Introduction


Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

But according to Burton, Armageddon still looms in our future and when it finally arrives, non-believers shall perish, while through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers shall be spared, founding a new, and more perfect civilization.

Many regard Robert Earl Burton a narcissist and sociopath, surrounded by a largely greed- and power-driven inner circle. The following pages offer abundant evidence supporting that conclusion.

This archive draws from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship. Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, January 31, 1982

January 1982 Notes

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult Renaissance Winery under construction circa 1981
Renaissance Winery under construction, circa 1981

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Sports are now acceptable
Meissen Room is now the Magic Flute Room [Meissen is sent to the San Francisco Center]
“Other Room Upstairs” [no name?]
“Mother” and “father” rescinded. [Children may call parents by less formal names.]
Concerts:
January 23 and 24: Oscar and Eric Shumsky
January 30 and 31: Istvan Nadas and Philadelphia String Quartet

Other Notes

Jan 1:
New word exercise: avoid the use of "interesting"

"Paul Gregory" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 5, 2013:

[ed. - Quotes from "The Teacher," Robert Burton from this time period, with apparent index numbers shown:]

Students must learn the school is their school. It is their duty to protect humanity and to build a school and an ark. Someday no one will leave Renaissance as there will be no place to go. (010182.39)

We are the phoenix rising from the ashes of humanity. (010182.71)

Our school is the fulfillment of the scriptures and is designed to survive Armageddon. (010182.73)

It appears as if the essence of the school will be philosophy, that is, literature. Mr. Nicoll said that new scriptures were being written. It will be not be as important as our role of preserving culture. It is probably more profitable to pursue something that affects the essence of the ark. Possibly we would add books to the Old and New Testaments. (010182.47)

One of the reasons influence C form arks is that they do no wish to lose time by having to create certain things over again. The earth is a stage for the Gods; its face, the mask of tragedy. (010182.411)

We are located near the town of Rough and Ready. It will be rough, and we will be ready. It shows how incredibly practical influence C is. (010182.58)

The Fellowship has a tremendous rendezvous with fate; we are on a collision course. (010182.74)

We are preparing for a non-electrical age. We could perpetuate electricity, but it is not the wish of higher forces to retain that advancement. (010182.76)

A nuclear holocaust will be coming, and a difficult trial we be asked of all of us, yet it is a trial that we will submit to with understanding. In the Bible, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son and then higher forces spared him, we will be asked to release our life families, for they will not be spared. The main reason is that they are not prepared people, and this would defeat the purpose of the ark. (010182.78)

Our ark will be composed of ten thousand people in the year 2006, and then the doors will close. (010182.79)

One needs to remember that we are the ones who have been fated to enter the way, to become immortal, and that self-remembering is not the station of life; that the ark is designed to ennoble humanity but also to return it gently to sleep. We are hardly supposed to know what we know. A way owe can pass on self-remembering to humanity is to speak of being present to each day of one’s life and not mention self-remembering. (011582.910)

From the Fellowship of Friends Wiki Page:

[ed. - Thoughts from "The Teacher," Robert Burton, with apparent index number shown.]
The school is larger than the Teacher. What a huge task we have – to think that Armageddon is going to occur. So many wonderful men and women have laboured for humanity. (010182.68)

One tries to anticipate influence C’s wishes. In a centre a co-director may try to provide in advance what may be needed for a meeting. So it is within our school: one tries to anticipate the needs of the school. Rodney Collin said that higher forces will stage a demonstration of their power. That is our school, which will survive Armageddon. We are not the first ark formed to protect humanity. But we are the first that had a Beethoven, a Bach, a Michelangelo and a Leonardo to protect. Noah’s ark was more for biological survival. (010182.38)

Our school is what it is and it is designed by influence C to form an ark and protect religion and the arts. (010182.46)

We are forming an ark and will rescue art, but before that occurs, we have to develop a citizenry that appreciates art. (010182.410)

The Fellowship is going to surpass all of our expectations. It is interesting that we will keep building even after my task is complete. There will be a long series of conscious beings that follow me: Miles, Girard, and four not yet here. Late within my life I will work with students of twenty who will live to celebrate the one-hundredth and perhaps the one-hundred-tenth anniversary of Renaissance. The United States only recently was two hundred years old, so it is no small achievement that a student of mine will have seen me and the one-hundredth anniversary of Renaissance. (010182.51)

Non-violence is a characteristic we are trying to breed into our new people. (010182.34)

As Armageddon occurs, events will gradually reveal the scale of our task and my station. The first participants of Christ’s school were given to lions. Our school is the only school to appear on that ladder. One can see the parallel of suffering between our school and Christ’s. Everything will be understood eventually, and not on faith but through verification. When Mr. Ouspensky first met Mr Gurdjieff, he said he wanted some facts, and Mr Gurdjieff said, ‘There will be facts.’ (010182.73)

It is wonderful that we are professional with self-remembering. It is our ‘field’. (011582.65)

Wednesday, January 13, 1982

Trouble in Paradise

[ed. - This recollection from Charles Randall is also included in "Charles R.'s Story" of April 25, 2007, but I've taken the liberty to place it here in the timeline as well. Charles cites this date as the first time he learned unequivocally of Robert's lies.

Towards the end, Charles mentions the Fellowship going through an IRS audit. One member, who at the time worked for a law firm representing the Fellowship, noted:
"the FOF was audited by the IRS around 1982. One of the issues was the question of whether Robert personally benefited from the money donated to the 'church.' A fair amount of effort went into juggling the books to minimize the apparent luxuries enjoyed by Robert at church members' expense."]

Charles R.'s Story posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:

I found out about the fact that Robert was having sex with men in the Fellowship on January 13, 1982. Carl M., the FOF lawyer, and I were talking that day about a former student who was reported to have accosted some students in Marysville and said to them that Robert was a homosexual and was seducing young men in the school to have sex with him. We both, believing that this was a lie, and a continuation of the false rumors that many former students seemed to like to spread (this wasn’t the first we had heard about it, but we thought it was just more “false personality” trying to undermine the “school”) decided to report it to Miles. At this time I was the Treasurer and CFO of the Fellowship, Chairman of the Board, and met with and saw Miles every day. Before we met with Miles, Carl spoke to another student, who was also a lawyer, and said we were considering a libel and defamation suit against the former student for spreading lies. The lawyer student told Carl, “Well, truth is an absolute defense against libel.” Carl was incredulous and asked, “What do you mean?” whereupon he was told that we better talk to Miles about it.

For reference, Robert, at this time, and for many years, had been telling students that he was celibate and that he had given up sex for his students. I took that to be a rock solid fact along the lines of “Robert said it, I believe it, and that settles it!” ...Carl M. was likewise convinced. Many people here have expressed how they were fully dedicated to the Fellowship, and I can see they were. I was, too, as much as I could possibly muster. At this point I had been in the FOF for almost 9 years. I had served in many centers, been a director, made teaching payments, gone on salary and been selected for a key position in the school. I was very happy with my life at this point. In 1979 after the death of my mother I had refused to go to her funeral (at the great consternation of my loving family, may they be blessed for not hating me, but instead, for lovingly accepting me back when I had finally escaped the FOF) because my brother, who was a former member would be attending. I was proud internally to be able to “hold my work” in such a trying circumstance.

We went to Miles’s caravan that evening before going to dinner at the Lodge. He and his wife Susan invited us in and we were served a good cabernet, as I recall (in my mind I’m there as I type this). We recounted the day’s story and asked him what he knew. He said the allegations were true, that Robert had had affairs with a number of young men, and that he, Miles had been working for some time with talking to the young men when they needed counseling. Miles and Susan seemed relieved to be able to talk openly with Carl and me after we brought the subject up. We had all been working together for months or years, with them knowing and Carl and me not knowing, but it took our asking to finally have the subject broached.

I was personally stunned. I just couldn’t believe it. Carl and I went up to the Lincoln Lodge for dinner. At that time there was a practice of having Margaritas with dinner. I had several. The dinner happened and people talked, but I was in my head. I somehow drove home to the trailer park on Rice’s Texas Hill where I had recently moved into a room in a mobile home.

In the morning I awoke with a strong hangover and called into the Ouspensky office to say I wasn’t coming in. Carl M. lived across the driveway in his own mobile home and I went over to talk with him. I said to him that I guess it’s all over and the whole thing has been a lie. He didn’t agree. He thought we should think about it. We began rationalizing how such a thing could possibly be. I remember that he had a little music box toy that had a clown on pins that danced to the tune of “Here Come the Clowns”. We were still inebriated from the night before and we were laughing sadly while watching the clown dance. “What the hell is going on?”

Then, somehow, the day passed. And then more days.

I came to realize that there was a secret “inner circle” of people who already knew about Robert. Some had known for years. They wouldn’t tell anyone, but, if you let them know that you knew, then they would talk about it openly. I told my closest friends about it, if they didn’t know. Soon there was a larger circle of people I could talk to about it. I went to many people and talked with them – I told them I didn’t like what I’d found out, that I didn’t understand it, and that Robert had been lying to us. Almost everyone I talked with said that they didn’t understand it either, but that they valued the school and what Robert was giving us, and that “in time we would know more.” In a way we all talked each other into believing that we couldn’t understand the obvious, that there “must be” a higher understanding that we would come to later, in our work.

I developed a kind of neurosis, whereby my “work personality” redoubled efforts to be a better and better student, while my “old personality” took on the role of provocateur by seeing and voicing the rational flaws in the Fellowship. I sought out students who were willing to question the school, but only to a point. When people actually would leave, I pulled back. Like poor Hamlet, I kept trying to find the perfect proof before I could pull the trigger.

Looking at it now I would compare it to those science fiction films where the all-powerful computer or robot is disabled by tricking it into processing an unsolvable puzzle. I was trying to understand a corrupt situation using the tools provided by the corrupt situation.

This went on for many years, through numerous twists and turns -the IRS audit of the Fellowship, the Sanders case, Miles leaving, etc. etc.

I would say the turning point for me was in the early 90’s when I read all the Meher Baba books. I found a system of ideas that were even more complete than the Gurdjieff one (not that I’m following that system – just that it is a beautiful exposition. I didn’t “interpret” it through Fellowship concepts, I saw its completeness unto itself.). Somehow that freed my mind to see that the Fellowship was not the pinnacle of anything, but just another system – and not a good one, as you can see by reading this blog. Also, more of my friends were starting to question and some to leave. I finally knew it was time to go. What a relief!

From that point it was just a matter of arranging my life to make it happen, which took another year.

I don’t know if these ramblings are of much use, but that was my experience, for what it’s worth. I hope it helps someone who’s trying to solve the puzzle – just remember that you can’t solve it by using the FOF concepts. You have to step away and look back to see the truth.

Love to you all,

Charles R.
[ed. - Also see the Charles Randall Letter to Robert.]

"Cathie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 8, 2007:
In the early 1980s the FOF underwent an extensive investigation by the IRS in which its financial records and practices were scrutinized. I can assure you that the (again) very clever, dedicated and skillful staff learned much from this encounter, and have taken every precaution to safeguard and legally obfuscate the true situation so as to circumvent future threats.

Thursday, January 7, 1982

Dorota Starr and the heavy hand of C Influence

[ed. - "Bares Reposting" apparently transcribed the letter originally posted to the Internet Archive. An internet search shows the letter writer to be connected with the "Christian Answers and Information Corporation," Chico, CA.

Dorota Starr left the Fellowship July 18, 1981 and  Thomas Pannell left August 5, 1981. (Tragically, Dorota's daughter, Lorian Tamara Elbert committed suicide at the Los Angeles Zen Center on October 15, 2007. A filmmaker, Lorian had written, directed and produced documentaries, and was in the process of writing a book, on schizophrenia. See "jomopinata's" post at the bottom of the page.)]

"Bares Reposting" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog September 23, 2011:
Letter from Bruce Elliott DilLavou to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat, January 7, 1982 Keywords: Robert Burton; Fellowship of Friends; Dorota Starr; Thomas Pannell

Rendered to plain text:
P. O. Box 3295
Chico, CA 95927
January 7, 1982

Dear Editor:

Some of your readers are aware of the cult known as the Fellowship of Friends in the area of Oregon House, CA near Oroville. Unknown, however, is a recent development involving the F of F and ex-member Dorota Starr.

Since Ms. Starr defected from the Fellowship some six months ago, they recently have written informing her that the hook-up of her well to that of the F of F’s well will be disconnected.

The well hook-up, made to supply Ms. Starr with water, was promised verbally to her for as long as she needed it. On this the Fellowship has reneged. The promise was made initially because the F of F’s system being much stronger, was taking the water “out from underneath” the reach of Ms. Starr’s system. It seems the issue of the well hook-up became a problem for the F of F after Ms. Starr’s departure from the group and her reluctance to move from the area. Ms. Starr believes this could very well be an effort by the F of F to force her to move.

The reports are that the Fellowship of Friends is hoping to buy many properties around the Oregon House, Dobbins and Collins Lake areas, with very handsome prices being offered to local land owners.

With the Oregon House branch of the Fellowship of Friends serving as the World Headquarters, it makes good sense for the group to want as much “insulation” around them as possible. Former members and the parents of former members have given reports that are anything but desirable concerning the inner workings of this cult.

It should also be noted that Ms. Starr was the deciding factor in another member leaving, Mr. Thomas Pannell.

But why should Mr. Pannell’s departure cause much concern? Mr. Pannell was at one time very close to the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, Mr. Robert Burton. It seems the departure of Mr. Pannell struck a discordant note with Mr. Burton as he personally came to Ms. Starr’s door very late one evening to retrieve Mr. Pannell. This indicates to Ms. Starr another possible reason for their wanting her to move.

Mr. Robert Burton, who began the Fellowship of Friends, eleven years ago was a student of Alexander Horn, the leader of the “Theater of All Possibilites[sic]” in San Francisco. Mr. Horn’s group was abruptly closed in 1978, after some news reports on alleged beatings and possible child abuse among the theater’s company.

Though the F of F renounces such practices, they are hoping to open a children’s nursery in the Oregon House area, on property, it is reported, owned by four members of the Fellowship. One wonders what could stem from this. The request for construction has been denied only to be appealed by the F of F members. The hearing will of course be re-scheduled.

APPEAL DEMOCRAT
January 7, 1982
Page 2

In all of this we should ask ourselves: What are the long range implications of any group desiring such extensive land holdings and isolation? How will this affect our communities? Who will be teaching the children at the proposed nursery and what will they be taught?

There was a sign that hung on the wall in Guyana which read: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Many believe that further investigation into the activities of this group are very much in line. I certainly agree.

Sincerely yours,
Bruce Elliott DilLavou

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 5, 2009:
Sorry for long post.

Page 40/#26. Rear View Mirror – July 11, 2008:
The D.S. [Dorota Starr] story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting. And I do wonder how I would have reacted if I had seen her.

But sometimes I think we complicate things. Information about the cult – partly from a growing number of former members in the area, and partly from a number of websites, including this one – is slowly eroding people’s usual certainty about participating in the FOF.

Robert Burton and the FOF have been using one of the oldest known propaganda techniques for the past 38 years – repetition. And more repetition.

Repetition is a tough thing for our brains to battle against. The more we hear something – for example, that Republicans are stronger on foreign policy – the more we begin to believe it as unassailable fact. And we begin looking for arguments to support that assertion even if there are many counter arguments that suggest otherwise.

It’s the same in the FOF. We had the ideas of “higher forces” and “food for the moon” and “higher school” drilled into our brains over and over – many of us for many years – and we began talking about these concepts as though they were facts.

Now the tables are turning.

We have the opportunity, thanks to the internet, and thanks to the proximity of larger numbers of friends who have escaped, to introduce the facts about this cult – again and again and again.

The process may be taking longer than we’d want, but there is a difference now from 10, 20, and 30 years ago when someone expressed dissent. Today, the dissent is slightly closer to the walls of the compound, and quite a bit more persistent. It’s a much different time.
40/27. ton – July 11, 2008:
RVM 26 [responding to above] thanks for the post. there seems to be a trend in today’s thinking that technology will either save us or destroy us. depends entirely on how it’s used, whether we use it as a tool or are used by it…. whatever the outcome, the potential offered by current technologies for open communication, definitely offers advantages not available back when i left the fellowship of friends…. or even as you say 10 years ago. (of course, the converse would be the example of government disinformation/propaganda being distributed via various media/technologies and used as a tool for ‘mind-control’ -(albeit on a larger scale than the case in point)).

you say:

“The D.S. story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting.”

it was a long time ago, but i don’t think i’m making this up… while she still lived in her house, before she moved to marysville, on some mornings when a group of ‘us’ were tending the garden, she would stand in her yard and vocalize her protestations…. i don’t think she ever carried a sign but i could be wrong…. either way, if someone can corroborate or repudiate (?) and does anyone know what happened to ‘D’ ?

and yes, it is an interesting story (whalerider).
40/28. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup – July 11, 2008:
On DS [Dorota Starr]: I remember something about her water being turned off. She shared a well with the FOF. Don’t know any other details though except I remember not having much compassion for her at the time. That certainly sticks in my memory. Not frozen just a little frost bitten.
DS (D*r*t*) [Dorota Starr] Story:

Here is what I know and as seen from my perspective. (Those who know more or otherwise are welcome to post and correct or give other views):

Once upon a time there were these Oregon House people (in Fellowship speak: ‘Life People’), Shirks or Snipes [ed. - Snipes], or something like that, perhaps were their names. (Checking property records would reveal that information. It is public record with Yuba County.) They were older retired folks that were living the ‘Dog Patch U.S.A.’ type of life that existed in many places in Oregon House prior to the Fellowship arriving. They had, likely, limited means. Possibly lived in an old single-wide mobile home. (Mostly that was too early for me to remember; but I remember the story.) The parcel they owned was about 4.7 acres on Rice’s Crossing Road, south of Regent Way and on the east side. This property was entirely surrounded by the Fellowship owned property on all sides except the portion that is along the road itself and provides access to the parcel.
The Fellowship of Friends did not care for the way these people lived as a somewhat unsightly blight on the landscape, so various methods were used to motivate them. Perhaps gentle persuasion was tried first by befriending them or helping them. I am not clear on all of what took place. But eventually FoF began bulldozing FoF property right up to their property lines and doing various things to make them uncomfortable. As I vaguely remember, they became willing to move when a number of incentives came together, like: 1) appropriate price, 2) a willing buyer, 3) assistance to seller in finding new home, etc. So they eventually moved and the buyer was DS [Dorota Starr].

DS was from, I think, the Pacific Northwest, maybe Seattle. She was reluctant and did not have all the resources needed. To sweeten the deal, a 3rd party (to remain unnamed) that had money was asked to finance part of the deal. The property was bought. The old mobile home removed. Some improvement to the land made. A quad wide mobile home bought and assembled on site. And, viola [sic], a student now owned and occupied the nearest residence to the abode of the leader of FoF. It was supposedly a financial stretch for DS and this necessitated various students to live there. It was, I think, 4 bedrooms, one of which was a master bedroom for DS. It was spacious but still a mobile home. Many visitors stayed there, especially on the weekends, as it was so close to ‘the property.’ DS called it ‘The Dew Drop Inn,’ as I may remember. That was a little problematic as it was a time when houses were named after conscious beings, like: Gurdjieff Cottage and Elizabeth Cottage – some of the first houses bought apart from ‘the property.’ Many who lived there were selected by RB, as having his sex partners living nearby was desired – they could respond on short notice or in the middle of the night. One such person [ed. - Thomas Pannell] living there might have been a sibling of someone who is still a long time member of FoF. That sibling might have been in a relationship with DS at one point. Whether they were a sex partner with RB, I do not know or remember. (You know all these relationships and sex partners things is difficult to keep straight (no pun intended) let alone remember – sort of like the incestuous Ozarks; it is Arkansas BoB, after all.)

One of the crises, and there were many with DS, was with her well and water. It was a poor well to begin with. FoF drilled a well very close to her property line and it was very deep, relative to the shallow one on her property. DS claimed that her well was going dry because the new well was drawing down the water table. There was not enough water for all the people living at her place, let alone all the visitors. People had to go to the bath house on ‘the property.’ This is when and how it came to pass that FoF gave DS a water line from that new well. This was fine for awhile.

Years later, DS leaves FoF. The FoF rabble in her home moves out, by necessity. DS becomes enemy of FoF/REB. So, FoF decides to turn off that water supply they agreed to provide in order to get rid of her. She leaves Oregon House. Later, she sublets the place to FoF people and the water gets turned back on. Eventually, REB tells everyone to move out and the place goes vacant for many years leaving DS in difficult financial situation with a deteriorating property. Long term, it becomes a torn [sic] in the side of FoF/REB. DS repeatedly tries to sell but refuses to sell to FoF or any of its members – DS always asking far more than it is worth. Eventually, some investment company buys the property only to find out the mistake they have made. Later, still, ML in FoF was reported to have bought it from the investment company – induced to do so by REB to get the property into FoF hands, so to speak.

This is how the King of Hearts gets things done invisibly behind the scenes; one could say, tongue-in-cheek.

Letter to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat dated January 7, 1982:

http://www.archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_935

[ed. - Here, "Bares Reposting" included the letter shown at the top of this post.]

"jomopinata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 9, 2017:
About Dorota (Starr) and her late daughter Lorian.

Friday, January 1, 1982

"Dilemma Letter"

[ed. - The "dilemma" being addressed by this group of prominent Fellowship of Friends members is that of Robert Burton's preying upon heterosexual male followers for his personal sexual gratification. This despite Burton's repeated assertions that he is celibate, and in contradiction to the strict guidelines he has imposed governing  membership sexual relationships.]

From Internet Archive:
January 1982

Dear Robert, 

For a long time we have felt the need to discuss with other sincere 
students the dilemma which our teacher is faced with, concerning 
his private life and consequently some of our own dilemmas stemming 
from this situation and from our lack of knowing how to handle them. 

November 29, 1981 at the Po_eroy House with a group of friends 
gathered together seemed an ideal time to open up the subject 
since it had become obvious that it was no longer a secret and 
also that several wonderful students were seriously considering 
leaving the school because of the inner conflicts generated. 

A sincere in-depth discussion ensued and the following is a summary 
of the feelings expressed by those present: 

It was felt we could accept the idea that a teacher has a right 
to his own private life as long as his actions do not negatively 
affect the lives of others. (Walt Whitman, Leonardo Da Vinci 
and others did not lead a school). 

This situation within a school would not appear to be a sound 
note in the octave of developing a new civilization. 

It is difficult to understand how these actions strengthen the 
whole or are right for the whole, even though on some level they
may be right for the part. 

It places people both presenting and representing the system in 
an awkward position in all areas including that of guiding children. 
We all have too much invested in ourselves, each other and the 
school. This could also place the whole and/or the part in jeopardy 
relative to our income producing capabilities in life. 

The credibility gap created when a teacher does not live his life 
according to the rules he sets down creates a gnawing situation 
for students, making it sometimes impossible for them to feel 
the school is real and to be willing to devote their full energies
to it. 

We do not like to think of leaving the school as the only alternative. 
It is our school and we are concerned about it's future. Work
in this area may be connected to the teacher's work in furthering 
his evolution and we have a role to play in that.

It seems important not to call a weakness anything but a weakness. 
It is the first step in being able to either give or receive help. 

The teacher said that the school would become whatever the students 
make it. This seems to put the responsibility especially on older 
members to bring to light whatever their conscience cannot accept -- 
a part of the principle of being true to oneself. 

It seems the proper course would be to deal with this potentially 
troublesome situation from the "inside" which would reduce our 
vulnerability to damage from life.

A strong positive feeling of the phenomenal accomplishments of 
this school and our own development under our teacher's guidance
is prevalent among us and we would not wish to allow it to weaken 
through fear of making efforts toward possible solutions to the 
present problem.

The teacher may not be aware how few students actually know 
about this area and also the amount of denying force it presents 
even to older students. 

We ask you, Robert, to consider finding new ways to modify this
situation. 

In our deepest friendship and affection, this letter has been
endorsed by the following students: 


D_n B_rrell 
Do_is B_rrell 
L_ynn Po_eroy 
Ca_olee Po_eroy 


Ro_er F_tzgerald (Ca_anna) 
Pa_ela F_tzgerald (Ca_anna) 
Ric_ard An_erson 
Ro_ert E_an