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.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Statement from Former Member of Fellowship of Friends

From the Freedom of Mind Center:
Beginning in 1974, I spent 8 years as a member of “Fellowship of Friends” cult in California. Supposedly, we were studying “4th way” ideas, but the “teacher” had his own agenda. Like myself, many members were sincere in seeking a ”higher state of being” or what others might call “enlightenment”.

We, of course, were encouraged to shun and have no further contact with former members. However, one day a chance encounter with a “former student” led to the revelation that the “teacher”, Robert Burton, was a homosexual–and quite active at that. At first this information was difficult to believe, since there was a rule against homosexual behavior within the “school” and, further, Burton had indicated that he was celibate! My acquaintance suggested contacting another ex-member who had been in a relationship with the “teacher”, from whom I learned many sordid details regarding Robert Earl Burton.

Robert’s modus operandi was to select the young men who appealed and quickly move them to the “inner circle”; these young men(many were under the age of legal consent) were invited to travel with Robert(in grand style) and to live with him at his private residence as a virtual harem. My acquaintance had been married when he entered FOF, however a la King David, Robert quickly dispatched the inconvenient wife to a distant “teaching center” so as to indulge his lust. He informed me that Robert’s appetite for young men was voracious.

My disenchantment was replete when Robert didn’t deny this information. Also others in high positions tried (weakly) to justify his behavior, saying “it was food for his higher centers!!!!!”. Now the young men who disappeared in the night to never be heard from again, the odd sleeping arrangements, the endless change of residents at his house, the arranged marriages for former paramours all made sense.

I believe that Robert Burton has harmed and damaged many sincere young men. Those around him who know of this and protect him share in his guilt. He has used his position of power and trust to satisfy his lusts, without regard for the consequences to others. He has invoked higher powers to overcome the objections of unwilling partners, telling them that “higher forces” were thus pleased.

Finally, Robert Burton relished destroying anyone who had the temerity to leave FOF. He had his assistant call me after I had left to inform me that, in his words “I had died”.

See more at Steven Hassan's "Fellowship of Friends" page. Steven is a former "Moonie."

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