Introduction


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.")

But 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.

Many regard Robert Earl Burton a narcissist and sociopath, surrounded by a largely greed- and power-driven inner circle. The following pages offer abundant evidence supporting that conclusion.

This archive draws from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated) Fellowship Wikipedia page, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship. Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Robert Burton stretches to draw the "conscious link" in the Fellowship's lineage

Alexander Francis Horn
[ed. - Here, Robert Burton memorializes Alex Horn, who died September 30, 2007, as a "conscious being" (which cannot be disputed, since only Robert Burton, as a fellow conscious being, can "verify" it!) Failing to have this "conscious" connection in the lineage would undermine Burton's claim that the Fellowship of Friends is a true Fourth Way School. As most authorities indicate, Alex Horn had already broken this lineage, as he himself never had a true Fourth Way teacher.

It is very curious that Burton appears to claim he recognized Horn's conscious "crystallization" even before he himself claims to have crystallized. If true, this would be a violation of one of the basic principles he has taught: "the lower cannot see the higher."

One must also wonder why it took Alex Horn over four months to "inform" Burton of his death. As Shakespeare said "For nimble thought can jump both sea and land. As soon as think the place where he would be." But it seems Burton's source for the news was the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog. Bolds are mine.]


"Ollie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2008:
Excerpts from a meeting Robert Burton led on February 10th:

Robert: Before we begin our meeting (…) we will discuss Alex Horne [sic, actual spelling is ‘Horn’] who recently completed his task. [Picture is shown] This is a photograph of Alex, the only one we have in our files. In fact, he is with us now; he is in the room with us. He was born in 1929, just before the stock market crash that began the Great Depression. He completed his task in Montana, which is not far away. In fact, you could have breakfast here and have dinner there, it is that close. He looks a little like Walt Whitman, does he not? He was seventy-eight. We learned of it last night during the margarita dinner. He completed his task last year on September 30th, but we just found out about it out last night — a hundred and one nights after it occurred — like the One Thousand and One Nights — meaning a fairytale ending for Alex.

There were only two or three people with him at the end. This shows us the great divide between a group and a school. He left New York and went to a remote place in Montana, where he owned some property, and completed his task “far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife.” It really shows how important presence is, does it not? I happened to be watching a video yesterday about the Russian dancer, Moiseyev. He died at 101 and he danced from the heart. Alex Horne danced from the third eye — the cosmic dance.

Alex went into an orphanage in Chicago in his twelfth year, and was adopted by Influence C to make him an immortal conscious being. Gurdjieff said, “We are all equally beggars.”

When I left the dinner last night, I went into the vestibule, where Sarah was washing dishes by herself, like Cinderella. I said to her, “Alex Horne died September 30th last year.” She said, “That is my birthday!” I brought Sarah back into the room and mentioned to the others that Alex was “governing himself” [a pun on Sarah’s last name]. The reason I mention this is that Sarah returned from Egypt — where we were together — on Monday, and on Tuesday her car was totaled on Rice’s Crossing Road.

[Another picture is shown] This painting by William Blake shows God Creating the Universe. [A third picture is shown] This photograph of a lightning storm over San Francisco was on my desk this week. From one angle you could say it was great Influence C sending down this lightning. It could be a discreet message from Influence C: Alex Horne completing his task in Montana (Joe Montana was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers), Sarah, with the same birthday as the day on which Alex Horne’s completed his task, totaling her car, perhaps signifying a total disaster.

The way we received the school from Influence C was through Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin, and Horne. I remember that when Alex crystallized I was a young man, around twenty-seven, but I was able to recognize that he had crystallized and had the starry world in his eyes. And I said to him, “Congratulations!” I was so grateful that I was evolved enough to see it. Last night after the dinner I went to the library and he was there with me. All I said was, “Congratulations!” — the great cycle of forty years complete! When I was told that he completed his task I just blew him a kiss. It was so spontaneous and it came so sincerely from the heart. “He is out! He is out!” — the great truth in front and the great lie behind. Sylvia completed her role on January 4th — the “mark” [a pun on her last name] meaning the four wordless breaths.

Alex Horne passed totally unrecognized, and that is fine with him. It is like Rilke, who died isolated in Switzerland. The woman attending Alex said that he knew as much as Gurdjieff. Well, he knew a lot! Did you have anything to add to that, Patricia?

Patricia: I was briefly with Alex Horne before I met Robert. When I advised him that I was leaving his group to study with a teacher in Berkeley, he asked me who it was. I said that I did not know the teacher’s name, but somehow later I understood what he meant, because he kissed me on the forehead and said, “If ever I produced a conscious being, my role as a teacher is complete.” And that was a message for Robert.

Robert: Alex brought us the sacred flame. It was he who introduced us to self-remembering. (…)

[ed. - Not to be outdone, the former members chime in.]

"lauralupa" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
“Stalin, Tito, Dimitrov, three stars who shine forever, three hearts to beat together ” .
Bulgarian socialist party slogan. Each time when the Party changed its relations to one of these leaders his name and his ‘star in the sky’ had to be replaced by another one in the respective party.

“The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed.”  - Robert Jay Lifton, “Thought Reform and Psychology of Totalism”

“Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy
of being No-one’s sleep, under so
many lids.” - Rainer Maria Rilke’s epitaph

“Language is a virus from outer space.” - William S. Burroughs

So, I can’t resist adding my six bits to the thread of comments on the “Horn” monologue…

It is quite interesting to see that Robert, like many of his students, these days apparently gets his info from this blog: the news of Horn’s death was given here by Spoonful on february 7, two days before the margarita dinner.

Fascinating to “hear” our little Lord Voldemort casting his spell once again; it reminds me of my last dinner at the Academy, some fourteen years ago, when for the first time the following conscious mentation occurred in my brain while listening to my teacher talk:
“WTF?”

This latest speech is a wonderful example of dysfunctional communication. I love the way Robert uses the catchphrase “completed his task” instead of “passed away”, or “shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile” to create a vague area of meaning around Alex’s death; he actually likes it so much that uses it three times in the first paragraph (eight times total, perhaps there is an esoteric meaning to this). I personally remain a little puzzled about what the task to be completed was, since apparently his task as a teacher was completed many years ago when he produced the conscious being Robert Burton (notice here the peculiar Fellowship idea that conscious beings “produce” one another).

And apparently Horn has indeed joined the bleedin’ choir of invisible celestial beings, so the two great men can meet again, one in the flesh and the other out. Noble and wise words are then uttered by these conscious beings:
“Congratulations!”
“He is out! He is out!”
Now this is a really poignant moment and a powerful image, for sure it shall be recorded in history… I can already envision the Galleria fresco, with Robert blowing a kiss to the Whitmanesque Alex and the goat patiently waiting by their side…

I just wonder why Horn didn’t pay his visit to Robert a little earlier; for sure it would have given the conscious teacher an edge if he had been aware of his death before the rest of us. A perfectly plausible explanation would be that Alex himself only found out that he was dead upon reading the news in his ex-students’ blog. It may sound strange, but bizarre are the ways of the celestial realms.

I found all the little meaningfully meaningless non-sequiturs so “typically Robert”: Montana is so close that “you could have breakfast here and have dinner there” (?), Alex “was born in 1929, just before the stock market crash that began the Great Depression” (??) “the Russian dancer, Moiseyev. He died at 101 and he danced from the heart” (???), “Congratulations!” — the great cycle of forty years complete!” (???? a latest addition to the numerology craze?)…

But the true madding masterpiece, IMO, is this associative thought sequence:

“This photograph of a lightning storm over San Francisco was on my desk this week. From one angle you could say it was great Influence C sending down this lightning. It could be a discreet message from Influence C: Alex Horne completing his task in Montana (Joe Montana was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers), Sarah, with the same birthday as the day on which Alex Horne’s completed his task, totaling her car, perhaps signifying a total disaster.”

If I was Sarah I’d be really relieved to know that the totaling of my car was charged with cosmic significance. It makes the lonely washing of dishes more bearable, too. This Cinderella has truly found her Fairy Godmother. Too bad that all these portentous omens occurred only months after Horn’s death. Are they a new kind of retroactive prophesy? I am unconvinced, and thus stuck with the pressing dilemma: what is the real esoteric significance of Sarah totaling her car? Total disaster, yes, but for whom? From one angle you could say that when great Influence C sends down his lightning, SOMEONE is going to get hurt, and that’s all that really matters, am I right or am I right?

BTW, for someone who counts so much, Robert is fairly inaccurate: from September 30th to February 9th there are actually 132 days (I counted).
But we don’t need to be so picky now, do we?

“Alexander, our older brother
Set out for a great adventure
He tore our images out of his pictures
He scratched our names out of all his letters…”

"Joe Average" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 6, 2007:
Gather ‘round kiddies! It’s quotes time!
As soon as possible this teacher [should dismiss] the disciple, who becomes his own man of wisdom, and then he continues his self-work.

False masters in Sufism, as everywhere else, have not been few. So the Sufis are left with the strange situation that whereas the false teacher may appear to be genuine (because he takes pains to appear what the disciple wants him to be), the true Sufi is often not like what the undiscriminating and untrained Seeker thinks a Sufi should be like.

The false teacher will pay great attention to appearance, and will know how to make the Seeker think that he is a great man, that he understands him, that he has great secrets to reveal.

Sufism is something that happens to a person, not something which is given to him. The false teacher will keep his followers around him all the time, will not tell them that they are being given a training which must end as soon as possible, [and will not give them the opportunity to] taste their development themselves and carry on as fulfilled people.


- Idries Shah, The Sufis
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
Nearing the time I left The Group, a young man, (one who had endured seventeen major operations in his youth and who lived in a body that was literally wired together inside), was held in a room all night against his will and beaten by other men, and I mean beaten in a way that because of his condition could have resulted in his death. Alex was by then turning much of his teaching over to favored students and things were degenerating fast.

At a full group meeting one week later the victim displayed uncommon courage in standing to denounce his beating. He said he was leaving The Group, yet he wanted to thank us. Just a few words into his sentence a cacophony of jeers drowned him out. I shrank in shame. He walked out. The room fell silent as we listened to the sound of his steps in the stairwell, then the sound of the door opening below and finally clicking shut. All eyes moved toward our teacher. Finally, in a voice filled with concern, someone nearly whispered, “What will happen to him?”

“He’ll die like a dog,” Alex answered, flatly, matter-of-factly, then immediately returned to his lesson.
– From “Supping with Alex” by Dave Archer, recollections of a student of Alex Horn
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Influence-C is eternally grateful to Alex Horn
- Robert Burton on his teacher.
It’s the most beautiful part of my life
- Robert Burton, publicly commenting on his sexual exploitation of his students for the first (and last?) time.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
At the time he was sexually assaulting children, Randazzo said, he believed he was doing good. “I thought it was educational for them,” he said. “I was dysfunctional.”

The Randazzos were leaders of a group called the Spiral of Friends, a Christianity- based cult whose five or six dozen members believed that James Randazzo had reached the “highest level of spirituality since Jesus Christ,” according to testimony.
- news article about James Randazzo, founder of the Spiral of Friends, formerly one of Robert Burton’s boys.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The rationale seemed to be, “in a higher state, you are much more sensitive to the needs of the instinctive function.” Or, “if you don’t take care of your machine, it will become negative and eat you when in a higher state.” The teachers exemplified this behavior. They received massages and sexual favors from the innermost core of students, took considerable time each day in a hot tub, and spent hours each night laying in a bed with about 15 pillows watching a $3000 wide-screen TV.
- article about the leaders of the New American Wing, former students of James Randazzo
Quite a legacy Alex left the world.

[ed. - As with Alex Horn's group, there have been a number of "spin-offs" from  Robert Burton's Fellowship of Friends. In addition to Randazzo's notorious  "Spiral of Friends", and Jim and Carol Kuziaks'  "New American Wing", there were George Ellis (aka, Yorgo Wolfe) Savides' "The School of the New Dawn," James Westly, Rebecca and Theodore Nottingham, and the former "Fourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School". Mervyn Brady (now deceased) used Burton's template to create The Academy of European Arts & Culture, and it continues with centers internationally. Burton's first student, Bonita Guido, after about four years with Burton, joined Hallstein Farestveit in creating The Linbu Society in Europe. Further discussion of the alleged Burton lineage follows. After 22 years in the Fellowship, James Waite experienced his own "awakening" and now teaches non-duality.

Since the 1990s, Greg W. Goodwin, the infamous internet troll, has desperately attempted to draw a following using many forums, from his Geocities website and the Arkansas Bob Yahoo Group in the early 00s, to administering "The Fourth Way (debunked)" Facebook Group (as both GW Goodwin and Tao Jones) today.

The most recent spin-off has been Asaf Braverman, who in 2016 made a dramatic break from his teacher of 20 years. Braverman now operates the BePeriod Fourth Way School.]

"jomopinata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 25, 2012:
BEGIN QUOTE

Newsgroups: alt.consciousness.4th-way
From: henr…@aol.com (HenryK8)
Date: 29 Oct 1994 10:05:04 -0400
Local: Sat, Oct 29 1994 10:05 am
Subject: Re: Cults and Questions

Regarding lineage and a polled Horn:

A friend in the work pointed out to me that although “lineages,” and for that matter, “certificates” and “diplomas,” don’t guarantee ability, they do indicate what someone may have been exposed to in passing. This may provide insight into what the someone has or lacks, what may be present or absent in a teacher.
I knew Horn and was present when Pentland visited TAP on Bleeker St. in New York City on May 1, 1966. I didn’t know all the behind-the-scene details, but I clearly saw that Pentland disapproved of what he saw. Horn seemed a supplicant. Within a few months that group ended and Horn left New York.

As of the moment I type these characters, I believe the Pentland-Horn connection was minimal–so tenuous that no connection in the sense of lineage existed.

Regards,

Henry Korman
henr…@aol.com
 
END QUOTE

[ed. - The Theatre of All Possibilities blog linked below has been removed, however some images remain on the Internet Archive.]

"Anonymous" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 28, 2008:
Alex Horn and protegés David Daniels and Robert Burton

By the time David Daniels obtained a high school diploma at 20 years of age in Chicago (1953) he had been Horn’s frequent companion for four years; Horn and Daniels came across Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” (ISM) at this time. After a year at the Art Student’s League NYC, Daniels went back to Chicago. Horn was leading an ‘acting class’ there which included Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Ed Asner, David Daniels and Robert Burton. The group took an “esoteric” trip to Mexico, on account of Horn’s interest in Ouspensky biographer Rodney Collin, who had settled there.

In December 2007, Daniels posted the following about his relationship with Horn: 
Collin had also been at Ouspensky’s Farm in Mendham, New Jersey. Daniels claimed to have been given authority at Mendham and The Gurdjieff Foundation, however Foundation head (Lord) John Pentland wrote that while Daniels had had nothing to do with the Foundation, he remembered seeing him and his wife Sally at Mendham sometime during the years 1959 to 1961, after which Daniels was institutionalized in Hillside Hospital Queens NY for year, where he learned about the structure of therapy groups and ‘supervision’.

In 1966, Horn introduced Daniels to his NYC group, including Robert Burton, as “someone who knew about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and would show and teach them about their work.” According to a member “In the fall of 1966, Horn disappeared for a month; returned confused, contradictory, and incoherent; then, In 1967, under threat from members, Horn disappeared for good, handing over the group to Daniels and moved to London, then Berkeley/Oakland. When Daniels took over, he moved the group from a loft on Bleeker Street to meetings in people’s apartments.” Said a member, “Horn’s NYC meetings focused on Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous.” He picked ideas from this book and “harangued on subjects.” Horn was cruel and oppressive at times; so was Daniels. Neither gave straight answers. Horn had a number of ‘wives’ and ‘screwed around’ with members of his group.” While Daniels continued his role as ‘teacher’, Robert Burton left this scene and by January 1970, he was in California, where he founded the Fellowship of Friends with ISM as a prop.

In 1971, Horn visited Daniels at the Elizabeth Street building in NYC. Shortly, Daniels had shaved his head and was requiring his temperature and pulse to be checked frequently. He later described having been visited by NY police who suggested that members of his group were extremely angry with him and that he might do well to leave town as quickly as possible. He persuaded teenager Sue Liebowitz, to travel with him and immediately left by train with her for Boston, where he quickly gained a following by repeating his Village Voice ad in the Boston Phoenix: “Ideas of Gurdjieff, Shah and their source.”

Daniels established himself at 69 Walker Street, near Harvard and Leslie colleges, where he set up a network of naive group members as paid ‘psychotherapists’ who reported intimate details of group members lives to him and he began to conduct meetings running long into the AM hours. He had minor painting talent with which he decorated the Walker Street basement that he had directed group members to excavate with spoons. Seekers enticed by a promise of working in a group with powerful ideas, got nothing legitimate of Gurdjieff, but were ultimately held by the entertainment value of Daniels’ outrageous appeals to their base instincts, phony ‘psychotherapy’ and typical cult pressures; approximately 500 individuals during this Boston phase alone had most of their wish for spiritual development burned out of them. In the fall of 1972, Alex Horn visited Daniels in Cambridge. Back in NYC, David McClellan committed suicide by jumping from a window during a ‘group therapy session’ run by a Daniels follower.

In Cambridge, as with Horn in NYC and Burton in CA, Daniels continued to pick ideas from ISM and “harangued on subjects for hours.” Daniels’ earlier meetings focused on Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous, supplemented by Idries Shah’s teaching stories but later degenerated into quasi-sexual themes and so-called ‘therapy’, a la Milton Ericson, with whose hypnotic techniques Daniels had a natural affinity, a connection later made by cult specialists Margaret Singer, Jack Clark and Michael Langone. In 1976, he published a thin porn novel, “Sinfan the Savor” and snared a prominent member of the Transpersonal Psychology movement to endorse it. Horn and Burton’s penchant for writing has been chronicled elsewhere.
In the latter 1970s, his ‘talent’ for writing exhausted, Daniels collected just under $200,000 from his Boston group of up to 100 members and set up a complicated land trust on 160 acres of farmland in Western MA, in which he directed the deeding of a choice section to himself and had the group build him a cabin, tower and pond. Pam Mitchell, reportedly distracted by methods she learned from Daniels, was hit by a car and killed crossing a Boston street.

In 1978, Alex Horn was forced out of the Bay Area by a District Attorney and group pressure, as reported in the SF Bay Guardian. Horn’s 200 person SF area group had purchased a farm and bought a house in SF. Charges were made concerning Horn’s group regarding beatings, sexual misconduct, ordered pregnancies in which the father’s identity was not known, news articles, threats of lawsuits, etc. Horn left town. “He was run out of New York and now he’s been run out of San Francisco.” -Dr. Lee Sannella

After the news articles, and before Horn left town, Daniels had told a formerc NYC group member, who was a frequent visitor to Berkeley from NYC, “Be friendly to Alex Horn because he’s a teacher. Look him up. See if you can help him.” Sensing an opportunity to again take over a territory abandoned by Horn, he began talking about moving to California and convinced most group members to sell their posessions so they could “start over” with cash in Berkeley. In 1979, Daniels avidly watched a dramatization of the Jonestown cult massacre in Uganda and told his lieutenants, “You see what happens when you think big?”

Soon after, in 1980, Daniels left Cambridge and moved himself and 50 group members to the Bay Area, within 24 hours of receiving two lawsuits from ex-members; the first being a class action by 13 individuals for land fraud and the second a civil suit for the “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” as reported in the Boston Globe.

Henry Wilhite, a black sometime dog-groomer, was in Horn’s NYC group, Daniels’ NYC group, Daniels’ Cambridge group, and attended Daniels’ meetings in Berkeley. Wilhite and Daniels’ daughter Rita died of aids in the 1980s.

A very large percentage of ex-members of all the above groups sought psychotherapy as a means of recovery; several have PhDs and are practicing psychotherapists. Some have recovered and others have not fared as well.

[ed. - Below, "Nevermind" quotes some of the same material above. Also, see Defense Against Evil's Weblog.]

"Nevermind" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 26, 2012:
Clearly what the Fellowship is trying to do here is establish a connection between Gurdjieff and Asaf Braverman through Ouspensky and Rodney Collin:

From [Asaf] Braverman:
Alexander Francis Horne [sic]

William Nighland’s [sic] circle includes Alexander Francis Horne, a teacher of theatre, dramatist, and playwright. Horne learns more about the Fourth Way from J.G. Bennet’s [sic] New York groups, from the Gurdjieff Foundation, as well as from Rodney Collin himself, whom he visits in Mexico. Upon Collin’s death, Horne is dissatisfied with the condition in which he finds the Gurdjieff Foundation (now institutionalized without its founder). He recommends that Lord Pentland disband it.

Horne establishes the Theatre of All Possibilities and incorporates Fourth Way principles into his theatrical work. Horne’s methods are severe, forcing his students to work on themselves by subjecting them to pressure and charging them with large demands. His plays In Search for a Solar Hero and Ponderings of a Citizen of the Milky Way sum the ideals of the sixties, ideals which that decade never fully attains. Yet in so doing, Horne translates and transports Gurdjieff’s work to a new generation.

Horne moves his group to San Francisco, where he meets and marries actress Sharon Ganz [sic]. The Theatre of All Possibilities is eventually taken over by Sharon, forcing Horne to return to New York. As the ‘flower children’ turn into the increasingly materially prosperous baby-boomers, the spirit of the sixties is extinguished. Alexander Horne’s teaching splits, his wife taking the more active role with the groups, while he continues working with a smaller circle of students until his death in 2011 [ed. - Horn died in 2007].
Calculation:

Alexander Francis Horn (14 August 1929 – 30 September 2007)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Horn

Was Horn ever in Mexico with Collin?

Horn born 14 Aug 1929
Collin dies in Mexico 3 May 1956
Horn would have been 27 when Collin died.
Horn is spotted in NYC ten years later
New York City on May 1, 1966 Horn is sighted with Pentland.
Horn is 37 at the time.

Obviously it is not impossible that a 27 year old Horn, ten years before establishing his “school,” somehow heard about an obscure group founded in Mexico in 1948. Somehow he finds out where it is located and travels there to be welcomed by Collin.

Off the internet:
“In 1948 Rodney Collin and his wife Janet moved to Mexico, together with a few followers, where they lived for two years in Tlalpam. His book The Theory of Eternal Life was published anonymously in 1949, at which time he wrote Hellas, a play depicting different stages of Greek civilization. At that time he continued his work on his book Theory of Celestial Influence, published in 1953 in Spanish and in 1954 in English.”
Collin’s book was published in the US in 1954, so he could be discovered by Horn through the book.
Information found on internet:
Alex Horn and protegés David Daniels and Robert Burton

By the time David Daniels obtained a high school diploma at 20 years of age in Chicago (1953) he had been Horn’s frequent companion for four years; Horn and Daniels came across Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” (ISM) at this time. After a year at the Art Student’s League NYC, Daniels went back to Chicago. Horn was leading an ‘acting class’ there which included Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Ed Asner, David Daniels and Robert Burton. The group took an “esoteric” trip to Mexico, on account of Horn’s interest in Ouspensky biographer Rodney Collin, who had settled there.

In December 2007, Daniels posted the following about his relationship with Horn: (url posted later)

Collin had also been at Ouspensky’s Farm in Mendham, New Jersey. Daniels claimed to have been given authority at Mendham and The Gurdjieff Foundation, however Foundation head (Lord) John Pentland wrote that while Daniels had had nothing to do with the Foundation, he remembered seeing him and his wife Sally at Mendham sometime during the years 1959 to 1961, after which Daniels was institutionalized in Hillside Hospital Queens NY for year, where he learned about the structure of therapy groups and ’supervision’.
In 1966, Horn introduced Daniels to his NYC group, including Robert Burton, as “someone who knew about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and would show and teach them about their work.” According to a member “In the fall of 1966, Horn disappeared for a month; returned confused, contradictory, and incoherent; then, In 1967, under threat from members, Horn disappeared for good, handing over the group to Daniels and moved to London, then Berkeley/Oakland. When Daniels took over, he moved the group from a loft on Bleeker Street to meetings in people’s apartments.” Said a member, “Horn’s NYC meetings focused on Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous.” He picked ideas from this book and “harangued on subjects.”

Horn was cruel and oppressive at times; so was Daniels. Neither gave straight answers. Horn had a number of ‘wives’ and ’screwed around’ with members of his group.” While Daniels continued his role as ‘teacher’, Robert Burton left this scene and by January 1970, he was in California, where he founded the Fellowship of Friends with ISM as a prop.

In 1971, Horn visited Daniels at the Elizabeth Street building in NYC. Shortly, Daniels had shaved his head and was requiring his temperature and pulse to be checked frequently. He later described having been visited by NY police who suggested that members of his group were extremely angry with him and that he might do well to leave town as quickly as possible. He persuaded teenager Sue Liebowitz, to travel with him and immediately left by train with her for Boston, where he quickly gained a following by repeating his Village Voice ad in the Boston Phoenix: “Ideas of Gurdjieff, Shah and their source.”
It looks possible that Horn, Burton’s teacher of 14 months, could have spent time with Rodney Collin.

"Shard_of_Oblivion" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 27, 2012:
#99 Nevermind [above] posts interesting history of the precursor cults to the FoF. One of the sources is a post by anonymous on this blog.

I note that other posters on that site question some of anonymous’s details, (dates of death from Aids of some teacherettes etc), so it looks like anonymous was relying on his/her memory for the facts of the story. I was surprised that that narrative suggested Burton was with Horn and Daniels in both NYC and possibly also Chicago (it’s a bit ambiguously phrased on that point) in the early sixties, as I had always heard he met Horn around 67/68 in the Bay Area. Also if Horn did organise his trip to Mexico before Collins’s death in 56, surely Burton would have proudly pointed to an unbroken conscious line from G to O to C to H to himself, but I don’t recall that ever being mentioned.

There was a link in anonymous’s post that suggested Daniels had posted info himself on another blog, but though it is interesting reading, I didn’t see anything from Daniels himself. It seems some people found these teacher types to be lovable rogues, others were scarred for life by them.

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 18, 2019:
47. Artemis44

Thanks for sharing the Fellowship of Friends new website. On a sub-page called “Robert Earl Burton,” is written the following:

* * * * * * * * * *

Robert Burton, born in 1939, founded the Fellowship of Friends on New Year’s Day, 1970, after a period of study with the Fourth Way teacher and theater director, Alex Horn, who was affiliated with the Gurdjieff Foundation in the 1960s. Alex Horn also studied with English writer and playwright Rodney Collin, Peter Ouspensky’s pupil, late in Collin’s life, in Mexico.

* * * * * * * * * *

Burton managed to found and operate the Fellowship for over 35 years without ever being sure about his own “lineage” connecting back to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. The missing link was always Alex Horn, and where and with whom Horn studied. (And what in the world does it mean that Horn was “affiliated” with the Gurdjieff Foundation? Is that supposed to validate Burton’s claim of an unbroken lineage?)

Note that Horn apparently never mentioned meeting or studying with Rodney Collin. If he had, Burton would certainly have heard about it during his time with Horn. Why would Horn withhold this information, unless it never happened?

When Horn died in 2007, a Fellowship member took it upon himself, or was asked, to look for and to come up with this missing link. The member was Hugh J@mes, a Ph.D. in philosophy, a prolific writer, and (we now know) a very “imaginative” researcher. Here is the “report” that Hugh presented to Burton in 2009:

* * * * * * * * * *

Shortly after Alex Horn’s death a man who had known him at the University of Chicago in the early ‘fifties published a short obituary on the internet. It included some fond memories of their university years, but no information about Alex as a teacher or conscious being.

More recently another man, who had been at the University of Chicago at the same time, posted an anonymous response. This man had only a very external idea of the work, and no idea of the level Alex reached later in his life. He claimed to have been a close friend of David Daniels, who had been one of Alex’s closest associates at university. During the early ‘fifties both Alex and David became involved with the ‘Compass Players’, which was a theater group loosely affiliated with the university. The third man would often go to watch their rehearsals and performances.

He wrote that, at a certain point, a number of the Compass Players … “took an ‘esoteric’ trip to Mexico, on account of Horn’s interest in Ouspensky biographer Rodney Collin, who had settled there.”

Clearly the writer had only the vaguest idea of who Rodney Collin was, or what the group might have been doing on their visit, and this very fact gives the ring of truth to what he wrote. I deduced the date of the Compass Player’s trip to have been 1953 – three years before Rodney Collin’s death. Alex would have been 24 and Rodney 44 at that time. Additionally, Alex almost surely knew Rodney Collin before having invited his friends on the trip.

There was nothing else of interest in the posting and no further mention of Rodney Collin. But what once appeared to be a strong possibility now seems to be a fact. So, from this point of view, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin, and Horn each had one fully conscious student, and the ‘Fourth Way’ lineage to ourselves is direct.

* * * * * * * * * *

It is obvious to me that Hugh’s weakness as a researcher consists in the fact that he begins with assuming various conclusions, each the product of relentless repetition (brainwashing) courtesy of Robert Burton, then finding “facts” to support them. E.g., (1) Alex being a “teacher” and a “conscious being;” (2) the high “level Alex reached later in his life;” (3) the high level of Rodney Collin, the “writer” having “only the vaguest idea” of this; (4) Alex having surely known Rodney Collin before going to Mexico; and, very conveniently, (5) Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin and Horn each having had “one fully conscious student.”

Yes, Alex Horn did go to Mexico sometime between 1953 and 1955. And, before this trip, he might have mentioned that he would like, someday, to meet Rodney Collin. But Horn’s trip to Mexico had nothing to do with trying to meet Rodney Collin, or even going to Mexico City. The trip to Mexico with a number of fellow actors from Chicago was not “esoteric,” but rather related to the study of new acting techniques.

We know this from a chapter in a book, “Birimisa: Portraits, Plays, Perversions: The Work of George Birimisa.” The chapter in question was written by one of the Chicago acting students, Caty Cook Powell, which she titled, “Memories that Bless and Burn.” Here is what she recalled about Horn’s “esoteric trip to Mexico” (my comments in parentheses):

* * * * * * * * * *

In 1954 or ’55…George (Birimisa) entered…into my life. I was then a neophyte actor living on the South Side of Chicago and helping to start Compass Players, the first glimmer of an improvisational movement that led later to SNL (Saturday Night Live) and Second City. A young and impoverished Elaine May was our teacher…Elaine knew charismatic and controversial director Alex Horn from earlier days, so throughout the summer she told us about the doings of some “real” New York actors who had gone to Mexico with Alex planning to work for a year on their craft with no interruption and then create the greatest theatre ever seen…However the artists only lasted in Mexico for a few months due to fights or backers backing out, though they reportedly did do some wonderful work. Toward the end of summer one day into our workshop like a tornado blew George with Jerry Cunliffe, both bronzed from the tropical sun, wearing Mexican worker pants and sandals…Elaine turned the class over to them and they put us through a series of newly developed acting exercises. I was smitten. Turned out that George and Jerry were the vanguard of the Mexico group, now down to a handful but still coming on like an army of conquering heroes. Alex, Anne Raim and Charles Bennett soon arrived and set up a collective, living together, pooling their money for the eventual theatre…

* * * * * * * * * *

It’s been thoroughly documented elsewhere that Horn did not “study” with John Bennett or with anyone else previously connected to Gurdjieff or Ouspensky. And it now seems beyond any doubt that Horn never met or studied with Rodney Collin, although he may well have known about Collin. Horn was an actor who primarily acted the part of a “conscious being,” whatever that might be. And Burton has been doing the same for nearly 50 years now.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 3, 2012:
Do any of you over there in the U.K. remember Charles Dunc_n? Like Mervyn Brady, he decided to leave the Fellowship and set up shop for himself in London, and about the same time. He also wrote a book, “Self-remembering; A Teacher’s Thoughts” published in 1991 in London by New World Gurdjieff Ouspensky School, which seems to be unavailable through normal channels. He joined in 1972 and left in 1989. Tall, imposing, sandy-colored hair, if I remember correctly, seemed a decent sort.

But, as I’ve said before, being a Guru is one of the most dangerous occupations, and if one is corruptible (and who isn’t on one level or another?), then it is almost inevitable that one will be corrupted. The only way to avoid this seems to be, as Adab points out, to stay connected with fellow humans. An excellent way forward is to earn one’s own living and not succumb to the temptation to live off one’s students. My understanding is that most Sufi masters knew this. Staying connected with ordinary people also allows one to be compassionate about their problems, because likely one will have encountered the same oneself, and understand in the only true way possible, from personal experience. And since a true teacher (in any field) is continually learning, he or she would need constant, full contact with fellow humans to continue that learning. I’m with the thinking that becoming a better human and living this life (the only one we can verify exists) as fully as possible is the main purpose of the experiment. The idea is to explore the human potential. It seems ridiculous to be given this incredible gift and then exert the utmost efforts to escape it, like trying to fling shit off one’s shoe, or to spend the precious time looking forward to or preparing for some future paradise after death. All IMO, of course.

So, if anyone knows more about Charles, or Mervyn, and where their career paths took them, please share!


[ed. - The following comment on the Cult Education Institute website suggests Alex Horn's aversion to homosexuals, which is reported to be the reason he banished Robert Burton from his group after just eighteen months.]
It seems like another lifetime, but I spent a short period with Alex Horn's group in San Francisco. Alex effectively forced me out of his 'school' by insisting that I admit to being a homosexual, and I only realized much later that his real interest was in simply getting rid of me. I complicated his life by being a former student of his former student, Robert Burton at the Fellowship of Friends. In retrospect it all seems a bit silly, but the accusation, in front of fifty people, completely floored me! I knew that I was heterosexual, not a complicated kind of self-knowledge, but the power of the group was extraordinary. I also experienced Sharon Gans in the process, and found myself wishing, even in those days of not allowing negative thoughts, that she would just remove herself from the picture. She offended me deeply with her arrogance. What is most outrageous about all of these characters is their willful abuse of what seems to have been an authentic historical teaching. Anyhow, I managed to separate myself from all of this. But afterwards longing for the kind of internationality that this work had come to offer. And this is certainly one of the central problems of this kind of orthodoxy. There's a very strong logic operating here and for those who know how to use it, it's money in the bank!

[ed. - Below are some of the discussions and debates surrounding the Wikipedia entry for Alex Horn, in which Fellowship of Friends operatives struggle to sanitize the connection between Robert Burton and Alex Horn. See also: Letter About Robert Burton.]

Wikipedia discussion from The "Alex Horn" pages blog [link now dead]:
Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia- (Don't want it to get lost...)

[edit] Alex Horn page created (and tagged for speedy deletion) (and deleted) I just created a page for Alex Horn here. Please feel free to edit it. Love-in-ark 01:33, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

The Alex Horn page was tagged for speedy deletion. I can't remove the tag because I am the creator of the page, but any other editor can. If any of you thinks the page has to exist, please remove the tag. Your call. Love-in-ark 01:59, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

There is already an article on Sharon Gans. It makes sense to me to combine the 2, if that can be done. Do you know if that's possible? --Moon Rising 10:50, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

P.S.: The Horn page has been deleted.--Moon Rising 11:15, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I just left a message for the Administrator that deleted the article to see if there is a way for the article to be up for, let's say, 24 hours to give the baby a chance to survive. Let's see. If the article has no importance according to Wikipedia's standards, that's another reason to remove Alex Horn's information from this article, don't you think Want? Love-in-ark 18:10, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Love - No, I don't think your deduction has any meritWantthetruth? 20:42, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

That's what I thought, but it doesn't hurt to ask. :-) Love-in-ark 05:58, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Alex Horn is a published playwright and theatre leader and an esoteric teacher. That's enough to get him into Wikipedia. Waspidistra 16:29, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Love - have you heard back from the administrator's about allowing a Horn article? Moon Rising 18:08, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I just got this message from him: Hi, how are you? The reason I deleted the page was because a google search showed up none of the information in the page, besides the site that you referenced, so the reliability is in doubt if it is not backed up by more sources. However, if you could find more sources and establish notability, and maybe focusing on a biography of Alex Horn rather than the Theatre of Possibilities, you could recreate the page. I hoped that helped you, if not, feel free to ask- CattleGirl talk 02:49, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a lost cause to me, but if anybody has a suggestion it is welcome. Love-in-ark 04:05, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

This is really the inner confusion... Baby Dove 23:59, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Baby, what do you mean? Now I am confused. Love-in-ark 04:40, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Forget Alex Horn, the article is never going to make it to Wikipedia. As CattleGirl said, there aren't enough Google hits. Robertozz 15:00, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

the bickering on this page is, quite frankly, beautiful.--132.61.176.6 18:14, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, if you do not want us to see that you use an Air Force server, please create a log in for you and be welcome... Baby Dove 22:26, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Sir, I would like to welcome you to the Fellowship of Friends page. Remember to login, sign your posts, assume good faith, be polite, and change your IP address when you change your ID. I wish you a rewarding editing, sir. Love-in-ark 23:15, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Welcome from me too. Please remember to be civil, and make sure that you always call in the mediators before the opposition does, that you regularly make baseless accusations of sockpuppetry, that you submit strawman Wiki articles to prevent information being added to this one, and that you revert every edit while reminding other editors that reverting is rude. Oh, and don't include any information that isn't on the official FOF site, even when that site changes suddenly in response to government investigations. Waspidistra 21:05, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Wasp, you forgot to tell our friend that if he is not a former member of the FoF seeking revenge (or a refund) or a current member defending the organisation, he is wasting his time here. The Paris Hilton article is much more appropriate, believe me, to mitigate the monotony of a military life in peaceful times. Love-in-ark 21:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Good point, Love. Also, if he is neither a current nor a former member, but a government investigator, he should remember that under the Patriot Act he is able to access all IP addresses of contributors and then obtain personal details from the relevant ISPs. Waspidistra 00:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

As a point of solidarity, Love, I don't think that you will be in the FOF either within the year. The jokes about changing IP address before changing ID were excellent. Waspidistra 00:04, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I am glad you like my sense of humor. Wasp, may be you will re-join within the year, since you spend so much time thinking about the FoF. Love-in-ark 02:11, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I successfully created a page for Alexander Francis Horn. Waspidistra 23:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Looking for a summary What's the crux of the dispute that had the page locked from editing? What is everyone trying to achieve with "their" version of the article? Are there changes that everyone can agree with? Cheers! Vassyana 17:48, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Dear Vassyana, the page was blocked because there were frequent reversions of the addition of information about the church leader's teacher, Alex Horn. It appears that one editor will accept only the addition of information on Horn, while other editors (both sides of the discussion) do not see the point. Discussions are going in circles and are contentious. In my opinion, there is an absence of good faith and civility amongst some editors. Overall, editors appear to be members of the FOF or negative ex-members. The picture each side has of the church is akin to 3 blind men touching and describing an elephant: you would not know that they speak of the same organization. The article as it stands is mostly drawn from the organization's website and as such is more positive than neutral. Understandably, current members have done nothing to add negative information, and the only significant article modification since you last visited us was the addition of information on Alex Horn, which led to a stalemate. There have been interim minor modifications. One or more of the editors has expressed a desire to warn others of the dire consequences of membership. My personal bias is to have an article that leans towards the positive, though I understand the need for balance and hope that I would be receptive to reasonable changes to bring this about. Hope this helps and thanks for being here.--Moon Rising 19:02, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Vassyana - Hi! Here is my version of the crux; I'm trying to establish a link within the current "Teacher" section of the Wikipedia Fellowship of Friends entry to Robert Burton's teacher Alex Horn. The section as is references Horn as Burton's teacher and further states that ".....the course of Robert Burton's life as a spiritual teacher is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the Fellowship of Friends". You can find the reference in question @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Gans and http://www.rickross.com/reference/theater/theater1.html. Horn was by all accounts I've read and heard, abusive, violent and manipulative you can access first hand accounts of this by some of his former students @ http://www.esotericfreedom.com/. The article as it currently stands largely comprises information from the Fellowship's own web-site, it is IMO to say the least one-sided. The Fellowship would like the article to stand as a recruiting tool, "free advertising" is how I personally heard it couched by one of the fellowship's hierarchy. You can access first hand accounts of Burton's predation, abuse and manipulation @ http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/res-ipsa-loquitur/. That the reference should be included strikes me as a no brainer regardless of my personal opinions, that it serves the public interest by offering a balancing view of FOF history and development seems equally valid. You are hopefully aware of Burton's checkered past in light of lawsuits by former members claiming sexual abuse? There are links to this information on the current FOF page. Burton had an abusive teacher and went on to abuse his own students. I've offered alternatives to pro Fellowship editors in terms of the length of the edit, these included an offer to only place a link to the Horn reference without any change to the current text. I've offered to move the reference to the History section within the article -again no takers. I've also suggested that we begin an entirely new section working title; Cycle of Abuse linking Horn, Burton and James Randazzo, an early Burton student who went on to start his own group, "spiral of friends" in many ways similar to the FOF and also the subject of rampant sexual abuse, not surprisingly, no takers. Pro- FOF editors tried to move the reference to a straw man page for Alex Horn and offered an alternative which they themselves admitted was unworkable, there appear to be no changes that everyone can agree with and here we remain stuck. ThanksWantthetruth? 19:34, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Vassyana, in my opinion the crux of the dispute is that Wantthetruth keeps adding negative information about Alex Horn, one of Robert Burton's spiritual teachers, extracted from anti-cult sites. Five other editors, namely Moon Rising, Baby Dove, Robertoz, Aeuio and myself, disagree with Wantthetruth Alex Horn's additions. Thanks for coming back, your presence is welcome to resolve the standoff. Love-in-ark 20:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Let's rememeber Waspidistra (who is generally not positive towards the FOF) and our new editor, StillWorking, do not favor adding info on Horn to the article. Most of these editors would favor a link to an article on Horn. Since Horn is not sufficiently notable for his own article, some have suggested using the existing article about his wife, Sharon Gans, for the link. There is considerable info on Horn taken from an anti-cult website in that article. Wanthetruth did not agree to this.--Moon Rising 20:21, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Vassyana - Let's remember why the pro Fellowship editors don't want a reference to Horn and let's also remember the many people who joined the FOF in good faith unaware that their "teacher" believes he's a goddess in a man's body who will share an apartment with Leonardo Da Vinci on the sun upon his expiration! Wantthetruth? 20:53, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Want, calm down. Remember you are talking to a Wikipedia Administrator. Love-in-ark 21:45, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Hey Mario, look we know you're on a paid salary from the fellowship to block anyone trying to edit, but constant claims that the other guy needs to calm down are below the belt even for you!Wantthetruth? 23:43, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Want, here is Mario. You are wrong. I am not paid by the FoF to work on Wikipedia, I actually pay them. Love-in-ark 06:34, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Dear Vassyana -- I am a novice editor and so cannot speak about the reason(s) for blocking. I would be satisfied with a balanced article but feel that efforts to assert "cycles of abuse" and insert "public service warnings" are both biased and outside the scope of Wikipedia articles. For example, approximately 10,000 people have passed through the Fellowship of Friends (FoF). We do not know much about these 10,000 since most of them have not contributed material that can be referenced. They are likely more positive than Want, though he leaves a lot of room in that regard. The internet has been a good forum for the verbal minority of the 10,000 that are adversely disposed to the FoF. Likewise, we have a biased sample of Horn's group and, in addition, the time distance (37 years since FoF began) makes it very difficult to conduct any detailed assessment of it. It is my position that it is therefore difficult, if not impossible, to provide a balanced account of either Horn's group or those 10,000 that have left FoF. -----I propose two specific solutions. First, simply state that Robert Burton was a member of Horn's group; the interested reader can do their own search on Horn, which will lead them to the information Want would like to include. Any more is truly outside the scope of the article, in my opinion. Secondly, insert a small section on the impact of the work. I believe material that can be referenced covers both potential benefits as well as cautions to potential members that the work is not for everyone. References to material that Want proposes to include are elsewhere in the article. In addition, the internet contains a biased sampling of the 10,000 former members of FoF; I am not sure if anyone can reliably summarize that 10,000 to present a balanced account.StillWorking 01:43, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

StillWorking I haven’t been much of an active participant, but I have been following some of the the dialogue. Don’t have much to add…except my support against including Horn. It seems that StillWorking said it best. Printed media/blogs/anti-cult activists’ websites are the small but noisy and visible voice…everyone knows it is easy to criticize. Those persons happy with or neutral about the FoF are mostly silent; not being the ‘newsworthy’ majority, they are not quoted in the press or books…and they don’t need to waste time on blogs.9Passions 02:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Vassyana, I would like the article to be more neutral. As it stands today, it's a copy of the current website of the FoF with the addition of 'the FoF believes that' at the beginning of each sentence. The problem is that Wantthetruth?, an anti-FoF editor, and the current pro-FoF editors keep engaging in petty edit wars about issues that are not critical to the article (this is good for the pro-FoF editors since it produces a 'smoke curtain' that keeps the article as it is, so Wantthetruth? is actually helping them). The postings above on this section will give you a very accurate picture of the situation. If you can help balance the article and stop the edit wars you will do a great service to this article. Thank you. Robertozz 04:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

A "copy of the current web site of the FoF"? I don't think the last part of the history section ("A former member sued Burton and the organization...") and the entire "Criticism" section are there. Besides, how are you going to explain the current teachings of the FoF without using the official web site? Any suggestions? Love-in-ark 06:45, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Good point. And even the parts that are from the website are condensed from the much longer website. I just went into the article history, and since the article changed with the publication of the FOF's new website back in June, there has been very little sustained disagreement between editors. Want's insistence of on including Horn is the first stumbling block, and also the first time both the pro and anti FOF editors are largely in agreement (except for Want). This isn't to say that the article can't be improved with Vass' unbiased third party review, but we (all the editors) have been working together well. --Moon Rising 06:54, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

To continue this train of thought, there was much discussion with Waspidistra, an editor with strong anti-FOF leanings who wanted to make the article more neutral, believing it to be emotive and promotional and tried to work on it to make it less of a mouthpiece for the FOF. After spending some time trying to "fix" it, he felt that all the words added to attempt making it more neutral (claims, states, believes, etc.) did not show the FOF in such a positive light after all (if I am paraphrasing him correctly), and the he can’t imagin anyone being satisfied with the article as is. He said that after re-reading, he felt the tone was not as pro-FOF as he had originally thought. I think this clearly speaks to the tone of the article and the editors prior to the recent upset. My apologies, Vas, for giving you way more info than you probably wanted. I tried not to, but my fingers, fueled by coffee, could not be stopped. A thousand lashes for me. Mea Culpa.--Moon Rising 07:07, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Moon's summary of my view is essentially correct. The information on the teaching is mainly FOF promotional material, but the continual interjections of 'the organization states' etc. considerably reduce the success of it as such. In my view, the section on the teaching could be summarized neutrally in a quarter of the space and we need to do something with the payment section. I would prefer a non-specific 'Membership of the Fellowship required monthly payments.' to the misleading information currently in the article. Waspidistra 09:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Waspidistra regarding condensing the section on the teaching and modifying the payment section to be more general (we can use a draft if necessary). Love-in-ark 12:49, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Love-Ark what the hell are you doing? Here are some pointers if you are going to use a meat puppet such as Robertozz: 1)Don't create him 5 min after you write a long section about suspected meat puppetry. 2)Don't have "I am a former member" as your first comment. 3) The only thing that Robertozz did on the fof article was revert another editor who is anti - fof. 4) This comment might as well have Lover-Ark at the end (your first slip) because Robertozz didn't put the info back, you (LA) did. 5) And most recently you made the same mistake of commenting from the wrong username. Obviously you are not cut out to use meat puppets and I don't know why you do. (O, and as Ozz in an email you said "FoF members are claiming again that there is a lot of sock puppetry in order to blur the whole editing picture. Love-in-ark and Moon Rising are playing again the old game of chitchat, gossips, etc." - That is, you said your true purpose as Love-Ark) I knew that Ozz is a fof sock from long ago, but for some reason I listened to the advise to try and use him for an advantage. (Although it was amusing - it didn't get anywhere). And Vass, another problem with Love Ark is that he uses stupid sarcastic jokes such as saying that he is MR and so on in order to make this page idiotic and hard to follow. There can't be any serious consensus when dealing with this crap. I hope you tell him to stop. I am not sure why LA and Ozz (or more accurately just LA) wants me on this page. I don't have the current interest nor do I get paid for this. (It's funny that everyone from anti-fof side including me has assumed that LA is Mario.) (Now, not counting if Vass comments, there could be three possible upcoming comments. 1)What I call a "Mario one liner". 2. LA or Ozz, in spite of clear proof that they are the same person, write in bold or capital letters "I AM NOT HIM". Or, our friendly neighborhood editor who is trying to come out as good spirited wikipedian who follows the wiki rules (whom I am telling now not to touch my cm) will say something about formating or something other to change the direction of things. It all depends on who gets to work early today....) Aeuio 12:56, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

It's true: I am Moon Rising, and Mario, and Robertoz. When I edit from home I am Moon Rising, when I edit from work I am Love-in-ark and when I want to look like a former member I use Robertoz (I use NetConceal to hide my IP addresses). Since I didn't do any vandalism, can I stay here if I promise that I will use only those 3 ID's? Please! Love-in-ark 14:06, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Love, you're just reaping what you have sown. On September 27, you posted "Sock puppetry galore, again. Oh, well, let's move on" following an exchange between me, Moon Rising and yourself. When you answered the message addressed to Mario I assumed that you were genuinely admitting to be him. You are hoist by your own petard. Waspidistra 14:54, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

way, now is a good time to do some real work: I just noticed that the article is now unprotected. Robertozz 18:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Is that supposed to be a response? You are not even gonna bother trying to prove my accusations wrong? (In fact you won't even mention whether or not you are LA)... It seems like the old story - realize you got nothing, throw a joke in there, some wrong info (because as you know MR admitted to sharing an ip with 9P) and say "lets move on" - Which I am sure someone will repeat soon. With people like you (LA) arguing for the fof, I can't even imagine the stupidity of people who read all the comments here and on the fof blog and still feel that everything is justified and right. (But then again, RB probably banned these sites...with his advertising team being the exception that is). Aeuio 18:44, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Mario [Fantoni] is; Moon Rising, Love in ark, Robertozz, stillworking, Baby Dove and 9passions. He has conversations with himself, backs up his own arguments, reaches consensus with himself and stymies anyone seriously attempting to edit from a standpoint that is not pro-FOF, actually now I think about it, there's nobody pro-fof but Mario. Wantthetruth? 18:28, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Wow, that's probably a record. Should we tell Jimbo? Love-in-ark 19:47, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Vassyana asked 3 simple questions: 1) what's the crux of the dispute? 2) what do you want to achieve? and 3) can we use WP guidelines for consensus to get there? Most editors have answered 1 and 2 directly. The rest of the posts above indirectly answer the third question. I think he has more than enough to work with. I only hope we haven't scared him away. Please keep going if you have more to say. --Moon Rising 19:06, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Hello Vassyana! Sorry you were required again! As you can see, I was not active editing this article the last couple of months or so, and I was frankly not pleased by all the chat and all the mutual accusations of sockpuppetry within the article. At the same time, a new editor started insisting in connecting the Leader of the Fellowship with information about Alex Horn, who is said to have been his teacher 40 years ago, for a yerar and a half, until Mr. Burton left him. This information about Mr. Horn was maily taken from the Rick Ross site, a person with an impressive criminal record according to Rick Ross'felonies. While any other information on Mr. Horn is rare, I was ready to support the creation of a separate article on Alex Horn, but it was deleted before I could even see it. Were any of the things Rick Ross says about Mr. Horn and his wife Sharon Gans, I do not really think they have any value here, considering that Mr. Burton seems to have taken due distance from him 40 years ago. This is a long time, and I do not think it has anything to do with the Fellowship of Friends at this time. Of course, if others think they have reasons to justify mentioning Mr. Horn here, they can show these reasons. But it would help if they limit their comments to verifyable (and respectable) sources, not to old copies of deleted pages that anybody can easily rewrite at their convenience, or records from someone who makes his living out of selling his gossipping on whatever organization he considers a cult (even WP was included as such once within its own articles)! Baby Dove 07:40, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Baby Glove - "Students, required to sell tickets to the weekly productions (theater presentations by Horn's group), were harangued and physically beaten if ticket quotas were not met. At Horn's instigation, all-night drinking marathons culminating in fist fights were common occurences, all in the name of the teaching. Punishment, in many forms, was a feature of Horn's teaching." could be sourced to "Taking with the Left Hand: Enneagram Craze, People of the Bookmark, & the Mouravieff Phenomenon" Written by William Patrick Patterson, Edited by Barbara Allen Patterson, Arete Communications, Publishers, 1998, ISBN 1-879514-10-9 pg. 110" Would you prefer this reference to Horn? Wantthetruth? 18:53, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

The appropriateness of the information is the crux of the question. This information, IMO, belongs to a Horn/Gans article. It was nice of Aeuio to send you this information to post here for him, but it doesn't justify inclusion. --Moon Rising 19:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

If you are referring to Baby Dove, I already said I see no point in mentioning Horn as a teacher who Mr. Burton left 40 years ago. The book you quote is also part of a disgusting discussion between Patterson, Laura Knight Jadczyk and maybe more people who have written books critizicing each other, probably to disqualify competitors. In it, Patterson also disqualifies Boris Mouravieff, Burton and Horn. Since this is not a blog, I do not want to be part of a chat full of accusations and disqualifications such as calling people under names. I even saw that you were trying to make telephone numbers not taken from any official site, for anybody to call to ask what they want to. I do not think this would be appropriate, and I do not know where did you get those numbers. If you want to contribute in the article, you are always welcome, but please do not display you bad manners when you do not agree with other editors and do not call them names. Baby Dove 00:23, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Baby - Still waiting for a good reason not to include Horn, Rumi had Shams, Laurel had Hardy, Burton had Horn, Randazzo had Burton.Wantthetruth? 18:38, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Do whatever you want, and do not complain if others do not share your ideas... Who is Randazzo? This is not a blog to discuss your likes and dislikes. Baby Dove 07:33, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Baby - since you asked, this is Randazzo; "J&C studied under a man named James Vincent Randazzo, who ran a Fourth Way school called "The Spiral of Friends". Randazzo, in turn, learned about The System from Robert Burton and his international "Fellowship of Friends". Randazzo's legal troubles are well documented. In 1985, he was fined for poaching, and several automatic weapons were removed from his home by police. In 1989, Randazzo and his wife Colleen were convicted of sexually abusing and exploiting children. Four teenagers (two boys and two girls) were given cocaine and videotaped having sex with the couple. The Randazzos claimed the sex was done in the children's own good, as treatment for depression and to boost their self-esteem. The court found otherwise. James was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison, and Colleen received ninety days in jail followed by a period of probation. In 1994, the Colorado courts refused Randazzo’s bid for an appeal." http://fourthwaycult.net/lineage.html Wantthetruth? 17:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Babydove said: "Were any of the things Rick Ross says about Mr. Horn and his wife Sharon Gans, I do not really think they have any value here, considering that Mr. Burton seems to have taken due distance from him 40 years ago. This is a long time, and I do not think it has anything to do with the Fellowship of Friends at this time. Of course, if others think they have reasons to justify mentioning Mr. Horn here, they can show these reasons. But it would help if they limit their comments to verifyable (and respectable) sources, not to old copies of deleted pages that anybody can easily rewrite at their convenience" Shame on you Babydove. You know as I know that Burton has claimed throughout these 40 years that Alex Horn was his conscious teacher, to whom he is eternally grateful. Are you saying that the archived webpage of the old FoF website, which claims direct lineage to Gurdjieff through Ouspensky-Pentland-Horn-Burton, has been rewritten at someone's convenience? Look at the lengths you are willing to go to hide something. Are you ashamed? I think the source of many of the editing problems and disputes here on this site is a certain Fellowship belief seen in action: the belief that "only the present moment is real" - which interferes with giving due acknowledgment to past actions or events: history tends to be erased. Wine-in-ark 01:06, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

August 18, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Suit claims discrimination: Software company favored Fellowship, woman says

[ed. - Sourced from proquest.com.]
By Ryan McCarthy
McClatchy - Tribune Business News [Washington]
19 Feb 2008

Abstract (summary)

The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2007 ruling reversing a Sacramento federal court's dismissal of the case, describes the Fellowship as "a small religious group," and notes the Fellowship characterizes itself as a "way of life."

Full Text

Feb. 19--Lynn Noyes says she lost her chance for a management job in software development because the Nevada City office where she worked favored Fellowship of Friends members -- an assertion the Fellowship, her employer and a state agency dispute.

The Yuba County-based Fellowship is not named in the lawsuit filed by Noyes in 2002 against Kelly Services. A March 25 trial is set in federal court in Sacramento after a long legal history that includes a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Noyes sought $1.2 million from Kelly Services to settle the case, according to a Jan. 7 document filed in Sacramento federal court.

Fellowship attorney Abraham Goldman said William Heinz, the manager of the Nevada City office named in Noyes' lawsuit as promoting another Fellowship member to the software development management job Noyes sought in 2001, is "one of the most honest and ethical people I know."

"I know he went out of his way to be impartial," Goldman said of Heinz. "He took every measure to avoid the possibility of discrimination of any kind."

Attorney M. Catherine Jones, who is representing Noyes, contends Fellowship members from the Yuba County foothills community of Oregon House dominated the workplace in Nevada County.

"The Fellowship had essentially taken over the Nevada City office," Jones said.

According to Noyes' lawsuit, nine of the 15 full-time employees on the floor where she worked were Fellowship me bers in 2002.

She said she was earning $57,100 in 2001 when denied the chance to compete for the management position.

"If I had been a member of the Fellowship of Friends," Noyes states in a court document, "I would have been considered and selected for the position."

The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2007 ruling reversing a Sacramento federal court's dismissal of the case, describes the Fellowship as "a small religious group," and notes the Fellowship characterizes itself as a "way of life." About 2,000 people are members, according to the federal court ruling, and about one-third live on Fellowship-owned property in the Oregon House area.

The Fellowship's Web site states that the group "was founded in 1970 in the Fourth Way tradition, also known as 'esoteric Christianity.' "

Noyes contends she lost the promotion despite her superior qualifications, including a Master of Business Administration degree she received in 1991 after going to school part time. She also asserts that Kelly Services improperly denied her the chance to compete for several other promotions.

The state Department of Fair Employment and Housing, after reviewing Noyes' discrimination claims, concluded Noyes' allegation could not be sustained. Of the four candidates for the management job, two were Fellowship members and two were not, the state agency said, noting that the person first selected for the job did not belong to the Fellowship.

Human Resource representatives from Kelly Services visited the Nevada City office and concluded no impropriety was involved in the decision to promote another employee to the position Noyes sought.

A 2001 memo sent from a manager at the Nevada City office to other staff members states that the irony of favoritism allegations is that "we're all nerds and geeks."

"Even in a religious context," continues the memo that is among documents filed in Sacramento federal court, "we could not be more diverse -- our staff is comprised of Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Jews, Baha'is, philosophical theists of several varieties, atheists and undecideds."

Renee Walker, spokeswoman for Kelly Services, said Monday that Kelly would not comment beyond the statements made in court documents.

Noyes and other employees in Nevada City were laid off in 2004 and Kelly Services closed the office the next year, according to court documents.

Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Ryan McCarthy at 749-4707 or rmccarthy@appealdemocrat.com.

Credit: Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Back to Apollo"

[ed. - The following comes from the archived fellowshipoffriends wikispace site, and provides an overview of changes taking place in the Fellowship. Notes in non-italicized brackets ( [  ] ) are those of the wikispace editor.]
Back to Apollo
There is talk of coming changes, rethinking and restructuring of the Fellowship of Friends. After a period of almost exclusively interpreting images, old classics are reintroduced into meetings (Shakespeare, Whitman, the Greeks...). In the second half of 2007, Asaf B. [ed. - Asaf Braverman] travels to Israel, reportedly to get married to an American while already married to another American lady, both members of the Fellowship of Friends. He is rumored to be unable to return to the US because his marriage-related green card was questioned by US immigration authorities, so he settles in Milan and his prominence as Burton's right hand soon declines. [add several of his comments through the years in the vein of "now we are finally becoming a Real School]

Assuming that the statistic of 2,200 members was correct for the beginning of the year 2007, the Fellowship suffered a net-loss of about 650 members in one year, as it self-reports only 1,545 members on its internal website (Propylaia) in January 2008. With the beginning of the new year, longtime members Linda T. and Karen J. [ed. - Linda Tulisso (Kaplan) and Karen Johnston] are released from their positions of Fellowship president and financial officer. Karen J. is rumored to have been fired by Robert Burton for being unable to provide $20,000 to Burton when he suddenly decided he needed it for his travels, telling him that "we don't have it". An announcement is sent to the membership (Jan-16-2008) that Robert M. will take the role of Fellowship president.

Notably, a "daily card" (daily message to membership from Robert Burton) appears (Feb-09-2008) using the official word "church" for the first time rather than the commonly used "school", referring to FoF. On Feb-07, it is revealed on the Fellowship blog that Alex Horn had died about 5 months earlier. A few days later Robert Burton becomes aware of his death seemingly through the medium of the blog and leads a meeting about him on Feb-10, detailing a number of "meaningful" coincidences related to Alex, and praising himself for being evolved enough to recognize how conscious Alex had been [**].

Next day (Feb-11-2008), members are told in an email that "we are changing the name of Isis back to Apollo", and the reason given is "Robert reminds us that Apollo (Ra) is the Sun God, the God of the Art of the Sequence". Robert Burton is now more frequently predicting the end of the world in the year 2012, a prophecy which he first began hinting at after Armageddon failed to happen in November 2006.

Recent developments

http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-39/#comment-1685
http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-39/#comment-1706
http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-40/#comment-2395
http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-44/#comment-3668
http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-44/#comment-3673
http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-52/#comment-6310

Some rules are gradually being relaxed (2008-2009), such as women now occasionally being allowed to wear pants instead of skirts on the property, the deadline for membership termination for reasons of non-payment extended (and many individuals being offered special deals and reduced membership payments), meetings based on reading quotations of Burton's thoughts becoming optional in favor of meetings based on personal understandings, Facebook group starting for members (after an online email forum/discussion group for members was shut down 9 years earlier when discussions strayed into taboo topics). [from announcements to members]