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, February 5, 2003

Cult sex offender seeks to be paroled

[ed. - It should be noted that the entire lineage of "schools" from Alex Horn to Robert Burton to James Vincent Randazzo ("Spiral of Friends") to Jim and Carolyn Kuziak (New American Wing) has been plagued with accusations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse, and other crimes. In addition to the articles cited on NAW Aware (below), an article titled "Sex with youths sends church on a downward spiral" appeared in the Arizona Republic newspaper, August 13, 1989. 2016 update: Randazzo is a Registered Sex Offender living in Phoenix, AZ.]

This is from NAW Aware:

James Vincent Randazzo was a student of Robert Burton in the early 1970s and perpetrated one of the legendary "Plays of Crime", that is, leaving Burton's teaching and taking other members with him. Some say he learned how to run a cult from his teacher.
"Randazzo had run away from the Fellowship of Friends (FOF), stealing ranch donations and other funds. The leader of the FOF, Robert Burton, then denounced him as a criminal. Randazzo had left behind a single pair of pants with a broken zipper, and Burton (always interpreting events as if they symbolized some higher truth) believed this was proof that Randazzo was 'damaged in that area' (i.e., he had sexual problems)."

"survivor" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 5, 2007:
Although I was not a member of the Fellowship of Friends I am a survivor of a very similar group, a ‘spin-off’ of the Fellowship, called the Spiral of Friends. This group was created by James Randazzo a former student of Robert Burton. As with the FOF the SOF was a cult that was disguised as a genuine Fourth Way School and I am writing today to encourage others that have had the strength to ‘graduate’ from these criminal groups and those that may be listening to their conscience and trying to leave.

In the case of the SOF Randazzo was brought to justice by the law, locked up in a federal prison for his crimes as a ‘teacher’ and the group has long been dissolved.

In the case of the FOF this has not occurred as yet but it will happen eventually, the signs of degeneration are very obvious now.

This blog has been an unexpected source of closure and healing energy for me even after 20 years since my experience of the SOF and I am now writing to send positive thoughts and energy to all those that can use it and to say thank you.
[ed. - Also see this account from Stella and Harold Wirk's publication, The Wirk Shop.]

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