Introduction


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

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

Thursday, December 31, 1970

1970 Notes

[ed. - At a New Year's Eve party on December 31, 1969, Robert Earl Burton meets his first "student," Bonita Guido. On January 1, 1970, he begins instruction for his new follower, thus launching The Fellowship of Friends.]

From Harold Wirk's timeline and here:
According to Harold's notes, Bonita and David Guido were Burton's first students. There were three meetings a week, at Orinda or Walnut Creek, and "Robert works with each student privately." Having relationships of children is discouraged. The period is noted for "intense 1st and 2nd line work" and the "word exercises" [avoiding the use of designated words] begin. 
January
First open meeting (1/20)
June/July
Tahoe trip. 22 go.
Harold, Stella [Meg] join
Meetings at Bern & Liz Berger's, Guidos', Meg's
August
Sea Ranch
Meg hospitalized (8/21 - 8/26)
Dinner at Guidos'
Meetings at Hannahs' and Guidos'
Tahoe trip (8/28 to 9/3)
September
Notebooks started
Dinner at Kenneth J.'s (9/11)
Robert gone. Students conduct first meeting (9/21)
Swim party at Ken J.'s (9/28)
Meetings at Ken's, Bonita's, Bernard's, Bill's
October
Big Sur trip (10/21- 10/22)
Meetings at Bill's, Meg's, Bernard's, Bonita's, Richard's
November
Mendocino trip (11/15 or 11/16)
"Small groups" begin
Group open meetings (11/20 - 11/22)
December
Christmas party at Hannahs'

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