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.

Monday, October 18, 1976

A note about the Teacher's car

 
From Car and Driver:
The 1963–1981 Mercedes-Benz 600 is the only cost-no-object production Mercedes ever built; MSRP when new was around $20,000, but current values start at three or four times that. Routine maintenance can cost as much as a new Toyota Corolla, and a full restoration generally runs well into six (or even seven) figures. It’s complicated, artful, and glorious.
It was purchased by a bunch of dictatorial sociopaths who didn’t mind killing other people. And Jack Nicholson.
Because for many years the 600 was the most luxurious and obnoxiously refined vehicle on the planet, the rich and famous swarmed to it. Most everyone knows this. Everyone knows, too, that der Grosser was a favorite of heads of state—the 600’s massive, imposing bodywork says nothing so much as I Am Coming to Rule Your Face, Peons, and I Will Drive Over Your Brain if You Don’t Agree.

What isn’t widely known is the extent of the car’s ownership roster. On a 2009 episode of the British television show Top Gear, co-host James May rattled off the following list of confirmed 600 owners: Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel Castro, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Idi Amin Dada, Enver Hoxha, Hirohito, Saddam Hussein, Mao Tse Tung, and Marshal Josip Broz Tito. Other owners reportedly included Irish leader Éamon de Valera, Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Korean dingbats Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, Ferdinand Marcos, Deng Xiaoping, and Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk. Time magazine says King Hussein of Jordan ordered one when new, as did Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus and Indonesian president Suharto.

But wait! There’s more! Confirmed celebrity owners include Elvis Presley, George Harrison, John Lennon, Hugh Hefner, Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay (he bought Coco Chanel’s old car), and Jack Nicholson, who purchased his after driving it in The Witches of Eastwick. Harrison even bought Lennon’s old car when the latter moved to the United States from Britain, so he had two. Fancy, eh?
[ed. - When the 1974 Rolls Royce was purchased, the Mercedes 600 fetched $20,000 ($82,000 in 2013 Dollars) in trade-in value.]

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