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, February 7, 1980

The Orchestra Octave

[ed. - The following letter was posted on the Internet Archive. This was the early days of what would eventually become the Apollo Symphony Orchestra, under Michael Goodwin's direction. Linda's use of "octave" may be loosely interpreted as "project." Note the use of "within." At the time, as a "word exercise," members were to avoid using the word "in."

In addition to those who actually had musical experience, Robert Burton assigned individuals with absolutely no experience to take up instruments. The letter is heavily steeped in what was known in the Fellowship as "feminine dominance," a clearly implied pressure to conform to the request. For the "octave's" launch, see: April 1979 Notes. ]

Fellowship of Friends
February 7, 1980

Dear Friends,

The Fellowship's Orchestra Octave is proceeding well. Several members from each centre are now studying a musical instrument. Because it is difficult to get a 'feel' of the scope of the octave, I have decided to send out a list of those persons currently involved with the octave.

As you may immediately notice, this octave is large. Some persons who have had several years experience with an instrument and have yet to commit themselves to the octave have been listed anyway. If these people truly are unable to resume lessons and practice, will they please write me a personal letter? Our school is successful precisely because it is ours. We must use every resource available to us if we are to fulfill the grand aims that the Gods have established for us.

Also included within this letter is a copy of a section from a private letter sent to me by Michael Goodwin, the Fellowship's professional conductor currently residing within Germany. I feel it will serve as a source of inspiration for our budding musicians.

We must realize that a time will come when we will no longer have musical cassettes and stereos to play, how shall we be nourished if not by our own efforts? A musical instrument is both a private and a public experience, bringing joy to those that play as well as those that listen. The necessity of practising every day is so similar to the efforts we must make to self-remember that the two endeavours can spur each other on.

If I have overlooked anyone,please write to let me know.

'Little strokes fell great oaks.' • Benjamin Franklin

Thank you again for your participation.

(s) Linda Rockwood [a.k.a. Linda Kaplan, Linda Tulisso]

Fellowship of Friends Inc., Main Office, Post Office Box 575, Oregon House, California 95962

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