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.

Wednesday, February 28, 1979

February 1979 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Gerhard Puchelt, piano
Robin Sutherland and Roy Malan
Telluride Chamber Players
Diane Gilfether
Christiane Edinger, violin
January 13: William Serrao passed away, the second member to die in nine years.
1,221 members
[ed. - In the following excerpt from her Learn about CULTS page, Stella Wirk writes about how Robert Burton reacted to William's illness. As a point of fact, member Gary James died in an automobile accident on December 16, 1976. I assume he was the first member to die.] 
We harkened back to the memory of the first FOF death (not a suicide). This was Bill Serrao, in the 1970s, when he developed cancer of the pancreas. He lived near Sacramento, and we expected Robert to go see him. When Robert heard that Bill had cancer, he said, "Oh, he'll be all right." And it looked that way, as often pancreatic cancer patients seem to "rally" as if they are coming out of the difficulty.

This happened to Bill, and Robert never did go see him, although passing by frequently and close enough it would not have been THAT much trouble to stop by to see him.

He demonstrated his first lie, although we didn't even realize it at the time, being so "busy" with FOF activities, tasks, and other distractions. Over the years re-examining things like this, at a more advanced age at each examination, we discovered our subjectivity growing more mature and wishing we had done differently at an earlier age, and realized everything happened in the only way it could happen at the time.

Burton told us right from the beginning that he would be with his students when they were about to die. We did not interpret this to mean "in spirit" but in physical fact. He allowed us to think he meant he would hold our hands on the way out of this world.

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