Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

According to Burton, Armageddon still looms in our future and when it finally arrives, non-believers shall perish while, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci), Burton and his followers shall be spared, founding a new and more perfect civilization. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sacramento Bee reporter needs help

"Bee reporter needs help" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 29, 2007:

I’m a reporter at the Sacramento Bee who’s been following this discussion with great interest over the past month. I noticed in a previous post that many of you were hoping to share your stories with a wider audience. I’d like to help you do that. Please contact me directly. Shoot me an e-mail or call my direct line at work. You will remain anonymous, if you wish.

Thank you,


Todd Milbourn
The Sacramento Bee
(916) 321-1063

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fellowship of Friends wiki project commences

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends wiki project was one of the primary sources of information for this blog. As of November 15, 2014, that site is now shut down, though much of the content has been preserved on the Internet Archive (linked).]

Welcome to the Fellowship of Friends wiki project!

This site was created from a desire to gather and make available the collective knowledge and experiences of the many people who have passed through or been affected by an organization called the Fellowship of Friends in the last four decades. The Fellowship is registered in California as a non-profit religious corporation (church), headquartered in Oregon House, though internally it refers to itself as "the School" and its members as "students".

Who are the contributors to this site? If you are a current member of the Fellowship of Friends, we are your former fellow students, center directors, octave helpers, bookkeepers, regional coordinators, vineyard workers, traveling teachers... friends. Many of us have spent substantial parts of our lives devoted to the cause and the teaching. Many of us then suddenly disappeared from your lives, and you never heard what happened. You were told to break any contact with us and that the Gods had taken away our understanding.

Each of us has a portion of the picture, of "what happened". Here are our stories.

If you have never been a member of the Fellowship of Friends, you may be reading this because someone close to you is a member, or because you are thinking of joining yourself. To read all the good things about the Fellowship, check out their website. Then if you want to hear a different aspect of the story, explore these pages.

If you have yourself had experience with the Fellowship of Friends, and have information to share, please write to tell us who you are, what is your connection to the FoF and what you would like to contribute. If you are a visitor and would like to tell us what you think of the site, please sign our Guestbook.

If you are looking for specific information, try the search field in the left margin on this page. Check back often, as the website grows and expands.

Thank you for visiting, and we welcome your feedback.

Road to Fellowship of Friends' Renaissance Winery, Apollo, Oregon House, CA

Disclaimer: This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by Fellowship of Friends, Inc. All opinions expressed are those of their individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the site managers or other editors. The site managers make no warranty as to the accuracy or correctness of any information contained here. Readers are invited to examine the available information and form their own opinions about the organization. Portions of copyrighted works may be made available here under the "fair use" provisions of US copyright law, for research and educational purposes only.
[ed. - Introducing the new site, "Wikifof" wrote the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 7, 2008:]

Happy New Year.

Please come and help us build a website that will serve as an informal center of information on the Fellowship of Friends, from those who have personally experienced it.

The idea is to be more concise and factual than this blog. New arrivals may not want to read 1 year of discussion, but can probably take the time to read what is on this website:

fellowshipoffriends [Archive of Fellowship of Friends Wikispace]
It is a work in progress. Sheik, could you please advertise this link on top of your page?

Cheers and good luck to us all.

[ed. - It is not clear if Jason Cryter is associated with the fellowshipoffriends wikispaces site linked above, or whether these are two distinct projects. At the same time the wiki(s) was(were) being created, Fellowship members and ex-members were dueling over the creation of Wikipedia pages for The Fellowship of Friends, P. D. Ouspensky, and George Gurdjieff. ]
"Jason Cryter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 21, 2007:

I am a former student that wishes to create a wiki that can serve as a repository of FOF history.

The wiki is just in the beginning phases, I would like to find some people, current or former students, who wish to help me get this project started. Once it is at an acceptable level of function, I will open it to be read by the general public.

If you would be interested in helping me, please send an email to

About me: I joined FOF at the age of 21 in Chicago in late 1997, and was a student for eight years. I lived in centers in New York, Moscow, California, and Illinois. My experiences with FOF were almost entirely positive and while I am no longer a member, and have my own conflicts and ambivalences, I respect REB and the organization as a whole. I am creating a wiki because I believe the history of the school is very rich. There are stories that need to be recorded, and time is not on our side.

"Jason Cryter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 21, 2007:
Regarding WikiPedia and the Wiki that I am organizing:

Several people have contacted me asking what a “wiki” is.

A “wiki” is a website that features “user generated content”. This means that the users of the site can edit and create the content of the site. It is different from a blog in that people can edit what other people have posted and create whole new pages or sections. is a website that is a user created encyclopedia. A user creates an article about a topic, and others edit it. While there can be mistakes or biases, the end result is usually pretty accurate due to the “group editing” feature of the wiki. does feature an article on the Fellowship, and I encourage people to edit and contribute, however, encyclopedias are for getting an overview of a subject, they are not meant to be exhaustive. In this regard, the project I am organizing is meant to be more like a book and less like an article. Such a “book” would not be appropriate on wikipedia.

You do not need to reveal your identity to participate. You may submit material via email anonymously, or even help make the wiki anonymously. If you do decide to tell me who you are, but don’t want me to tell anyone else that you are helping me, I will honor your request.

Please contact me to share history, facts, suggestions of topics to be included, and to find out how you can help create the site. If you are not comfortable using a wiki, and wish to submit content via email, I will work to incorporate your material into the site. If you want to learn to use the wiki directly, I can coach you.

Remember, the aim will be to record things in as factual a manner as possible, free of emotional subjectivity. How this aim plays out is yet to be decided. It is not up to me; a wiki’s content is made by you.



Friday, November 23, 2007

Love lost

[ed. - Discussion of the "sex exercise", that is, Robert Burton's demand that sexual relations take place only within the bonds of marriage. Of course, this restriction did not apply to Burton who, though he maintained before his followers that he was celibate, had countless heterosexual male "lovers".

Burton assigned different levels of severity to his demands. Violation of a "task" from the teacher resulted in serious consequences, possibly including fines or even excommunication. Violation of an "exercise" usually drew a much less serious punishment, often only a mild public or private rebuke.

See also: "my2bits"'s story of survival by same author.] 

"my4bits" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 23, 2007:
Re: Post 17, Pensate un Attimo

Dear Pensate,

Yes, a very good suggestion for a blog discussion. The “sex exercise.”

I’ve been thinking about my experiences with this exercise, as I sit here, alone, on Thanksgiving Day. My memories of this almost 20-year period are poignant, painful, and confusing. It is part of the ‘raw underbelly’ of my Fellowship experience, as I am sure it is for many others.

Anything I can say about my feelings and experiences are admittedly those of a one-time “true believer” and cult member. Not as a believer in Robert Burton per se, but as a believer in “the Ark” and what I then considered to be the historical mission of the Fellowship as an esoteric school tasked with “bridging an interval in the cycle of civilizations.”

What were we not willing to sacrifice for this supposedly noble cause?

I recall some sort of angle from RB that went like this: It is better to marry than to ‘burn with desire.’ Aaarrgh! Yes, we were given the choice: to marry or to burn. It was up to the individual to decide which was the preferable form of hell. Some students were better suited for one form, others for the other. 
I tried both, and both were, predictably, hell, in the context of the Fellowship. In another world, things would — or might — have been quite different. Years 30 through 50 were spent nobly resisting or suppressing sexual attraction, both inside and outside of marriage.

I bought in to the line that the exercise would have the positive result of revitalizing the “institution of marriage” that had lost its value in this “age of tramp.”

I can attempt to justify the good reasons why I submitted to the exercise — sublimation of sex energy to channel instead to Higher Centers, developing the King of Hearts, working on tramp and against the drain of infra-sex. But, in retrospect, it makes me very sad and resentful. Yes, angry. VERY ANGRY!

Honestly, I was not capable of sublimating sex energy for some higher purpose. I was too naive. Instead, I only managed to re-direct the energy into wrong work of one kind or another.

I can’t even begin to evaluate the suffering my “work” in this area caused others, but I know it to be considerable. For this extreme vanity, I am so sorry.

And now as I begin, with the help of others, to see and understand the “big picture” of these years — the flaming hypocrisy of which I only saw glimmers — I can only wonder what I may have lost during those years.

Honestly, I cannot say that I gained anything spiritual from those decades of faux-sacrifice. Instead, I lost countless opportunities for intimacy, comfort and emotional warmth, intense communication and sharing, the deeper experiences of lasting marriage, and true evolution fueled by the higher hydrogens of sex.

Having perhaps missed important ‘windows of opportunity’ in life to learn certain valuable lessons about relationship, I am trying to learn them now, after these milestones have come and gone, and when my level of sex energy is beginning to flag.

Lost life. Lost opportunity. Lost love. True, but there is always the seed of new love! And I feel exceedingly grateful that there is, even now, the possibility of redemption and renewal!

I refuse to become a bitter ‘hack’ that regrets having lost “the best years of his/her life!” pursuing noble dreams promulgated by a psychopathic narcissist and sexual predator. I made my choices. Period.

“The moving pen writes, and having writ, not a tear can wipe out a word of it.” (paraphrased from some author). [from Omar Khayyam]

"Traveler" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 6, 2008:
Re: Love. I’m reminded we were told a few years ago that we should not use the word “love”, as a man number four cannot know the true meaning of the word. [This directive was from Burton.]

This kind of labeling thwarts all clues into the nature of love that one might directly perceive, because you tell yourself that whatever you are experiencing is something unreal, something to be rejected and ashamed of, because it is only the inferior insight of a “man number four”. Only once you magically reach the exalted title of “man number seven”, somehow, somewhere, maybe in another lifetime, you can know anything about love. Until then, shut up.

As far as I’m concerned, even love with identification is a pointer to a deeper reality.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A lawyer abandons ship (the ark)

David Springfield, aka Jurrie Lubbers, former Fellowship of Friends cult attorney
David Springfield, aka Jurrie Lubbers, former Fellowship of Friends attorney

[ed. - Part 73 of the Fellowship of Friends Discussion began with the comment below in which "black marker" provided an edited transcript of a letter purportedly written by Fellowship of Friends attorney David Lubbers (David Springfield) to the Fellowship's Board of Directors. Fellowship attorney Abraham Goldman subsequently filed a complaint alleging "copyright infringement and egregious invasion of privacy." WordPress staff notified the blog moderator, who then decided to delete the post. (The transcript has subsequently appeared on sites across the web.)

I am posting this at two places in the Robert Earl Burton blog: November 19, 2007, when the Springfield letter was dated, and May 20, 2009, when "black marker" posted the letter on the Fellowship blog, precipitating the Fellowship's complaint.

Where the names of public figures and Fellowship officers were only partially revealed in the transcript, I have elected to provide full names, as the identities of these individuals are well-noted in public records.

May 11, 2016 update: Former Fellowship of Friends attorney David Springfield was disbarred in January of this year after a number of complaints and charges (some arising from Fellowship-related cases) were filed against him. See the bottom of this blog post for further details. In his defense, Springfield describes a physical, mental, and emotional fatigue that many former-Fellowship members may recognize. His statement (truthful or not) "I am financially devastated and completely without means to pay the sanctions ordered" represents a common outcome from being run through a cult's mill. Sometime in the past few years, Mr. Springfield appears to have parted ways with The Fellowship of Friends.]

Internet Archive capture of "black marker's" post prior to deletion

The following was re-posted by "X-ray" on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 7, 2011:
A letter from D…d [David Lubbers/Springfield] to the Fellowship

1. black marker – May 20, 2009 [original post deleted]

Da..d Spring…ld [David Springfield], Attorney at Law
 November 19, 2007

To All Board Members
of the Fellowship of Friends, Inc.
and [Giovanni Busco], CFO

Re: No Further Legal Representation

Dear Board Members and [Giovanni]

I am not sending this letter because I like writing of these matters or because I want to repeat what has already been stated repeatedly by both Abraham and me. This letter is written because of my professional obligations and my personal obligations to the School. My professional responsibilities require me to send this letter to confirm again that I will provide no further legal services to the Fellowship of Friends, and have stopped working on all ongoing legal matters that I was involved with. This letter also advises you to immediately work with Abraham Goldman and/or other legal counsel to handle the legal work I was involved in and to address other ongoing and/or upcoming legal matters that I will outline in this letter. The recent board activities have been covered in a number of letters and emails by Abraham and me. None of the communications were ever acknowledged or responded to by any board member. As you know, Abraham and I were instructed to stop all legal work.

First, a directive was issued on November 3, 2007, via email, on behalf of Et..n Har..s [Ethan Harris], Chairman of the Board, through Ke.n.dy S.afer [Rose Kennedy Shafer] Vice Chairman of the Board, without explanation, question, or discussion. My emails and letter of November 6, 2007, about this heavy-handed and improper directive were ignored by all board members.

Next, I wrote to Li.da [Linda Tulisso, aka Linda Kaplan] who ignored my question about what to do about the ongoing legal work but was ignored. After learning about the secret board meeting and illegal vote that took place on or about November 10, 2007, I talked with Li.da the President in person at her office on November 13, 2007. Linda confirmed the secret vote of the Board (although both W.yne Mo.t [Wayne Mott] and Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g [Alan Schwartzberg] lied that no other “crisis team” members voted at the secret Board meeting) and Linda instructed me to suspend all my legal work. I confirmed this in a letter dated November 13, 2007 that has also been copied to all of you. There was no response to this letter from anyone.

On November 18, 2007, I was voted off the Board of Directors. Now, no longer working as attorney, nor being able to act as a member of the Board, I will be unable to assist the Fellowship with any legal work or offer any oversight. All of this occurred after one week of false and contradictory statements by W.yne Mo.t [Wayne Mott], Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g [Alan Schwartzberg], Ha.ris [Ethan Harris] and others about the secret board meeting where this was already decided in advance. Only [Greg Holman] acknowledged yesterday that the secret Board meeting was improper and that he wished that matters would have been done openly and correctly.
The failure by almost all of the Board members to even have the decency or honesty to acknowledge a secret Board meeting was held and a secret vote taken (to vote the lawyers off the Board), without any opportunity to address the issues by the persons involved is below the level of school work for any student, let alone a board member with responsibility for our church.

Al.n Sc.warzbe.g’s [Alan Schwartzberg's] refusal to show the minutes of the secret Board meeting, and subsequent refusal to return my many calls and emails, is conduct that is highly irregular for the Secretary of the Corporation and the Board of Directors. To date, I still have not obtained a copy of the “RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS” that I personally saw when both Alan and Wayne in heavy-handed fashion informed Abe and myself, on November 12, 2007, we were voted off the Board.

It is my feeling that what occurred over the last three weeks is a combination of crime, gross carelessness and ignorance of almost all Board members. In my opinion, serious crimes have likely been committed and are possibly continuing to be committed by current members on the Board. This should be addressed immediately. As I wrote about in my letter of November 6, 2007, the requirement of legal compliance and checks and balances within our organization needs urgent attention. The Board has been for some time but a passive “rubber-stamp” board without active or meaningful oversight. This almost complete inaction may create the impression of the Fellowship as a criminal organization that is functioning as the later ego of Robert Burton, involved in a conspiracy to engage in financial, tax and immigration fraud, and perhaps other illegal activities and/or tortuous conduct.
Responding to a call from Mr.Margalli? this morning, I gave him my impressions of yesterday’s Board meeting. Mr. Margalli? suggested I write a confirming letter and cover the ongoing legal work that you must all appreciate should be addressed immediately.

This list does not purport to cover all of the areas that need immediate and significant work, and you should immediately consult with Abraham and all other lawyers for the Fellowship.
The legal work I have been involved in covers the following areas:

1. Immigration. Ongoing assessment and evaluations of the needs and requirements of our religious programs/individual’s status and possible need to go back to their country of origin. I will notify Mr. Shusterman of the fact I will be no longer working with him on behalf of the Fellowship. I was also working with a number of individual students who would call with questions in the last months. [ed. - The Law Office of Carl Shusterman also served as attorney in a complaint relating to the marriage of Robert Burton and Anton S. Tishakov.

2. Financial Compliance. This is critical and should be a top priority. You have knowingly allowed having a system in place where the CFO is made responsible but essentially helpless and without authority. The CFO is not being consulted in important decisions. The Fellowship’s financial activities, in my opinion, could be seen as criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud and private inurement benefiting Robert and a number of other individuals (including possibly some Board members) and could be considered a fraud on the government. The status as a non profit corporation could well be in serious danger.

3. Investigation/Monitoring of Blog?GF/PR [Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, Greater Fellowship  forum], etc. Several times this year I have written to Youtube or other websites to have offending material taken off line. This has been largely successful. I also have conducted an investigation into aspects of the Blog and some individuals with the aim to allow us to file suit for defamation and/or invasion of privacy if and when appropriate. I have worked on obtaining PR consultations for which then no funding was purportedly available. (Nic.ol.s Spa.ldi.g [Nicholas Spaulding] who was helping in this area, was threatened by [Ethan Harris] to stop working with Abraham and myself) This area should be a major concern for the Board which has been almost totally unresponsive.

4. It was our diligent monitoring of the blog that put us on notice that’s [Asaf Braverman's] arranged (by Fellowship officers and/or agents) fraudulent marriage to da Ros was being exposed to the world. This finally stimulated action in this area but more is needed. I will no longer monitor the Blogs or any other sites, in any language, and will no longer assist with analysis and efforts to bring these matters into compliance. A lot more needs to be done in this area for many involved.

5. Insurance. We were working on a review of all materials from the Internet and other sources that could constitute a claim (including foreign websites). I wrote about this before as well. Insurance could possibly pay for some of the costs incurred, including legal costs. I will stop all my work on this claim process, including any work on the research into the bad faith claim aspect of the insurance which I wrote about before. TIme may be of the utmost essence. See my letter of November 6, 2007.

6. Other matters: There are outstanding million dollar judgments from the Ming litigation era that will need to be renewed in the next years, if the Fellowship wants to collect on them. I had this calendared for a review in January 2008, 10 years after the first settlements and judgments were obtained. Given the success we have had collecting from various parties, I would consider this an important item to follow up on. I will no longer take any action in this area either.

In short, the overall picture is in my opinion that the Fellowship itself, Robert, and a number of our friends, including several board members and officers, continue to be in potential legal jeopardy and liability.

With the information, according to what I gathered from my investigation, shared by certain former members to various agencies, I cannot envision that there will not be a government investigation and/or lawsuit in the planning/preparation stages with possibly serious consequences for the Fellowship, the Board of Directors, Robert and possibly a number of individual students, including possibly individual Board members.

A fully professional and active compliance team to put matters straight must be created. This team would need to be working daily, hands on, with the supervision and input from professionals. The existing irregularities cannot be hidden from the people that need to help bring us into compliance.
Again, I am no longer acting as the Fellowship’s attorney. Immediate attention is required to the numerous outstanding legal issues facing the Fellowship. You are advised to consult with legal counsel immediately.

Thank you for your time and consideration to these important matters. Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Very truly yours,
Dav.d Spri.gfield [David Springfield]

cc. Robert E. Burton
Abraham [Abraham Goldman], Esq.

[ed. - Below, Ames Gilbert responds to the forced take-down of the "David Springfield" letter, as he calls it, from the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog.]

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2009:
#74-4 (June 2, 2009) So, I am to understand that because some FoF lawyer made a complaint to WordPress, they pulled the first comment on the last page (#1-73) by Black Marker, “in response to a copyright infringement notice”? Did WordPress do this without contacting the moderator? Without verifying that this letter by “David Springfield”, that is, David Lubbers, was already widely circulated and therefore in the public domain? That the letter itself refers to events, such as the bigamous marriages of Asaf Braverman, the illegal inurement and misuse of members’ funds by Robert Burton, the illegal misuse of “religious visas” to procure fresh victims for Burton’s insatiable appetites and as cheap, malleable labor? That the letter itself refers to the activities of the ‘shadow’ Board of Directors, all of whom have been and are appointed by Burton specifically so they will rubberstamp every one of his decisions—the board that for its entire history has abrogated its legal oversight responsibilities to the members of the Fellowship of Friends, to the taxpaying public, and to the IRS? That the letter itself refers to the monitoring of this blog, to scheming and conspiring to attack the contributors to the blog? There is nothing copyrightable about material in the public domain. ‘Copyright’ and ‘public domain’ are mutually exclusive. Not only that, the law specifically refers to the principle of fair use. Quoting the letter, even in its entirety, is fair use in this context. And this is the context: the blog (when it not masquerading as the ‘Nigel Harris Price Show’) has several purposes, one of which is to expose to the general public, to prospective members of the Fellowship of Friends, and to present members of the Fellowship of Friends who have open minds, the moral and legal and spiritual frauds at the heart of the organization. The letter quoted by Black Marker shows as well as any of the testimony gathered so far the extent of the legal and moral fraud, so WordPress can hardly consider it not germane to the issue, purpose and context. Goodness me, is the information that Burton recently took a ‘pay cut’ of $15k (from the official $50k to $35k), and widely publicized amongst the laity to show he was also “making sacrifices”, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that most of his income is off the record and off the books, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that members in the past have received inflated paychecks, paid taxes at a low rate, then written checks to Burton—is knowledge of this tax avoidance scheme copyrighted? Is the knowledge that Burton is the king of inurement—that almost the whole purpose of the Fellowship of Friends and the majority of the income is to support him in the style he has become accustomed to, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that foreign centers pay directly for his expenses abroad so he can avoid reporting that income in the U.S.A., copyrighted? Is knowledge that certain bequests made in cash went unreported as income, copyrighted? I don’t think so, Fellowship lawyers! I could go on and on, and maybe I will… And hey, I invite anyone with expertise on copyright law to set me straight if I am mistaken.

"fofblogmoderator" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2009:
Hey Ames, I did receive notification from WordPress and they offered me the option of contesting the complaint. The complaint that was lodged was the following; “This is a complaint about copyright infringement and egregious invasion of privacy related to the following blog posting…….” The “plaintiff” went on to state that it was an infringement of attorney-client privacy rights, etc. I don’t know the law and maybe the attorney (plaintiff) doesn’t either. The link to the letter is still active on page 72 from a post by “What The,,,?” at #293. The link takes you to an internet archive website. Does this constitute public domain? Beats me, but I thought it was best to delete post #1 on page 73 (the pasted full text version) and get the blog up and running again. I think if people want to see how far “the letter” can be used as an official testimony to the level of corruption and abuse inside the FOF, then a collection should be taken to hire Mr Green (I believe that was the name of the cult-buster) or someone qualified in this area. I think the letter is extremely damaging and all efforts should be pursued to see if this could be used to finally shed some legal light on the questionable practices inside the FOF. At one point the Sheik set up a paypal account and I sent him money a number of times. I’ve never asked for any contributions to compensate for my time maintaining the blog- nor will I ever. This is the one time I will ask for money. It’s not for me. It’s to give to the lawyer and someone who will volunteer here to act as our liaison/representative between our evidence (the petition, more personal testimonies, records of money given to the FOF and the letter) and our hired attorney. It’s been a long day for me and maybe I’m way off base here. I’d like to hear feedback. It seems that if any truth is going to be discovered about the true nature of the business practices of the FOF, now is the time to try to shed some light. How interesting to know that FOF agents are reading this and pondering how to defend their den of deceit.

"Associated Press" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 5, 2009:
The D@v!d Spr!ugf!eld [David Springfield], mentioned in the offending document, was, prior to studying for and becoming a lawyer (passing the California Bar Exam), the Maître d’ of the Academy (now Galleria Apollo?, or, whatever) for a few years. [maître d': (short for maître d'hôtel, in the original French, literally 'master of the hotel')] That meant that he was the octave leader or manager of the staff that ran Robert’s public and private affairs in his residence and elsewhere. He was also responsible for managing the security (included firearm permits and training) and the motor pool in this scope. At the time he may have been known by a different last name. (Mentioned elsewhere on this blog.) (It was changed legally.) He was the predecessor to Epw@rp S¢hnlten, as Maître d’. This took place in the pre-1998 era – late 1980′s? to early/mid 1990′s – roughly through the time of the Troy/Richard fiasco, the Olivehurst Gospel Assembly, and the Ming furniture collection/museum. (There was also a period of time, during this time, that Robert could not reside in the Academy because a property tax exemption was being claimed for it being a museum. There was the separate residence, called the Ming House, or something like that, owned by Et.n H.rr.s [Ethan Harris], member of the FoF board, and leased to FoF for this purpose. D@v!d’s [David's] scope possibly extended to that property and staff, too.) Therefore, he was intimately familiar with almost everything that would go on behind the scenes in the life of Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends – not quite the same relationship as the private secretaries or the legal counsel. It was understandable that he eventually resigned from that position and went to work for Abr.h.m G.ldm.n [Abraham Goldman], Associates; the then legal counsel. His exalted position of confidence dictated that he not be cast about in an adverse fashion, as so many burned-out people from the Fellowship land up. So, the content of that letter is, likewise, understandable and an aspect of the experiences he had had, the oath he had taken (as lawyer), the responsibilities as he saw them, and the conscience that may have arose in the circumstances. (Either that or a queeny flare up.)

D@v!d [David] was a great person to work with, as long as you were on his good side. The Dutch are very diplomatic people and have a keen sense of justice and fairness. (It’s no coincidence that the World Court is in Holland located in the Hague.) But, also, certain circumstances can lead to passive-aggressive behaviours. You would not want to get on the wrong side of certain type persons. Relationship examples have been cited on this blog by the near and dear. And, abuse is a way of life in the Fellowship. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

To be a lawyer, often it requires having a thick skin and often certain strong arm tactics in rather measured implementations. This can be very frustrating.

Now, has this letter surfaced before? The author of this post has checked and double checked and found that it may have been alluded to in the past as in: Abr.h.m G.ldm.n [Abraham Goldman], Associates, was removed as counsel for FoF; but this letter in complete detail is new. Could D@v!d [David] have posted it? That’s possible, but unlikely. He has close family members in FoF and is unlikely to leave FoF. So, you go figure. More likely it might be the work of some disenfranchised current or former FoF board member or other staff that had access to the document. But one never knows. What goes around, comes around. Could have been Robert Earl Burton himself, using it to get rid of more disloyal marginal hangers-on.

Hey, everyone should know that lawyers are well aware of the idea, and use of, ‘you can not unring a bell.’ That’s where a lawyer damn well knows that they can not ask certain questions (in court for instance), that the opposition will object, that the judge will sustain the objection; but meanwhile the question gets put out there and even the witness may give an answer before the objection, sustainment, and the strike from the record, and the jury instruction from the judge to disregard the disallowed sequence of events (read: testimony), but the bell has been rung, which can lead to the ever so small amount of doubt with just one juror. Well D@v!d [David], the bell has been rung.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 30, 2009:

[ed. - In an effort to determine if David Springfield's letter was in the public record, he looked at a related legal case and found the letter posted to the record in that case.]
Well, I never knew until today how much fun one can have for three bucks and change!

If you go to the link provided by Just the Facts Ma’am (#75-14 or thereabouts), you’ll see two case numbers for Minne et al v. Stroomberg et al, 2: 2209at00345 and 2:2009cv00625. I clicked on the latter, which took me to a new page devoted to that case. When I scrolled down the page, I found a heading, “Access Additional Case Information on PACER”. PACER is a public records access system. I clicked on ‘History/Documents’. The next page invited me to login to the records, or to subscribe to PACER. I subscribed, and after giving my credit card information and such, was able to access the system after about ten minutes. Back to the ‘History/Documents’, and for 16 cents I got a summary. I’m no lawyer, so I chose the documents closest to the twenty day window after the initial filing. There were three available, all called Reply to Response to Motion. All interesting, but to save you guys some time, the pertinent one is #26. 82 pages, but the government only asks you to pay for the first 30 pages of any document.

Lots of interesting stuff here, folks, and some revealing relationships. The way I see it, the gist of the claim is: David Springfield was the lawyer for the defendants until fairly recently; he was hired and was paid for legal work he did for them; and, he and Abraham Goldman are inextricably intertwined professionally; David Springfield knew a great deal about the defendants financially and personally, knowledge gained over many years of working for their interests. Hence the claim of conflict of interest and the request to have Goldman and Goldman Associates removed from the case.

Lots of supporting exhibits. Here’s the best, from my point of view, Exhibit G. It is, wait for drum roll, David Springfield’s Letter to the Board of Directors (November 19, 2007). Of course we, and all sentient beings with operating consciences, are interested mostly in the stern and truthful finger pointing to various criminal activities within the Fellowship of Friends, but the defendants entered the letter into the record as one of the proofs that Springfield and Goldman were indeed intimately associated in their legal practice.

So, any member of the public has access to these records. I, a interested member of the public at large, have just accessed them. The letter is therefore indubitably and incontrovertibly (I love those big words!) in the public domain, and Abraham Goldman has been ‘actively misdirecting’ (use your own synonym here) us, WordPress,, Godlike Productions, and no doubt others by claiming privilege when he knew and knows full well there is no privilege.

So, for just $2.56, you too can verify for yourself that the signed letter exists. David Springfield’s signature has quite the flourish, and is unmistakable. The letter is true, has been entered into a federal court record, and contains important truths. Names have been blacked out (now I understand the name, Black Marker), but are not hard to guess; the usual suspects.

Black Marker, whoever you are, and for whatever reasons you posted the letter originally, I thank you again. You have done a great service. And if you have more documents, I strongly encourage you to first post them on Wikileaks, then tell us how to find them (don’t post a direct link, just tell us the search terms). That will surely save the blog moderator some grief!

[ed. - Due to the extremely sloppy grammar, it is difficult to believe this was actually written by Abraham Goldman, the Fellowship's lawyer. The blog moderator believes it is from Goldman, likely because he saw the originating e-mail address. The post's avatar corresponds to the e-mail address, "" however that does not prove Goldman's authorship.]

"Abraham Goldman" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009: 
Abraham Goldman
Some contributors to this blog have mention [sic] the DS resignation letter is still available for viewing at the Court’s wedebsite [sic]. That is not correct. The Court enterred [sic] an order striking the letter and ordering it removed. As a result of the Order, it is as though it was never filed, or was part of the public record. Check with you [sic] own lawyer on what this means.

The lawsuit mentioned is being amicably resolved. Mentioning names, cases numbers & etc.and reliving the 18 month old DS letter as part of that resolving controversy is counterproductive to a harmonious resolution for all involved, both current and former members.

The DS letter was never voluntarily disclosed: only the client, the Fellowship, had that right: no other person. Every person who has published it, copied it, or otherwise described it should seek independant [sic] legal counsel.

Many participants on this Blog, and other forums, have defamed DS and me. Very few, if any, knew us well, or at all, or any solid facts connected to us. Many, including former friends, took direct or implied “cheap shots” at us. W [sic] did not respond.

In contrast, what little I have contributed is for one and all to “Be Careful” [A.G.'s blog pseudonym], which, indeed, all should be, both current and past members, Many former students were the leaders or participants in the alleged wrongful deeds discussed, even the ones the DS letter was directed to, past and present. The discussion on this blog and other web sies potentilly jeapordize [sic] these former members as much or more than current members.

The heart of the DS letter, now stricken by the Court, are: 1) it was a confidential communication by a concerned professional to his client: a religious corporation, and 2) it was the professional’s candid statement required by duty with the mutual expectation and legal right of privacy; and, 3) it was illegally disclosed without the authorization of the one and only client: the Fellowship. Every word of the letter counselled [sic] positive response.

Those who attack DS do him, themselves and their belief in good, a great disservice. No one, especially DS;s [sic] former “friends”, have had the integrity to stand up and speak of the real DS. In like kind, those who attack me either never knew me, or were grateful for my defending you, and your loved ones and what you held dear in the past. You were all invited to talk with me face to face long ago: no one did so, except Ames, only recently, who said his name was wrongfully used in connection with the illegally published DS letter, and also wanted his name removed as a referenc [sic]

Ames had the integrity to call me, I answered, and said I would help any effort to remove his wrongfully used name. He then went “public” with our personal dialogue. He chose to end the personal dialogue, without sharing with me that he intended to go “public”. Does something like this matter to anyone out there?

Most people reading this, and other blogs, have found the need to privately talk to a lawyer: matrimonial; custody; business; traffic; wills and estates; litigation, taxes, bankruptcy, what can and cannot be published, etc. Would you allow your attorney-client privileged documents to be published? Stolen and published?

Would those on the Blog publish all corrspondence [sic] with Mr. Ford Greene? If someone stole those communications and published them, or sent them to any anonymous web site, how would you or your lawyers (equally defamed) respond?

Disclose who stole and illegally published the private, privileged DS letter. People reading this Blog know. Disclose all former students and Blog participants you accuse of being involved in what DS ethically disclosed to his client. Cowards use DS and his letter as a “whipping boy”. Take his name off the Internet any of you who actually know him know this is right

Abraham Goldman

[ed. - In the following, Associated Press exercised an abundance of caution at the time, protecting their subjects' anonymity. As the persons involved are now well-known, I will point out the obvious: the subjects are David Springfield and Abraham Goldman. At the time this was written, we can assume virtually all of Springfield's work was with The Fellowship and its membership. The array of cases he worked with hints at the bizarre and dysfunctional world that exists within the Fellowship community.]
"Associated Press" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 2, 2007:
This info found on the internet:

D_v_d Spr_ngf__ld, Esq., is licensed to practice in all courts in the State of California. He has experience in the field of … art fraud litigation, including trials, bench trials, arbitrations, summary judgment motions, discovery, mediations, and appeals in both federal and state courts.

D_v_d Spr_ngf__ld’s practice areas include general business disputes; unfair competition and unfair business practices; Section 17200 claims; art fraud litigation; medical malpractice; elder abuse; wrongful death and survivor actions; fraud and misrepresentation; sexual harassment; defamation law; malicious prosecution and abuse of process; anti-SLAPP motions; and intellectual property law.

D_v_d Spr_ngf__ld has worked for the law firm of A_r_h_m N. G_ldm_n & Associates for more than 10 years, first as an investigator and paralegal before joining the firm as an associate attorney in 2003. As an investigator and lead paralegal, he made a major contribution in obtaining more than $35 million in judgments against various co-conspirators in a major art fraud case

[ed. - Further documents and details regarding Mr. Springfield's disbarment:]
From Thomas v. Home Depot:
"In his response, Springfield represents under penalty of perjury that since last year he has been seriously ill with a devastating case of some virus or chronic fatigue and as a result have gone and am going through a horrificly [sic] intense difficult time, physically, mentally and emotionally, and have been nearly completely burned out, and incapacitated and unable to get any legal work done...
"Springfield has paid none of the monetary sanctions ordered by the court. He represents under penalty of perjury that he lacks the financial means to do so. (At this time I regret but have to inform the Court that I am financially devastated and completely without means to pay the sanctions ordered.) Mr. Springfield expresses his deep regret for causing this serious issue."
Full Thomas v. Home Depot file (download)

State Bar of California Attorney Search

State Bar of California Disciplinary Hearing, Page 1

State Bar of California Disciplinary Hearing, Page 2

State Bar of California Disciplinary Hearing, Page 3
Order to Show Cause RE Contempt
Here, Fellowship member Uri Harash positively reviews Springfield's book (co-authored by another Fellowship member). Harash's (civil rights?) case (above) would be the focus of court complaints against Springfield.
(Harash, in partnership with other Fellowship members, operated Holy Land Presentations, and he may also be the author of this scathing review.)

[ed. - July 2019 update: The following "reviews" were gathered from BirdEye. This Facebook comment  by Jan Jarvis below suggests Anjela Kasper-Nova, mentioned as David Springfield's wife, is a pseudonym or perhaps even a fabrication, but her name appears on the Fellowship's July 2019 roster. Anjela Kasper-Nova is on Facebook, where she appears with Robert Burton (and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.)]

"Just so you all (know) Anjela Kasper-Nova -- basically is a phony name that means 'angel of the new treasure' and has a front FB page - lots of this stuff is from the Fellowship of Friends run by a hasnumuss named Robert Burton whose sexual peccadilloes have been well-known for years as well as his expertise separating people from their money - and the rest is rebranded Rajneesh - (Osho) dead but kept alive by a world-wide network of exploiters - check out who you are talking to and 'liking' - be careful out there even in a so-called Gurdjieff group."

"CLC" wrote on BirdEye, November 12, 2017:
HORRID! The Real David Springfield is really Jurrie Bouwie Lubbers and is married to Anjela Kasper Nova and both on the lamb after being disbarred from the California State Bar for pillaging the Client Trust, latest Tracking finds they have been in Canada , Dubai, and outside Marysville California at the bizarre Friends of the Fourth way cult named #Appollo . Several of us had been in court for up to 20 appearances with then attorney David Springfield and he promised reciprocity on a Civil suit and then GHOSTED DISAPPEARED leaving some clients so Hopeless that they took their own lives and he also bankrupted and severely disadvantaged others by the proved fact that Springfield never returned ANY documents or moving records to his clients. Furthering matters horribly ...... most us had our computers wiped but only to those matters or files related to David Springfield and his legal representation. Very convenient as Springfield had always bragged his brother worked for Google directly. Its a travesty those injured by Springfield. If you know of his whereabouts there is a meeting of his wronged clients meeting regularly in So Cal and you can reach out to both The Yuba County Sheriffs , Sutter Sherrifs and Yolo County Sheriffs as well Riverside County where Springfield is a wanted person on interest.His wife seems to be alive and well even thriving on Facebook and Instagram under Anjela Kasper -Nova posting Glamorous photos of herself in Dubai. sad stuff really, we've lost all our money and legal rights on her fraudulent husband and they are off in Kite Beach Dubai or hiding in their so called Church. sad and disgusted by these Shameless Scammers.

"B.P." wrote on BirdEye, February 5, 2016:
Stole my Dads and family money.



Currently wanted by numerous law enforcement agencies. California State Bar asked our family to save the records as David Springfield also known as Jurrie Lubbers said he would try to reapply in 2021 for his law license back.

Its a very bad spiral . Its a very horrible place for our family as we have lost any hope of legal justice now.
My Dad was very upset as he was conned from day one by a high retainer and even that David spoke his native language. ALL A CON.

There has been meetings for the large group of ripped off clients to group together to try find him or his assets and civil suit against David and his wife Anjela Kasper Nova.

So far no one can locate the Attorney only his wife. She is all over the internet and facebook she left the United States for Canada. The Attorney Generals office will no doubt catch both of them. Just watched the Bernie Madoff biopic and AG and Feds went after Madoffs wife Ruth by simply being married and sharing the stolen wealth. The same should happen here. Its a tragedy for our family and especially my Dad . There is no reason to feel lucky here our family was somewhat lucky as some of his other clients were wronged worse than my Dad and our family. Reach out to Prosecutor Greenburg or S. Chan at the State Bar or The Riverside Sheriff Department (951)955-2600 if you have evidence or no how to locate David Springfield or his wife.

"Va V." wrote on BirdEye, January 30, 2016:
Very Bad.



Slipped away quietly with both the client trust fund and all the needed documents needed to continue case that he had already paid himself to do. Remains missing. Remains hiding is the better description.Officially DISBARRED on Jan 7 2016. Investigators from State Bar of California looking for him specifically Susan Chan at the San Francisco division of the California State Bar. Also wanted by the Sheriff Departments of Yuba, Sutter and Los Angeles County. His wife Angela Kasper-Nova can be found on the the internet working and living in Canada in Vancouver working at someplace called Sukis. Too bad she is not in California she can be held accountable on the civil suit against him as California is 50 50 state by marriage on shared bank accounts and shared residences. They both belong to a strange church i.e. cult called Apollo which has compounds around the world with locked gates. There was recent meeting for a group of clients deceived and thieved by David Springfield you can Google this information of call the State Bar of California . Have to leave one star yet one star isn't even deserved a better icon would be handcuffs or devil horns.

"E.W." wrote on BirdEye, November 24, 2015:
BEWARE !!! Wanted person of interest. Worst Fraud of All time.

4 of his clients have committed Suicide due to David Springfield's also known as Jurrie Bouwie Lubbers disappearance with their records, evidences and most importantly client funds.* His wife Anjela Kasper Nova (easily found on Facebook ) has slipped out of the country to British Vancouver clearly his wife benefited from the stolen funds of her husband the former Attorney David Springfield.

On recent hearing the State Bar has disbarred him and put an alert on State Bar file to warn of his thefts. Yuba County has active warrant for his arrest. If you have information you should contact both the State Bar of California and ICE through the FBI. The depravity to leave so many cases and clients hanging ( no pun intended ) Stealing hope is just as bad as stealing the client trust. One star isn't even warranted but needed to leave review. BEWARE RUN FAST NO LICENSE TO PRACTICE; NUMEROUS COUNTIES AND AGENCIES SEEKING THIS FORMER ATTORNEY FORMER CLIENT HAS A REWARD FOR HIS ARREST. Beware People with nothing to hide, hide nothing !!!!!

"Bonnie F." wrote on BirdEye, November 19, 2015:
I first came to know of David Springfield, Esq. as a professor at the college I attend, NWCU. He was an exceptional teacher and I really enjoy the work he's left behind for us to view. I worked with him a couple times on a trademark case. I thought he was exceptional. But then, he stopped returning calls and messages. For a while, I thought he might have met his demise and was very worried for him. He's very bright and very talented. I hope he resurfaces and clears his name. He has so much to offer.

"Priya Patel" wrote on BirdEye, June 29, 2015:

This is the statement from the California State Bar Association:


The State Bar of California has filed disciplinary charges against this attorney alleging that the attorney engaged in a major misappropriation of client funds. You may read the Notice of Disciplinary Charges filed by the State Bar against the attorney, and any reply filed by the attorney. You may also learn more about the general nature of misappropriation of client funds.

"Abby S." wrote on BirdEye, April 10, 2015:
David Springfield is disbarred.

Cleaned out all his client trust accounts and split or is hiding in his cult at Apollo.

He is the old epitome of a snake charmer. Everyone ruined or thieved or valid cases destroyed by him is now in full knowledge why he wore his pitiful white suit repeat days to court.

Just because an attorney says the right things and works overtime to be charming and re wears the white suit {THE WHITE SUIT DOESN'T MEAN HE IS GOOD GUY}

As it turns out there are about 35 of us his clients that were completely conned.

Can't leave a review without leaving 1 star and that's for great acting.

[ed. - And finally, after Fellowship member John Esam passed away, the following statements about corruption in the Fellowship were included on The Fellowship Investigation Petition.]

"John Esam" [presumably, a pseudonym] wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition (signature #205):
Missing US$40,000 possibly more out of John’s estate. He died ill and destitute on 24th June 2011. The Fellowship took control of his savings and his pension money and gifted it back to themselves. Theft/fraud/deceit/coercion/duress etc. When will law authorities enforce criminal charges against this cult? How many more people must be robbed and coerced by this cult? Also they write fraudulent Wills and Power of Attorney documents. The Fellowship attorney – David Springfield is definitely dodgy.

The next signature is that of Larissa Esam, who commented:
I and my extended family had lost my father, John, to this cult for over 16 years. He was sick and financially destitute when he died. The Fellowship possibly still have some of his possessions and its possible they took his money from him as well for over 16 years. They are evil, corrupt and ruthless. People's lives are being controlled and wasted as we sit here and read these signatures. Please sign if your loved ones have been caught up in this - the more signatures put on here then the louder our voices become to the world media who need to be able to verify through the suffering of ex members and their families the sorts of abuses which have gone on for years and years.

Anjela Kasper-Nova with Robert Earl Burton and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Anjela Kasper-Nova with Robert Burton and Goethe (Facebook)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Robert Earl Burton: The Classic Narcissist

Fellowship of Friends cult leaders Robert Earl Burton, Dorian Matei and Asaf Braverman at Apollo, Oregon House, CA
Fellowship of Friends leader Robert Earl Burton with disciples Dorian Matei and Asaf Braverman

Posted by "Laura" on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
And to continue on the topic of narcissism, here are a few excerpts from the webpage

I selected some info that I felt was especially relevant for the Robert Burton case study, but there is a lot more related stuff on the website. Enjoy!
“Pathological narcissism involves an impaired, dysfunctional, immature (True) Self coupled with a compensatory fiction (the False Self). The sick narcissist’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem derive entirely from audience feedback. The narcissist has no self-esteem or self-worth of his own (no such ego functions). In the absence of observers, the narcissist shrivels to non-existence and feels dead. Hence the narcissist’s preying habits in his constant pursuit of Narcissistic Supply. Pathological narcissism is an addictive behavior.

Narcissists are aided, abetted and facilitated by four types of people and institutions: the adulators, the blissfully ignorant, the self-deceiving and those deceived by the narcissist.

The adulators are fully aware of the nefarious and damaging aspects of the narcissist’s behaviour but believe that they are more than balanced by the benefits – to themselves, to their collective, or to society at large. They engage in an explicit trade-off between some of their principles and values – and their personal profit, or the greater good.

They seek to help the narcissist, promote his agenda, shield him from harm, connect him with like-minded people, do his chores for him and, in general, create the conditions and the environment for his success. This kind of alliance is especially prevalent in political parties, the government, multinational, religious organizations and other hierarchical collectives.

The blissfully ignorant are simply unaware of the “bad sides” of the narcissist- and make sure they remain so. They look the other way, or pretend that the narcissist’s behavior is normative, or turn a blind eye to his egregious misbehaviour. They are classic deniers of reality. Some of them maintain a generally rosy outlook premised on the inbred benevolence of Mankind. Others simply cannot tolerate dissonance and discord. They prefer to live in a fantastic world where everything is harmonious and smooth and evil is banished. They react with rage to any information to the contrary and block it out instantly. This type of denial is well evidenced in dysfunctional families.

The self-deceivers are fully aware of the narcissist’s transgressions and malice, his indifference, exploitativeness, lack of empathy, and rampant grandiosity – but they prefer to displace the causes, or the effects of such misconduct. They attribute it to externalities (“a rough patch”), or judge it to be temporary. They even go as far as accusing the victim for the narcissist’s lapses, or for defending themselves (“She provoked him”).

In a feat of cognitive dissonance, they deny any connection between the acts of the narcissist and their consequences (“His wife abandoned him because she was promiscuous, not because of anything he did to her”). They are swayed by the narcissist’s undeniable charm, intelligence, or attractiveness. But the narcissist needs not invest resources in converting them to his cause – he does not deceive them. They are self-propelled into the abyss that is narcissism. The inverted narcissist, for instance, is a self-deceiver.

The deceived are people – or institutions, or collectives – deliberately taken for a premeditated ride by the narcissist. He feeds them false information, manipulates their judgement, proffers plausible scenarios to account for his indiscretions, soils the opposition, charms them, appeals to their reason, or to their emotions, and promises the Moon.

Again, the narcissist’s incontrovertible powers of persuasion and his impressive personality play a part in this predatory ritual. The deceived are especially hard to deprogram. They are often themselves encumbered with narcissistic traits and find it impossible to admit a mistake, or to atone.

They are likely to stay on with the narcissist to his – and their – bitter end.

Regrettably, the narcissist rarely pays the price for his offenses. His victims pick up the tab.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV-TR uses this language to describe the malignant narcissist:

“An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts.”

So, what matters is that these characteristics, often found in healthy people, appear jointly and not separately or intermittently and that they are all-pervasive (invade, penetrate, and mould every aspect, nook, and cranny of the personality):

That grandiose fantasies are abundantly discernible;

That grandiose (often ridiculous) behaviors are present;

That there is an over-riding need for admiration and adulation or attention (“narcissistic supply”);

That the person lacks empathy (regards other people as two dimensional cartoon figures and abstractions, unable to “stand in their shoes”);

That these traits and behaviors begin, at the latest, in early adolescence;

That the narcissistic behaviors pervade all the social and emotional interactions of the narcissist.

Some narcissists are ostentatiously generous – they donate to charity, lavish gifts on their closest, abundantly provide for their nearest and dearest, and, in general, are open-handed and unstintingly benevolent. How can this be reconciled with the pronounced lack of empathy and with the pernicious self-preoccupation that is so typical of narcissists?

The act of giving enhances the narcissist’s sense of omnipotence, his fantastic grandiosity, and the contempt he holds for others. It is easy to feel superior to the supplicating recipients of one’s largesse. Narcissistic altruism is about exerting control and maintaining it by fostering dependence in the beneficiaries.

But narcissists give for other reasons as well.

The narcissist flaunts his charitable nature as a bait. He impresses others with his selflessness and kindness and thus lures them into his lair, entraps them, and manipulates and brainwashes them into subservient compliance and obsequious collaboration. People are attracted to the narcissist’s larger than life posture – only to discover his true personality traits when it is far too late. “Give a little to take a lot” – is the narcissist’s creed.

If a narcissist is doing something that puts him or her in the limelight, and benefits others, then how can we fault them? Narcissists can project images of being the best friend, lover, worker, boss, parent and we accept it hook line and sinker. Is there a litmus test for telling if a gift is a poisoned apple? NPD’s are so good at dissimilating their real motives for being nice. In polite societies, good manners can hide hideous crimes. A sweet smile can hide a cold heart. Take the case of the serial killer Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was a mild mannered “nice boy” who captured the attention of young women by appealing to their better natures; he would fake an injury to get them to help him to his car where he would knock them out with the same crutch he used to seduce them into believing he was a nice person.

most abusers master the art of deception. People often find themselves involved with a abuser (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover his real nature. When the abuser reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry that they failed to see through the abuser earlier on.

But abusers do emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals in his body language even in a first or casual encounter. These are:

“Haughty” body language – The abuser adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the abuser usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he maintains his personal territory).

The abuser takes part in social interactions – even mere banter – condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux “magnanimity and largesse”. But even when he feigns gregariousness, he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the “observer”, or the “lone wolf”.

Entitlement markers – The abuser immediately asks for “special treatment” of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements. This tallies well with the abuser’s alloplastic defenses – his tendency to shift responsibility to others, or to the world at large, for his needs, failures, behavior, choices, and mishaps (“look what you made me do!”).


In general, the abuser always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a abuser is by trying to delve deeper. The abuser is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades, or a genius. Abusers never admit to ignorance or to failure in any field – yet, typically, they are ignorant and losers. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the abuser’s self-proclaimed omniscience, success, wealth, and omnipotence.

The abuser’s biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements – incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the abuser’s lies or fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people’s experiences and accomplishments as his own.

In general, the abuser is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits – unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a abuser, providing the discourse is not “emotionally tinted”. If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the abuser intellectualizes, rationalizes, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached “scientific” tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical.

The abuser is dead serious about himself. He may possess a fabulous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The abuser regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global.

Finally, abusers are sometimes sadistic and have inappropriate affect. In other words, they find the obnoxious, the heinous, and the shocking – funny or even gratifying. They are sexually sado-masochistic or deviant. They like to taunt, to torment, and to hurt people’s feelings (“humorously” or with bruising “honesty”).

While some abusers are “stable” and “conventional” – others are antisocial and their impulse control is flawed. These are very reckless (self-destructive and self-defeating) and just plain destructive: workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving.

Yet, these – the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the restricted application of humor, the unequal treatment, the sadism, and the paranoia – do not render the abuser a social misfit. This is because the abuser mistreats only his closest – spouse, children, or (much more rarely) colleagues, friends, neighbours. To the rest of the world, he appears to be a composed, rational, and functioning person. Abusers are very adept at casting a veil of secrecy – often with the active aid of their victims – over their dysfunction and misbehavior.

Robert Burton's "Esoteric Keys" reveal the secret

An Allegory of Fortune, Dosso Dossi, ca 1530. J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 2, 2007:
Rapidly deteriorating brain of our Beloved Teacher produced yet another fart.

“They are giving us so much right now” – I guess he is talking about anti-psychotic drugs he is taking…

This is priceless:
“A marvelous painting by Dosso Dossi at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Allegory of Fortune (1530), portrays a couple wearing one sandal each. Studying this painting was part of our breakthrough this week, in which we confirmed the message of the Cycladic, early Greek, early Christian, early Italian, and Renaissance schools.

The woman’s sandal has four laces, representing the four wordless breaths, while the back of her sandal has six divisions, with five terracotta openings, representing the sequence acting. The man has a square buckle on his sandal, resembling the narrow gate. The small gold heart at the tip of her laces indicates that the nine of hearts has completed its sequence. In the center, she holds with four fingers a Horn of Plenty – another version of the Tree of Life. The gold urn on the left represents the nine of hearts, while its two handles represent short Be and long BE. Like Giovanni Arnolfini in the portrait by Jan Van Eyck, the steward has a red scarf, symbolizing the combustion of the sequence.

At first we could not find the symbol of the four wordless breaths, but then we found it in the middle of the composition, in the woman’s four fingers. Unusually, the painting itself is square.

It will all unfold. They are giving us so much right now.”

"Draco" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 6, 2008:
The sequence was invented by Asaf and Robert. Before the emphasis on Keys, Robert and company came up with a list of 14 ways to presence that students were supposed to use. That was a damp squib. Then there were the keys.

Robert and Asaf decided that a statement in the Conference of the Birds, “Out of thousands of birds that set out on the journey, only thirty birds of the outer world contemplated the face of God in the inner world. ”
Robert has a very literal mind and he took this to mean that there must be exactly 30 specific work ‘I’s and he and Asaf produced a list of them which then were taken to be the esoteric meaning of the number 30 in any religious or spiritual tradition. Then they set to work on the number 6. Initially, the number 6 represented the first 6 of the thirty work ‘I’s. But this was soon forgotten once Asaf got his hands on some wooden cubes on which a student had inscribed the work ‘I’s. Asaf started arranging the cubes in sequences and he and Robert decided that the number 6 in all traditions referred to this sequence. The sequence was announced to the ‘school’ then changed a few times. Then Asaf and Robert decided that just about any symbol in religious tradition must refer to the sequence. Any reference to a beginning’ was to the beginning of the sequence, ‘end’ the end of the sequence, ‘middle’ the middle, etc. It only takes a tiny bit of research to realize that these religious texts are NEVER referring to anything like Robert/Asaf’s sequence in the quotations that are used in the Galleria.