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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Call of the Loon

[ed. - The following are apparently notes from a meeting at Apollo led by Robert Burton and Asaf Braverman. While images are projected, Burton acknowledges the death of one of his earliest followers ("completed her task"). He then speaks about the "incredible" presence-inducing technique, The Sequence. Members (names in brackets) read "angles of thought" upon which Burton (or Braverman) comment. This is reportedly the current meeting format.]

"somebody" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 30, 2008:
Apollo, October 22, 2008

To begin with we would like to show a picture of Clare Bowen, who just completed her task at the age of eighty-one. Clare was in the school for thirty-six years, and she was the sixth oldest student. She was a constant love for thirty-six years. She received what she came for. You can measure time by such a shock. I remember meeting Clare for the first time at the old MacDonald farmhouse in Vacaville.

“What allowed us to understand the system in its esoteric form was not trying to change it.” Once we have the message, we do not try to superimpose our subjective understanding on it. We try to stay as close as we can to the system and not be innovative. Mohammed said, “Blessed is he whom innovation does not seduce.” We want to stay with the sequence and not introduce any innovation.

“Normally one would expect evolution to start from the bottom up that is, that one hears about the sequence and the lower self, and begins to produce presence. In our school, we began from the top down. We knew presence was the answer, and now we use work ‘I’s to strengthen this state.” This was Asaf’s observation. We now have much more precision. The sequence gives us a precision way to induce presence.
“We must not measure health by the condition of the physical body; there can be no health without presence.” John Graham reveals the truth of this. His physical body has no health at all, but his astral body has never been better. His level of work has never been this high. He eats impressions now. His hands are incredibly long and slender, like those shown in Egyptian images. One would think they were exaggerated, until you see John’s fingers.

“Do not waste suffering: it is a doorway to another room, a strange and beautiful flower as yet unopened.” [Robert Taylor, Apollo] An exotic flower. A tibetan tangka depicts a young woman, showing four fingers, and looking out from behind double doors. The mighty double doors represent short Be and long BE, and this is what we want to find there essence in the state of presence. The nine of hearts is controlling the passions, represented by the dots on her robe. She is showing her left side the essence side. This is “as you like it”  the state we are in.

“One of the main tricks of the lower self is that it can appear to be present. One way to detect this is that it has no warmth associated with it.” I said a couple of weeks ago that we must wait and see the extent of the chaos in the stock market. There is a possibility that it will end up in hydrogen warfare. In fact, I think several financial analysts have said that it may spin out of control. On Wednesday we were having dinner before the ballet in Oakland, and we saw this man wearing a t-shirt saying “Nagasaki” the city where the atomic bomb was dropped. He was in the corner of the room - he was “cornered”.

“Whatever I envisioned as a young teacher was far surpassed when we received the sequence.” It is quite interesting. When we began working with the sequence, I said I did not know that it would go this far. It has surpass [sic] anything I ever envisioned. Here are Asaf and I in Florence. We are the young man and the old man. It is a nice picture of Asaf. I was at my previous weight. I am showing four fingers. [ed. - In addition to "presence," weight has been one of Burton's life-long preoccupations.]

“I have no regrets about anything that we had to release in order to get to where we are.” Even our dear friends whom Influence C have released. When people leave Influence C, I lose interest in them. There is no time for it. I just do not think about them. Without that sacrifice we would not have this state so firmly established. Here I am signing one of the books on Ming furniture. Our collection of Ming furniture is one of the things I would definitely retrieve if I were allowed to. [ed. - The collection was reportedly sold to pay debts arising from lawsuits against Burton.]

“The lower self thinks one is not worthy, whereas it is presence that is worthy of our efforts.” [Robert MacIsaac, Apollo] We have been worthy to receive Influence C’s efforts to produce presence.
“What one says in encouragement to a friend today, one may need to hear oneself tomorrow.” [Sarah Evarts, Apollo] Is it not a wonderful angle? If one gives a photograph, it is quite a challenge to back it up and be the words oneself.

“It is often the wordless presence, not the words of others, which inspire us.” [Jo Anna Mortensen, Apollo] It is often not your words, but your being that inspires them. Whitman said, “We convince by our presence.”
“One has transformed suffering if, like a successful sequence, it leads to presence.” [Benjamin Yudin, New, York] A painting by an unknown Flemish artist depicts Christ carrying the cross. The artist has outrageously given Christ six toes to show that the steward has completed his sequence. He is looking directly at the third eye, supporting the four wordless breaths. He is paying attention to presence.

“The sequence has the power to overcome the second state, the ‘black hole’ of the lower self.” [Dionisio Borges, Valencia] Is it not a lovely angle? The sequence has the power to overcome the lower self – the second state. In fact, the purpose of the lower self is to produce its opposed. It is mean-spirited and self-serving, while the state we are in produced a gentle and serene flow of conscious light.

“Higher centers see the hand of Influence C in all things and focus on possibilities, using positive emotions.” [Rowena Taylor, Apollo] The sequence is manna from heaven, given to us from above. It is not my idea; no one could come up with such a good idea. It comes from heaven.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crisis? What crisis?

[ed. - It seems the catastrophic meltdown of international financial markets didn't appear on Robert Burton's radar until the crisis was already peaking. For decades, Influence C have warned Burton of impending doom from various disasters (all of which failed to materialize, of course.) You might expect they would have mentioned this very real disaster, so that mankind's savior might better prepare his Ark. They also failed to warn him of the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, based upon 38 years of Fellowship experience, Influence C have proven themselves reliably unreliable.]

"somebody" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 21, 2008:
Apollo, October 15, 2008

THE CALL OF THE LOON [presumably, these are Robert Burton's words that follow]

Good evening, dears. I guess you all know that the stock market is crashing internationally. We are definitely closer to something than we were at last Friday’s meeting. We will see how far Influence C take it, but it has enormous possible complications. The school is making preparations. I guess that we have been preparing for this event for forty years. When our statue of David arrived, our two century plants (cacti) flowered, something which occurs once every thirty-five years. The Mexicans say, “They shoot their heart out to God.” The two emphatic shafts are like short Be and long BE [a reference to The Sequence]. When we installed the statue of David, I wondered if we were about to face a Goliath. What is occurring now may be the beginning of that. Wayne Mott was in the supermarket two days ago and noted that everyone was going about his daily business, as if nothing was happening. A few years ago, in the Swissair flight near Boston, the pilot reported that all the passengers were quite calm; two minutes later they were all dead. People are calm now, but it may begin to disintegrate very quickly. We will take each day as it comes, and each day the school and the homes will make preparations. Sarah McGovern is coordinating some of the farming, and Samantha will be calling students to suggest that they buy extra stores of food. We just purchased quite a few seedlings for winter vegetables, and a community seed bank will be available. If they disappear, we will order more. Two months ago I was having dinner with Candice Goldman, and she said very firmly, “Whatever comes we’ll be ready for it.” Things have changed a lot since last Friday. The market fell 1,874 points this week. In 1929 when the market crashed, it took two years for it to bottom out. Then it lost ninety percent of its value.

"Josiane" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
274. somebody [above]

“Two months ago I was having dinner with Candice Goldman, and she said very firmly, “Whatever comes we’ll be ready for it.”

In 1998, for the preparation of the fall of California, I was a neighborhood coordinator (students’ houses had been divided into neighborhoods–not a bad idea in itself for emergency purposes). We worked very hard to prepare for a major catastrophy [sic]. On one occasion I got to talk to RB and told him almost exactly what Candice told him: “We will be ready.” His reply: “No one is ever ready for anything like that.”

It may seem profound on his part to reply that way, and yet, at the same time, every time I had an opportunity to talk to RB, the end result was that I was left with the feeling that I had somehow failed; that I was unworthy of his attention.

I recall a very intense time when P*t*r B… [Peter Bishop], dear to my heart, was diagnosed with terminal illness. I participated in a $1,000 per person dinner with RB (with P*t*r present) to raise funds for the [Petrarch] press P*t*r had his heart set on before he died. The memories I have of that dinner are many but two will suffice: I asked RB whether the soul remembers its past lives. He replied that his soul didn’t; after that I was ignored for the rest of the dinner. Later, he made a comment (don’t remember what it was) and less than ten minutes later, a student at the table (now an ex-FOFer) repeated Robert’s comment almost word for word. Robert was extatic [sic] and complimented him on his achievements.

That night I started questioning.

"Draco" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
Why would Josiane have asked that question about the soul? Well, Robert has taught for a long time that the soul goes through nine lifetimes. Josiane considered the implications of this and asked him a question about it and he cut her off. It happens all the time. Robert comes out with some wacky, ill-thought-out variations on the theme of life after death and when his students actually try to bring some understanding to bear on the subject, he tells them to go away and be present instead. So FOF students become dependent on Robert. Robert reveals truths from on high. If students show that they agree with what Robert says without adding anything, then he is all smiles. If they disagree or ask an awkward question, he cuts them off.

Well, this is what used to happen, anyway. Robert got tired of the risk that his ego wouldn’t be stroked quite enough at dinners and meetings, and now there isn’t any possibility of asking Robert any questions at all. No one dares to ask Robert anything remotely difficult because of the high chance that they might be banned from events or the property or put on a “leave of absence”.

How is the Celestial City of Paradise doing in Robert’s teaching these days? And Limbo, which resembles the Chateau de la Fit wine cellars? In Paradise, Robert once told us, there is a library which has all the lost works of Sophocles. Is it still there? Is it filled now with the lost grunts of the cavemen doing their sequences? I can never forget the Sunday morning meeting that he gave on the Celestial City of Paradise. He ended by reciting, in a voice beginning to choke with emotion, the lyrics to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

"elena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
Draco, Josiane [above],

It is also Robert’s well known technique to undermine whoever is working for him so that they remain vulnerable and never acquire enough confidence. He is a master at it. Thousands of students lovingly labor for him but when they ask for that reassurance that they’ve been working for he drops them confronting them with their own common sense assuring that they see his superiority. It works perfect. He has placed them where they are, used their inspiration to work for him as representing the ideal and then leaves them stray without self confidence, destroying the ideal while he remains, which reinforces the emotional dependence. It happened to all of us in different degrees whether we worked personally close to him or with the Fellowship.

Daily Cardiac [Fellowship blogger] reflects the stereotype of someone who Robert’s been extremely successful in “doing in”. Like Girard [Haven], no matter how Robert hurts them they think it is for their benefit and turn it around because they have already accepted that they are inferior to Robert.

The hierarchic structure of idolatry is perfected in such people. Why would it surprise anyone that they are then willing to line young men up for rape or thousands of people for shearing the wool?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

William and the four conscious beings

Raijin, Pavel's avatar
[ed. - These four mysterious comments appeared in sequence on The Fellowship of Friends SketchBook, a separate blog established by Pavel, "the Esoteric Sheik," "For those who while participating in the FoF discussion felt the need to move elsewhere and concentrate on other projects." It appears "william" may have been a bit lost.]

"william" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends SketchBook, October 19, 2008:
There were four people I knew who had become conscious. They were all very close to the same age, early to mid twenties. All this occured [sic] in the middle to late 70’s. Those four people were the inner circle of the school. The only ones who knew they were in the circle were themselves and the teacher. All the other fellow students assumed that the inner circle was comprised of people who sat at the front of the meetings with Robert. Not so. Ironically, the LAST person to wake up in the four was the only one who ever sat at the front with Robert, on several occasions.

"william" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends SketchBook, October 19, 2008:

I’d like to mention something else, now that I have just read through every single missive on this site. Someone remarked that no one ever left the fellowship for good reasons, just bad. That’s not correct. I left for good reasons. I left in 79, after having been in the school for 5 years. This wasn’t a snap decision, it was something I realized was being communicated to me. It was time for me to work on my own. I wasn’t really crazy about leaving my real friends. And I only heard about the alleged change in Robert many years later. And it made absolutely ZERO sense to me. The only way I can reconcile it is to realize that Robert was intentionally disbanding the school because his work was complete. What he put up in it’s place was so transparently a cliche of the eventual demise of all cults that I assumed it was significant. Some kind of fraud was being played out, to make him look like a predator, the purpose of which I probably will never know. But everything I’ve been reading about him for the last 10 years is simply NOT the person I knew. I witnessed magic almost EVERY DAY for five long years. And I intuitively knew that because it started out hidden, it had to remain hidden.

I knew many of the people mentioned. I haven’t thought of Richard, the hairdresser for years. A rather aloof saturn, in his way. I didn’t know at the time he was gay, but there was an odd thing he said once, in a casual moment, that made me realize that there was something psychologically off with him.

Robert was a joy to be around in those days. To hear that he is virtually inaccessible…well, for anyone else, I would think that his alleged behavior indicated an advanced stage of syphilus [sic] that was slowly destroying his brain. But personally, I think it’s all some act. At the same time, I can’t imagine why any of these people dissing him would lie. There’s no profit in it whatsoever.

I remember Girard from back then too. He was ALWAYS a self deluded individual. We would often laugh at him, secretly, behind our hands. Nevertheless, he was a nice enough fellow in his own way. Just a clueless true believer, in the Eric Hoffer sense. And one of the four people in the real inner circle was in fact a woman.

"william" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends SketchBook October 19, 2008:
I just remembered something else. Suppose these alleged sexual tryst’s did take place. If I had been asked, I would have simply declined. We once had an exercise to break a glass in a restaurant to work on inner considering. That was each student’s task. [ed. - Only selected individuals were given the "exercise."] But I simply refused to do that. So WHAT that the teacher asked us to do it? It wasn’t HIS property. What, I’m supposed to willfully just destroy someone’s personal possessions because someone tells me to? I don’t care if he was the teacher. That had nothing to do with the teaching. My work on inner considering was about ME going against the masses of the fellowship and doing what I already KNEW was right.

Robert once asked me to call out to someone who was leaving the house. I suppose he didn’t want to shout himself. But I couldn’t DO IT! Shouting was no longer something I did. Instead, I ran after the person and caught up with him and told him the teacher wanted to speak to him. Nothing “bad” ever happened to me. Why should it?

Any bad experiences I had in the school always came from student robots, people trying to whip me into line. Which I simply refused to do because I was there for me, not them. Most of these robots had dead eyes. Especially that Linda [Linda Kaplan] character. Good Lord. When that place in San Francisco burned to the ground [Kaplan's fire - January 4, 1979], I took it as an omen for her, since her last name was the same as the store. She was such a fraud. And she had the eyes of a swine.

"william" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends SketchBook October 19, 2008:
For reasons that surpass understanding, my earlier comment on the real inner circle of the school, which existed in the mid to late 70’s only, has been removed. I’m not sure why. But I’ll reiterate. There were four such people, one of whom was a woman. Of the four, only one of them ever sat at the front during large meetings. The other three NEVER did. And NONE of the regulars who sat at the front were ever part of the inner circle. The inner circle is something one gets into because of SOMETHING THEY KNOW that no one else knows. And once you know this something, it’s absolutely transparent to you who else also knows it. Nothing needs to be said at all. One look and it’s quite apparent.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Former 'Friends' petition for probe

[ed. - The Petition Online website hosting the petition was shut down September 30, 2014. See "Full Text of the Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition."]
By Ryan McCarthy
Elena Haven / Oregon House resident
signs petition letter

Former members of the Fellowship of Friends want state officials to investigate the Yuba County-based religious group, contending the nonprofit organization uses donations to fund "the extravagant lifestyle" of its leader Robert Burton and that unpaid labor of foreign nationals developed its Yuba County property.

Workers with religious visas have made possible the vineyard and commercial winery at the Fellowship's 1,171-acre headquarters in the Sierra foothills community of Oregon House, the petition states.

"This fact has been intentionally hidden from authorities," according to the petition. "Workers are required to donate back to the church the largest portion of their salary, leaving an average monthly wage of about $460."

The assertions are part of the petition reviewed by anti-cult attorney Ford Greene, who represented a former Yuba College student in a 1996 lawsuit against the Fellowship.

The suit in Yuba County Superior Court, which asserted that Burton had seduced the former college student, was settled before going to trial and its terms remain confidential.

The petition asserts that most lawsuits against the Fellowship are settled financially and "largely concealed from current followers."

Girard Haven, 63, senior minister with the Fellowship, has said Burton does not grant interviews. Haven could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday about the petition, which began circulating last week and asks that regulatory agencies and officials in California and elsewhere investigate the Fellowship.The Web site for the Fellowship lists centers in American cities including New York and Los Angeles and states the organization was founded in 1970 in the Fourth Way tradition, also known as "esoteric Christianity."

Greene said he consider the Fellowship to be a cult similar to Scientology, although not as well known or with as many members.

"Scientology's got Cruise and Travolta," Greene said of the two Hollywood stars. "The Fellowship has wine and olive oil."

The Sierra foothills property has land for olive oil production, as well as a winery.

Greene said the Fellowship is dominated by Burton.

"He's kind of like the Queen Bee," Greene said. "And others are drones."

The petition includes nine letters said to be from former Fellowship members. Among the letter writers, only Oregon House resident Elena Haven, 49, is identified by name.

Haven in her account states that Burton initiates sexual contact exclusively with young male church members, often 30 to 40 years younger than the 69-year-old Burton.

Haven left the Fellowship in 2007 after 17 years. She could not be reached for comment about the petition and her letter.

Arthur Brooks, 67, who is among former members signing the petition, said that in 2007 he discovered a Web site of former members of the Fellowship and was shocked to read about the lawsuit filed in 1996 against Burton.

Brooks, who now lives in Texas, said he has been out of the Fellowship for more than a quarter of a century."What I want to do is prevent somebody like me going into it," he said about signing the petition.

[ed. - I suspect there are many of Burton's victims who would not appreciate their experiences minimized as "dirty laundry."]

"Peter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 8, 2007:
I heard from an ex-student that a cult-buster lawyer has been reading this blog and contacting ex-students in the hope of starting a class action suit of some kind against the FOF. Thankfully, no one has yet expressed interest in taking part, at least that’s what she had heard.

Although I am personally not enthusiastic about the current FOF direction, I hope that court action can be avoided. It’s one thing airing the FOF’s dirty laundry on a blog read mainly by students and ex-students, quite another to have it dragged through the courts with full media coverage, causing pain and grief for all concerned.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to display some compassion and understanding for each other, on whichever side of the pro- or ante- FOF debate we sit. After all, we do have in common that we’re all on a spiritual path of some kind. We can probably agree that law courts don’t have much in common with awakening!

Full text of Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition

[ed. - Text of the Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition. The Petition Online website was shut down on September 30, 2014. The links included take one to Internet Archive captures of the petition and signatories.]

All appropriate regulating agencies and elected officials of the State of California and the United States of America, world news media, and all world citizens concerned with abuses of religious power.


"We are past members of the Fellowship of Friends, an organization operating as a “church” in the rural Sierra Nevada foothills of California. It is dominated and controlled by a man named Robert Earl Burton. Our petition asks for an official investigation into the practices and character of his organization. The charges are documented by personal accounts declared pursuant to California law and under penalty of perjury.

We estimate there are about 15,000 former members worldwide, with current membership estimated at 1,600. The long-term influence of this organization can result in the exploitation of its members, the consequences of which are often poor physical and/or mental health, financial ruin and moral devastation. These damaging results are documented.

Robert Burton calls himself a spiritual teacher and compares himself to Jesus, Buddha and Moses. He uses charisma, persuasion, psychological manipulation and coercion to drive large “donations” of labor, money and assets to support the “church”. It is documented that these donations are used largely to fund his extravagant lifestyle, outlandish projects and for sexual predation of his “students”.

Most all “donations” are mandatory and Mr. Burton enjoys the protection of the organization’s tax-exempt status under the laws of California.

Over the last 37 years, the property belonging to the Fellowship of Friends, including the vineyard and commercial winery producing Renaissance wines, has in large part been developed and maintained by the unpaid labor of foreign nationals in this country working on the basis of religious visas. This fact has been intentionally hidden from authorities. Workers are required to donate back to the church the largest portion of their salary, leaving an average monthly living wage of about $460.00. These facts are documented.

Fellowship centers around the world also fund the church through mandatory donations. It is documented that these monies have been routinely smuggled into this country under the direction of Robert Burton and his minions.

Mr. Burton has abused his role as a spiritual teacher to prey upon young men for sex. His methods are documented. There have been several lawsuits on record against Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. A 1996 lawsuit alleging the rape of a minor child by the group’s leader was settled out of court for an undisclosed but significant amount of money in order to avoid future scrutiny and litigation. (See Yuba County Superior Court Case No. 060209, 04/29/96). Most of the lawsuits on record have been settled financially, out of court.

These offenses have been largely concealed from current followers and the methods of concealment are documented.

There is a website being developed by former members to provide an organized overview of the organization: [archived website]. For on-going discussion among mostly former members, see

We ask all who share concern for these conditions to sign this petition and ask for an official investigation into these affairs."

The following are selected letters from previous members of the Fellowship of Friends, which are pertinent to some of the points covered in the petition and which are used with the full permission of the authors whose names have been withheld in order to avoid harassment for those still living near the organization.

RE: "Allegedly Mr. Burton is a sexual predator who has abused his role as a spiritual teacher to prey upon young men for sex."

"I joined the Fellowship of Friends in San Francisco, in 1974 at the age of 24. In 1975 I was asked to give up my photography business and move to Mt. Carmel Monastery (Renaissance, "the Ranch", etc.) as Robert was collecting "talented young artists" for our community. I was in a relationship with another female member, and we joined together. I was eventually living in a tent on the property. Over the first year at the ranch Robert would spend more and more time around me. I can only see it now as being groomed for receptivity. I was often given little insignificant "artistic" tasks to keep me busy and pliant.

Eventually Robert started having me travel with him. It was during one of these trips (I think it was to Palm Springs. Temecula etc) that I was asked to stay in his hotel room with him and Pe*er Bis*op. I was told to sleep on the floor next to his bed.

Robert's general inaccessibility to members made being around him appear as a great gift of "higher forces". We were told, usually by members of his entourage that it was an extreme privilege. In the morning upon awakening I noticed that he was in bed with Pe*er (there were two beds). He asked Pe*er to go and do something. Robert then asked me to come into bed with him. At the time he just hugged me. This alone put me into a profound state of confusion. I was in a relationship with a woman and had no desire for what was happening. At one point he reached down and moved my penis as if he was shifting it's position as if it was uncomfortable for him. I tried to shrug it off. He did this several more times. At this point I got out of bed and resumed the day.

I don't remember the time space of all the occurrences, but at some point it was "suggested" that I spend some time staying at the Blake Cottage (RB's home when he was there). Of course, we were guided by RB and the entourage to believe that proximity was everything in this school. Those who were offered proximity were the "inner circle".
One of the fundamental principles that was stressed in the FOF was that to awaken, one must relinquish one's will to that of the teacher, as he represented higher forces, or C Influence, and that he knew far more then ourselves what was needed for us to awaken.

During this time in the Blake Cottage, while I was being "courted" there were quite a few other young men staying there. While walking around in a daze because of the "proximity, and the shock of slowly becoming aware of what was coming, I was oblivious that the same thing was happening to several others who were staying there. The residents of the Blake Cottage, as it appears to me now, comprised two groups...those being groomed for sex, and those who did RB's bidding, including helping facilitate the manipulation of the young men slated for this disaster.

During this time I was given several "special tasks" such as hand washing RB's cashmere socks, "blocking" them, and sliding them under his bed to dry on a towel. Another "resident" who was more trusted washed his under shorts.

Around this time the residents would sleep on the floor in the living room. One morning while we were sleeping RB came out of his room and tapped me with his foot and made a "come here" gesture with his finger. He led me into his bedroom and closed the door. He indicate to me that he wanted me to be in bed with him. I figured he wanted to hug again so I acquiesced.

At this point he started to fondle my penis. I remember feeling red in the face and confused. He then proceeded to perform oral sex on me. He told me to tap his head three times when I was going to ejaculate so he would know. This type of scenario occurred several times over the next few weeks. It included oral sex (giving and receiving) and some anal sex. I remember basically being numb for a few weeks. I wandered around in a daze thinking "Why is this happening to me"? I was so shocked that I was completely unaware that this was happening to several of the residents at the same time. I have to conclude that they were also in a state of shock. No one discussed it, especially with each other. I was far too ashamed to even discuss it with my girlfriend. At this time in the FOF RB was supposed to be celibate, and homosexual contact was forbidden.

I remember "trying" to tell my girlfriend without saying it. She didn't understand what I was trying to convey, and I was too afraid to elaborate. I was convinced that I had information that could bring down the FOF.
I remember feigning sleep in the mornings, thinking "no, not me, please" when he would come out in the mornings. It was at this time that I realized that he was choosing boys from a "harem" on most mornings. I felt guilty and miserable about hoping it would be someone else today.

After a few of the events I told him I was in great turmoil and that I didn't want to do this anymore. He used several arguments to dissuade me, among them: "Higher Forces wished you to do this". "The turmoil I was feeling was necessary for me to awaken, and it was a great gift from the angels, of which he was one", "It's the least you can do for your teacher", "You are not the only one. I am voracious. I have many students that I share this with" etc. These are close to accurate statements that he made. Some of the other lines that were used for "grooming" was "When I die (meaning him- RB), I will be a higher man than Jesus was when he was crucified". "Higher forces wishes you to allow me to drink from your cup". (one of his favorite expressions).

I was disgusted with myself for allowing it to happen. I felt shame that I couldn't describe or share with anyone. A few of the victims tried telling the hierarchy about what was occurring but they were either told it was not true, or they didn't want to hear it, or that we couldn't understand the ways of the angels. I continued to stay at the Blake Cottage for a bit more, but when RB was at the ranch I would stay up at "the lodge" so as to not be a sexual possibility for him. At one point Col*n Lam*ert came to me and said "If you're going to stay at the Blake Cottage you owe it to Robert to be there when he was". Col*n was one of RB's primary enablers and pimps, and to my knowledge, this was his way of not having to have sex with RB.

Eventually I moved up to the lodge on a full time basis and slept under the dinner tables along with the more normal, unexploited members.

At some point RB came to me and asked again for me to be with him, and I told him no. He said he knew what the problem was...that I didn't want to "receive" him. He thought I would have no objection if it was only him "receiving" me. I remember being incredulous that he arrogantly thought that was the problem...that I didn't want to "blow" him. I told him that had nothing to do with it. The problem was that it was going on at all. At this point I was grateful to not be around him at all.

This all occurred when no one really knew what was going on, and no one wanted to speak about it, so there were quite a few damaged people walking round including the women that were in relationships with "the boys" that RB selected.

Even just relating this brings back what I felt while it was occurring.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on March 8th, 2008 at xxxxx, xxxxx. "



To Whom It May Concern,

"This is the account of my experiences in the church known as the Fellowship of Friends.

I was member of the Fellowship of Friends from March 1990 until March 2007. From 1998-2002, I functioned in the role of “center director” for a satellite branch of the church located in Bogota, Colombia. From early 2002 until March 2007, I lived in Oregon House, California the location of both the church’s headquarters and church leader’s primary residence. In 2003, I married Mr. Girard Haven, the second in command of the church. During my marriage, I accompanied my husband on ministerial trips to at least ten different satellite centers of the church across the globe.

In course of my 17 year participation in the organization of the church and direct contact with the church’s leader, Mr. Robert Earl Burton, I became aware that Mr. Burton was suffering from a condition known as satyriasis, which manifested as an uncontrollable sexual predation of young men in the church. In conversation with former members and victims of the leader’s sexual behavior, it became clear to me that the leader was not expressing his sexuality in a healthy, open manner, with equanimity, but exploiting his position of authority, misusing his power and influence, and covertly sexually abusing these young men. Many have left the church. To my knowledge, not one man ever initiated sex with Mr. Burton. Mr. Burton always initiated the sexual contact, and exclusively with young male church members, often 30-40 years younger than he.

This behavior was sanctioned and supported by the leading figures of the church and longtime members through preaching and promoting the church’s doctrine of unquestionable support for the leader, who maintains divine status within the church.

I also witnessed what I believe to be emotional and physical abuse by church members, in the neglectful treatment of an 86 year old member, named Mrs. Dorothy F. Mrs. F suffered from Alzheimer’s and died in March, 2007. I volunteered to assist in her care in 2002 and then to my horror discovered that she had not been bathed for over a year, her fingernails had not been trimmed for equally as long, and she had a foul body odor. She also appeared underweight, and I witnessed that she had been fed mostly bread sandwiches for her meals.

When I became aware of Mrs. F’s deteriorating condition, I offered to care for her in my own home, and was dissuaded for three months from doing so by the church members responsible for her care.

When Mrs. FÕs legal guardian finally agreed to let her stay with me, she was brought to me weak, on the verge of death, appearing overmedicated, unable to stand or walk and having seizures. This neglectful treatment was sanctioned by the church members’ assertion that Mrs. F was an “empty shell” and would soon be dead. Under my care Mrs. F continued to live for another three years.

To the detriment of the community, I witnessed another elderly member being shunned from participating in teaching events involving Mr. Burton because she ate too much at a dinner. Also, I believe that Mr. Burton’s homosexual lifestyle was reflected in the church as misogyny particularly toward the wives of the heterosexual men that he seduced and in general to the rest of the women in the community. He attributes any protest from the wives, husbands or any member to “feminine dominance”, a key church concept he developed. It is a doctrine that imposes a dangerous and destructive behavior on members to self-censor and work against their own self-interest, dignity and moral integrity.

Around 1999 much influenced by The Fellowship's indoctrinating ideas that our "life families" were nothing but biological connections without real meaning in our lives, I left my younger daughter with her father. This has proved the greatest mistake I have ever made and has created terrible suffering for both my daughter and myself. Although other factors involved my leaving her with her father I would have never taken that option had the idea of biological families not been introduced to me by the Fellowship of Friends.

During my marriage to Mr. Girard Haven I witnessed the horrendous psychological effect that the Fellowship of Friends has had over Mr. Haven who has fallen into blind idolatry for Mr. Burton at the cost of his family and himself in exchange for a position of power in the Cult. He hit me various times over disagreements about the Fellowship and refused to pay for my medications on a traveling teaching trip although I had to work as hard as he did. I will never understand this from my husband or a person I worked with or an institution I was there to help.

I have witnessed people’s freedom of speech totally controlled within the Cult. For over three years I have seen Robert Burton allow only two or three members speak at events in a community of over six hundred people in Oregon House. I have seen how people stop to communicate after such long periods of such conditioning. Connected to this, I have seen how the exercises given by Mr. Burton are designed to control people’s intellectual activity in specific directions so that they lose the ability to question the real conditions of their lives. These are facts, not opinions. A close study of the techniques used in the Fellowship of Friends will reveal the systematic indoctrination of people’s emotional, intellectual and physical existence. Such a long study is not pertinent here but all that is being said here can be proven.

I have witnessed that people are valued in the Fellowship of Friends only in as much as they provide the Cult with money. Cheap labor, easy talents, people’s good will is succinctly exploited without the Cult giving anything but more economic demands in return and depriving people from real participation in what is really happening inside. Mr. Burton’s control is total and totally dangerous to the well being of the community.

I have witnessed the indoctrination given by the Fellowship of Friends referring to the rest of humanity as “the six billion dead people on the planet” or “sleeping masses”. When Mr. Burton predicted that California would collapse after an earthquake, thousands of dollars were taken out on loans by students thinking they would never have to pay for them. This is the kind of mentality that is promoted towards the rest of humanity in the Fellowship of Friends.

Sometime around 1998, when I posed a question to Mr. Burton during a church meeting and refused to yield the floor to him (who tried to stop me) until I had finished my question, I was required by Mr. Burton to maintain silence at meetings for a period of two years or I would be ex-communicated from the church. The humiliation that I felt from this censorship contributed to feelings of inferiority and subjugation. It had a lasting effect by compromising my social interactions with members and non-members from then on. I became very insecure, withdrawn, and depressed. I formally left the church and separated from my husband in late March 2007. I was physically exhausted, spiritually depleted, angry, depressed, and sad.

I have witnessed the silent suffering of hundreds of students who have forgotten themselves for over twenty years. People who no longer know who they are or if they ever were anything else. People walk disguised in silk clothes in the Fellowship of Friends, but have had to leave their soul at the entrance.

Now that I am in the process of healing the emotional, physical and spiritual damage brought about through my involvement in this Cult, I am openly supporting every investigation of the practices and character of this corrupt organization and its leader.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on March 8, 2008 at the city and county of San Francisco, California.”


Mrs. Clara Helena Haven


“The influence of this church is documented to have had damaging results on the lives of many members, allegedly leaving them in a state of poor physical and/or mental health, financial ruin and moral devastation.”

“Here are the facts concerning myself, XXXXX, and the Fellowship of Friends which gives an implementation of part of the petition described above:

I have been a member of the school for 23 years.

In 1986, after getting my degree as an architect, I went to live at “Renaissance” during 9 months. I met there one student who would later become my husband. At that time, he was living with the teacher Robert Burton and had a sexual relationship with him.

After 9 months there, I went back to my country, France, to finally work with my new profession. My future husband decided to leave the teacher]s residence and to come to Paris to live with me. The teacher, Robert Burton, through the director of the Paris center, asked me to get married with XXXXX or to leave the school.

R. Burton gave me two weeks to make a decision and said that if things did not change, my future husband will have to come back to the United States with him.

We finally got married and stayed two years in Paris. Then Robert Burton asked us to come back to settle definitively to “Renaissance”.

In 1990, we came back to live there, both on salary for the school, with only 300 dollars each by month to live. Robert Burton asked us to apply to get a green card so we could stay there close to him, so, we did through my diploma of Architecture. I took us around one year and some months to get it.

All these facts happened and all these decisions were taken, always with the background that we should contribute to the proper functioning of the school and that we should surrender to the will of our teacher, who saw better than us what we should do.

I did not know at that time that the teacher Robert Burton had never stopped to have sex with my husband, (even when I was just married, R. Burton was travelling to France every year). At that time, I was just trusting my husband and my teacher.

Then the teacher began to travel 2 or 3 days a week (1992) with my husband. As I was asking questions and not receiving alarming answers, I was still trusting my husband and my teacher. I understood later that the teacher asked my husband to hide these facts to me.

Until the day, when my husband told me abruptly after five years of marriage, that he wanted to get divorced, definitely and without any hope of change. The same day, he went back to live at the residence of the teacher. This happened without any explanation, and left me in a state of complete despair. I could not free myself from this relation until I knew the complete truth. I implored my husband to give the reasons of his departure, and he did after some months: he told me he never stopped having sexual relation with Robert Burton, during all our marriage, even though he never liked it. That were his own words.

During the following five years, I had nightmares because of that. It could have ruined my health and life; fortunately I was not alone. I could have left the school at that time, but I took this pressure coming from the teacher as my work. I was convinced that all these facts had created a specific relation between the teacher and myself. The teacher did everything to make me feel that way: little attentions, invitation to dinner, etc.

After 1992, I went back to France, divorced, and married again with another student who he is still my husband now after sixteen years. I and my present husband XXXXX can testimony that Robert Burton tried also to seduce him, tried to have sex with him using his position as a spiritual master. My husband always refused his propositions.

We decided to take distance, little by little, more and more from him until the moment we finally left the school of R. Burton in 2007.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on 20, 7, 2008 at xxxxx, xxxxx.”


"From approximately 1989 until approximately 1994, I was the treasurer of the “Fellowship of Friends Verein”, which is the legal form the Fellowship of Friends religion takes in Germany. In this capacity I performed bookkeeping for all funds collected as “donations” in the various groups of Fellowship of Friends members in different German cities. The tern “donations” is fraudulent, as they are in no way voluntary. Failure to promptly pay the required sums almost inevitably resulted in expulsion from the organization. During that period, on request of the chief financial officer at the Fellowship’s world headquarters in Oregon House, California and others there, I made numerous regular transfers from the bank account of the “Fellowship of Friends Verein” to the main Fellowship of Friends bank account in California. It was made clear to me that these must be designated on the transfer forms as “stipends” for German members of the Fellowship of Friends who were “studying” at the religion’s primary retreat in Oregon House, California. It was also made clear to me that the reason for this was that these German members of the organization were in the US on tourist visas and no clear “payment” to them from the US account for their work for the Fellowship while in the US could legally be made. These members were not “studying” in any usual sense of that word. Most of them were engaged in various kinds of manual labor such as gardening, landscaping, working in the vineyard or in the winery of Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, working in the orchards, serving and/or cleaning at meals, etc.

Although it was normally not possible for a non-US citizen in the US on a tourist visa to open a bank account in a US bank, the Fellowship had an arrangement with the Bank of America which allowed such foreigners working for the Fellowship in Oregon House while there on tourist visas, to obtain their salaries. I was not privy to the details of how this was done.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on March 19, 2008, at XXXX, XXXX."


To whom it may concern,

I am one of many Fellowship students who left the organization after becoming disillusioned by the way it handled Tr-y Buz-e-’s case in 1994. One day in October 1994, as I was leaving after having lunch at the Lincoln lodge, I ran into Mich-el G-odw-n, one of Robert Burton’s most trusted helpers, going through all the students’ mailboxes and removing the letters that Rich-rd Buz-e- had sent out to inform them of what had happened to him and his son. [EDIT NOTE: When he was a minor, Rich-rd Buz-e-’s son Tr-y was sexually molested by Robert Burton, resulting in a lawsuit settled out of court.]

I found this interference with the delivery of U.S. mail outrageous. So, for the first and only time during eight years at Renaissance/Apollo, I phoned the center director, Gira-d Hav-n, eager to hear what he had to say about it. I don’t remember the entire conversation, and I wish I had written it all down, but his attitude really struck me and had no small impact on my subsequent leaving. He completely justified the stealing of the letters, at one point comparing the school to a healthy body and Rich-rd and his accomplices to “bad viruses” who, if allowed to come in touch with it, would infect said body like a dangerous and potentially destructive disease. Of course, I knew Rich-rd and the other persons involved, and I was aware that they were just suffering people trying to get some answers. So, when I became a little upset while telling him how I felt about the situation, he threatened to cut short the conversation if I didn’t keep my “negativity” in check. I regained my composure as best as I could, but when I finally hung up I was very frustrated, since I hadn’t received one single humane and reasonable answer as to why the issue at hand was being handled in this manner.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on March 31, 2009 in XXXX, XXXX.



A boy (young man) gets a call from Dorian; Dorian says “Robert would like to get to know you better. Would you like to meet with the Teacher tomorrow after the meeting?”

The boy says ~ “Sure, thank you for the invitation.”

(Thinking that “get to know you better” somehow refers to knowledge and the partaking thereof, maybe some hug, hug, coffee table talk, casual stuff, you know… nothing graphic, nothing nude.)

So, Sunday meeting is over, boy is shown to the study where he is seated by Dorian, (similar to how a detective on duty might seat a man wondering where his kidnapped wife was to be found); the boy is wondering a little, ‘being present’…

Robert Burton walks through the library/study, passes the boy, saying nothing as he makes fleeting eye contact with him as he’s walking and darts (Bee line) straight into his bedroom and disappears from sight, so far as the library couch-view from the left is concerned.

The boy sits, stays right where he was seated by Dorian, waits for the “Get to know you better” to start…
Maybe some shared reading, a little walk in the garden, perhaps a good (one) glass of wine together discussing this or that casual student-teacher thingy, whatever that is or is to be…

Robert Burton appears in the bedroom doorway and says ~ “Dear… (blah, blah, something about a recollection he had of the boy, yet, the boy, has not a chance to say anything to this, when, right after the blah, blah, ‘The TEACHER’ says to the boy ~

“Come in here dear”.

So the boy shyly walks into the bedroom and the TEACHER immediately closes the door, locks the door with a key, puts the key in his left pocket and (as cold and routine as a pair of surgical “scrotum scissors’) says to the shy, a bit confused boy ~

“Dear, take off all your clothes and hang them there on the back of the door, on those hangers.”

The boy is dumbfounded, so quick, so little words, yet plenty of presence, right? (No, not right, though presence, yes.)

Robert Burton quickly proceeds to his bathroom and begins to wash his hands.

The boy is standing stunned, cold, nervous, mind is racing about 117 mph, heart somewhere near the tonsils he never had taken out as a child, then something snaps, all the being of a fairy tale demi-god raises up inside him and he looks at THE TEACHER, looks with a sort of knowing clarity that precludes the marriage of the Sperm and Egg… sees where the winterly clamminess atmosphere is getting its fuel…

He goes to the teacher, takes him by the hand and looks him straight into the eyes and says ~

“I cannot do this Robert; I do not want to hurt your feeling, but, I did not know it would be THIS, like this, involving getting naked with you, etc., etc.”

Robert starts to say things like ~

“You don’t have to do me.”

“You don’t have to do anything for me.”

“I just want to lay with you.”

The boy says to Robert ~ “Robert, this is much more than just getting to know me…”

The boy is interrupted, Robert says “You know my lifestyle, etc, etc”.

The boy begins to walk to the locked door, Robert moves in front of the door and says ~

“What is it?”

The boy says ~ “Robert, But I am in a relationship…”

He gets interrupted again, Robert says ~ “What? Is it a woman? (with a very negative, spiteful stress on the word ‘woman’)

The boy admits (and is made to feel like it’s a religious confession in a Catholic confession box) “Yes, it is a woman.”

Robert swirls his eyes and starts pontificating and saying such things like ~

“There’s six billion sleeping heterosexuals on the planet, these are mechanical relationships, they are not conscious, not conscious love, these are asleep, I am a conscious being, I am your teacher.”

The boy is still with his state of being so sure of the connection between consciousness and conscience he senses that he is truly slicing time with a butter knife, so easy, so smooth, as Robert Burton’s impression simply begins to peel off, like a billboard sign during an oncoming hurricane…

The boy says ~ “Robert, I am not going to play the justification game with you, but what about my feelings, the feeling of ‘her’ ?”

He is interrupted again (the door is still locked and THE TEACHER is less than thirteen inches away the whole time) ~

Robert Burton says ~ “You said ‘But’, (But) is inner considering… Feelings? Hafiz said ‘Get out of the way Hafiz, you’re standing in my way’.”

This the boy takes as meaning that ‘feelings’ are mechanical, worthless, an obstacle to awakening; yet, everything is crystal clear that Robert is speaking to himself, a reflection in the mirror, not the one, the boy now standing behind the reflection;

the boy starts to feel a bit odd, in that he’s being seen as a mirror, a thing, and not his standing behind the mirror-ness. After all, this guy is supposed to be an angel in a man’s body and he can’t see another swan(?)

The boy repeats, “Robert, I cannot do this…”

He is interrupted again, yet this time THE TEACHER is a bit more desperate, irritable, slightly panicky in his tone of voice, Robert Burton says ~

“You do not know what you are saying, you are missing an opportunity to have a relationship with a conscious being, this may be your one and only chance to have this opportunity.”

The boy feels for a duration of time in the moment, smallness, threat, a sort of ‘your going to be out if you don’t’ implication, a sort of ‘I don’t want Dorian to see my failure in this, I don’t want to fail at having had you’ sort of moody static in his tone of voice, his body language, etc.

The boy says ~ “Robert, would things be different if we get together?” (The boy says this because he’s wondering what all this is really about, where’s it leading, if his answer will reflect some consequence in his saying ‘No’?)

Robert says ~ “More meetings, going places with me, more times like this, etc., etc.”
The boy replies, “Robert, No, I cannot.”

Robert gives the ‘pretty pissed off behind the scenes’ look and says ~

“That’s alright dear, I’ll transform it… maybe we’ll get together in some more spontaneous way later. Don’t worry, I’ll transform it. You may go now.”

Robert unlocks the door and says ~ “Alright dear, you can go.”

The boy walks through the library and goes to sit down in the Galleria main room. The door to the library is closed, 1 minute passes and the door to the library opens, it’s Robert, he asks the boy to go downstairs and get Dorian (the responsible party?)

So the boy does ‘fetch Dorian’…

As the downstairs bedroom door opens Dorian looks a bit stunned to see the boy he had not so long ago lead into the library (back before the usual time?)

Dorian does not follow the boy upstairs right away, but closes the door and begins talking to Mehia (spelling?)

the boy goes back upstairs and sits back where he was prior to the ‘go fetch order’

Dorian appears, then disappears into the library alongside/with the TEACHER and the door closes… end of story (in more ways than one).

The ‘role’ the boy had for nearly two years abruptly ended in a very ‘subtle’ way; certain people simply stopped calling him for ‘regular third line duty’ and he was ostracized, not exiled by just the TEACHER, ostracized with the fullest meaning and depth of the word from the Fellowship of Friends, nothing would ever be the same, for on this day BELIEF was annihilated by love and LOVE replaced ‘mind-games’.

This is a record of my experience, signed 06-01-2008.



The following items give a rough overview of the money required of members of the Fellowship of Friends.

Money in the Fellowship:

- - - Teaching payments: 10% of gross salary, or minimum amount, which depends on the country and situation. In the U.S. about $125.

- - - Monthly donations according to situation, i.e. reductions fro unemployed, students, mothers at home with children, etc. The standard donation would be about $250 in the U.S.

- - - Seasonal donations, spring, fall, and Christmas. Spring and fall donations are $750 each in the U.S., less in depressed economies.

The above payments are obligatory; any member not able to make these three payments will be removed from membership. In addition to the required payments there are constant pressures to participate in the following money-making activities and events:

- - - Auctions are held several times a year at holidays when the maximum number of students are visiting the property in Oregon House. Before each auction, members are pressured to donate items of value such as jewelry, art objects, silver and porcelain, etc. to be auctioned. In addition various services, such as lectures on subjects of general interest, home and garden care, musical performances, etc. are donated. The large-ticket items are events in which the Teacher, Burton, comes to individual homes for teaching events such as lunches, dinners, teas. These are sold for thousands of dollars, as much as eight to ten thousand for large events. Auctions usually bring in $100,000 or more.

- - - Meetings with the teacher (or, again, a designated subordinate) go on non-stop, sometimes two or three each day, more on weekends when there are visitors. Considerable invention and creativity goes into these events, which are held on mountain tops, in various gardens (of which there are many on the property), or on islands in the lakes Ð with guests ferried to the tables in boats. Prices for these dining events vary according to many factors such as the number of participants (as many as 70 at a table for large seatings), the nature of the occasion (New Year’s Eve dinner is $1000 per plate) and so forth. The least expensive dining event would be a weekday breakfast for about $125.

- - - Frequent solicitations are made for special gifts for the teacher. Sometimes the money (suggested amounts) is simply to be placed in a “lovely card” and sent to him as a gift for birthdays or holidays. Other times an expensive item, for example of jewelry or art objects, will have been selected and the members asked to pay for it. Also the purpose of the money to be sent may be for various building projects (most of these are never in fact completed).

- - - Performances of ballet and classical music are presented frequently. The ticket prices are comparable to professional performances in major cultural centers of the world. The quality of the performances is not.

- - - Very elaborate and expensive events are arranged about three times a year, with lavish preparations. In the spring and fall of recent years these have included trips to various locations in Europe and Middle East and include Nile Cruises, 5 star hotels, luxurious restaurants, and so forth. The package prices of these tours are in considerable excess of what an individual independent traveler would pay. In the summers the big blow out has been held at Isis where students have been asked to donate space to visitors arriving from other countries or elsewhere in the U.S. The visitors are then charged for their accommodations.

- - - In all of the above instances, probably the greatest dollar value donation is in the form of labor. For each breakfast, lunch, tea, reception, or dinner, a small army of workers volunteers to cook, wash dishes, scrub pots, set up and serve and then clear tables. In recent years it has been necessary to “pay” these volunteers with vouchers that can then be used to attend specially designated events. In addition, the landscaping and building projects, the basic food services and maintenance work are done by workers earning about $400 per month for working very long hours each week.

This is, I am sure, only a partial list. The methods of extracting money from the membership of the Fellowship are truly a marvel of inventiveness and variety. Some other parts of this mosaic are being volunteered currently on the Wordpress blog. Where does the money go? What accounting of it is made? I suspect there is little available in the way of anything that could be obtained without a court order, and I also suspect that not much would show up even with one. The money simply goes to Burton and he spends it. He is a compulsive shopper with appallingly bad but very expensive tastes. I don't know how these things could be "documented" other than with the testimony of present and former members, all of whom are, or have been for many years, participants in the process---and many of whom would be willing, indeed eager, to be quoted.

I would only add that the financial abuses, quite astonishing as they are, are the least of the abuses.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on June 9th, 2008 at XXXXX, XXXXX.


"My name is xxxxx xxxxx. While a member of the Fellowship of Friends under the “tutelage” of Robert Earl Burton I was asked to carry a large amount of money from Europe to the organization’s headquarters in California. I was instructed to buy traveler’s cheques and then upon arrival I had to sign them over to the cashier there. I am sure that this took place regularly over the years with many of the people coming from other countries as a means of by-passing U.S. authorities accounting.

It represents a huge unaccounted income over the years. Thousands of people paying 10% of their earnings plus quarterly extra payments.

I can also attest to the leader Robert Earl Burton’s sexual harassment personally.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on February the second 02-02-2008 at xxxxx, xxxxx."


To whom it may concern:

“Around 1971 I began reading material about a system of psychology brought to the West by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.

After several years of reading this literature and other references connected to this work, I realized for myself that the system sounded true and was true.

One of the primary suggestions of this system was that one’s psychology is ingrained, and in order to change or enhance one’s psychological attributes it could not be done by oneself. One needed a school of like-minded individuals who were guided by a REAL TEACHER.

I became determined about 1975 to find such a school and teacher. In July of 1976, I found an advertisement of a group in Pennsylvania and struck out in that direction.

While traveling through Houston, Texas I found by happenstance two people from the Fellowship of Friends placing bookmarks in books related to the Fourth Way.

I introduced myself and they in turn invited me to a prospective student meeting. Because of my zeal, I thought I had been blessed by good fortune.

Eventually I joined this school and later moved into a teaching house or center. It seemed to be a requirement for my progress.

About a year later the teaching center was shut down and the whole group moved to different locations in California.

I myself arrived broke and bewildered. I was given suggestions by fellow students but the Fellowship of Friends as an entity did not offer help of any kind. I was left basically alone.

Not long afterward I became entangled with a married woman who was physically separated from her husband because she also had a boyfriend. The school had a no sex rule between unmarried people.

Although the flirting between us became intimate the result did not end in sexual intercourse. Although she initiated the encounter, she eventually called a center director who called me in for a conference. I was told what I was being accused of and to tell my side of the story. I refused.

The school director Gira*rd Ha*ven then said I had 24 hours to leave the school and if I wanted to return an opportunity would be given and that I would have to pay a fine of $2500.00.

I was stunned and buffered the shock by taking it as a personal task to gather $2500.00.

The school had a rule about not speaking to former students. So, the next day I managed to leave San Francisco with the intent of returning. However, I could not overcome the shocking experience of being rejected by a real and true Fourth Way school.

So, for the first 10 years, I endured mental health problems of low self-esteem, self-loathing and self-destruction. I was a homeless person incapacitated by fear and anger. Every attempt to raise out of the gutter was delayed by self-inflicted hatred of being kicked out of a REAL FOURTH WAY SCHOOL GUIDED BY A CONSCIOUS TEACHER.

The second ten years the psychological pain subsided to a dull background memory. Yet, when a memory of that experience rose to the forefront tears would well up in my eyes. Eventually, I would avoid the welling up of tears by simply saying “don’t go there”.

Eventually I developed C.O.P.D. (chronic obstructive lung disease) and because of this lost all hope about the future. I had moved forty-five (45) times and several jobs for basic subsistence. Until I retired to Social Security.

I had never owned or operated a computer until late 2006. In early 2007 I found a website dedicated to the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton the alleged Conscious Teacher. They call it a blog and most if not all who go there are former students.

When I found this blog I was shocked at what I was reading. That a lawsuit had been settled against Robert Earl Burton, that he was accused of having sex with young males at the same time I was expelled, that he quit any connection with the Fourth Way. The primary reason for my joining.

I did go through some residue trauma from the past over all this alleged misbehavior by Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

The most valued thing in my whole life was a sham from the very beginning. All the suffering and mental anguish for 27 years was for nothing.

Pursuant to the laws of the State of California and under penalty of perjury I hereby declare the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration is executed on April 3, 2008 at XXXXX, XXXXX.”


The Undersigned [link to petition signatories]
Signatures page 1
Signatures page 2
Signatures page 3
Signatures page 4
Signatures page 5

[ed. - The following signatories provided additional claims:]

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

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

"Deidra Kennedy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition:
I was a member from 1973 until the Fall of 1978. Among other things, it was my duty (ha! and alleged privilege) to purchase and acquire the rose Meissen Robert was so fond of--I spent many evenings in the Meissen room, cleaning, arranging and cataloging the massive collection. On buying trips to Victoria, BC--we hid substantial amounts of Paul Storr Georgian sterling silver in the trunks of the fleet of Mercedes automobiles from the border guards so as not to have to pay duty fees. Robert always asked for discounts from the antiques dealers as we were a non profit church and this was for church investments--somehow I had to say this with a straight face while dressed my best in Lanvin and Gucci clothes--oh please! This is a common practice at the Fellowship of Friends and Robert and his minions have defrauded the government out of years and years of taxes and duty fees. He should have to pay it back--talk about good householder! It is the chicken hawk activities that led to my leaving the FOF--it is not right to mess with young men who do not know from what; who knows the damage to Don Birrell's young son? We all went to the FBI and the police, but nothing was done--someone was paid off, no doubt.

[ed. – “X-ray” further suggested the petition be sent to the following.]
179. X-ray - March 10, 2011

Thanks Nige,

Now lets take this letter and the petition

to investigate the Fellowship of Friends and send it together to the FBI, INS, IRS. [ed. - Dead link],,id=106778,00.html

It would be great if more people will be willing to take few minutes of their time and send these two as well. To attract authorities attention we’ll need a greater number of people sending the requests/info/tips to investigate FOF crimes, and lets keep on sending every day until they will respond.

Also, lets keep Ryan McCarthy from Appeal Democrat updated on the process. [ed. – Ryan McCarthy no longer works for the A-P.]


[ed. - Unfortunately, the on-line petitioning tool did not screen for spam and abusive comments, most likely attributable to "Grog W. Goldwing (not his real name)TM", the infamous ex-Fellowship troll. Coincidentally, a Greg W. Goodwin, aka Tao Jones, Siamese Twinge, and Moniker Trebuchet, among many, many other pseudonyms currently administers "The Fourth Way (debunked)" Facebook Group.]

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Voucher

[ed. - Today, in a message to members, a new element was introduced to the Fellowship of Friends monetary system, part of Apollo's underground economy.]
This week we are introducing a new voucher - 1/4 day voucher.

The 1/4 day voucher looks the same as its companion vouchers but is blue.

The new voucher will help us and you with octaves that are shorter then 4 hours, and with payments for events that will cost less then 1/2 day voucher.

We will start using it this week.

In friendship,


Fellowship of Friends vouchers used to barter labor in underground economy
Fellowship of Friends Quarter Day Voucher

"The word comes to the ears just as comes the wind, but it does not stop or tarry.

Rather, it leaves in a very short time if  the heart is not awakened so that it is ready to seize it."

Arthurian Tales