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.

Wednesday, January 1, 1997


"Walter Tanner" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 8, 2008:
I remember when a few kindly mentors met me for breakfast before I was to go “travelling” with REB for the first time. Both straight-talking New York mercuries, they wanted to make sure I knew REB was, in their immortal words, a “bone smoker.”

I said: “Gay? I figured, Judith told me about the dogs.”

We then disputated on free will and the ability for the machine to say “no.” It was a weird conversation for me at the time, I had assumed anyone making the commitment to work on themselves must have the self-possession–or at least basic caution–to not get abused. Sly man and the devil, etc. I “travelled” with the Man on at least three or four occasions and slept soundly in my hotel room, door locked and bolted. When I lived at Apollo I was Robert’s “friend,” that is someone who goes to lunch and dinner when the Man’s in town.

The time eventually came, however, to remain behind at the end of a New Year’s dinner (1997 I think) and enter the bedchamber. There, standing above Robert Burton looking at his thinning grey hair and pathetic eyes, I surpassed my teacher. He was embarrassed, I tried to console him, but there could be none of that (he went from “I’m a submissive woman inside” to uber-guru instantly). I stopped paying teaching payments and never got called on it, even after (or because?) REB “promoted” me to East Coast Regional Coordinator. I took the gig for the perks (anyone remember the NY teaching house from those times?) and was able to front for a few months before the Center Director, a large man largely unable to form any of his own thoughts, decided I was a threat to all things Fellowshipy and armed with an edict from REB threw me out of the teaching house.

I still have an open invitation to re-join, though.

walter.tanner on gmail!

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