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, November 5, 2008

Apollo's broken society

"Old Fish in the Sea" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 5, 2008:
56 Veramente

Well said. Yes, Robert has never really respected others – even his own students. Gradually his students take on his attitudes and lose their ability to respect others, particularly those that are not part of the FOF.

Robert once (I was there) spoke about how the “scholars” know so much less about ancient history than the FOF while he pointed out that the 6 poops on a cave drawing were the sequence. He consistently devalues ‘life’ (those outside of the FOF). This is partially what makes people afraid to leave.

It is easy to see the imperfections in people, but Robert’s attitudes are full of hopelessness unless you fully buy into his paradigm. He told my friend at a dinner, “You value life too much.” Only presence is worth valuing and the way he teaches it is somewhat selfish. It involves inward focus and devaluation of all else so as not to lose the state. It even involves devaluation of individual talents. This view takes away from the desire to give (except to Robert and the FOF) and the desire to develop talents and when taken seriously ultimately leads to depression and paranoia. Many students are unable to value life, paranoid that their own weaknesses and lower self will take over, and afraid that they won’t be able to “make it” in life, or that if they can ‘make it’ that this will be worthless. This kind of attitude is not what most of us wanted to develop when we joined.

Perhaps Robert’s approach makes some sense for those that are able to find a nice state where valuation and love are enhanced. I think many of us ultimately observed that this was not really happening, or if it did happen, it happened because of our own being and not because of any “teaching”.

I think the FOF would do better for itself if it could stop the harmful activities from Robert, encourage people to develop their talents, allow students to experiment with other ways, ultimately giving back what they learn, and encourage involvement in, and giving back to society. I left because all of these changes were impossible with the current structure. This was for me a strong indication of a broken society. For many of us, our best contribution to change was to leave.

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