Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The complicated process of grooming the next "conscious being"

From a 2006 Fellowship advertisement

[ed. - Apparently, Robert Burton determined that Asaf Braverman would be next in line for "conscious being" status (whatever that may imply.) Fulfillment of that plan ran into a minor roadblock, as a marriage of convenience (to gain a green card,) was conveniently overlooked when Asaf and his new bride entered into a "true" marriage. Israeli officials learned of Asaf's bigamous status and Burton was forced to change plans.]

"another one" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2007:
This is copied from e-mails sent to students.

The previous stuff I posted was also copied from official sources, this was done just to show you what’s going on and encourage you to draw your own conclusions.

To me It’s a pure delusion and insanity, and unfortunately it is taken for real by so many hypnotized glassy-eyed people.

Now Asaf is being prepared to become the “next teacher”. He is a very young inexperienced man with a sweet smile and vanity feature, who has been taken care for his whole life, has not much life experience, never had a job, never had a long-term relationship, and has no clue about what is he talking about. He leads meetings now (what a shame) and students are paying for it… It is so sad!

Dear “Ascending octave” [blogger] – please, please open your eyes… If you still can of course. Sequence is madness. It is not a “new tool”, it is insanity. Robert may have lost his mind. Listen to what he is saying! Asaf-the new Teacher is madness. What is he going to teach you, a spoiled kid who has no clue? Get real. Please wake up.

Sat, January 13, 7:00 pm – Dinner hosted by Asaf at the Galleria

Seated: Regular $75.00 Special $50.00
Standing: Regular 35.00 Special 25.00

Topic: Laying a Firm Foundation

We will examine what schools say about laying a proper foundation for a sequence, what are its most common obstacles, and how to become more expert at engaging presence with short ‘Be’.

Sun, January 14, 10:00 am – Meeting led by Asaf at the Galleria

First Row: $75.00, Second Row: $65.00, General Seating: $50.00
Last Row Medical: $35.00, Standing: $25.00

Topic: The Responsibility of the Nine of Hearts

Following Robert’s recent comment that “behind the steward is the nine of hearts, and behind the nine of hearts is divine presence, and behind divine presence are Influence C, and behind Influence C is the Absolute,” we will aim at better understanding the responsibility of the nine of hearts in this divine equation and how to ensure its proper work.

From recent Isis Notes: (some Robert’s brilliant explanations )

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” [John 1:1-4]

Robert: In the beginning of the sequence was the word Be, and the word was God—Be acted and engaged presence—and the word was with God throughout the sequence. * A mosaic from the cathedral of Monreale depicts the Creation. It represents the state that we are in sending down a sequence to dispel imagination. In the beginning of the sequence is the word Be.

“When heaven and earth were created, there had already been four kinds of men, four kinds of manifestations.” [Aztec Manuscripts]

Robert: “When heaven and earth were created”—when presence and the nine of hearts were created with the sequence—“there had already been four kinds of men, four kinds of manifestations.” “Four kinds of men” refers to the four wordless breaths; “four kinds of manifestations” refers to the inhalation and exhalation of these breaths. * The World card represents the state that we are in, which is the opposite of the Hanged Man. The figures in the four corners of the World card refer to the “four kinds of men,” also referred to by the Egyptians as the “four kings” — the four wordless breaths. The egg represents the sequence.

There you go, practice away.

It’s a “missing piece”, a simplicity itself. It’s truly “Short an Simple”, and “very clear”, and it truly works!

(It gets you closer to a mental institution… Just keep counting everything and seeing shapes in all things around you, do it more, do it in public, there is hidden meaning everywhere you know…)

"Parent" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 7, 2007:
Saw Asaf in YC… Got me thinking…

What does that nice, talented, sincere young man tell his mother and father about his life? What a quantity of deception must be necessary. Asaf is not much older than my own son. What a terrible grief I would feel if Asaf’s play were his, and I lost my son to Robert, in the way that Asaf’s family must have lost him. What indescribably rage I would feel towards Robert, if my son were used as Asaf is used by Robert. Involvement with Robert necessarily separates parents and child: the need for lies and disconnection is absolute. Robert deliberately usurps the parental role, explicitly denigrates familial relations, engages his “boys” in a corrupting lifestyle that burdens them with the need for secrecy and falseness, effectively separating them from all, excepting those in the same predicament. What a f**king sad mad pathetic tragedy is going on here, embodied for me in the sight of that nice young man, Asaf.

I feel outraged now for all the parents that are “bereaved” of their sons…every boy that Robert consumes is somebody’s dear son — subject to debasement, emasculation, degradation, and other subtler psychic damage.

Those young men believe they do not need help – reminiscent of the syndrome in which victims eventually willingly collude with and protect their abusers – but their resistance only increases the pathos.

I wish I had known more, earlier. Would have left much earlier had the “school” maintained the proper transparency. Perhaps – like so many – I am guilty of intentional ignorance.

[ed. - Then came the little "obstacle." ]

In
Asaf Braverman's own words:
"In 2007, I was forced [italics added] to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom."

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 24, 2007:
A story. (It could be good for the INS – let them figure it out)

I learned that Asaf who is Robert’s successor is actually married. No he doesn’t live with his wife and never did. The marriage is on paper only. (which kinda means illegal and against the law in this country.) His listed wife is E—ta and he was married to her for quite some time.

I guess Asaf needs a green card ASAP – otherwise how is he going to be our next teacher?

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 25, 2007:

Oh lord, Purchase Awakening,

I thought Asaf was engaged to a very nice, very young daughter of followers, right at this moment. If what you say is correct, then there must be some very interesting conversations going on between the two affianced, the parents, the present wife, and Burton. I’m sure the phrase “C–Influence wants…” is being overworked as well. Adding the INS investigators and the INS judge to those conversations would certainly liven them up!

Excuse me while my mind boggles anew…

"unoanimo" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 26, 2007:

Dear Friends,

Robert has asked Asaf to host a ‘Journey Forth to Europe’ gathering on the weekend of August 31st until September 2nd in Milan. He intends this weekend to coincide with the closing weekend of Journey Forth to Isis, so that our friends at Isis and Europe will be gathering at the same times. Asaf will host a reception on Friday the 31st, followed by a breakfast and dinner on September 1st, and a meeting and tea on September 2nd. More information will follow later this week.

Love,

Kevin B. [Kevin Brown]

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. - Rumi

"unoanimo" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 26, 2007:
Dear friends,

As some of you already know, Asaf is spending some time in Europe, traveling through the centres, together with Ansley. He will be based in the Milan teaching house, where we are organising some events: you are all warmly invited to participate. Some will be formal meetings, others will be less formal and we hope especially the latter will allow us to meet Asaf in an environment of simplicity and friendship.

Some of us were with Asaf on his arrival at Istanbul and then in Greece. Together with him and the Athens students we visited archaeological sites, museums, orthodox monasteries, searching for connections with the Schools and with the keys that we already know. My personal perception is that it was above all a journey inside ourselves, where knowledge and theories would become inspiration to the magic of the Present.

One of the aims that Asaf has shared with us for this trip in Europe, is that of helping us, thanks to his close working connection with Robert, to use the teaching in a more personal and creative way.

Asaf invites us all to those events and wants to underline that cost should not be a denying force, therefore please do not hesitate to contact the Milan or your centre directors to ask for a reduction.

The main events will take place in the weekend from August 31 and September 2 in Milan and they are named ‘Journey Forth to Europe’. As requested from Robert, they will take place at the same time as the final events of ‘Journey Forth to Isis’. Since there will be many octaves, any help you could give us will be very appreciated. Please refer to Francesco M. if you are interested. In particular, those who might have financial difficulties for the events, are welcome to actively take part in the octaves [ed. - projects, activities].

Please, find here our contacts:

for subscriptions, Gabriella U.

for accommodations, Ilaria B.

With Love, Francesco
Milan Center

EVENTS
FRIDAY August 31st Reception h. 19,00 – EUR 15,00

SATURDAY September 1st Breakfast h. 09,00 – EUR 50,00 seated, 25,00 standing
“THE NAME OF GOD: SHORT BE”
SATURDAY September 1st Dinner h. 19,30 – EUR 75,00 seated, 35,00 standing
“THE NAME OF GOD: LONG BE”
SUNDAY September 2nd Meeting h. 11,00 – EUR 50,00 seated, 30,00 standing
“THE NAMES OF GODS: THE THIRTY WORK I’S”
SUNDAY September 2nd Tea h. 16,00 – EUR 30,00 seated, 15,00 standing
“LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF THE KEYS”
All the events will take place at the Teaching House, via Zanella

We have a beautiful inner circle, and no shortage
of serious students. Love, Robert

"More history needed?" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 30, 2007:
Anybody who has more information regarding the following stories or more accurate information?

Asaf can’t come back into the country because he had a fake marriage with Elisabetha and the INS discovered this, when he went to Israel with Ainsley to have a wedding celebration?

INS is doing more investigation in Robert Burton and his green card affaires?
Anybody, who has more information for the ones, who prefer to be informed?
A student who still received mail at p.o.box 100, received a letter of an ex student. The letter was opening by A.S working for Abraham G. She received the opened letter back with apologies and the information that opening letters is to protect the fellowship of friends?

Thanks.

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 3, 2007:

#44 [post number]: Is Asaf in prison yet? Is REB in prison yet? No, but kinda getting there!

Asaf tried to marry a daughter of students in Israel and got busted by INS for his existing fake marriage to E-ta. So his green card which he was about to receive went buy-buy. Now he is stuck in Israel and can’t get back to US due to his illegal and fradulent marriage activity. I guess being on one’s 9th life time doesn’t protect one from legal responsibility. INS is now zooming in on FOF. With the loss of Asaf, Beloved Teacher lost his “brain power” and can’t teach anymore. He can’t pull off teaching events and meetings – a guy can barely put a sentence of 2 meaningful words together without Asaf’s help… So… in his desperation he called back good old Ouspensky and Gourjieff – whom he so firmly dismissed in 2005. Unbelievable. Hopefully folks, you didn’t toss or burned those “outdated” work books! Pull them out, dust them and start studying. Get busy, just don’t ask any questions, Ok? Graduates, by the way – you may get a well-paid job in FOF – they need someone for those teaching events. It’s great time to apply, and you seem to like to teach 4th way. They’ll take you now, they are desperate! These events are main source of RB’s income, you know, so the show MUST go on!!! I suggest you apply, and spare us all from your luminous presence here please. ;) And this was sent to all of us in 2005: Dear Friends, Thursday morning at Breakfast, the Teacher asked Asaf to add to his recent message about turning from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. He says, “Gurdjieff and Ouspensky served their part, and that it could only be one’s king of clubs that would insist on continuing reading them now.” With Love, KB Council Dean Robert is asking us to pass from reading Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s knowledge to reading esoteric knowledge–especially esoteric knowledge used in Robert’s teaching events. Robert explains, “Whereas Gurdjieff and Ouspensky used to give us strength, they now slow us down.” And now our School can see farther because we have been given the Keys to the ancient Schools and Traditions. As a result, the Teacher asks that we turn our attention away from the knowledge presented by Peter Ouspensky and George Gurdjieff, and focus instead on the thirty Work ‘I’s and the Keys given to us by Influence C. This request includes the works of Collin, Nicoll, and others in the Fourth Way tradition, and conscious beings that did not have a school. A-ha-ha!!!

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 5, 2007:

It is illegal for anyone to get married solely for the purpose of getting, or helping someone to get, permanent residence in the United States. There are stiff fines and possible jail terms for people who are convicted of this crime.

The law pretty much speaks for itself on what happens to immigrants who commit marriage fraud. You can face prison, a fine or both:

“Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both” (I.N.A. § 275(c), 8 U.S.C. § 1325(c)).

The U.S. citizen or resident could also face criminal prosecution, including fines or imprisonment, depending on the facts of the case. They are most likely to be prosecuted for either criminal conspiracy (conspiring with the immigrant is enough; see U.S. v. Vickerage, 921 F.2d 143 (8th Cir. 1990)), or for establishing a “commercial enterprise” to get people green cards (see I.N.A. § 275(d), 8 U.S.C. § 1325(d)).

I hope that none of this wouldn’t happen to E-ta, who is a sweet kind person and most likely was pressured by FOF authorities to illegally marry Asaf.

 "Ames Gilbert wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 5, 2007:
Dear 2bits (#288, or thereabouts),

Re. Asaf’s recent doings… For what it’s worth, at a party last weekend I spoke with some folks who made their break quite recently, and I’m assuming that they have good contacts. I hope I’m reporting their words, or the gist, correctly; no guarantees!

They told me that Asaf indeed married A. P., the young daughter of present followers, here in the U.S., quite recently. They then traveled to Israel to meet with Asaf’s family. When trying to leave that country, the authorities looked he and A. up, and found he was already married to someone else. This apparently is a ‘marriage of convenience’ so he can obtain a “Green Card” (Alien Registration card, conferring most of the rights of citizenship on the recipient, for those not up with the details of U.S. immigration).

My understanding is that the Israeli and U.S. authorities share quite a few details about travelers. The upshot is that he seems to have blown his chances with the Green Card, since one of the conditions of obtaining a Green Card through marriage is obviously that the marriage be legitimate. So he and A. are apparently setting up shop in Italy, where he will run the “Journey Forth by Day” octave, whatever that is, and the peons can continue to support him (and her) in the style to which he has become accustomed.

I suppose his I.N.S. file now includes a false declaration of marriage, lying to the immigration judge, and bigamy. Both easily provable crimes, here or abroad. I’d also guess that A. herself and the parents of A. knew that he was committing bigamy, as did the FoF minister who married them, the guests at the reception if any, and a host of others, including good old Abraham Goldman himself. All accessories to actual crime, with the minister who married them and Abe actually criminals in their own right. Just a guess, of course. I’d also guess that other laws were broken. For example, the requirement for blood tests before the marriage, the registration of a false marriage in the county court, and so on. And I’d hazard that Italy doesn’t approve of bigamy, either.

The other person attracting trouble would presumably be the bride in the ‘marriage of convenience’. I’m sure the I.N.S. are not going to be moved by her tears, or the professions of anyone involved that it is the wish of C–Influence, or the ‘conscious beings who did the cave drawings’, or whatever.

Apparently Dorian has taken over the role of helping Burton formulate and articulate further deep thoughts in the meetings. And so the criminal saga continues…

Ames
"Joe Average" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 23, 2008:
Snorer 164 [blogger and post number], re Dorian and Asaf:

You left just as they joined. Dorian joined in Bucharest in 97 at the age of eighteen. Asaf joined in Israel at about the same time and age. Both made their way to tuttiputtiville, CA quickly – within 1, 1.5 years and, as handsome young men, produced a predictable salivary response in His Nibs and soon were part of the harem. Asaf, apart from being charming, possessed of a clear, loud voice and impeccably neat, turned out to have a phenomenal memory for texts, quotes especially. His passion for reading the Torah while traveling on the Viagra Express got RB interested in interpreting the Old Testament. The shift away from a pseudo-fourth way group to the roller coaster of “esoteric traditions” moving from the ancient Hebrews through Egypt etc. culminating in the sublime objective art of bison defecating in semaphore just for us 40,000 years ago had its roots there. At about the same time, RB came out of retirement as an active teacher and discovered he could make some nice untraceable tax free petty cash by making people pay for his company at dinners, receptions, meetings etc., but quickly discovered he just did not have the chops for it anymore. After saying little more than “the gods wish us to be together” and “ask the waiter if this is real maple syrup” between 1980 and 2000, he needed help and developed an almost telepathic connection with Asaf. At events, RB would blather on a bit in generalities, then turn to Asaf to cue him for any quotes, analysis of “shocks” etc., initially with questions like “What did I say about such and such dear?”, but later, a single look sufficed to have Mr. Peabody Braverman declaim the proper quote or toothy wisdom in a very clear and audible voice. The form of having no questions, but merely a parade of quotations and/or images followed with RB’s interpretations, often supplied by Asaf, became standard. No more pesky questions from uppity Russians. During the same period, Dorian worked his way up the hierarchy to become, together with Mihai, also from Bucharest, one of the most powerful poobahs of Potterville. The fellowship council and other senior statesmen of the inner circus who were used to having a little influence with RB found that they needed to go through Dorian and Mihai for nearly everything concerning the day to day management of Apollo/Isis and the operations of the FOF in general. By 2006, the meeting form of paying to stand (or sit if you were rich and/or influential) in a catatonic state while selective, mistranslated, out of context or even entirely fabricated quotes were read and duly spun into total gibberish had become so routine and accepted that RB started letting first Asaf, and then Dorian and Mihai lead fund-raising meetings and dinners while he traveled. One can only guess why Mihai was not admitted into that celestial group of conscious beans-to-be along with Donald McD-nald, Miles B, Girard, James Tynd-le, Asaf and Dorian. Perhaps as revenge for starting the popular mediation meetings that RB quashed.

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