Introduction


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

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

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

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

This archive draws from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship. Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fellowship members allege investment fraud

[ed. - This bizarre case involves Fellowship of Friends members suing others who recently departed the Fellowship, with the opposing parties apparently represented by Fellowship lawyers Abraham Goldman and David Springfield (possibly working out of the same small Oregon House law firm.) It's strangeness is typical of the Fellowship's netherworld. The Fellowship of Friends, Inc. is named as a movant in the case. Since hefty member tithes (10% or more of gross incomes) are involved, the Fellowship certainly has an interest, if not a direct one, in members' investments." (This story suggests that Robert Burton's hope of enjoying seaside retreats in members' properties in the Caribbean and on the Mediterranean may have to wait.)]
Fellowship members allege investment fraud
Appeal-Democrat
March 08, 2009 12:05:00 AM

By Ryan McCarthy

Worthless investments in what were said to be oceanfront developments in France and the Dominican Republic were sold to Fellowship of Friends members by an Oregon House company, a lawsuit contends.

"False representations, misstatements of facts and material omissions" were made to gain as much money as possible from two Fellowship members so the Stroomwell Investment Group in Oregon House would avoid defaulting on the developments, the suit states.

The filing Thursday in federal court in Sacramento does not specifically name the Fellowship. But attorney Abraham Goldman, who represents two women who invested a total of $350,000, said "it's a fair deduction" that the Fellowship is the Yuba County church described in the court filing.

The suit asserts that church members Bonnie Lohman invested $170,000 and Edith Minne $180,000 in 2007. Funds totaling more than $100,000 were also solicited from at least eight additional church members, according to the suit.

The money was obtained "without any intent or reasonable expectation" to repay, according to the suit, which seeks a court order requiring payment of all funds lost by the two women.

Oregon House resident Traci Southwell, 36, named in the lawsuit along with Huib Stroomberg and the Stroomwell Investment Group, disputes the suit's assertions.

"All the paperwork is going to prove that's not true," Southwell said.

The development projects are affected by a slowdown in sales due to global economic conditions, she said.
"I'm shocked about this," Southwell said of the lawsuit, which she added "discourages people from investing internationally." She linked the lawsuit filed Thursday to her and Huib Stroomberg leaving the Fellowship last summer.

Goldman responded that "Huib and Traci leaving has absolutely nothing to do with this lawsuit."

"Nobody bears any grudge against them of any kind," Goldman said. "Where's the money?" the attorney said. "That's the question."

No accounting has been made of what the investments were used for, he said.

"Within a month of taking the funds from my clients the contractor on this job went into bankruptcy," Goldman said. Negligible work was done on the development in France, he said.

Southwell describes that project as nine seaview condominiums that is three-quarters complete.

About 15 investors are involved with the projects in France and the Dominican Republic, she said. Southwell said she is an investor as well as the bookkeeper for Stroomwell.

"She took her money out of the stock market and now has a hard asset," Southwell said.

Southwell called the women who filed the suit "two people I love very much." Oregon House is already dealing with tensions between Fellowship members and those who don't belong to the religious organizations, Southwell added.

"I don't think our little community can handle any more this kind of stuff," she said.

Southwell said of the Fellowship, "The people themselves are just wonderful — kind, educated people interested in spirituality."

She declined to discuss the reasons she and Stroomberg left the group.

The Fellowship began in 1970, according to its Web site, which states that the group was founded in the Fourth Way tradition, also known as "esoteric Christianity."

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

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 29, 2009:
I’ve been told that the “David Springfield letter” was introduced in Federal (Eastern District) Court in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago. This is the RICO action Edith Minne and Bonnie Lohmann brought against ex-FoF followers, Huib Stroomberg and Traci Southwell and the Stroomberg Investment Group (heard by Judge Mendez). Wouldnt You Like To Know kindly told us about this in post #67-143 [posted below], with a link to the actual Appeal Democrat article.

I have to wonder why this letter would be introduced to the court. Abraham Goldman, in the A–D article, claimed that the case had nothing to do with the Fellowship, so I assume that the defendant is somehow trying to link the action with the FoF, specifically them leaving the FoF, and so draw them into the case? To undermine the credibility of the FoF lawyers (one of whom I believe is David Springfield himself?)

The second thing is, if this letter has indeed been introduced as evidence of some sort, then it has become a public record, and not only that, presumably sworn and attested to as being the truth by at least the defendants? Savvy readers who know the implications, please help out!

Here is the article for anyone interested. Note that Traci Southwell does make the link, according to the reporter… [ed. - Posted above.]

"Wouldnt You Like To Know" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 8, 2009:
Fellowship members allege investment fraud:

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/fellowship-members-allege-investment-fraud/article_1dae73e9-7ec4-549e-87be-2d1d276ab62b.html

Background from Stroomwell Investment Group website:

Directors

Huib Stroomberg and Traci Southwell are the directors of Stroomwell Investment Group, Incorporated; a California (S) Corporation, registered in January 17, 2005 with a sister branch registered in The Netherlands, January 2007.

Huib originates from Delft, The Netherlands and Traci is from Oregon, USA. They were living in Northern California and met in the rose garden of a vineyard and winery, on September 8, 2003, they started working together co-directors in the winery, shortly thereafter, and have continued their partnership ever since.

Traci and Huib formed Stroomwell Investment Group, Inc. in January of 2005, and their first success was a start up they created for an inventor friend. They took it through development and reached their aims including a profit of just under $1M, a 63% profit margin, fully trained staff and distributors, international registration, full compliance, and a fully developed production and infrastructure all in one year. They sold their shares to their partner and moved on to their original passion – international properties.

In September of 2006, they met their first well-managed developers seeking project funding, and together with investors, funded their first multi million dollar project by January 2007 with an exit strategy of 14 – 18 months and a high ROI. Their second project was funded in June 2007, also with a high ROI and a 12 month exit strategy. Their 3rd project is a luxury holding with high annual yields as well as high capital appreciation. Their list of projects and funding is growing rhythmically at this point with 5 new projects on the horizon for 2008.

With a mutual interest in real estate, fine art, philosophy and philanthropy and having already acquired their first asset – an antique sculpture, they endeavored to begin investing together immediately, but were approached by a friend/inventor who wanted them to help him promote a software/hardware invention [ed. - Kiran Schmidt's CoRe Inergetix]. Believing in their friend and his product, they left him to sabbatical and further inventing, while SIG formed and managed its first start-up in May of 2006.

Its purpose was to bring the company past the start-up and development stage, to reach a million dollars of profit, and to develop a self-sustaining infrastructure; to have an efficient and legally compliant product according to international safety standards, in one year, with carefully chosen and well trained staff and additional distributors.

Stroomwell acted as the managing member and built the start-up together with their colleagues in the company. It managed logistics, production, human resources, technical support, training, marketing and sales, finances, legal matters, product management, etc. In 12 months the project was averaging a gross of 80,000 to 100,000 euros / month with a 63% profit margin $50,000 worth of inventory a fully trained sales and technical staff and trained distributors located throughout Europe and had completed 2 successful European tours. At that point the company was operating without debt, as well. At the end of this phase of the start-up, SIG agreed to sell their Membership shares to their business partner. During that time, they had gained a lot of experience and learned a great deal about start-ups and international business, and sufficiently proven and tested their abilities, handing over a profitable and self-sufficient business to their partner, they were ready to refocus on their previous interests.

By September of 2006 SIG rekindled their initial passion in real estate and found themselves checking out the market in the South of Europe in the company of development partners who were sufficiently well-managed, well-researched investors/consultants, whose particular specialty was in undervalued beach front properties and whose initial backgrounds were in Environmental Science and Geology. The chemistry was very good, and the timing was also perfect for their meeting. The developers were interested in funding their projects, and SIG was looking for expertise and a good investment – they were both looking for people they enjoyed doing business with and working with long-term. The developers were also taking special interest in stimulating the socio-economic welfare of the area they were investing in by working with locals and implementing entrepreneurial training programs for women, as well as maintaining attention to the environmental aspects of the project.

Stroomwell made the aim to support these development projects by investing with these developers and helping to fulfill funding needs for their ocean view developments by attracting investors by word of mouth and referral, who shared a high level of interest and enthusiasm in investing together in these projects.

The (self-directed) investment group started growing while Huib and Traci were traveling in Europe and found themselves extending their stay, until it became obvious that they were to relocate temporarily or permanently to Europe. They chose to locate our branch to Delft, The Netherlands, which is where Huib is originally from. SIG registered their branch with the local chamber of commerce, in January of 2007.

Four short months after meeting the developers, by the end of January 2007 SIG had invested in their first project with the developers in the Dominican Republic, and together with a small but budding network of investors both European and North American, funded the project. It was a high (more than 50%) ROI with an exit strategy of 18 months, which also left plenty of room from phase 2 investors to make a profit as well. Resales are still occurring and a reflection of the successful research and testing of the project by the developers in that market, is that during its first few months of development, an expansion of the development was proposed to a large Fund source from Australia, who after 12 months of due diligence, accepted the proposal and agreed to funding the project with an equity position, which represented the fact driven confidence of the Fund.

The next project was funded in the summer of 2007 in the South of France with new as well as existing investors. The projected ROI is greater than 25% in 18 months. The resale for the second phase has presently begun. (link to Cerbere)

The investment group continues to grow as well as our network of developers and new network of brokers as well as an internal sales support team, which supports the sale of their various investments which further minimizes investment risk and time of return for the investors. If you are a well managed private developer seeking funding for your project, or a private investor looking for a group to invest with or you are a broker interested in selling quality international investment properties to your clients please contact us.

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 29, 2009:
74/301. veramente [quoting blogger]
‘I hate to think that RB could escape in Egypt without paying his dues to the INS, IRS, and criminal justice. He is not alone of course, he has got lots of helpers who could be facing charges for breaking the law and covering up for him and themselves in many ways.’
People have been, or can be, tried in absentia for criminal activity. Then there are extradition treaties. REB is already persona non grata (person not acceptable) in various jurisdictions around the world. Pretty soon the only opportunity will be to leave the planet to escape.

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 29, 2009:
75/2. Ames Gilbert [quoting blogger]:
‘I have to wonder why this letter would be introduced to the court.’
Possibly to implicate the plaintiffs (and the Fellowship of Friends, Robert Earl Burton, and/or Abraham Goldman, Associates) of the very same criminal activity (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)), that the defendants are accused of, to the legal justice system.

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 29, 2009:
Minne et al v. Stroomberg et al
District Court: CA Eastern
Judge: Mendez
Type of Lawsuit: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
Cause of Action: Federal Question
Plaintiff: Edith Minne, Bonnie Lohmann
Defendant: Huib Stroomberg, Traci Southwell, Stroomwell Investment Group, Inc.
Case Number: 2:2009cv00625
Filed: March 5, 2009
Amount Demanded: $350,000.00
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-caedce/case_no-2:2009cv00625/case_id-189030/

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 29, 2009: 
Minne et al v. Stroomberg et al
District Court: CA Eastern
Judge: Mendez
Type of Lawsuit: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
Cause of Action: Federal Question
Plaintiff: Edith Minne, Bonnie Lohmann
Defendant: Huib Stroomberg, Traci Southwell, Stroomwell Investment Group, Inc.
Case Number: 2:2009at00345
Filed: March 5, 2009
Amount Demanded: $350,000,000.00
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-caedce/case_no-2:2009at00345/case_id-189011/

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 30, 2009:
Well, I never knew until today how much fun one can have for three bucks and change!

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ed. - Below are some documents related to the case.]
Related Case Order

Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Disqualify Abraham Goldman as Counsel for the Plaintiffs

Minne et al v. Stroomberg et al Content Page

[ed. - Below, promotions for the real estate deals the Fellowship members could not resist. The Bach Concerto in the video may have been the hook.]
"South of France Condos on the Mediterranean Sea in Cerbere Hot Real Estate Investment Market"

From "Ocean Star Estates" video on YouTube:

Uploaded on Feb 15, 2009

Contact Mihai Algos [Mihai Algiu, aka Algiu Mihai] of Stroomwell Investment Group for more information, Cell (US) + 1 530 632 7513 or email to mihairesearch@yahoo.com

Nine sea view apartments on the Mediterranean Sea with unobstructed views. Prices starting at just $220,000. Includes shared garden and pool! Each apartment features a terrace with breathing views! Great investment property with high appreciation plus rental income.

Each of the 9 apartments offer unobstructed views of the Mediterranean Sea. Central to golf, tennis, horse riding, diving, sailing and windsurfing with truly outstanding French Catalan cuisine, it is a food and wine haven which hosts a local one star Michelen restaurant. There are numerous diving clubs offering a view of on of the most exceptional, submerged marine worlds in the Mediterranean. It is a divers paradise with over 65 hectares of protected submarine reserve.

Skiing is found in the Pyrenees mountains within 1 hour of Cerbere. There are 12 ski resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees, with 200 runs and 150 ski lifts.

The Languedoc-Rousillon brings 14 million tourists per year including 4 million foreigners; 100 million over-nights, 3 billion Euro revenue - Languedoc Roussillon is the fourth largest French tourist region in one of the most visited countries in the world.

Easy access from Perpignon and Girona airports including direct flights from all over Europe.

Upon the completion of the high speed TGV line between Perpignon and Barcelona in 2011, travel time between Perpignon and Barcelona will reduce from 2.5 hours to 50 minutes and importantly, Barcelona and Paris will be linked by this Perpignon junction bringing a serge in population growth, property investment, and tourism.

The Spanish will continue to take advantage of the Languedocs less expensive and higher return, Mediterranean seaside investment property, with an upcoming speedy commute to Barcelona via the new TGV connection.

Excellent European climate, with 300 days of sunshine, and summer temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celcius.

Rental Income tax in France is 7%, which is one of the lowest in the EU countries. Capital Gains taxes are reduced by 10% each 5 years after the first 5 years amounting to 0% (Full CGT exemption) after 15 years holding.

France is a historically strong and stable market and a safe country to invest in property, due to its strict buying process and legal system.

Capital appreciation is averaging15% in Cerbere and is expected to peak in 2011 to 35% (+) as a result of 2 major events: The TGV connection from Barcelona to Perpignan, coinciding with the height of the global baby-boomer retiring population also in 2011.

The arrival of the TGV in Perpignan will emulate the positive affect on the local property market which Marseille experienced upon the arrival of the TGV, where capital appreciation rose to 35%.

Contact Mihai Algos [Mihai Algiu] of Stroomwell Investment Group for more information, Cell (US) + 1 530 632 7513. mihairesearch@yahoo.com

"Luperon Real Estate Ocean Star Estates Dominican Ocean View Land For Sale"

From "Ocean Star Estates" video on YouTube.

Uploaded on Feb 4, 2009

http://www.GetawayIslandProperty.com - This is an investment opportunity carrying 30 - 60% per annum rate of return on resale, with a built in equity of 40%.

Stroomwell Investment Group (SIG) is an international property investment company based in California with a branch office in the Netherlands. SIG has partnered with Developer Rogue Investor (RI), to invest in and develop a residential ocean view property on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, 15' away from the town of Luperon.

We own and develop 43 acres of ocean view property, situated on a gentle slope facing the ocean. The completed development will be a gated community, featuring a club house, nature adventure trails, convenience stores, a clinic, recreational amenities and a gate house.

At this point in the development, preliminary infrastructure is in place; roads are cut and water wells and electricity will be available by May, the completion of which will allow investors, developers or owners to commence construction.

Each owner receives individual title, with deeded access to the two secluded beaches, complying with the recent 'Deslinde' regulations. Lot prices are at 30% to 50% below market value, ranging from US $ 49.900 to over $ 109.000, based on sizes, ranging between 400 sq.m to over 2500 sq.m.

We offer $ 10.000 discount on cash payments on lots priced $ 69.000 and above. We also provide financing at 8.75% after a minimum down payment of 30%.

Additional contact information:
Name: Mihai Algos [Mihai Algiu, aka Algiu Mihai]

U.S. Phone # - 1 530 - 632 - 7513

Email Address: mihairesearch@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fellowship link to suicides denied

[ed. - "Someone" participating in this discussion may or may not be a Fellowship shill. Their membership status is ambiguous, but they have defended the Fellowship on the blog for a number of years. Not included in the discussion below are the suicides of Fellowship lawyer Abraham Goldman (August 2011), Fellowship member Roger Pugh (May 2014), the reported suicide of Maria Fraser (March 2015), and ex-members Eric Elmquist (date unknown), Thomas Michael (September 2009), and numerous reported failed suicide attempts.]

"Anna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 22, 2009:
Hi Nigel [blogger],

Some thoughts… From what I have learned/seen cult leaders try to undermine any bonds followers have with people other than themselves. They do this by interfering with their sexuality.

Typically they require their followers either to be promiscuous, so that they don’t form any firm bonds. Or they enforce celibacy which has the same effect.

For a long Robert Burton required either celibacy from his followers or ‘marriage’. Our marriages were shaky matters which we often rushed into naively and under great pressure from the authorities. They were entered into in the usual ‘magical’ atmosphere of lawlessness/ being beyond the law which Burton promoted.

The ‘teaching’ froze most followers in the shallow and narcissistic level of psychological development that is common to teenagers… we were dreamy, we simply weren’t ready for the level of honest introspection, commonsense and genuine giving that I imagine a successful marriage requires.

Burton further rocked at the foundations of our relationships by courting our male partners with impunity. When living at Apollo I rarely had family meals with my ‘husbands’.

Burton’s goal was to turn the school into a large feeding bowl from which he could draw sex and or money.

Initially he had felt threatened by our relationships with each other and controlled them with exercises, but once he had groomed spouses sufficiently to accept his intrusions he dropped the no sex before marriage task.

He has repeatedly asked followers not to come to him with questions about relationship problems. Our relationships irritated him unless they were blatant food sources.

Finally, following his example and fearing accusations of feminine Dominance’ followers edged anxiously towards a kind of promiscuity…

"Someone" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 23, 2009:
38. Panorea [post number and blogger]

Though I left and I have my criticism, Apollo/Isis/Renaissance has been a wonderful place for me. I lost many good friends and I do miss them. I have never, ever felt being abused or mistreated.

I liked the fine energy in events and I think RB is a genuine teacher.

The main reason why I left was because I was not able to cope with the new teaching direction, especially with the renouncement of the psychological part of the teaching. I think it has created a big hole in the ability to obtain self-knowledge and has strengthened weaker parts in people, bringing more tramp and more lack of controlling mechanical behavior than before.

You say: “The Fellowship of Friends is a very dangerous situation to be in.” I do not think so. Apollo is one of the finest places in the world with wonderful people, only it became a non-inspiring place for me.

I know there is a group of ex-students in this forum who are forcibly trying to dictate an extreme battle against the FOF, no matter what.

The FOF has ‘rightly gained’ some of the criticism it receives, yet in reality there are hundreds of posts here against the FOF that are deliberately misleading and are full of lies and extreme exaggerations.

I am not writing here to defend the FOF, I am writing here to bring a more balanced opinion.

I guess those who are about to bring up RB buttocks again will start popping-up now.

"Anna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2009:

Dear Someone,

For me your statement that “there are hundreds of posts here against the FOF that are deliberately misleading and are full of lies and extreme exaggerations.” was painful and shocking to me.

Since you didn’t specify who’s statements you refer to I can assume you meant mine as well.

When I first posted on this blog I did so with a lot of trepidation. I was afraid that I would be threatened if I reported some of the things that had happened to me and my friends. I decided that it would be better to use my real name because that would bring more credibility to what I was saying. More current members might believe what was being said if they could put a face to it. But it was really scary… I did it with reluctance, my heart raced and my hands shook.

Recently I forced myself to start writing again, out of a sense of duty. It is not easy. But it feels important that current members who are open enough to read the blog should be given the chance to read the truth.

The things that I have stated are the simple truth. If something is horrible it does not mean that it is a lie, or an exaggeration.

Your accusing me of lying is exactly what every witness dreads. They dread that what they have finally revealed will not be believed, that what they or their loved ones have endured will be denied. That people will try to discredit them.

I believe I speak for many writers here.

Your sweeping statement hurt. It wouldn’t have been so bad if you were still a member. I know how blindly I used to defend my dream. But you are not, at least that’s what you say.

Anna

"Someone" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2009:
I know many of you personally. Most of you are moderate and honest, yet I know for a fact that some of you are deliberately lying.

For example, all the accusations claiming that there were suicides related in any way to FOF actions are deliberate and malicious lies.

That does not mean the FOF and RB are not to be criticized.

I have been there for many many years, and there were periods in which I was very active, and on & off I had and “important” role and I was in some ways close to RB (not sexually).

RB is an amazing teacher. He taught me so much and I am grateful for that.

I wasn’t able to go on after the sharp turn the teaching took, because the school has turned to be a religion and ceased to be a 4th way school.

Still what I gained in the school is real and of great value for me. I do not know if I could have gained so much elsewhere, maybe I could and maybe not.

I do not inner consider those here who are blunt and intolerant to more moderate point of views related to the FOF. That’s mere power and it does not intimidate me.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2009:
94/someone
 For example, all the accusations claiming that there were suicides related in any way to FOF actions are deliberate and malicious lies.
1. Lore Fisher-Smith 2. Brian Sisler 3. Kevin Kelly Anyone?

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2009:

Kimo Beech

"nigel harris price" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 24, 2009:

Failed suicide, 11 June 1989 (K—n B——-k “C-Influence saved your life”) due to being indoctrinated into believing that “losing the school (in my case, financially) would lose one immortality”…..Nigel.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

1. Lore Fisher-Smith
http://tinyurl.com/Lore-Fisher-Smith [ed. - See page 7-5.]

"andrew" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

So I need all of your help my ex is planning on going to apollo with my 12 year old daughter. I am afraid how do I stop them.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

Brian Sisler and Kevin Kelly: http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2007/04/08/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-6/#comment-7399

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
Brian Sisler: http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-16/#comment-4279

"Roosje" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

SOMEONE [blogger above]

The picture becomes clear.

You have NAIVETÉ. Solar! Husband-Boyfriend totally committed to the FOF. Rose colored glasses are firmly planted.

Wake up girl!

You are like that Italian priest who recently said that the Holocaust never occurred.
RB’s sexual perversions poisons the souls and minds of those who are weak, and gives them permission to act and behave in a similar way.

"Another Name" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

Dear X ray

Please try to get a copy of the manuscript of Marlene Dasman’s book. This manuscript is dedicated to Brian Sisler and what he had to go through in the Blake cottage. Please before you assume Brian was schizophrenic and used alcohol, please do some more research. This sensitive soul who studied art before coming to Apollo had a very different side then you are describing…. Before you label him as pathetic and assumes about his sexlife…..

And what PL concerns…you do not seem to be informed well. He has changed a loooooooooooot.

X ray wrote:

I didn’t know that Brian Sisler was schizophrenic until he left the Fellowship, but he did have a pathetic quality to him. He was a heavy drinker, an attempt at self-medication I suppose, and he sometimes got into trouble because of his drinking. He said that he didn’t feel able attend any Robert events or FOF concerts without drinking first. After one accident too many, Brian was told to take valium before attending any of Robert’s events, helpfully prescribed by Dr EH [Ethan Harris]. I didn’t have the feeling that Brian was exclusively gay, he seemed to develop crushes on women, so maybe he was bisexual.

"Ill Never Tell" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
j_s_ph m_nt_gl__n_; looked like an accident. several suicides and attempted suicides of close family members of Fellowship of Friends members (oh! I guess that could just be written off as collateral damage.) Those, knowingly, living adverse life styles that brought them to premature deaths. examples: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (rotten) heart conditions, cancers. but everyone aught to know, that it is not the dead that brings down the army in the battle of life. it is the walking wounded, the greatest burden, that endure the suffering that comes from the simultaneous torture chamber and love boat number 9. Many members are basket cases but still alive. What would you expect from continuously having to do what you do not wish to do?

the main difference between a mass suicide of jonestown or branch davidian and the fellowship of friends is a matter of the degree (read: scale) and measurement of the amount per unit of time (read: relativity).

"Someone" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
120. elena [post number and blogger],

In a way it has always been the issue that one sets-up ones own rules and think the surrounding is supposed to accept it.

That’s exactly what happened to me. RB moved to a new kind of teaching and I wasn’t coping with it. Many things changes as result.

Octaves became clumsy, food preparation at the Apollo d’oro lost standards. The direct reason for that was that psychological observations on mechanistically have been waved. I was working there long hours and I saw behaviors that a year before would have never taken place. I saw a cook filling-up a cooking pot with hot water from the tap instead of boiling fresh water.

That is to my opinion part of renouncing the psychological work and of the idea of photographing. People were not using photographs as a working tool anymore. I tried hard to ask people to maintain good-house-holder and failed.

At first I was quite decisive and expected that RB SHOULD NOT renounce 4th way methods and especially not the psychology. After a while I came to realize that I cannot really expect RB to act according to my expectations and I realized that if I do not accept that, I have to leave and I left.

Reading some of your posts, I can see a great deal of expectation part in you related to how the FOF should be or should have been. Ideas like lack of community life etc’ are great and I warmly support them, only RB has in mind some new kind of a monastery.

So, the FOF has not met my expectations on some areas and has not met yours in other areas. That’s a fact that, to my opinion needs to be accepted.

This forum is a great place for self expression, yet I see almost no tolerance in relation to those who left and do not share all the massive attacks on RB and the FOF.

I am truly happy that I spent all these years in the FOF. It is a painful process to adjust to a new way of life, yet I would be happy if this forum could sustain more colors than black & white or I would say more colors than black.

"Someone" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
129. Panorea

I called lies to some particular posts and not to everyone’s and I clarified that.
For example those posts connecting suicides to FOF actions are completely lies!!! Those who write such posts repeatedly, are deliberately doing so in order to hinder the FOF .

The number of those who committed suicide in the FOF is less than any other urban or country-side community. The same does for family members.

Blaming the FOF for those suicides is malicious. More than that, there are some people here that posted messages putting suicides blame on the FOF for death cases that have never been even suspected to be suicidal. I personally checked one of those death cases with the deceased parents and they said that it was caused by drugs overdose and that the FOF had nothing to do with it. That person who died received much support and love from the parents, but unfortunately it did not help. I know that for a fact and I knew it before the death occurred.

Here in this forum someone posted a message stating that that particular death was a suicide case caused by FOF conduct.

That is what I call a lie.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

[Quoting] Somebody
For example those posts connecting suicides to FOF actions are completely lies!!!
….
Blaming the FOF for those suicides is malicious.
Let’s examine the evidence.

Burton publicly announces,

“Do not try to save anybody here who tries to commit suicide. They shouldn’t be here. And they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who tries to save them.” (October 26, 1971).

In other words, if someone is suicidal in the Fellowship, don’t try to help them, if you do try they will drag you down and strangle you.

I can hardly think of a policy which would promote individual suicides more than this one. If they are in the school and they are suicidal, don’t help them.

Then, in 1972 [ed. - 1973], “a special meeting was called and it was announced that a woman who had left the school had committed suicide. This was seen as an example of what happens when students do not value the knowledge they have been exposed to. The school had become a lifetime endeavor! (Only for those who were strong enough to succeed.)” Account of Barbara Bruno Lancaster from the book, Cults and Consequences, at http://tinyurl.com/Lore-Fisher-Smith [ed. - See page 7-5.]

So, to recap:

1. Burton states, if they’re suicidal, don’t help them, they will drag you down and strangle you.

2. A woman (Lore Fisher-Smith) leaves the Fellowship and commits suicide.

3. Burton calls a meeting and states that this is what happens when people don’t value esoteric knowledge, i.e., when they leave the school. Don’t leave the school, it might happen to you. But if you’re suicidal, no one should help you, because you will drag them down and strangle them. If you’re suicidal, you’re on your own.

4. Kevin Kelly, a quadriplegic, has a basically stable life. Burton insists that his prophesies are going to happen and that California is going to fall into the ocean. People are required to quit their jobs and move to Oregon House. Kevin uproots his basically stable but difficult quadriplegic life. The prophesied fall of California does not happen. Kevin kills himself by drowning himself in the river. I am told he was not permitted to have a funeral.

These are two clear examples of the interconnection between Burton’s statements, fellowship policy and suicides. So, Someone, I am interested to know why you believe the suicides are not connected to Burton or the Fellowship.

Others may have more detailed information than I have about Brian Sisler and Kimo Beech. Tell the stories in detail, please.

"elena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

Someone,

I too was very happy working with the non expression of negative emotions for a long time and other aspects of the work. I am sure it helped my children as much as my self.

Why do you think it was impossible for you or us to express your wish to have more second line or keep up the high standards? Did you just accept it was Robert Burton’s school and even though you supported it for so many years you could not voice out your opinion because our opinions didn’t matter? Do you think Robert’s supremacy is really coming from a conscious being?

Thank you Jomo for such clear information on these suicides. I had never heard about Lore Fisher Smith. It could have happened to any one of us because we all lived what she describes.

Aileen C’s name could be added to that list as a daughter of a student even if it is said that it was an accident. She had had such “accidents” before and I witnessed at least one of them while she lived with me. She went to Oregon House looking for help and did not find it. My few months with her in the middle of my leaving were, to my great regret, not good enough. I should have brought her here with me as I thought at some point but it was too much for me at the time.

H.Now’s. name, another Fellowship child should also be on that list, she’s tried to commit serious enough suicides at least three or four times. The effects of the Fellowship and their relatedness couldn’t be more clear with both parents as both members and ex-member.

Not on that list fortunately but on the list of the millions of damages that the Fellowship is not supposed to be related to. When they are told enough, many will realize that they can’t be separated.

"Opus 111" wrote on the Fellowship of Firends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

[Quoting] Someone:
I personally checked one of those death cases with the deceased parents and they said that it was caused by drugs overdose and that the FOF had nothing to do with it.
???

I guess Kevin K did not commit suicide, he just jumped and drowned in the river. Brian S. tied a knot around his neck a little tight.

How can you know the state of mind of a person who overdoses on drugs? (I realize it goes for both sides of the interpretation of the facts) Can you be sure that the parents (still in FOF I presume) are not overcompensating a little to cope with the consequences of FOF-induced neglect of their child?

"nigel harris price" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

139 Jomo Pinata

Burton declares “All those who leave the school are food for the moon”. Price is failing in maintaining his teaching payments and the last day of his membership makes an unsuccessful suicide attempt. After 3 and 1/2 years struggling with consequent clinical depression he is sectioned under the mental health act and diagnosed with bi-polar affective disdorder – a serious, but treatable mental illness.

The fact is that, for the most part, the FOF and certainly Burton do not care about people with similar conditions. The standard to maintain in the FOF is one of a ‘kick-ass-in-life-money-making’ student who adheres to all the standards and rules set by the ‘teacher’. It is difficult enough to live with any sense of normality in the FOF without these imposed conditions.

Nigel.

"Vena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
As someone who knew Brian Sisler since 1977 I can tell you that he was a very different person before he became a coerced lover of Robert Burton. I had known him at Renaissance and then saw him in Europe on one of the trips with Robert. He was deeply disturbed and told me that Robert told him that if he didn’t start “acting right” he would be sent home. By “acting right” it was clearly implied and understood that this referred to his expected role as a sexual partner. Brian was never the same after that. I don’t remember how long after this that Brian was thrown out of Robert’s circle but he became more and more distressed. He used to walk the roads of Oregon House day and night in despair. Robert would pass him in the grand Mercedes with the currently favored new boys. The rest of Brian’s story has been told here on the blog. The point that I am making is that there can be no denial that his personal relationship with Robert contributed to his psychological decline and eventual death. And just for the record, I don’t think Brian was homosexual. He was attracted to women before his experience with Robert. It has been too easy for the Fellowship to dismiss cases like this by labeling the person as unstable, etc. and not acknowledging that Robert’s actions contributed to and perhaps in some cases caused the instability.

"Yesri Baba" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:

About Charles Forline -
http://www.dailycal.org/article/5229/man_dies_in_apparent_suicide [ed. - Link no longer active.]
"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
Charles Forline threw himself under a train years after leaving the Fellowship. Stella and Harold had introduced him to me as a former member of the Fellowship.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
Stella and Harold rented for years from Charles Forline. He walked around Berkeley in his bare feet and I believe it was important to him to be barefoot as an individual right. He was renting out rooms in a home which, it came to light, he did not own. The Berkeley ordinance required him to have registered the house with the City and he overlooked this little detail, which made the rentals illegal. He may have been concerned when he was found out that he was going to have to pay back all the rents he had collected, I’m not sure. But I have the sense that his being found out precipitated the suicide.

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
Concerning the suicides and other cult ur(in)al adversities/abnormalities that surround the Fellowship of Friends ( A.K.A Pathway to Presence):
123. Ill Never Tell said:

‘the main difference between a mass suicide of jonestown or branch davidian and the fellowship of friends is a matter of the degree (read: scale) and measurement of the amount per unit of time (read: relativity).’
AND
‘several suicides and attempted suicides of close family members of Fellowship of Friends members (oh! I guess that could just be written off as collateral damage.) Those, knowingly, living adverse life styles that brought them to premature deaths. examples: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (rotten) heart conditions, cancers. but everyone aught to know, that it is not the dead that brings down the army in the battle of life. it is the walking wounded, the greatest burden, that endure the suffering that comes from the simultaneous torture chamber and love boat number 9. Many members are basket cases but still alive. . .’
Add to that the rampant drug and alcohol abuse.

Someone, and others who are just reading and not posting – but likewise are still on that cruise on the river in North Africa that flows in the opposite direction of most rivers on the planet called DENIAL (the Nile) – WAKE UP you sorry bastards.
Sure there were some positive aspects of life in the Fellowship (true of almost anything), but as a whole, it is a VERY, VERY sick situation (and getting worse all the time) and attracts its own version of criminality – corruption. I am speaking from over 30 years of close and intimate experience of most aspects of the environment without going into the sordid details (already described here in the past 65 pages) as if it were some kind of Sisyphian Labour. The main reason it, the Fellowship of Friends, still exists is that so many people have bet their entire lives on it and cannot bring themselves to the above realization. Maybe the death of the leader will change things, but I doubt it. History proves otherwise. Things will likely get worse. Listen to the sound of the descending octave playing out its tune: Clear and present danger.

"times are a changin" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 27, 2009:
Beware –

R1, R2 visa holders & Foreign students waiting to come to Apollo on the Religious visa program & Young men who would like to come in the heart of the school (RB’s mouth) as a career move.

With membership falling there are only a certain number of ‘Minister Positions available. The ‘Minister Position’ involves standing in front of the supplicant ‘Goddess in an Old Man’s Body’ and having your semen sucked out of your testes by way of your penis.

Non-Minister Category of Special Immigrant Religious Workers to Expire On March 06, 2009

On February 04, 2009, USCIS issued a reminder that the provisions for non-minister special immigrant religious workers will expire on March 06, 2009. Individuals applying under the non-minister category of the program, including family members, must either adjust status to permanent resident or be admitted with an immigrant visa before March 6, 2009. The expiring category covers special immigrant religious workers in professional or non-professional capacities within a religious vocation or occupation, but does not include those workers entering the United States solely to carry on the vocation of a minister of a religious denomination. Without a Congressional extension of the expiration date, USCIS will, beginning on March 6, 2009, reject any Form I-360, and will discontinue any further processing of pending Form I-360, Form I-485, and Form I-824 affected by the expiration date until further notice.

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
210. andrew [post number and blogger]

Actually Andrew, we’ve discussed this fairly frequently and in depth. We have a petition in progress that will ultimately be sent to governmental agencies. While, from the outside, the FOF exists as a valid church entity (we all know it’s not) we’ve had to approach affecting it from several different angles. The petition, this blog, the Greater Fellowship site, Elena and Ames picketed the property with signs that made it fairly clear what is going on inside. Newspapers have been following our efforts. There is a video in process that the early stage is now available.

We’re not standing idly by and letting this shit continue. We’re putting as much information out there for members as we are able. Those that have questions know we exist and that the information is right here. One can’t force them to leave “a church” , they have to do it on their own. There are those that would never leave, they feed at the trough of power, greed, narcissism and total lack of conscience (psychopaths).

There are good people there, and real shits. Until we can entice the authorities to take a closer look, this is what we can do as a group. As individuals, many are also doing stuff on one to one basis. I understand your frustration, but we’ve been frustrated for far longer than you, trust me.

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
Greater Fellowship Discussion:

The FOF [Fellowship of Friends] distortions of the 4th way:
Reply by N. & A. G_lb_rt on September 6, 2008 at 11:40pm
Tatyana,

The one-line answer: Burton using the idea of 4 centers does not make his teaching a true teaching by any means.

Where, O where to begin? You are going to need months of full-time study to catalog all the distortions, misunderstandings and deviations! Here are some random examples to get you started…
  • Of course, the whole damned thing (wrongly called a ‘teaching’) is a travesty, because the organization was founded on, and is to this day riddled through and through with lies, fairy tales, inventions, distortions, and monuments to Burton’s ego.
  • The first big lie was that Burton was qualified to be a teacher at all. His claims are just that, claims, without proof. Here is an example, on just one level. Of the group of six students kicked out with me in 1994, one took it upon herself to find and talk to Alex Horn’s first wife (still in Northern California), and report back to us. His wife remembered Burton quite clearly. She was quite unequivocal about his sexual appetites and the fact that he failed the task set for him by Alex Horn. The task had two parts. The first part was to stop pestering fellow male students for sex. The second was to stop all homosexual activity outside the group, period. He failed at both, and was thrown out. The idea that he ‘surpassed his teacher’ and was later praised by his teacher is laughable. Whether you accept that Alex Horn was a true 4th Way teacher or not (I do not), Burton failed his task completely, and flunked. And, not only is there no lineage through Horn, but Horn has no lineage either. The 4th Way demands a legitimate conscious lineage in order to transmit the necessary information.
  • He dazzled Bonita (his first follower), then had sex with her, then lied about that. He continued the lie by claiming celibacy (except of course when forcing himself on his heterosexual sex partners) until he could no longer deny it (about 1984-5). He doubled the lie by claiming that homosexuality prevented evolution, and by making homosexual non-practice an absolute task, not only for those first dozen years, but for several years after he was exposed as homosexual to the laity. He tripled the lie, setting new records for hypocrisy, when one man he raped had the courage to stand up at a meeting and denounce Burton. Burton interrupted, calling the young man not only a liar, but delusional, and claimed again that he was celibate. The young man received no support, or even questions from the audience, and left the FoF directly from that meeting. (I was not there, but Stella W., who was present, told me about it in 1998. She also emphasized that she absolutely believed Burton, just as all the other followers present at the time apparently did). My point is, the organization was riddled with corruption from the beginning. Even the initially beautiful things were underlain with this corrupt foundation, and hence inevitably became corrupted.
  • In 1994, Burton was asked, “What is the purpose of conscience?”, and replied with these words, “Conscience is just a collection of “I”s; anyone accumulating too much material there should leave the school.” Since it is the purpose of a 4th Way school to wake up conscience, which develops in parallel with consciousness, Burton thereby shows himself to be the low charlatan he is, and that he has neither consciousness or conscience. This is probably one of the most important deviations from the 4th Way, one which cannot be overemphasized.
  • The claim that ‘C-Influence’ is some power external to one. The Church of Burton linked this distortion to the ’44 angels’ and so on, that they are his helpers (or, depending on occasion, vice-versa). On the contrary, the 4th Way says that C-Influence is the transmission of higher knowledge through a teacher. The implication is that this would be orally or by example. The idea of 44 angels or any other external co-teachers is inimical to the 4th Way.
  • The claim that he is a personal intermediary between his followers and ‘C-Influence’. That he is necessary to his followers’ evolution, and the only person on the planet who can be so. This has nothing to do with the 4th Way. The only part of this claim which might be valid is if he was is a transmitter of higher knowledge—and of course only if he were a true teacher. The 4th Way emphasizes that one’s evolution is personal, that no one can do the work for another.
  • The claim that it takes many lifetimes to awaken, and that one must somehow follow him through those many lifetimes. This is another set of lies, based on a gross distortion of some theories put forward by Ouspensky in a couple of his books. For a start, these were only personal thought experiments, secondly, they cannot possibly be verified—only one’s present life can be verified. Coupled to this lie in Burton’s fantasy is another; that giving up one’s will to Burton is pretty much permanent, at least for several lifetimes. The 4th Way emphasizes that giving up one’s will to a teacher is strictly temporary; just long enough for the student to see the difference between morality and conscience, and to build up trust in conscience as the true guide. The central point of the 4th Way is to truly individuate and take real responsibility for oneself. This means it is critical to separate from the teacher and graduate from his or her school. Burton teaches the opposite; he teaches his followers to fear or adore him. This means that instead of the teacher pointing the way, the teacher has become the destination—in exact opposition to the 4th Way.
  • Connected intimately with the above is the claim that the ends justifies the means. This basic misunderstanding also highlights and proves Burton’s lack of knowledge, being, and conscience, and any of his followers who believe the same. An awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends. And a careful study of the law of three and the law of seven, keys to understanding the 4th Way, also shows this clearly, at whatever level one chooses to concentrate on.
  • The claim that no follower can awaken in a female body. This is also closely linked to another of Burton’s personal inventions, Feminine Dominance. The 4th Way may sometimes refer, in different words, to the ‘cultural soup’ we all swim in, but even that was distorted by Burton to become a personal weapon against women generally (reducing them, simply because of their gender, to second-class citizens simply because of the fact that they are usually the first contact an infant has with culture), and against men in the particular (“Having sex with me is the best way to overcome Feminine Dominance, dear”).
  • The claim that having sex with him is an important aid to evolution. Not only is there nothing like this in the 4th Way, after much research I have found no verifiable record of sex with a teacher ever actually having any advantage, while there are literally thousands of testimonies about the detrimental effects of sexual abuse of power by leaders within recognized religions as well as innumerable cults. Connected with this, the 4th Way categorically claims that anyone who is sexually abnormal cannot progress further. Whether you believe that homosexuality itself is an impediment or not, Burton plainly suffers from satyriasis, uses force, and is a sexual pervert incapable of normal, loving relationships. We know this because he has never had any. He may speak words about love, but he cannot act from love.
  • The ‘impressions octave’. While an important aspect of the 4th Way, this has been distorted and misunderstood in an almost lunatic fashion by Burton. First, the ‘impressions’ he gathers are usually the result of greed. That is, owning them is the most important factor; his collections are always impelled by his greed (by one definition, this is pornography). This is especially true of his collection of young men, of course. But the excesses, the hundreds of suits, pairs of shoes, cars and so on have little or nothing to do with the 4th Way ideas of impressions or their usage. Another way of seeing the lack of consciousness connected with his collections is that he does not allow enough resources to maintain them. Ranging from whole groves of orange trees lost to frost, to hundreds of acres of vines abandoned, huge monetary losses as valuable antiques are ruined, the list is very long.
  • Verifications are central to the 4th Way. Burton has substituted faith for verification at almost every turn, above all faith in him, his predictions, his actions, and in his high being. Almost nothing he says or claims is verifiable. Here is an example. The 4th Way says that before a person can became a man number five, he must replace himself with a man number four, and so on. The gap between the supposed man number 7.8 and the supposed man number 5, Girard Haven, exposes the giant fallacy for what it is, just another fantasy. In reality, Burton is at a very low level, and having established a thrall over his followers, has made them infantile dependents.
Tatyana, you can see where this is going. EVERYTHING about Burton is suspect, because he is an abject slave to his desires, and has woven a fantasy world to help support his desires. So EVERYTHING about the Fellowship is suspect, because the followers, in their neediness, have agreed to enter and support his fantasy, and so are also slaves to his desires. This is not to say that the efforts of the followers may not sometimes bear fruit; if they take responsibility for their efforts, and refuse to dedicate the fruit of their efforts to him, some independence may arise; however, the mechanisms of the Fellowship soon align to remove such irritants. It is very difficult to achieve correct results when the basic fact is—Burton prefers to keep his followers dependent and asleep.
*** End of quotation ***

"Someone" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
In almost 40 years and thousands of students passing through the FOF, there were three suicide cases. Two of members and one of former member.

Kevin Kelly was speaking of suicide years before he killed himself. I knew him personally since1984. He once told RB that he wanted to end his life and Robert very actively told him that it is would be the worst crime one can do and that such act will end his evolving possibilities.

Kevin told me all that personally.

Once Kevin asked a question “How can one use one’s teacher as an example?” and Robert said “My dear I use you as an example every day.”

Unlike what is written here, Kevin’s situation was not stable at all and his physical condition was driving him crazy.

The most sharp and out loud statement RB has ever made was against suicide.

The FOF is not for me anymore so I left and I will not be back. Yet, ascribing those three suicides to the FOF is an evil act by a bunch of some liars here.

"nigel harris price" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
223 someone

I think you might like to know what can precipitate a suicide attempt.

I was not a stable person in the FOF, having several phases of my bi-polar disorder, and only being stable now thanks to prescribed medication. However, when one is told that ‘leaving the School will lead to eternal damnation’ and then running out of money ‘to chuck at the Fellowship coffers’, the ‘downside’ of bi-polar can make one cast judgement on oneself to such an extent that one actually does try to take one’s own life. I am grateful, however, that my life was saved by a student who is now an ex-member. Should you believe that the FOF is only for ‘strong people’, I would suggest you dwell on St Paul’s words – “When I am weak, then I am strong”…..Nigel.

"elena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
Someone and everyone in the Fellowship like Someone who suffers from amnesia and alzheimer’s,

Why would you have any hard feelings if you were allowed to boss people around in a kitchen and give them photographs about their petty standards because they took hot water from the tap? As the enabler that you paint yourself why would you be willing to acknowledge more than three suicides? Wouldn’t one suicide on Robert’s hands be enough to justify stopping him? How many do you need to justify it? With what kind of voyeurism and morbidity do you need to look at more than one person’s suffering to understand that the Fellowship of Friends Cult needs to be stopped?

And you are already denying Aileen C. who hit her car against every post she could find every time she got into a car and the many others who have attempted suicide in the Fellowship of which I who am an ignorant about these stories, already know of five including the flower lady today, Nigel and Heather N, who put a bullet up her head in case you wish to minimize that as a suicide.

Of course, while bossing people around in the kitchen, you never had time to find out about anything else in the Fellowship and although there are already 62 pages exposing the horrors of the Fellowship here you are not willing to acknowledge more than two suicides. You truly are a gem of the Fellowship of Friends: the perfect member who will rejoin sooner than you know because all those inside are just like you: people willing to deny the truth no matter how many more people get hurt.
And just so that you don’t become contagious let us remember what you want to forget:

1. All the children that have been harmed by the Fellowship because in their parents eyes they were nothing but biological accidents.

2. All the men who had to become feminine passive submitted creatures on call for when ever Robert desires them.

3. All the women who had to annihilate their feminity and become money making machines for Robert.

4. All the young people who think life is a Cinderella story in which they can waltz themselves from one Gucci uniform to another even if they or their husband or their friends are getting raped by Robert.

5. All the old people that after thirty years in the Fellowship are told to go to an old people’s home and be taken care by the six billion dead people on the planet who suddenly become the bearers of the Fellowship’s wastes.

6. All the money people have lost to eighty-dollar socks and trips to Europe for the boys so that they are more willing to participate in the next orgy.

7. All the money lost in Robert’s excesses.

To understand the harms that the Fellowship imposes on people you need enough subtlety and common sense to realize that a community in which one child is not allowed to participate in her full presence in her parents community harms everyone in the community. The Fellowship of Friends in Oregon House is not just a Cult but a community of people with severe limitations. No one, ever, can justify the damages to any of the individuals of a cult or any other institution for that matter, on the basis of its doctrine. If a doctrine or a policy hurts any of the members of no matter what community, then the doctrine and the policy are not human enough to sustain. It is the misuse of religion and politics what allows people to justify hurting others.

The Fellowship cult is a crippled society in which Robert is the only actor. It is the impositions on their social and personal life what harms each member as an individual and as a social being and this is managed by submission to Robert’s doctrine, which, practically looked at, is the imposition of his lifestyle on each one of the members. We are not talking about a teaching into higher realms, we are talking about a miscarriage into lower realms.

The environment of the Fellowship weakens member’s sense of themselves and what is good for them. The separation between the human and the divine allows for multiple inhuman standards justified by the pursuit of the divine. It is not only the body what the Fellowship neglects in its theory, but the physical and everything human with it. Members convince themselves of the noble aims that they are struggling for while they deny practical reality. They see in Robert the divine being, not the manipulator who asks them to divorce, to leave their children, to not study while they are young enough to travel with him; To submit sexually to a goddess, to give him every dime they make; To never contradict him or speak their word; To not acknowledge those who are suffering and about to commit suicide.

Just that one sentence in which he asks members to neglect those who are suffering should be enough to close the Fellowship down but here we intend to continue playing with words because information is the way we are going to stop people from joining?

Well, Robert is so successful that members as much as ex-members are willing to buffer the harm the Fellowship is doing. The sick people inside matter so much, that stopping the Fellowship is the only way to help them because they are too damaged to help them selves. “A man who gets used to eating mud goes mad if you try to stop him” but ex-members are still so brainwashed that although they know these people are on a slow process of self destruction at the service of a narcissistic sociopath, they are afraid of assuming responsibility for it. Robert is the winner with that attitude. Continue to serve him if you wish in or out but don’t count me in to help the Fellowship continue to hurt people. It must be stopped and doing it with as little harm as possible is a strong must.

The only thing that stopping the Fellowship would interfere with is Robert and the inner circle’s agenda. Then they could carry on with their lives. Only the individual fantasy and the cult would be stopped. That hurts the agenda but helps the members. We would not have to abandon them after the Fellowship closed, we could still help them enormously if they allowed. We are not going anywhere, what stops us from being here now as much as then?

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:

[Quoting] Someone,
Kevin’s situation was not stable at all
Of course it was not stable with all those artificial demands for money and to uproot his life and reestablish it in Oregon House.
In almost 40 years and thousands of students passing through the FOF, there were three suicide cases. Two of members and one of former member.
Let see. I know of four. Lore Fisher-Smith, Brian Sisler, Kevin Kelly, and (according to Bruce) Kimo Beech. But that’s just me, I’ve been out for a quarter of a century. Doubtless there are more. Every time you talk about them, you tell us your conclusion that linking the suicides to the Fellowship is an act of malicious liars. However, I don’t understand your reasoning. Best as I can tell, when you talked about Kevin Kelly, you looked at what Burton said, but ignored what he did:

1. He created an artificial crisis consisting of an impending cataclysm, and demanded that people uproot their lives in anticipation of that artificial crisis.

2. He created insane monetary demands for no reason other than to reproduce the Beverly Hills Country Club in a poor, rural, remote county of the Gold Country.

3. He created a culture of emotional cutoff in which former members were ostracized.

4. He created a culture of narcissistic selfishness in which blindness to others’ emotional needs was the norm.

5. He stigmatized asking for help if one had suicidal thoughts.

I could go on but I think you must get the point. My question for you is, why do you look at what Burton says, but not at what Burton does?

"ton" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:

Someone 223:
Kevin Kelly was speaking of suicide years before he killed himself. I knew him personally since1984. He once told RB that he wanted to end his life and Robert very actively told him that it is would be the worst crime one can do and that such act will end his evolving possibilities…. The most sharp and out loud statement RB has ever made was against suicide.

around 1981-82 i lived with kevin and did some work for him in exchange for rent at that place he owned just off the property.

speaking of lies, telling kevin ‘very actively’ that CHOOSING to take HIS OWN life ‘would be the worst crime one can do and that such an act will end his evolving possibilities…’ this line of bullshit is yet another example of mind-control and manipulation of the sheep…. it’s the same psychological trick that’s employed in that bullshit about leaving ‘the school’ and ‘going to the moon.’

obviously it was ALWAYS kevin’s OWN CHOICE to end his life, the manipulation, the deceit, and the mindfuck employed in this case ignoring kevin’s unique circumstances and situation. kevin ‘believed’ in the ‘advice’ and ‘advisor’ and so was controlled by the same. (suicide as ‘taboo’ has archetypal levels of social conditioning connected to the idea / act… this pablum / hogwash about ‘the worst crime…. ending evolving possibilities…’ is a variation on a meme, embedded in myriads of social constructs against suicide, this bullshit line by RB reinforces and is reinforced by the taboo nature of the act).

imo, and you can call me a cynic, there is another way of looking at why RB was interested in seeing kevin ‘bravely live on’ (onward christian soldier)… the ‘bottom line’ of kevin’s death implies that he stops making teaching payments and ‘donations.’ my editorial comment on the situation — rather than wisely counseling kevin on the choice to end his own suffering, in order to continue with the fleecing this hasnamus, this spider RB prolonged kevin’s pain-filled existence, god rest his soul.

"dick moron" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:

Here is another example of Burton’s selfish depravity.

In 1978 or 1980 myself and my wife at the time traveled through Europe with Burton, his entourage and other invited FOF members.

Included in the group was Kevin Kelly. At the time Kevin employed an assistant who was crucial to his daily functions, as Kevin was paralyzed from the neck or shoulders down. This was not an easy job.

So here is what kind, caring Bob decided would be best for Kevin. Instead of Kevin’s professional assistant coming on the trip to Europe, Kevin would pay for a cute, young blond, new student, with no training in health care, to travel with him. Not only did Burton save having to pay the costs of his object of desire, he also placed the young man in an uncomfortable and somewhat humiliating position during the trip. One can imagine the mind-games and manipulation Burton used in bargaining with this man for favors. As I recall, some other student was usually helping Kevin when Burton wanted to ply his charm on this guy.

After this trip, the young man moved into the Blake Cottage (Burton’s frat house) for a very short time before he disappeared one night, never to be seen again.

Just recalling this memory sickens me.

"dick moron" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:

Burton used to mention a very early student [ed. - Lore Fisher-Smith], who left the FOF and later hanged themselves from a tree at a Greek Theatre in Marin County. Burton crowed this story as another lesson for those thinking of leaving. He loved the obvious analogy of the Greek tragedy etc.

He cared nothing for the person who ended their life so early.

"lauralupa" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends discussion blog, March 2, 2009:
250 dick moron [post number and blogger]

And let’s not forget the disgraceful attitude that Burton instills in his followers about any misfortune that happens to ex-followers.

I personally heard some “students” commenting with a certain satisfaction and a lot of self-righteousness about a very serious illness contracted by my ex-center director after she left the “school”. Of course, Robert had previously made some disparaging remarks about how she had basically gotten what she deserved from “C influence” for leaving. I remember this (it was one of those famous “memory creating moments”) because I felt their attitude to be incredibly cold, judgmental and uncaring towards a lovely and kind person who had spent a good portion of her life supporting the fof (not to mention the anti-spirituality of such lack of compassion). And this is not the only case where I noticed the total disregard (and even malicious pleasure) for the suffering and misfortunes of ex-members. Such “a great place to live with wonderful people” indeed, as long as you remain one of the sheep!

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 2, 2009:

260/Lauralupa

When Raymond Kennedy drowned in 1980, a statement in the Renaissance Vine (a publication then distributed to the centers) implied that his death was punishment by higher forces for having disobeyed the “no swimming” exercise.

If you have a copy of the Renaissance Vine containing this statement, let me know. jomopinata@gmail.com.

"Panorea" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
1. NG
completely disgusting and with no feeling or respect for A’s life. Burton does nothing, just sits there using quotations from various sources and his research resources. Followers pay money to have their faces slapped. How can YOU sit and listen to this? If there is no audience, there is no fake guru. About 4-5 years ago a mother of a Russian student hanged herself at Oregon House. She was visiting and staying with her daughter. Her grandchild opened the door and found her. Very few people talked about it; she was just a “life person.” Burton uses the death and sufferings of his followers for his “teaching.” How unethical can this be? There are a lot of dramas unfolding in the lives of fellowship followers. There are many followers who are seriously depressed and use medication subscribed by fellowship therapists. It is an emotional mess and it is not getting better because the whole core of the cult is rotten and toxic. If you stay in there, you contribute (even if you are silent) to other people’s unhappiness (and this is serious…). I’ve said it before in this forum: give yourself a chance for a better life by taking a “leave of absence”, or whatever you want to call it. Take some distance from the merry-go-round. Open your eyes and heart.

"X-ray" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
17. [above] Yes, this is true. And when that happened, no one wanted to talk about it. Now, as far as I remember that was another guy who hanged himself out, his name also was Brian, but not the Brian S., It was another Brian who worked in the woodshop. It was a very quiet story as well. The bottom line, is that fellowship of friends really is a living lie, rather than a living presence.

The "angelic" face of The Fellowship of Friends

Raphael cherubs used in Fellowship of Friends cult promotional materials
Raphael's Cherubs, that appeared in Fellowship of Friends publications

"Anna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 3, 2009:
Here are some thoughts about why being in the Fellowship felt so nice.
*
I joined at twenty one and was still very uneasy socially. In the Fellowship we were told that the ability to be socially fluent and the capacity for small talk were properties of the ‘Jack of Hearts’, and that manifesting from there was relatively undesirable.
This was all very convenient. Instead of fidgeting nervously, or being witty in a way which not many people seemed to get, and instead of rushing off when there wasn’t much to say, I could just stand still, say nothing at all, and wait for or invite someone to begin ‘teaching’ me.
I could pre-plan what to say and leave long pauses, and the other party would wait patiently- understanding that I was using ‘Kings of Centres’ to formulate.
There was clearly loads that I didn’t know. Ouspensky’s system which was still in vogue in 1984, was really complicated and mysterious and promising. Everything spoken about was new and interesting and meaningful and deep… it seemed to lead somewhere.
I could talk with men and have long walks with them, without anyone getting the wrong idea; there was no menacing flirting because that would be ‘infra sex’, our interests were ‘enlightenment’ our ambitions spiritual and lofty.
Students seemed more beautiful than other people: they were ‘wide eyed’ because they were dividing attention. They looked shiny and clean because ‘impressions’ were very important. They were picturesque, angelic even.
People hugged me lightly yet meaningfully. They weren’t allowed to be ‘negative’. I was welcomed, encouraged.
It was all bliss.
*
Now I realise the limitations of that paradise… even for newer students. First of all we kept each other superficial by our insistence on showing only our ‘angelic’ faces. Our darker, dirtier sides were part of the ‘persona non grata’; we did not delve constructively into these less digestible bits, or attempt to integrate them, but briskly wrote them off as the King of Clubs, or the Queen of Hearts, Infra-Sex, Chief Feature and so on.
Many students came to the Fellowship bleeding: they had wounds but these were categorised as the soil for ‘magnetic centre’ and we were instructed to leave them behind, to focus on higher non-human things; a kind of disembodied phenomena we called ‘soul’. In a way we were being asked to close our eyes to our human-ness. I see this now as active promotion of sleep.
But those parts of ourselves that we rejected, did not just go away. In fact unattended to they festered and grew. In private many students succumbed in secret to obsessive compulsive behaviours, were vicious, pathologically fearful, addictive, violent or depressive.
*
I loved the ‘angelic’ face of the Fellowship. It seemed worth paying for. In 1990 when I worked in the office and saw for myself that most of our teaching payments were spent by Robert Burton on his personal life I did not mind because I felt I was getting so much and because I believed him to be conscious and to be acting from a higher rationale.
Right until the very end I loved that face.
*
But now I realize just how harmful that admiration was. Even if Burton had been honest and he hadn’t been cheating us all, even if there hadn’t been the sexual exploitation, we would still have lost. Because any teaching which divides a man into ‘good and bad’ and trashes the latter, must ultimately harm him.
So if we had not invested so much in Burton’s angelic seeming group; if instead we had struggled to come to terms with our personal trauma’s, to awaken to all parts of ourselves, to acknowledge how our parents had shaped us, and then to stop blaming them, had struggled to take responsibility for our own weird behaviours, had become adults… we might slowly and painstakingly have developed our own more real communities of friends, our own families, our own professions, our own tastes.
It wouldn’t have been as easy, or as instantly ‘sweet’ as that ‘angelic’ kick we got from membership of the Fellowship, but it might have been more lasting, more true.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ananda Awareness Network action against swami

"Craig Dockter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 1, 2009:
Burton can and must be exposed. A small group of us exposed Donald Walters (kriyananda) of Ananda in Nevada City [California]. Of course we had the very best lawyers: Michael Flynn & Ford Greene.

Check it out: http://www.anandainfo.com

****

From the Ananda Awareness Network:

The lawsuit filed against the Ananda church of Self-Realization, known as Ananda, and Swami Kriyananda, includes charges of fraud and deceit, alleging that Swami Kriyananda, aka J. Donald Walters, misrepresented himself to the public as a celibate Hindu priest, known as a swami, while in actuality he was engaging in sexual activity with young women under his spiritual care. Expert witnesses at the trial described the type of sexual activity as "clergy sexual abuse". An abuse of power perpetrated by Swami Kriyananda. While Swami Kriyananda admitted under oath to sexual activity with some followers, he denied it was "abuse". Swami Kriyananda said the young nuns "thrust themselves upon him" and took advantage of "his weakness". Ananda rallied to Swami Kriyananda's defense. Many of their leaders admitted in court that they hadn't even read the women's declarations before they were condemning them to their community as "lies" and "distortions". Ananda has no sexual harassment policy, as many other modern churches do. Ananda does not believe this is necessary, even after 7 women testified about sexual abuse at the hands of Swami Kriyananda. The Ananda Awareness Network's goal is to make alternative information about Ananda Church of Self-Realization, and Swami Kriyananda, aka J. Donald Walters, available to the public, so a fully informed choice about involvement with Ananda can be made.

Expert testimony of Pamela Cooper-White in Ananda Case.

Janja Lalich testimony