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.

Saturday, September 4, 1971

Silence and "feminine dominance"

[ed. - On September 4, 1971, Robert Burton entered a 16-month period of silence, concluding in December 1972. During this time, he visited his mother in the hospital and refused to speak. Later, he was fond of citing that occasion as an example of his work against the human weakness he called "feminine dominance." (Always prone to exaggeration, on November 11, 2009, Burton would later recount, "When I was a young teacher, I worked with an exercise of being in silence for two years.")

In April of 1981, Burton even told a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle the familiar story.]
“My mother was in a hospital and she was dying. They had to do open-heart surgery and I was in the 15th month of a 16-month period of silence. I was denying myself speech. I saw her in the hospital and I did not speak. It was my aim not to speak.” 
 [ed. - His work against feminine dominance did not however prevent him from assigning many members, including myself, to provide various services for his mother, who lived in Sacramento, CA at least into the late 1970s. See also "Notes from the period of silence, 1971-1972" at the Internet Archive.]

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