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, May 12, 2007

Susan K.'s story

"SusanK" wrote on the blog Fellowship of Friends Discussionblog, May 12, 2007: 
WhaleRider, I am deeply regretful for the abuse you have suffered. I commend the strength and conviction it took to endure that situation. YET, you harnessed and used that same courage, strength, and conviction to get yourself the hell out of there! To those still sitting on that fence, be inspired.

I was in the FoF 1974-1990 and had NO idea that these crimes were occurring. I used to wonder though. Although my path seldom crossed with RB’s “boys”, and I don’t recall really knowing any of those who lived with him, occasionally I’d ask an “older student” if they knew whether Robert was still celibate. Of course, the inevitable assurances were that he was. From time to time I would wonder to myself and question the strange energy that circulated around the entire Academy scene, yet I continued to embrace the commonly held paradigm/reality … overlooking my own knowing! My own intuition! My own common sense!

I believed Robert when he said he was celibate AND conscious. And what an incredibly successful deceit!!! It has been amazingly maintained over the years – just phenomenal! To have ever “believed” any of it seems spectacularly naive. Even now, the lie continues! It continues, as crimes of such nature do, held up and supported by any combination of desperation, fear, ignorance, denial, and complicity.

Irony: When I first joined the FoF one of the important features we were taught about was a feature called “no shame”. That concept disappeared pretty fast. To me, now, Robert and those who support him have no shame.

I look at my son, who is 23, and cannot imagine something like this happening to him. We think we are so wise, so knowing at that age. Instead we are very impressionable, still becoming aware of the dynamics of the world around us, still learning how to protect and take care of ourselves. Better thank that king of clubs too, we need it! How many would have kept out of harm’s way if they had just listened to their king of clubs?

In the years since leaving, I periodically need to digest different experiences I had in the FoF, both small and large scale. Mostly, it just seemed like a strange womb I had birthed out of … some past lifetime that I would never go back to. Then, after first reading this blog in March, it came as a completely unexpected surprise to be struck with an exploding awareness of the deep connections I have not only with past friends, but even with those who joined after my departure.

It is partly through these silent, invisible connections that the light of truth can illuminate the path for those who follow.

And yes, “the attitude is gratitude."

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