fellowship of Friends/Fourth Way/Living Presence cult Ouspensky-Gurdjieff masthead

CRITICISM OF ROBERT EARL BURTON AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS


BELGIUM
Spiritualia (Dutch)
FRANCE
Prevensectes Fellowship of Friends Database (French)
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
ITALY
Dopo la Fellowship of Friends: Una libera discussione sul lavoro su di sé (Italian)

Il Credino  ("Robert E. Burton e la Fellowship of Friends/La Presenza") (Italian)

Tutto quello che avreste dovuto sapere sulla Fellowship of Friends (Italian)
RUSSIA
"Fellowship of Fools" (Russian)

Трезвый взгляд на Fellowship of Friends (Russian) (CAUTION: may be virus-infected)
SPAIN
Cuarto Camino/FOF (Spanish)
TURKEY
Özgür Zihin (Turkish)
UNITED STATES
Cult Education Institute (formerly Rick A. Ross Institute)

Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog (This series of three blogs contains nearly 100,000 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 (On this Wordpress blog, navigate between pages by typing the desired page number into "search" box.)
Fellowship of Friends Wikispaces (Link no longer active, however material from that page is found throughout this blog. In such cases, the Wikispaces source is cited.)

Steven Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center

Internet Archive

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (your current location)

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (Facebook)

The Fourth Way (Facebook) (Greg Goodwin, Administrator)

Wikipedia (Hotly-contested Wikipedia draft, which moderators eventually abandoned. See an archive on this blog.)

"StrangerInAStrangeLand" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 12, 2018:
Just discovered the Fourth Way and was looking for a school and a FB Fourth Way group told me there was a group close to me, I contacted them and had my first meeting …. was taken aback when at the end of the meeting it was announced with great flair that the group was part of FOF. This was after I was sternly told about the “rules” and that they wanted $150/month or 10% of my earnings to “join”. I wasn’t too happy about it. Then I went to the internet and found the “Be” (Asaf Braverman), didn’t know at the time of HIS FOF association, so joined that instead. Then he sent me a note …how did you hear about the Fourth Way …. I wrote back and said I was looking to study, but wanted to avoid any FOF controlled groups … never hear back of course! Looks like I’ve totally dodged a bullet on this one. I got some very distinct flashes of danger and thank everybody for posting this information about FOF on the internet where it can be found and assimilated before any damage has been done. I’ll read Ouspensky on my own. Gurdjieff is a bit hard to follow. Cheers!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Robert Earl Burton's Fifty Years with Angels: September 5, 1967 - September 5, 2017 is published

Fifty Years with Angels September 5, 1967 - September 5, 2017 Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton book

[ed. - Robert Earl Burton's, Fifty Years with Angels: September 5, 1967 - September 5, 2017 (not to be confused with My Fifty Years with the Angels) is published. It is compiled and edited by Judith Grace, a Burton acolyte for over 42 years. To date, it is the most autobiographical, and self-congratulatory, of Burton's publications.]
 "Very early on I wondered who was helping me, and they ["C Influence" or "Influence C"] started signaling Leonardo [da Vinci]. Leonardo and I are very different, but we are also very similar from the point of view of presence. What a great founder for a civilization! We can see why Apollo is already so beautiful in its small way. Leonardo was probably the most aesthetically sensitive human in the history of the earth. His role was intended to represent the Absolute on earth. Once, when I began to work, as I was laboring, Leonardo said to me, "Trust no 'I's; be present." Then everything stabilized.

At one point when I was younger, I was receiving many shocks from Leonardo. Finally I snapped and spoke back. He whispered, "Shhhh." And I never did it again after that! I am actually Leonardo's only offspring. Like myself, he never had children in his life, and I am his only child five hundred years later. He is behind every word I speak, even though I take responsibility for it, and I am grateful. Who would not be grateful for such a mind guiding us."  - Robert Earl Burton, from Fifty Years with Angels
Leonardo da Vinci - Robert Earl Burton's "father" and guide to Fellowship of Friends cult "new civilization"
Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Somms Are Obsessed with a ‘Cult’ Wine Bottled by a Fringe Religious Group"

[ed. -  The Fellowship of Friends has long been desperate to move a large inventory of older (some decades-old) Renaissance wines from its cellar. In a move that is reminiscent of Renaissance founding winemaker Karl Werner's departure from Callaway in the 1970s (Werner was offered a large inventory of unmarketable Callaway red wines at bargain prices,) it appears Gideon Beinstock may have brought a creative solution to Renaissance's long-standing overstock (and image) problem.]


From: vinepair.com

By: Courtney Schiessl @takeittocourt

A smattering of under-the-radar, late-1990s Cabernet Sauvignons from the Sierra Foothills have started appearing on top wine lists in the past several months. The 1997 vintage of Taken from Granite, the California labelin question, is available by the bottle at New York City fine dining restaurants Union Square Cafe and Momofuku Ko. Manhattan wine bar Terroir Tribeca offers $30 by-the-glass pours of Taken from Granite, and retail shops such as Vine Wine in Brooklyn have plentiful supplies of Taken From Granite cuvées as well.

These 20-year-old bottles aren’t “cult wines” in the traditional industry sense. Oenophiles generally use that term to indicate wine that is both highly sought-after and difficult to find, both of which often make said wine quite expensive. Taken From Granite is cult wine in a slightly more literal sense. These well-priced, aged wines, just re-labeled and re-released by noted California winemaker Gideon Beinstock, originally came from Renaissance Vineyard and Winery — a historic property owned by Fellowship of Friends, an international religious organization and purported cult.

Read more at vinpair.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fellowship of Friends and Yuba County settle for $310K

Tax-exempt Fellowship of Friends Galleria at Apollo/Oregon House houses Robert Earl Burton and his male harem
The Fellowship of Friends asserts the Galleria “remains exclusively a place of religious worship and ceremonial
religious events,” while others describe it as the playground of the "goddess" Robert Earl Burton and his male harem.

[ed. The Fellowship of Friends and Yuba County have settled a three-year-old lawsuit over the Fellowship's tax-exemption claims. See also, "Fellowship of Friends sues Yuba County over tax status".]
Fellowship of Friends and Yuba County settle for $310K
Appealdemocrat.com

By Rachel Rosenbaum/ rrosenbaum@appealdemocrat.com

A Yuba County foothills religious organization and the county reached a $310,000 settlement in a lawsuit nearly three years after it was filed.

The Fellowship of Friends, of Oregon House, filed the lawsuit against Yuba County and its Board of Supervisors in 2014, claiming it 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. It asked for a refund and a declaration that the center be protected – through religious exemptions – from future taxation.

The central focus of the suit is the 5,600-square-foot building referred to as the Galleria, which houses collections of books, arts and antiquities which “occupy an essential place in the practices of the Fellowship,” according to the settlement. Formal services, meals and other events of sacramental nature occur at The Galleria, according to the complaint.

The Assessor’s Office investigated and determined that the Fellowship is entitled to a tax year 2017-18 welfare exemption based on religious use for the Galleria Property – which is valued at $3.3 million, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.

According to the settlement, the Fellowship must pay and has paid any taxes owed through tax year 2016-17 for the property, and will be provided with a partial refund of taxes for the years put at issue in the complaint.

The Assessor’s Office determined the Fellowship is entitled to welfare exemptions for some of its additional parcels or portions for tax year 2017-18:

– 3.28 acres of the administrative office.

– 1.07 acres of the Galleria gardens.

– 1.4 acres of the Festival Hall.

– 8.95 acres of the Theatron and its surrounding gardens.

Yuba County will pay the Fellowship $310,452 in a series of three payments: $150,000 within 30 days of the agreement; $85,452 no later than June 30, 2018; and $75,000 no later than June 30, 2019.

In return, both the Fellowship and the county agree to “maintain the status quo of the terms reflected in this agreement for a period of 10 years.”

Specifically, the Fellowship agrees to not file exemption applications with the county for any of its currently assessed properties other than welfare exemption applications for the Galleria Property for a period of 10 years, and will submit annual exemption applications for its exempt property under the welfare exemption.

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,” according to Appeal-Democrat archives. There are 1,600 members of the church in more than 30 countries throughout the world.

The Fellowship sought tax exemption for the Galleria in the mid-1980s, but the county denied the application on the grounds the Galleria was not used exclusively as a museum, the complaint said.

In the early 1990s, the Fellowship obtained a conditional use permit to operate a museum, but the permit required several “burdensome conditions of approval” and the “onerous and expensive conditions” were never initiated and the permit expired, according to the complaint.

The Fellowship closed the property to the public and it now “remains exclusively a place of religious worship and ceremonial religious events.”

Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf said settling for approximately half the amount that was originally asked for by the Fellowship is a win for the county.

“Considering the initial lawsuit filed and seeking four years of refunds of taxes, we feel the settlement is very fair to both parties,” Bendorf said Thursday.

CONTACT Rachel Rosenbaum at 749-4771 and on Twitter @RaeRosenbaum.

Monday, October 2, 2017

"(Robert Earl Burton) is a professional predator."

Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton, Dorian Matei, Fellowship of Friends cult leaders
Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton, Dorian Matei, with god, er...dog.

[ed. - Michael Shelton, a self-described Mormon apostate, has created a series of podcasts examining cults. In this podcast, he addresses Robert Burton and the Fellowship. Though the narrative may be disjointed and difficult to follow, the final few minutes offer a clear-eyed assessment of dynamics at work in the Fellowship, that are common to most destructive cults.]

Robert Earl Burton Fellowship of Friends Cult (podcast)

“Here's an easy way to figure out if you're in a cult: If you're wondering whether you're in a cult, the answer is yes.” - Stephen Colbert

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today

[ed. - The robertearlburton.org domain now forwards to the WordPress blog Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today (below). As previously mentioned, Burton and the Fellowship have had an on-again, off-again relationship with The Fourth Way, even resorting to such extreme measures as banning the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky! And it is indeed a stretch when the biography below states that Alex Horn was "affiliated" with the Gurdjieff Foundation and that Horn "studied" with Rodney Collin. But Robert Burton's (and the Fellowship's) credibility depend upon establishing a clear (though at best tenuous) link to the Fourth Way Lineage. And in that pursuit, truth is often sacrificed.]


Apollo/Oregon House Fellowship of Friends cult website Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today
Screenshot from Fellowship of Friends blog, Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

50th Anniversary of the legendary meeting with Influence C

Photo and quote from Burton's Fifty Years with Angels. "This is the house at 350 Page Street where I had
my prospective student meeting, implying the turning of the final page before our school was to begin."
(The homes pictured are actually 290-294 Page Street.)

[ed. - According to Robert Burton, he first met Alex Horn, his direct link to The Fourth Way Lineage, and the gods (also known as "Influence C") on September 5, 1967, in San Francisco, California. The following was transcribed from a meeting Burton led on the 44th anniversary of that sacred event. At the time, his recollections were accompanied by photographs.]

The extraordinary meeting with Influence C, as retold 44 years later, on September 21, 2011, in Robert Burton's own words:
“On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us [the royal "us"?], and our quest for divine presence began. We could say that on this day: ‘It has begun.’ Here [referring to a photo] we see a photograph of Alex Horn, showing four fingers on each hand. This [referring to a photo] is the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, where I played tennis. I met Influence C hitchhiking because it was just fashionable in the sixties; one would hitchhike from Berkeley to Carmel, and such things. I met Influence C in Berkeley on the crossing of Ashby and Domingo Avenues, like Placido Domingo, the singer. He was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, so it is an omen of my bringing the sequence – the Song of Solomon – to our school. Incidentally, the sequence is a ‘Song of the Self.’ It is four words. This is where our journey began. A doctor picked me up and gave me a ride. He would later turn out to be payment for Dr. Ethan Harris. So we did very well! The doctor was on his way to a prospective student meeting on Page Street (like William Page) in San Francisco. This [referring to a photo] is the house at 350 Page Street where I had my prospective student meeting. It is eight – three plus five. This [referring to a photo] is the interior. The owner was quite gracious about inviting us in. Here [referring to a photo] I am before the gated entrance. … I am looking up in gratitude to Influence C. I was just like you, one of many, one of seven billion. [ed. - World population was around 3.5 billion at the time.] There was no particular reason on the surface they would give any of us this gift, but we are exactly the ones they wanted. And now we are all present and we can see why they wanted us.”

The actual 350 Page Street

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 2, 2017:
September 5, 1967. Fifty years ago, this coming Tuesday.

In case anyone misplaced their scorecard, that’s the day Robert Burton met Alex Horn. At least according to the version of their meeting as told by Burton. Well actually, he has rarely made it clear that he met Horn on that day. What he says is that’s when he met “Influence C.” But a very sharp “student” figured out some years ago that that date of meeting “Influence C” and Alex Horn coincided, and that Alex Horn must be “Influence C.”

In any case, he has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Meeting Influence C” for a year now. And right now is the big weekend, not only the culmination of another “Journey Forth” gathering (and a large one), but the pinnacle of a year-long build-up of excitement. Endless meetings (4 in 5 days, 3 days in a row, through Tuesday), dinners, “fund-raising” activities, a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. And I’m willing to bet that “The Absolute” will make his Fourth appearance sometime this weekend, probably on Tuesday, Sept 5. Perfect.

And the 2 nearby fires are also perfect, the smell of smoke, the extreme heat warning this weekend.

Pity the money-counters having to work all that overtime (without pay). Pity, too, the chefs working in 100+ temps to feed the masses visiting from the around the world.

But especially pity the 1500 or so lost souls who still believe that Robert Burton holds their ticket to Paradise, and who have given all their will and power and personal responsibility to a fake guru.

Well, at least everyone gets what they wish.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher

[ed. - As the inevitable passing of the torch approaches, The Fellowship of Friends has introduced new Robert Earl Burton hagiographies.

The domains "robertearlburton.net" and "robertearlburton.com" both direct to the "Nature of Presence" WordPress blog (below). The blog is the latest in the endless shuffling of Robert Burton aphorisms paired with "meaningful" images. New look, "same old jive" (as Miles Barth once called it.) Curiously, Burton and the Fellowship have had an on-again, off-again relationship with The Fourth Way.]


Apollo/Oregon House Fellowship of Friends website Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher
Screenshot of Fellowship of Friends blog Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Fellowship of Friends registers "robertearlburton" domains?

For privacy protection, namecheap uses a Panamanian web-hosting service.

[ed. - Six years ago, when this blog was established, I registered the domains "robertearlburton.com" and "robertearlburton.org" but allowed the contracts to expire after one year. Now it appears The Fellowship of Friends has registered those domains, in addition to the "robertearlburton.net" domain.

Perhaps developed by an "online reputation management" service hired by the Fellowship to do some damage control, the strategy obviously seeks to displace this blog in search result rankings. Such a scheme may however backfire if it results in Fellowship members stumbling upon this blog rather than the Fellowship's (and thus learning the truth about their organization!)]

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ames Gilbert's liberation plea

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The "Death-Bed" Edition


"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 23, 2017:
To everyone who is currently a member of the Fellowship of Friends.

Of course you have been advised to not read this blog, so I’m almost certainly wasting my time with this appeal. But maybe a psychic vibration will get through, or someone will pass it along…

You have a great opportunity RIGHT NOW to end the madness.

There is some part of you that recognizes that you have been led down a dark and dismal path, no matter how gorgeous the externals, the trinkets and ornaments and endless ‘cultural’ activities, no matter the beautiful surroundings. There is something inside you that recognizes these are masks covering the corruption and emptiness. As Burton gasps his last breaths, the ‘leaders’ he has appointed or who have clawed their way into the limelight are deciding your future. You have become very used to others making the important decisions in your life, but I beg of you now—take back your power and break free of these people and their machinations.

Withdraw your support, leave the organization now, let it wither as it should have done decades ago. Do not accept the claims of the would–be ‘leaders’, why should you? They are just very ordinary people who have been lent spiritual and temporal authority by Robert Burton. Without that, they have nothing, are nothing. Why should you follow their directions? They have spent decades being mere ciphers, mouthpieces for Burton, and every one of them carries very heavy baggage of their own.

They were chosen by Burton for their weaknesses, not their strengths. They were chosen because they were more willing than you to give up their chances for individuation. They were chosen because they are consummate ‘yes men’ and ‘yes women’, not because they have the abilities to manage the organization in the absence of Burton.

Take Dorian Matei, for example. Do you want someone who sells favors for sex to take over your spiritual path? Or Linda Kaplan/Tulisso, do you want someone whose sole moral guidance is, “I was just following orders” to teach you likewise? Do you want those like Steven Dambeck who would do anything that Burton ordered, regardless, without question or compunction or care for the consequences, to act as an example for you? Do you want any of the other slimy sycophants who did whatever was necessary to please Burton to gain ultimate power in the organization? Do you want the weak fools who comprise the Board of Directors, who were especially selected by Burton because he knew they would never take any independent action, to lead you? Do you really want any of these and other contenders for power to take charge of all the things that are important in your life?

You may have believed that Burton was connected to or even represented higher powers, and that those he has selected and groomed to take over have their approval as well. But, look back at the history. Every single person that Burton anointed as a ‘future conscious being’, with the sole exception of Girard Haven, turned out to be a dud. So, do you want someone like Girard to be your leader? Someone who advises you to abandon the idea of verification and instead look for evidence to support received wisdom, you wish such a person to guide you? What does Burton’s sorry record on that score say about his capabilities to choose those who would follow him? Why has he surrounded himself with people that wholeheartedly and uncritically supported his fantasy, and who never aspire to graduate from his ‘school’, don’t even consider it possible? Why do none of them ever stand up to him? When the new management takes over, you will be required to give your unconditional support to people who were chosen for their colossal weaknesses, not strengths. So, don’t tolerate or condone it! Whatever your history in the Fellowship, recognize that it is over. It’s over. The prophecies were false, the signs and numerology were fake, there never was some justifying ‘grand purpose’ to the ‘school’, the whole setup is dead and rotting from the head downwards. C’mon, do you really want to go to any more meetings where the ‘leaders’ mouth yet more platitudes, cherry–pick quotes from dead philosophers out of context, project fake meanings into ridiculous symbology and numerology, claim false connections to higher wisdom, snare you deeper and deeper into the fantasy. Do you want to spend the rest of your lives trying to square the circle over and over again?

So what happens if you men and women stop the nonsense right now, individual by individual? Well, it’s certainly a risk, no question about that. You are heading into unknown territory, especially internally. But, nothing stops you folks being a community and supporting each other. I understand—you have friends, family, houses, jobs, commitments. But, you don’t have to lose any of this. You don’t have to stop trying to be present (though you might want to question the techniques you’ve been told to use), you don’t have to cut yourself off, you don’t have to cut others off, and you can learn to make new friends. You can carry on trying to be a decent human being. You can start to forgive yourself for your complicity in the enormous boondoggle. But not if you stay and support another generation of charlatans.

Really, what on earth can Dorian Matei offer? He has nothing but borrowed authority, pat phrases with no meaningful content, and an acquired taste for loud clothing. He wants your money, your adoration and plenty of sex, like Burton. Of course he does, he has spent twenty years or more exploiting the accidents that allowed him to move from Romania and end up in the U.S., with the status of princeling. He has became accustomed to this lifestyle, all courtesy of Burton’s physical desire for him and his own ruthless cunning. But why should you let this continue? Why should you deliver yourself into his clutches? He has nothing of value to offer you, he is empty inside, he has spent his adult years conforming to Burton’s will and giving up all possibilities for individuation and graduation. The same goes to any of the contenders for power.

Do you really want those who pursued ‘consciousness at any price’, but have no idea of value, who think that the ends justifies the means, who are willing to squash their consciences so they could fit in and ascend to the temporal power they so desperately crave, who want you to do the same, who want you to give them unquestioning obedience, your money, maybe your body, and most importantly, your psychological power—do you want such people to control your lives? In a few weeks, whoever is the most ruthless will have consolidated their power, and you will be required to conform to their vision, to pledge loyalty to them in all areas of your life. Is that what you really, really want?

End it now. Take your future in your own hands. Step away, and end it now. For your own sweet sakes, end it now.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 27, 2017:
Seems like Dorian Matei and Sasha Shalapanov, previously both anointed ‘future Man #5s' by Robert Earl Burton, have taken over as front men for the Fellowship of Friends. Supported, presumably, by ‘older students’ such as Rowena Taylor, and the Board and Spiritual Council of the FoF.

Last Friday, Sasha ‘led’ a meeting of the faithful, and last Sunday Dorian did likewise.

The words of Sasha Shalapanov (he of the clown costumes) have not yet been relayed to your humble blogger; no doubt they also consisted mostly of similarly vague and soporific generalities. The point—kindly keep the bubble of the joint fantasy inflated with worship and money. But during a vapid monologue lasting 70 minutes, Dorian Matei took incoherence and the very essence of the insubstantial to new levels of vapidity (sample follows).

His performance was apparently highlighted with images of Burton, photos taken that same day. Maybe someone will post them, but my initial impression was that neither Dorian or Sasha grasped any of the essential principles from the correspondence course in Basic Taxidermy that they had obviously ordered and studied in haste over the preceding days. Their first publicly revealed experiment was a sad indictment of both the course ($39.95 including shipping and handling, from the College of Steer Preservation Technology, 44/45 Slaughterhouse Ave., Chicago, IL60618), their own abilities, and the facilities in the Galleria kitchen. So, Big Fail. My objective advice: practice a whole lot on smaller roadkill first.

Dorian started his monologue with the words below. Imagine them continuing in the same vein for the rest of the seventy minutes. No questions, comments or observations allowed, during or after.

Summary: Everything is fine. (Subtext: keep sending $$$$$. Don’t forget the $$$$$. If you forget your ‘teaching payments’, the only alternative is hell.)

These guys already have a history within the organization of exchanging favors for sex. My guess is that everything will be prim and proper for a little while, then some nubile young sheep will attract their attentions, and the process of grooming and seduction will continue as before, with nary a bleat of protest from the rest.

Where is Asaf Braverman when you need him? Although Asaf’s smoothly delivered words also dispense received wisdom by the bucketful, and he also mixes short pithy sayings of conveniently dead philosophers—lifted out of context— with his own to imply some non–existent connection or even sanction; which he also plentifully lards with unverifiable claims, he is a model of clarity and wisdom compared to this claptrap. Not that he is immune to the temptations of power either. How long before some pert young follower with plenty of upthrust over there in Italy attracts his attention and subtly conveys that if he seeks comfort, she is willing to exchange a favor or two for more private access to Asaf? After all, his wife is busy with their new child, and will take a while to recover her youthful grace… and in the meantime, how can a little sincere communion behind closed doors, based on their spiritual bond, possibly matter?

Enough from Ames, over to Dorian:
[ed. - The following is a transcript of the first 15 minutes of the Sunday, July 23rd meeting led by Dorian. The transcript and photos were provided by an inside source who shall remain anonymous, as they are not authorized to speak on behalf of The Fellowship of Friends.]
Good morning. I guess it’s now 2 weeks since this great gift came to us as a school. We are still in the furnace. I was thinking before coming here these words from Bernard of Clairvaux. He says, “The fire that is God. It is indeed a fire that devours, but it does not debase.”
Beautiful image. “The fire that devours, but does not debase.” In fact, it refines and concentrates and purifies.

I was thinking that we will look at our school as the time before this incident happened with Robert, and a time after this incident, marking a great  transition, in a way; and that we…it’s yet to be understood exactly what our school was given, but one feels a very, very powerful gift descended upon us. And related to the subject this morning, I feel that in order for this gift to be received and used, we must do our very best not to attach any positive or negative thought to it.  It’s a little easier to avoid attaching negative attitudes toward it, such as resentment, fear, concern, because these are more obvious, and I think as a school  we’ve done a great job staying away from those emotions. But it is equally important to not attach hope and happiness to it. Somehow when Hydrogen 12 and 6 come, the more pure they descend on us, the more they can change our lives. I had a birthday last week, and this desire came to make a wish, and it was before Robert came back from the hospital; and of course this tendency was to make a wish related to that. I then understood that my wish would stain this great gift, and then I had nothing to wish for.

(Shows 2 photos of Robert taken earlier that morning [ed. - screen shots of video monitor. Filmed inside a bordello?]:)

I mentioned at the beginning that we are still in the furnace, and what I mean by that is part of this gift that C Influence has given us is a very precious and rare substance which we call Hydrogen 6. A shock like this infuses Hydrogen 6 in a school.

This week, especially witnessing Sasha’s meeting Friday, which I thought was wonderful, and I understood that, in a way, the requirement of a host for our events is to be able to address the present moment, and yet it’s a very mystical present moment. It’s a present moment that our whole school experiences. It’s a present moment of the whole earth, you would say, and it’s a present moment that includes what Influence C releases to the school and to humanity in this moment. It’s a very mystical moment once more, and the requirement of a host is to bring awareness to this moment and all of its contents that is happening before our eyes. Only Higher Centers can do that. No intellectual process…we can’t imitate that. To address what is here now. And the “here” is here throughout the globe, in centers, in places where students are alone.

It’s a very mystical year (laughs), and this is the requirement of a host, somehow to bring awareness to that and thereby assimilate the gift that Influence C is releasing right this moment.

It is hard to move somewhere from this place because it’s so beautiful, what we share now.

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 27, 2017:
49. Ames Gilbert [above]

I thought it was fucked up when I left 32 years ago…this is unfuckingbelievable. They must have some truly and deeply stupid people making up the rank and file…besides the psychopaths at the top of the hierarchy Clearly, RB has passed his psychopathology down to the little runt mini-RB’s. Then again, they all deserve each other. Now it’s just a wankathon.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Robert Earl Burton undergoes cardiac procedures

In Robert Earl Burton's absence Dorian Matei leads Fellowship of Friends meeting at Apollo, Oregon House, CA
Dorian Matei (center) informs Fellowship members that everything is fine.

[ed. - An individual who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of The Fellowship of Friends provided the photos and information for this article. The insider reported that, on the morning of Sunday, July 9th, Robert Burton was unexpectedly unable to lead a scheduled meeting at the Fellowship's Apollo Festival Hall ("Prytaneion"). Sitting in for Burton, Dorian Matei (pictured) began:
"Good morning, and everything is fine. Robert is fine. Uh, he uh, he wanted to be cautious with his, um, health and balance, and he decided not to come to host the meeting this morning. But he is fine.

“Interesting situation. In a way, I am grateful we are here to experience this.”
Burton would be admitted to hospital the same day, undergoing tests that determined he had blockages in his coronary arteries. On July 11th and 12th, he underwent surgeries to place stents in two of the arteries.

Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton's companion, Fellowship of Friends
Sasha Shalapanov. Everything is fine.

On the 12th, Sasha Shalapanov led a meeting at the Prytaneion, during which was shown a brief video of Burton in a hospital recovery room.

And today, Rowena Taylor, Dean of the Fellowship Council, and Greg Holman, President of the Fellowship of Friends, issued a very upbeat (no pun intended) statement to the Fellowship congregation, the gist of the message being:]
Robert is home and hopes to lead events in the near future. Meanwhile, our school spirit is strong. At Apollo, in the week Robert was away in hospital, students gathered together even more frequently to share energy and provide emotional support to one another. Meetings were held as usual and work at the Theatron [ed. - being restored primarily for tax-exemption classification] continued at a good pace. Robert has asked various students to step up to lead meetings and events, and everyone is responding.

Shocks help us in interesting ways. It is a time of energy and renewed sense of direction. We also have a renewed appreciation for one another, and for the being of the school. It was heartening [ed. - No pun intended?] to see that students immediately met the shock of Robert’s illness from higher centers and the kings of centers, rather than the queens. [ed. - Which conscious follower verified this?] We have been able to see what we have, and what we are. We see more clearly that each of us must work to co-create the school.

The Fellowship organization includes a Board of Directors that helps to govern our infrastructure, meeting regularly to assess needs and priorities. The Council maintains links with our worldwide centers and helps our teaching reach students and prospective students. [ed. - "Please trust us."] We are working to publish a new website [ed. - Yet another?] on Robert and our school, and will share it with you later this month.

Thank you for keeping the flame of presence alive as we continue as a school and fellowship of friends.

[ed. - If Robert Burton's prediction is correct, once he shuffles off his mortal coil, a Fellowship Council, Board of Directors, and website may be unnecessary.]
"One positive aspect about the completion of my role, that is, the dissolution of this body, is that I feel I will be able to communicate to students information I could not give them here, particularly about their next roles." - Robert Earl Burton