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.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

The Apollo Theatron is dedicated

Apollo Theatron 2002 with "concealing palms." Photo by J. Makaeva.

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends outdoor amphitheater, known as the Apollo Theatron, was constructed, illegally, over the course of several years. The building had not been approved by Yuba County. See: "Build it, (and the inspectors will come.)"]

Submitted via e-mail by a former Fellowship member, November 7, 2016:
From: On Behalf Of Apollo Pressroom
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2002 3:04 PM
To: Daily Card List

Subject: Dedication of the Apollo Theatron, August 10, 2002

Dedication of the Apollo Theatron, August 10, 2002
Let our artists be those who are gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful; then will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything; and beauty, the effluence of fair works, shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giving breeze from a purer region, and insensibly draw the soul from earliest years into likeness and sympathy with the beauty of reason. There can be no nobler training than that. - Socrates, in Plato¹s The Republic
This Theatron is dedicated to self-remembering, the fairest of all states man can produce both in the performers and the audience throughout its entire history. The Gods and myself wish to thank everyone in every part of our School for the many sacrifices they have made in order to make this event possible.

Thank you.

Love, Robert

The former member added,
[The Theatron] was in use for about 4 years where some pretty incredible ballet performances were held featuring, as much as possible, dancers from the Marinsky and Bolshoi. Even Natalia Makarova attended at one point, sitting next to Robert. I have videos of the dozen or so performances staged there.

While still under construction, county officials needed to visit Apollo for other reasons, and would be driving up to the winery where they might look down at the Theatron. Naturally, there were no building permits for the Theatron. So to hide the Theatron, hundreds of potted plants, mainly palm trees, were brought in to cover the stage, seating area, steps, etc. It was explained that this area was a nursery. The ruse worked.

After the 4 years in operation, someone had the bright idea to seal the limestone to protect it from the elements. Problem is, they sealed it after the first rains that winter. This caused water to become trapped in the limestone after the sealant was applied, then to expand with the cold temperatures, and finally to crack the limestone throughout the entire structure. Seating area, steps, everything was ruined, and it has been in this condition for the past 10 years. Omens anyone?

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