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, January 1, 1986

The Canons of the Fellowship of Friends

[ed. - This 52-page document is prefaced by statements of principles from the Fourth Way and from the Gospels. The role of the "Founding Minister" is described in part: "The Fellowship recognizes both the spiritual primacy of the teacher and his mediatorship by virtue of which Higher Forces reveal their will regarding the Fellowship principally through him." In posting this document on the Internet Archive, the contributor wrote:]
"The Canons of the Fellowship of Friends, January 1, 1986. This document was attached to documents filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Yuba and was obtained from a search of the public record. It is in the public domain."
[ed. - See also the December 12, 2009 version of The Canons.]

Excerpts from the Canons:

From Chapter 1, Canon 1.1:
The Fellowship of Friends teaches that the universe comprises a hierarchy of worlds governed by orders of laws, that Higher Forces created the world and humanity and in various times and places select certain men to evolve both by grace and their own efforts to the level of immortal beings, and that Higher Forces establish schools on earth whereby selected men may evolve and humanity may be civilized. The Fellowship further teaches that Higher Forces have founded the Fellowship, that Conscious Beings guide and sustain this Church and its members, and intend it to serve as an ark to survive the collapse of civilization at the end of this age.

From Chapter 1, Canon 1.5:
In the Fellowship, the use of the arts is an exercise in the development of emotional sensitivity and directed attention, by which the student approaches Beauty, which along with Goodness and Truth forms the trinity of divine ideals as taught by Plato. In the words of the Teacher, "Beauty creates its likeness in those who pursue it."

[ed. - It appears Robert Burton has passionately pursued beauty (in all its physical forms), while giving less attention to the Goodness and Truth ideals of Plato's trinity.]

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