Introduction


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fellowship claims "copyright infringement and egregious invasion of privacy"

[ed. - This letter, purportedly written by Fellowship attorney David Lubbers (David Springfield) to the Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors, was originally posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 20, 2009, but WordPress was forced to remove it due to a challenge from Abraham Goldman, representing The Fellowship of Friends. It has subsequently appeared on many sites across the web.

I am posting this in the Robert Earl Burton blog in two places: November 19, 2007, when the letter was dated, and May 20, 2009, when "black marker" posted the letter on the Fellowship blog, precipitating the Fellowship's complaint.]


The following was re-posted by "X-ray" on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 7, 2011:
David Springfield (Lubbers)
A letter from D…d L.bb..s/Spr..gf..ld [David Lubbers/Springfield] to the Fellowship Board

1. black marker – May 20, 2009 [original post deleted]

Da..d Spring…ld [David Springfield], Attorney at Law
 November 19, 2007

To All Board Members
of the Fellowship of Friends, Inc.
and Giova.ni Bu.co [Giovanni Busco], CFO

Re: No Further Legal Representation

Dear Board Members and Giova.ni [Giovanni]

I am not sending this letter because I like writing of these matters or because I want to repeat what has already been stated repeatedly by both Abraham and me. This letter is written because of my professional obligations and my personal obligations to the School. My professional responsibilities require me to send this letter to confirm again that I will provide no further legal services to the Fellowship of Friends, and have stopped working on all ongoing legal matters that I was involved with. This letter also advises you to immediately work with Abraham Goldman and/or other legal counsel to handle the legal work I was involved in and to address other ongoing and/or upcoming legal matters that I will outline in this letter. The recent board activities have been covered in a number of letters and emails by Abraham and me. None of the communications were ever acknowledged or responded to by any board member. As you know, Abraham and I were instructed to stop all legal work.

First, a directive was issued on November 3, 2007, via email, on behalf of Et..n Har..s [Ethan Harris], Chairman of the Board, through R.se Ke.n.dy S.afer [Rose Kennedy Shafer] Vice Chairman of the Board, without explanation, question, or discussion. My emails and letter of November 6, 2007, about this heavy-handed and improper directive were ignored by all board members.

Next, I wrote to Li.da T.li.so [Linda Tulisso] who ignored my question about what to do about the ongoing legal work but was ignored. After learning about the secret board meeting and illegal vote that took place on or about November 10, 2007, I talked with Li.da T.li.so [Linda Tulisso] the President in person at her office on November 13, 2007. Linda confirmed the secret vote of the Board (although both W.yne Mo.t [Wayne Mott] and Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g [Alan Schwartzberg] lied that no other “crisis team” members voted at the secret Board meeting) and Linda instructed me to suspend all my legal work. I confirmed this in a letter dated November 13, 2007 that has also been copied to all of you. There was no response to this letter from anyone.

On November 18, 2007, I was voted off the Board of Directors. Now, no longer working as attorney, nor being able to act as a member of the Board, I will be unable to assist the Fellowship with any legal work or offer any oversight. All of this occurred after one week of false and contradictory statements by W.yne Mo.t [Wayne Mott], Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g [Alan Schwartzberg], Et.an Ha.ris [Ethan Harris] and others about the secret board meeting where this was already decided in advance. Only G.eg Hol.an [Greg Holman] acknowledged yesterday that the secret Board meeting was improper and that he wished that matters would have been done openly and correctly.
The failure by almost all of the Board members to even have the decency or honesty to acknowledge a secret Board meeting was held and a secret vote taken (to vote the lawyers off the Board), without any opportunity to address the issues by the persons involved is below the level of school work for any student, let alone a board member with responsibility for our church.

Al.n Sc.warzbe.g’s [Allan Schwartzberg's] refusal to show the minutes of the secret Board meeting, and subsequent refusal to return my many calls and emails, is conduct that is highly irregular for the Secretary of the Corporation and the Board of Directors. To date, I still have not obtained a copy of the “RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS” that I personally saw when both Alan and Wayne in heavy-handed fashion informed Abe and myself, on November 12, 2007, we were voted off the Board.

It is my feeling that what occurred over the last three weeks is a combination of crime, gross carelessness and ignorance of almost all Board members. In my opinion, serious crimes have likely been committed and are possibly continuing to be committed by current members on the Board. This should be addressed immediately. As I wrote about in my letter of November 6, 2007, the requirement of legal compliance and checks and balances within our organization needs urgent attention. The Board has been for some time but a passive “rubber-stamp” board without active or meaningful oversight. This almost complete inaction may create the impression of the Fellowship as a criminal organization that is functioning as the later ego of Robert Burton, involved in a conspiracy to engage in financial, tax and immigration fraud, and perhaps other illegal activities and/or tortuous conduct.
Responding to a call from Mr.Margalli? [or Margolis?] this morning, I gave him my impressions of yesterday’s Board meeting. Mr. Margalli? suggested I write a confirming letter and cover the ongoing legal work that you must all appreciate should be addressed immediately.

This list does not purport to cover all of the areas that need immediate and significant work, and you should immediately consult with Abraham and all other lawyers for the Fellowship.
The legal work I have been involved in covers the following areas:

1. Immigration. Ongoing assessment and evaluations of the needs and requirements of our religious programs/individual’s status and possible need to go back to their country of origin. I will notify Mr. Shusterman of the fact I will be no longer working with him on behalf of the Fellowship. I was also working with a number of individual students who would call with questions in the last months.

2. Financial Compliance. This is critical and should be a top priority. You have knowingly allowed having a system in place where the CFO is made responsible but essentially helpless and without authority. The CFO is not being consulted in important decisions. The Fellowship’s financial activities, in my opinion, could be seen as criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud and private inurement benefiting Robert and a number of other individuals (including possibly some Board members) and could be considered a fraud on the government. The status as a non profit corporation could well be in serious danger.

3. Investigation/Monitoring of Blog [Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog/GF [Greater Fellowship forum]/PR, etc. Several times this year I have written to Youtube or other websites to have offending material taken off line. This has been largely successful. I also have conducted an investigation into aspects of the Blog and some individuals with the aim to allow us to file suit for defamation and/or invasion of privacy if and when appropriate. I have worked on obtaining PR consultations for which then no funding was purportedly available. (Nic.ol.s Spa.ldi.g [Nicholas Spaulding] who was helping in this area, was threatened by Et.an Har.is [Ethan Harris] to stop working with Abraham and myself) This area should be a major concern for the Board which has been almost totally unresponsive.

4. It was our diligent monitoring of the blog that put us on notice that A.af Brave.man’s [Asaf Braverman's] arranged (by Fellowship officers and/or agents) fraudulent marriage to Elisa.et.a da Ros [Elisabetta da Ros] was being exposed to the world. This finally stimulated action in this area but more is needed. I will no longer monitor the Blogs or any other sites, in any language, and will no longer assist with analysis and efforts to bring these matters into compliance. A lot more needs to be done in this area for many involved.

5. Insurance. We were working on a review of all materials from the Internet and other sources that could constitute a claim (including foreign websites). I wrote about this before as well. Insurance could possibly pay for some of the costs incurred, including legal costs. I will stop all my work on this claim process, including any work on the research into the bad faith claim aspect of the insurance which I wrote about before. TIme may be of the utmost essence. See my letter of November 6, 2007.

6. Other matters: There are outstanding million dollar judgments from the Ming litigation era that will need to be renewed in the next years, if the Fellowship wants to collect on them. I had this calendared for a review in January 2008, 10 years after the first settlements and judgments were obtained. Given the success we have had collecting from various parties, I would consider this an important item to follow up on. I will no longer take any action in this area either.

In short, the overall picture is in my opinion that the Fellowship itself, Robert, and a number of our friends, including several board members and officers, continue to be in potential legal jeopardy and liability.

With the information, according to what I gathered from my investigation, shared by certain former members to various agencies, I cannot envision that there will not be a government investigation and/or lawsuit in the planning/preparation stages with possibly serious consequences for the Fellowship, the Board of Directors, Robert and possibly a number of individual students, including possibly individual Board members.

A fully professional and active compliance team to put matters straight must be created. This team would need to be working daily, hands on, with the supervision and input from professionals. The existing irregularities cannot be hidden from the people that need to help bring us into compliance.
Again, I am no longer acting as the Fellowship’s attorney. Immediate attention is required to the numerous outstanding legal issues facing the Fellowship. You are advised to consult with legal counsel immediately.

Thank you for your time and consideration to these important matters. Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.


Very truly yours,
Dav.d Spri.gfield [David Springfield]

cc. Robert E. Burton
???
Abraham Gold.an [Abraham Goldman], Esq.

[ed. - Below, Ames Gilbert responds to the forced take-down of the "David Springfield" letter, as he calls it, from the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog.]

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2009:

# 74-4 (June 2, 2009) So, I am to understand that because some FoF lawyer made a complaint to WordPress, they pulled the first comment on the last page (#1-73) by Black Marker, “in response to a copyright infringement notice”? Did WordPress do this without contacting the moderator? Without verifying that this letter by “David Springfield”, that is, David Lubbers, was already widely circulated and therefore in the public domain? That the letter itself refers to events, such as the bigamous marriages of Asaf Braverman, the illegal inurement and misuse of members’ funds by Robert Burton, the illegal misuse of “religious visas” to procure fresh victims for Burton’s insatiable appetites and as cheap, malleable labor? That the letter itself refers to the activities of the ‘shadow’ Board of Directors, all of whom have been and are appointed by Burton specifically so they will rubberstamp every one of his decisions—the board that for its entire history has abrogated its legal oversight responsibilities to the members of the Fellowship of Friends, to the taxpaying public, and to the IRS? That the letter itself refers to the monitoring of this blog, to scheming and conspiring to attack the contributors to the blog?

There is nothing copyrightable about material in the public domain. ‘Copyright’ and ‘public domain’ are mutually exclusive. Not only that, the law specifically refers to the principle of fair use. Quoting the letter, even in its entirety, is fair use in this context. And this is the context: the blog (when it not masquerading as the ‘Nigel Harris Price Show’) has several purposes, one of which is to expose to the general public, to prospective members of the Fellowship of Friends, and to present members of the Fellowship of Friends who have open minds, the moral and legal and spiritual frauds at the heart of the organization. The letter quoted by Black Marker shows as well as any of the testimony gathered so far the extent of the legal and moral fraud, so WordPress can hardly consider it not germane to the issue, purpose and context.

Goodness me, is the information that Burton recently took a ‘pay cut’ of $15k (from the official $50k to $35k), and widely publicized amongst the laity to show he was also “making sacrifices”, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that most of his income is off the record and off the books, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that members in the past have received inflated paychecks, paid taxes at a low rate, then written checks to Burton—is knowledge of this tax avoidance scheme copyrighted? Is the knowledge that Burton is the king of inurement—that almost the whole purpose of the Fellowship of Friends and the majority of the income is to support him in the style he has become accustomed to, copyrighted? Is the knowledge that foreign centers pay directly for his expenses abroad so he can avoid reporting that income in the U.S.A., copyrighted? Is knowledge that certain bequests made in cash went unreported as income, copyrighted? I don’t think so, Fellowship lawyers!

I could go on and on, and maybe I will…

And hey, I invite anyone with expertise on copyright law to set me straight if I am mistaken.

"fofblogmoderator" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2009:
Hey Ames, I did receive notification from WordPress and they offered me the option of contesting the complaint. The complaint that was lodged was the following;

“This is a complaint about copyright infringement and egregious invasion of privacy related to the following blog posting…….”

The “plaintiff” went on to state that it was an infringement of attorney-client privacy rights, etc.

I don’t know the law and maybe the attorney (plaintiff) doesn’t either. The link to the letter is still active on page 72 from a post by “What The,,,?” at #293. The link takes you to an internet archive website. Does this constitute public domain? Beats me, but I thought it was best to delete post #1 on page 73 (the pasted full text version) and get the blog up and running again.

I think if people want to see how far “the letter” can be used as an official testimony to the level of corruption and abuse inside the FOF, then a collection should be taken to hire Mr Green (I believe that was the name of the cult-buster) or someone qualified in this area. I think the letter is extremely damaging and all efforts should be pursued to see if this could be used to finally shed some legal light on the questionable practices inside the FOF.

At one point the Sheik set up a paypal account and I sent him money a number of times. I’ve never asked for any contributions to compensate for my time maintaining the blog- nor will I ever. This is the one time I will ask for money. It’s not for me. It’s to give to the lawyer and someone who will volunteer here to act as our liaison/representative between our evidence (the petition, more personal testimonies, records of money given to the FOF and the letter) and our hired attorney.

It’s been a long day for me and maybe I’m way off base here. I’d like to hear feedback. It seems that if any truth is going to be discovered about the true nature of the business practices of the FOF, now is the time to try to shed some light.

How interesting to know that FOF agents are reading this and pondering how to defend their den of deceit.

"Associated Press" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 5, 2009:
The D@v!d Spr!ugf!eld, mentioned in the offending document, was, prior to studying for and becoming a lawyer (passing the California Bar Exam), the Maître d’ of the Academy (now Galleria Apollo?, or, whatever) for a few years. [maître d': (short for maître d'hôtel, in the original French, literally 'master of the hotel')] That meant that he was the octave leader or manager of the staff that ran Robert’s public and private affairs in his residence and elsewhere. He was also responsible for managing the security (included firearm permits and training) and the motor pool in this scope. At the time he may have been known by a different last name. (Mentioned elsewhere on this blog.) (It was changed legally.) He was the predecessor to Epw@rp S¢hnlten, as Maître d’. This took place in the pre-1998 era – late 1980′s? to early/mid 1990′s – roughly through the time of the Troy/Richard fiasco, the Olivehurst Gospel Assembly, and the Ming furniture collection/museum. (There was also a period of time, during this time, that Robert could not reside in the Academy because a property tax exemption was being claimed for it being a museum. There was the separate residence, called the Ming House, or something like that, owned by Et.n H.rr.s, member of the FoF board, and leased to FoF for this purpose. D@v!d’s scope possibly extended to that property and staff, too.) Therefore, he was intimately familiar with almost everything that would go on behind the scenes in the life of Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends – not quite the same relationship as the private secretaries or the legal counsel. It was understandable that he eventually resigned from that position and went to work for Abr.h.m G.ldm.n, Associates; the then legal counsel. His exalted position of confidence dictated that he not be cast about in an adverse fashion, as so many burned-out people from the Fellowship land up. So, the content of that letter is, likewise, understandable and an aspect of the experiences he had had, the oath he had taken (as lawyer), the responsibilities as he saw them, and the conscience that may have arose in the circumstances. (Either that or a queeny flare up.)

D@v!d was a great person to work with, as long as you were on his good side. The Dutch are very diplomatic people and have a keen sense of justice and fairness. (It’s no coincidence that the World Court is in Holland located in the Hague.) But, also, certain circumstances can lead to passive-aggressive behaviours. You would not want to get on the wrong side of certain type persons. Relationship examples have been cited on this blog by the near and dear. And, abuse is a way of life in the Fellowship. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

To be a lawyer, often it requires having a thick skin and often certain strong arm tactics in rather measured implementations. This can be very frustrating.

Now, has this letter surfaced before? The author of this post has checked and double checked and found that it may have been alluded to in the past as in: Abr.h.m G.ldm.n, Associates, was removed as counsel for FoF; but this letter in complete detail is new. Could D@v!d have posted it? That’s possible, but unlikely. He has close family members in FoF and is unlikely to leave FoF. So, you go figure. More likely it might be the work of some disenfranchised current or former FoF board member or other staff that had access to the document. But one never knows. What goes around, comes around. Could have been Robert Earl Burton himself, using it to get rid of more disloyal marginal hangers-on.

Hey, everyone should know that lawyers are well aware of the idea, and use of, ‘you can not unring a bell.’ That’s where a lawyer damn well knows that they can not ask certain questions (in court for instance), that the opposition will object, that the judge will sustain the objection; but meanwhile the question gets put out there and even the witness may give an answer before the objection, sustainment, and the strike from the record, and the jury instruction from the judge to disregard the disallowed sequence of events (read: testimony), but the bell has been rung, which can lead to the ever so small amount of doubt with just one juror. Well D@v!d, the bell has been rung.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2009:
Dear fofblogmoderator,

Thanks for clarifying what happened. And, I greatly appreciate the work you do to maintain the blog.
Here are some points to consider about this blog.

It is run by WordPress software; this software is open source and community developed, just like Linux, and is free. The community of developers is wordwide. It would be very hard for any entity, such as the Fellowship of Friends, to attack such a community.

The blog itself was for the first years hosted on servers based in London, England; this was organized by the Sheikh. There is no reason to believe this has changed, unless the moderator made the changes himself. Likewise, it would be very hard for the Fellowship to attack the server company.

This brings us to content. Here is a quote from broadcastlaw(dot)com on the subject:
_________________________________________

Avoiding Liability for Websites that Post User Generated Content

Website operators planning to allow visitors to post their own “user generated content” can, for the most part, take solace that they will not be held liable for third-party posts if they meet certain criteria. The Communications Decency Act provides protection against liability for torts (including libel, slander and other forms of defamation) for website operators for third-party content posted on their site. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protection against copyright infringement claims for the user-generated content, if the site owner observes certain “safe harbor” provisions set out by the law. The requirements for protection under these statutes, and other cautions for website operators, are set out in detail in our firm’s First Amendment Law Letter, which can be found here.
As detailed in the Law Letter, the Communications Decency Act has been very broadly applied to protect the operator of a website from liability for the content of the postings of third parties. Only recently have courts begun to chip away at those protections, finding liability in cases where it appeared that the website operator in effect asked for the offending content – as in a case where the owner of a roommate-finder site gave users a questionnaire that specifically prompted them to indicate a racial preference for a roommate – something which offends the Fair Housing Act. However, as set forth in the Law Letter, absent such a specific prompt for offending information, the protections afforded by this statute still appear quite broad.

The protections against Copyright infringement liability contained in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act actually impose very specific obligations on the site operator before it qualifies for the safe harbor immunity. The site owner must register with the Copyright Office, provide the name of a specific person on staff to receive complaints of copyright violations (and keep that name up to date), adopt terms of use for its site that deals with how the site will deal with repeat infringers, have no actual knowledge of infringement and promptly remove offending material if properly notified by a copyright holder that it has been posted on the site (“the notice and take-down” provision). As with the Communications Decency Act, the website operator should also do nothing to encourage the posting of infringing material.
_________________________________________

… end of quote

So, that takes care of the liability of the website operator, who is as I said, in England and rather unlikely to be subject to U.S. law.

Since the moderator chose not to contest the ‘takedown notice’, there can be no further action on this particular comment.

I did not make a copy of the comment that quotes the letter from David Springfield/David Lubbers (I’ve been copying and archiving the blog pages as time permits, but only after they have been completed—‘just in case’), but I just now I found a copy very easily. And, Google apparently ‘backs up’ the entire contents of the majority of the web (sites with an active history) several times a day; how long they keep those contents, I haven’t heard. These archives are in the public domain as well; Google does not restrict access to any of these archives.

If there is any liability at all, it would seem to lie at the feet of the person who told the person who told the person who told Black Marker of the letter. I happen to know for a fact that the letter has been circulated extensively during the past. Just like the material I circulated at the time of my leaving, or my blog entries, it has ‘escaped’ and is now in the public domain. Daniel Ellsberg (upon whom be all praise and blessings) released the infamous ‘Pentagon Papers’, and the New York Times published it (would that they had the same courage nowadays!). The material was classified, though it should not have been; it was the right of every citizen to know how the government systematically lied. The evidence escaped. Daniel could have been sent to jail, but even the guvmint did not presume to try to put the information back in its cage.

A point has been raised, that this is confidential information between attorney and client. The letter itself categorically denies this. A central theme is that there is no client/attorney relationship, that all trust has broken down, and the lawyers were fired from the board. Further the letter states that there are consequences for illegal actions which David Springfield lists, and that this is a final goodbye. I should note here that it is illegal (though rarely enforced, obviously) for a lawyer to knowingly help hide illegal activities.

Here is something else to consider. There is can be no privilege or copyright protection for illegal actions (I copyrighted this dandy method for evading tax, your honor, and I demand that no one else be allowed to screw the IRS using my method…). On the contrary, we citizens have an obligation to expose criminal activity wherever we find it, or we can be accused of complicity in the crimes. The letter makes it quite clear that the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Friends is complicit in these crimes, which are listed. We, the blog contributors and readers, know there have been as yet no legal consequences for the criminal activities of the Board of Directors and of the organization they are responsible for. We are obliged to continue shedding light on those activities.

Another point. David Springfield displays no remorse in the letter. As far as I know, he is still a member to this day. The letter advises the Fellowship of Friends to clean up its act, or there may be consequences. Sure, David regrets the illegal and hasty actions of the Board of Directors, but not from a moral point of view. He just doesn’t want to get caught, and is warning the Board that they might get caught.

Finally, if anyone out there really wants to publicize damaging information, there is Wikileaks. A subset of Wiki, this site was established to protect whistleblowers of all kinds, and is set up to defend the sources of the information against all comers, including our beloved guvmint. It is simply impossible to trace the sources of information, period. So, if you want to publish the Fellowship secret Burton accounts for the last thirty-nine years, or the minutes of illegal meetings of the Fellowship Board of Directors, put it on Wikileaks! Then tell us where to find it. We will all be grateful to you, be assured!

Note to Elena. I try to limit my entries to those when I have something new to say, and try not repeat myself too often. Nevertheless, I have over 230 pages of blog entries I keep in one enormous Word document.

Don’t you think that is sufficient? Pity the poor reader who has to wade through all my posts!

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 30, 2009:
For the sake of completeness, I’m adding the rest of the correspondence between Abe and myself to the post I made on the last page (#74-232). I say ‘the rest’ because Abraham has stopped talking to me for now; maybe he’ll continue in the future. (This round of correspondence started when I called him June 24th to verify that the e-mail he sent to Godlike Productions was true, complete and correct. He said several times he’d send me a copy, which he hasn’t done so far). In Abraham’s e-mail, he wrote the words [Abraham Goldman] himself as he inserted his answers into my letter to him, to make the reading easier.

Thanks, Abe.
On Jun 24, 2009, at 5:08 PM, Abraham Goldman wrote:
Dear Ames:

In years past, we were friends, and I don’t recall us ever having any negative feelings for each other. I really don’t want to go down that slippery slope, with you, or with anyone, for any reason.

I really don’t take personally all of the blame and negativity thrown at me on the blog and other sites. It would take lifetimes.

I don’t have much time left before leaving the office today, so I will get back to you at more length tomorrow.

Please see a few comments below so you can see at least I did have time to read your letter, even if quickly.

Abe

Ames Gilbert wrote June 24, 2009:
From: Ames Gilbert [mailto:nancyames@accessbee.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:02 PM
To: Abraham Goldman
Subject: Re: Ames Gilbert’s e-mail address

Abe,

I guess you’re kidding, right, about the rights of folks to communicate with their lawyers?

[Abraham Goldman] Not at all. I spent most of the last 32 years fighting for underdogs who had already been turned away by other lawyers.

You’d more profitably spend your time, in my opinion, asking President Obama why he continues to support, and indeed expand on, the Bush doctrine of the infallible, unaccountable presidency which apparently has the right to lock anyone (U.S. citizen or no) away without recourse or representation, indefinitely.

[Abraham Goldman] I agree with this 100% if he is still allowing it.

My research indicates that the government also believes it has an absolute right to listen in on anyone’s telephone and e-mail conversations, without even the minimal fig-leaf of FISA.

[Abraham Goldman] Ditto.

Getting down to your role as the Fellowship of Friends lawyer, you know and I know that you, the Board of the Fellowship of Friends, and the senior Council members believe that all followers have a higher duty to whatever Burton decides than to the law of the land, let alone conscience. This is why you continue to defend and protect the illegal acts that have been a central part of the history of the FoF for almost as long as it has existed.

[Abraham Goldman] I joined 1979; started legal work about 1981. Carl Mautz did all the work before that. If you ask Carl if he has a ethical duty to protect privilege, I think he will say yes.

I myself have heard Burton claim he is representative of some higher morality and that he is not subject to the laws the rest of us labor under, man-made or physical. You believe (or pretend to believe) exactly that, and certainly your actions are not those of a free, independent legal professional who follows his conscience, then the law of the land, then the interests of his client, in that order.

[Abraham Goldman] This sentence has about 6 parts: too many to reply to all at once. I have my own view of Robert, which anyone can share or disagree with.

I’ve looked closely (!) at the Wikileaks article, and I can see no words there that indicate that I posted the letter to their site. It just uses my name and telephone number as a contact. I can’t even find a way to communicate to them that I’d like my name removed. So, like the letter itself, my name is ‘out there’ for the time being. Tough luck for you, tough luck for me!

[Abraham Goldman] If you had no connection to it, we will talk further.

Look, Abraham, the posting to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog came as complete a surprise to me as it (probably) came to you. You and David Springfield are probably cursing Black Marker, whoever he/she is; I am blessing him/her. The letter seemed truthful and sincere. I have no way of verifying that, but the circumstances, wording, and my general knowledge of how the FoF and Burton works made it seem more likely than not that it was true.

[Abraham Goldman] Like I said before, Ames, the issue for me is the privilege between attorney and client. WordPress took this seriously. So did the Archives. The Godlike people seem to like to fight. I just believe, and the whole legal system, opposed to anarchy & tyranny, rests on a layperson’s right to talk to a lawyer when needed. It’s the same as spousal communications and other privileges.

You and I and a host of others know that the general gist and particular infractions the author listed are TRUE. The more you fight to cover it up, the more threats you make (and I’m not referring to just this letter, Abe, as you know), the more credence people are going to give to the whole affair. In your letter to the Godlike Productions website, you practically admit that the contents of the letter are true and valid. In your dubious claims (in my personal opinion, but then I’m no lawyer) of client-attorney privilege, you practically admit it. In the court of public opinion, you have admitted it. Because the claims made in the letter are, as you well know, grounded in fact; all you have left to do is defend the reputation of the Fellowship. Nothing can change the TRUTH, the facts of the case, but you can try to change public (and intra-Fellowship) perceptions of the truth. But, Abe, you are not succeeding, not by a mile, with the course you have chosen to take.

[Abraham Goldman] I did not write the letter. Right now, I am defending the right of clients and lawyers to personal confidentiality. There is too much other ground you cover above, so it will need to wait

If you can find a way for me to communicate with the editors/organizers of Wikileaks on this subject, I’d be happy to ask them to remove my name. I sure don’t want to attract the fate of Thomas Becket after the Maximum Leader of his time, Henry II (who also claimed to be anointed by God,) asked rhetorically, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”

[Abraham Goldman] Well, history, or at least T.S. Elliott, gave Becket the better of the deal, yes? And Henry lost France eventually, and didn’t exactly have a happy family life.

More to the point, I am also trying to communicate with the Wikileaks people. We certainly agree that is not easy. I will be happy to add to my efforts that you want to have your name removed, and share with you on that.

Who made you the lucky one in the first place? Maybe they can get their own post withdrawn?

I wish you well,

[Abraham Goldman] And I you, Ames.

Ames

Ames’ reply June 26, 2009:
Hello Abe,

thank you for taking the time to comment on parts of my letter.

I agree with you that confidentiality of client/attorney communications should be sacrosanct– unless the client and attorney are engaged in a criminal enterprise or engaged in covering up evidence of a criminal enterprise.

I support any efforts you make to protect client/attorney relations, except for the above.

I point out again that the government disregards safeguards for privileged communications pretty much as it darn well pleases, and that our lawmakers and the U.S. public appear to support them–except when such disregard effects them personally. Efforts to change that are worthy, in my opinion.

I don’t have any negative feelings for you, though I don’t recall us being particular friends; what little friendship there was disappeared the moment you sent Ingram, the Scientology ‘investigator’, to threaten my family. There were many people in the Fellowship who I had nodding acquaintances with, but few that were deep friends, and they have all left. Nevertheless, I feel that I contributed to some members staying far longer than they should, and so I try to make amends.

I believe that the Fellowship of Friends is based on spiritual and economic fraud, and that this emanates from the center, Robert Burton. He believes, as do most of the followers, that he is exceptional. This exceptionalism leads him to act outside the law, and to cause others to act outside the law; hence the dereliction of duties by the Board of Directors, the inurement [sic], the tax-avoidance and income sheltering schemes, the misuse of visas, and so on.

I believe that one of my civic duties is to help expose crime if I’m made aware of it; that not doing so implicates me in the crime as a knowing accessory to that crime. The law of the land suggests the same. I believe that the same duties apply to any attorney, even the attorney for an exceptionalist like Burton. Apparently, this is the core of any disagreement we may have. You appear to believe that any ends justifies the means of protecting Burton and other officers, I believe that the means shape the end.

Abe, you are entering the final phases of your life, as I am, as Burton is. What legacy do you want to leave for your children?

Again, I wish you well,

Ames

P.S., you mention the client/attorney relationship many times. In the letter to Godlike Productions (which you promised to cc to me, by the way), who is your client?

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 30, 2009:
Just the Facts Ma’am (#75-14 or thereabouts), thanks.

I had to go to the link to verify the ‘Amount Demanded’. No typo, it really is 350 million dollars! (Did Burton himself suggest that brobdingnagian figure?) However, it appears that all the on-line documents are password–protected. Does anyone happen to know: if I go in person to the courthouse in Sacramento, will I be able to view any documents that are a matter of public record, and better still, make copies? I just have a strong feeling that the “David Springfield Letter” is, as of this moment, on public record, and that Abraham Goldman has been, and is, “snowing” us all the while.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 1, 2009:
Attorney-client privilege, and the question of whether or not privilege has been waived, is not a simple issue, especially in the context of a letter which may or may not have been purloined. We don’t know who first revealed the letter, and whether that person was authorized to do so. Intentional disclosure surely waives the privilege, and inadvertent disclosure usually does. But an unauthorized disclosure is something else again. Copyright, and whether publication infringes it, is also not a simple issue. Imagine that I am a poet. Someone else publishes my poem. I bring a federal lawsuit to stop the infringement and I attach the poem as an exhibit. Now anyone can go to the courthouse and read the poem or retrieve it on PACER. That doesn’t mean anyone can publish my poem wheresoever he pleases on the internet.

"in2it" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 1, 2009:
re: 51. Jomo Piñata

If the letter is in the public domain, I’m curious how copyright laws would have any impact on whether someone would have the legal right to include the text in a newspaper article (for example) or within a blog — or at the very least pull excerpts from it and/or describe it in detail.

Regarding your poem analogy, I’m also curious about the importance of intent. One of the reasons for copyright law is to prevent someone from financially profiting from the poem without the permission of the author. Not sure if there were other reasons for the law(s) that are relevant here.

Just thinking out loud.

Of course, the moderator has made it clear that he won’t allow the posting of the content of the letter here, but I’m wondering how that applies to excerpts and detailed descriptions of the letter. Why not simply describe the letter in detail? Not the same impact, but I’m sure it would be interesting to readers.

"harrrumph" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 1, 2009:
Hmmm. Haven’t been reading the blog for a few months, but just checked in. I saw the david springfield letter when it came out, and I may be jaundiced about all this but it certainly looked to me like a bald, clumsy effort to protect his ass. Back in 07 the blog was pretty hot, and he likely saw some nasty federal prosecutions coming down the pike. His letter to the board (he probably also figured it would eventually be leaked, if only by himself) looks stupidly like a preemptive resignation. He sounded indignant about all ‘their’ malfeasance, etc. but it sure smells to me insincere.

"in2it" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 1, 2009:
53. harrrumph [above]: “…it certainly looked to me like a bald, clumsy effort to protect his ass.”

Harrrumph,

Argh, yes, definitely it’s David covering his ass.

But, as the Moderator wrote, it’s also the following:

“It shows a fairly ‘identified’ member of the FOF getting pissed off for being ostracized and revealing to all of us how corrupt the internal workings of the cult are.”

Both are true.

The letter exposes something about the cult. And it’s no surprise, therefore, that A.G. and others tried/are trying to hide what has been exposed.

Simple cult logic…

Exposure: bad

Concealment: good

[ed. - It is difficult to accept that the following incredibly sloppy letter was indeed written by Fellowship lawyer Abraham Goldman!]

"Abraham Goldman" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009:
Abraham Goldman

Some contributors to this blog have mention the DS resignation letter is still available for viewing at the Court’s wedebsite [sic]. That is not correct. The Court enterred [sic] an order striking the letter and ordering it removed. As a result of the Order, it is as though it was never filed, or was part of the public record. Check with you own lawyer on what this means.

The lawsuit mentioned is being amicably resolved. Mentioning names, cases numbers etc. and reliving the 18 month old DS letter as part of that resolving controversy is counterproductive to a harmonious resolution for all involved, both current and former members.

The DS letter was never voluntarily disclosed: only the client, the Fellowship, had that right: no other person. Every person who has published it, copied it, or otherwise described it should seek independant [sic] legal counsel.

Many participants on this Blog, and other forums, have defamed DS and me. Very few, if any, knew us well, or at all, or any solid facts connected to us. Many, including former friends, took direct or implied “cheap shots” at us. W did not respond.

In contrast, what little I have contributed is for one and all to “Be Careful”, which, indeed, all should be, both current and past members, Many former students were the leaders or participants in the alleged wrongful deeds discussed, even the ones the DS letter was directed to, past and present. The discussion on this blog and other web sies [sic] potentilly [sic] jeapordize [sic] these former members as much or more than current members.

The heart of the DS letter, now stricken by the Court, are: 1) it was a confidential communication by a concerned professional to his client: a religious corporation, and 2) it was the professional’s candid statement required by duty with the mutual expectation and legal right of privacy; and, 3) it was illegally disclosed without the authorization of the one and only client: the Fellowship. Every word of the letter counselled [sic] positive response.

Those who attack DS do him, themselves and their belief in good, a great disservice. No one, especially DS;s [sic] former “friends”, have had the integrity to stand up and speak of the real DS. In like kind, those who attack me either never knew me, or were grateful for my defending you,and your loved ones and what you held dear in the past. You were all invited to talk with me face to face long ago: no one did so, except Ames, only recently, who said his name was wrongfully used in connection with the illegally published DS letter, and also wanted his name removed as a referenc [sic]

Ames had the integrity to call me, I answered, and said I would help any effort to remove his wrongfully used name. He then went “public” with our personal dialogue. He chose to end the personal dialogue, without sharing with me that he intended to go “public”. Does something like this matter to anyone out there?

Most people reading this, and other blogs, have found the need to privately talk to a lawyer: matrimonial; custody; business; traffic; wills and estates; litigation, taxes, bankruptcy, what can and cannot be published, etc. Would you allow your attorney-client privileged documents to be published? Stolen and published? Would those on the Blog publish all corrspondence [sic] with Mr. Ford Greene? If someone stole those communications and published them, or sent them to any anonymous web site, how would you or your lawyers (equally defamed) respond?

Disclose who stole and illegally published the private, privileged DS letter. People reading this Blog know. Disclose all former students and Blog participants you accuse of being involved in what DS ethically disclosed to his client. Cowards use DS and his letter as a “whipping boy”. Take his name off the Internet any of you who actually know him know this is right

Abraham Goldman

"in2it" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009:
Abraham, are you concerned (at all) about any of the allegations against Burton on this blog? Or is that irrelevant to you, much like a soldier just doing the wishes of his commander? There is no mention about any of the concerns about Burton whatsoever in your post. You are presumably trying to “awaken” — based on your membership in the Fellowship of Friends, because I assume that’s why you’re there. Well, part of “waking up” is being aware of your own actions and the actions of the organization you are a part of, and not being in denial about it — not “buffering” and certainly not obfuscating and concealing.

"in2it" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009:
Although, I may be trying to do exactly what Jomo Piñata advises against in post 66: “You can’t reason people out of a trance.”

"Tatyana" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009:
Abraham, your letter has a few interesting points for me.

First, it is a new information about the legality of the letter. That seems helpful:
“The Court enterred [sic[ an order striking the letter and ordering it removed. ”

and:

“The DS letter was never voluntarily disclosed: only the client, the Fellowship, had that right: no other person.”
OK.

But then on a more emotional note you say:
“Many former students were the leaders or participants in the alleged wrongful deeds discussed, even the ones the DS letter was directed to, past and present. The discussion on this blog and other web sites potentially jeapordize [sic] these former members AS MUCH OR MORE than current members.”
Like who for example? A…f? Eli….ta? N…..s S………g? G……….i? L……da? E…n H…s? I think they are all still in! And also… Wait a minute… the names were blacked out!

And then you say about defamation, inability to address you face-to face, etc. I am sorry for that. The main point in this letter though was not much about you but that it showed a concern of an ‘educated in the Law’ person of FOF wrong doings, namely:

Immigration, tax fraud, private inurement [sic], fraudulent marriage etc.

“In like kind, those who attack me either never knew me, or were grateful for my defending you, and your loved ones and what you held dear in the past.”

That brakes my heart. “Held dear in the past”. Please….

Witnesses were telling about this things for over 2 years on this blog, but the response from FOF members was mostly “It is untrue” and “negative ex-students” (including “betraying of what was dear in the past”)

The words of the lawyer gave them some mass, wouldn’t you agree?

I hope I don’t brake any laws by writing you this…

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 2, 2009:
Abraham Goldman (#76-63),

I called you on June 24 to ask if your e-mail to the moderator/operator of Godlike Productions was genuine. At first you claimed you could not remember the letter, then you claimed that you had written it on your laptop at home, and finally you said you would look there and send me a copy, which to date you haven’t done. Knowing what the e-mail you sent actually contained is of interest to me, because their version contained referred to “A post by Ames Gilbert”, and words like, “Mr. Gilbert has a long documented history of illegal acts toward the Fellowship, including, but not limited to copyright violations, privacy violations, defamation, invasion of privacy and violation of federal internet and electronic communications laws.” Strong allegations, which I wanted to confirm truly originated with you as I ponder a suitable reaction.

I did not ask your help to remove my name given as a contact on the Wikileaks summary page. I said that I could not find a way to make contact with them to have my name removed, and if you found a way to contact them, I’d be grateful to know that information. See, you are already changing my words to suit you, which is another reason to publish the actual e-mails.

I don’t know the formal way to deduce that an e-mail correspondence has ended. The last e-mail was from me to you. Since you didn’t reply to it, most observers, in my opinion, would say that you ended it. But, feel free to reply to it when you have time. We do not have a client/lawyer relationship, so to bring up the subject of making public fictional correspondence with Ford Green is just another red herring. I happen to think that our e-mails were of interest to the limited public here on the blog. Your answers were models of obfuscation and avoidance of questions that need answering, and I feel that those models bear scrutiny.

I categorically state that I am not “Black Marker” and that I did not ‘purloin’ the letter, and that the first time I read any version of the letter was on page 74 of the blog. Not only that, I do not know the identity of “Black Marker”. I have no idea if the act of posting the letter was illegal, and I don’t care to spend time and money getting a real legal opinion (for obvious reasons, your claims, while they be correct, don’t count).

What I care about is the content of the “David Springfield Letter”. I’m no lawyer, but it appears to me that David Springfield was pointing to illegal activities by the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Friends, and the leader, Burton. But, I don’t know if the letter is true; I can’t verify if the letter was actually written or sent by David Springfield, and I can’t verify if the contents are true. However, I am leaning very heavily to believing that all the above is true, based on your spirited defense, and of course my knowledge of how you, the Fellowship of Friends, and Robert Earl Burton conduct yourselves. The more you defend it, the more I believe it is true; if it were not true, you would have declared it to be a forgery, and you would have declared the contents to be false. And if David Springfield wants to step up and make such claims, he is free to do that.

If the court has indeed granted your request that the letter be stricken from the record, I hope justice was done. However, that is a far cry from what you are hoping the naive reader will believe, which is that somehow the court has deemed the contents untrue; they merely decided that the venue for this letter was inappropriate.

If the contents are true, then you and David Springfield, as lawyers, appear to have engaged in extremely questionable activity, since you appear to have at a minimum condoned, if not supported the activities David pointed out.

The amazing thing is, like your e-mails to me, your post #63 shows no concern for the activities pointed out in the letter. Your concern seems only to be to cover up the existence of the letter and avoid the consequences of its publication. Abraham, your words, “The discussion on this blog and other web sites potentially jeopardize these former members as much or more than current members” are truly troubling—and reveal something important about you. I suggest to you that as a lawyer who has worked for the Fellowship since 1981, your main concern should be to right wrongs, to expose fraud and crime within the organization (and particularly to all members of the Fellowship, to whom you have quite clear legal obligations), to shed light where there is darkness, and in general live up to your obligations as licensed lawyer, a citizen, and a human being. Ditto David Springfield, who is already writing books on the law and should remember his law school courses on ethics better.

X-Ray (#75-19),

I wrote about this on page 46, #84 of the blog.


In2it (# 75-41),

My understanding is that the Bar Associations record for self-regulation of lawyers is not good. The chance of sanctions on members is very low, and any malfeasance has to be extremely serious. Still, why don’t you try them and tell us what happens?

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 3, 2009:
In2it,

I actually wasn’t trying to be sarcastic, just realistic. The Bar Associations are set up by lawyers for lawyers (a very high percentage of our representatives are lawyers; ditto lobbyists). There are few bodies that ruthlessly and honestly self-regulate when given that responsibility. The chances of them taking the public interest above their own is fairly remote; it is a matter of record that the number of complaints they investigate and uphold is very small. But, then again, they did suspend Abraham for a while. I don’t know if trying to cover up the David Springfield letter is so wrong, isn’t that what any lawyer would try to do with a revelation that could be harmful to their client? But, the contents seem to point to knowledge of a long history of lapses and possible criminal behavior by the Board of Directors with the knowledge of both lawyers. Samuel Sanders’ letter to the Board of Directors shows this was no isolated abandonment of the responsibilities of the Board. So, no kidding, why not contact them and see what happens?

Hi Jomo,

You’re right, what else can he do in the moments when he is playing the role of lawyer for the Fellowship? And your guess is certainly as good as mine as to whether he is personally bothered. But, he does have personal choices. We can know that his level of bother, if any, obviously hasn’t risen to the level of removing himself from the situation that bothers him. Nothing stops him from resigning his role any time he wants to, though of course he would not escape the consequences of previous entanglements until any statute of limitations ran its course.

"Jomo Piñata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 3, 2009:
The California Bar disciplines many, many lawyers. The monthly California State Bar publication reads like a gallows list of all the disciplinary violations, disbarments, suspensions, public reprimands, and so forth. The numbers are substantial–hundreds of lawyers every year–and the accounts of what the lawyers did to merit discipline are depressing. So I disagree with what Ames wrote above.

[ed. - Daily Cardiac, like "Howard Carter" before them, was clearly the official Fellowship spokesperson assigned to "blog duty."]

"Daily Cardiac" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 3, 2009:
Ames: “I believe that one of my civic duties is to help expose crime if I’m made aware of it; that not doing so implicates me in the crime as a knowing accessory to that crime. The law of the land suggests the same. I believe that the same duties apply to any attorney, even the attorney for an exceptionalist like Burton. Apparently, this is the core of any disagreement we may have. You appear to believe that any ends justifies the means of protecting Burton and other officers, I believe that the means shape the end.”

Ames,

I would suggest to you that Abe [Abraham Goldman] sees Robert in a different light than you see him, so there is no “ends justifies the means” issue as there is for you. Which of you is on the right track is another issue.

Your quote begins in a reasonable way with the words “I Believe.”

We all have the right to believe whatever we wish on any number of topics or areas. But your quote taken in total, along with the majority of the blog’s entries, suggests that your beliefs (and other regular bloggers) concerning Robert Burton and The Fellowship of Friends, are tantamount to objective truth. This is the fatal flaw in yours and the blog’s reasoning, if I might dare to state my own belief here.

First of all I would like you to keep in mind one fact, and that is: This blog represents a very small percentage of the total of all former members of the FoF.

For the last several months I would approximate that there have been around 30 or so individuals who post on a daily or weekly basis. This out of a pool of 15,000, give or take a few hundred, ex members.

In the entire history of this blog there may have been 300 or so regular ex member posters who have participated for any prolonged time. The real number would be difficult to know as many individuals, especially in the first half of the blog’s existence, used multiple names. They would disappear as one entity and resurface as another and at times post simultaneously under several names. Greg alone has probably had 10 different names.

If my estimate is accurate, 300 = 2% of 15,000. 30 or so present bloggers = .02% of 15,000 [should be 0.2%].

So, while the voice of the blog is very focused and adamant in its purpose, it does not by any stretch of the imagination equate to a consensus of what ex members think/feel/believe about the FoF or Robert Burton.

Why these few individuals have chosen to dedicate so much of their lives to the hoped for demise of RB/FoF I can only speculate or surmise. (In fact I have offered my viewpoint about it in earlier posts.) Obviously they would say it’s to stamp out evil, stop others from being abused, uncover a fraud, etc., meaning that they, out of all former members, are the ones most responsible for doing their civil, moral or spiritual duty. And their true motives will, like most of the information on this blog, fall into the category of things that can’t be proved or disproved.

Regarding your e-mail correspondence with Abe, which you have shared with us, the main disconnect with you toward Abe also perfectly reveals what I referred to as the “fatal flaw” in your reasoning. It is as follows: While Abe is talking about defending Robert’s or the FoF’s rights to privacy, or attorney/client privileges it’s clear by your own statements that you don’t feel RB/FoF has any rights, period. You feel all rights of FoF and Robert Burton have been forfeited through his/their own actions. You feel this way because you have already served as their judge, jury and executioner. You have mistaken your personal beliefs for some form of absolute truth where you obviously believe you cannot err in this regard. Somehow you have convinced yourself that in this area you cannot be wrong, and whenever someone has dismissed the possibility of their own fallibility, while also believing the in the absolute correctness of their position, then that combination becomes a potent stimulant for the tendency to “play God.”

Whenever anyone is convinced their judgment is without error and also that their position on an issue is wholly correct they will feel empowered to play God. And the most heinous crimes ever inflicted on mankind have been inflicted by people who are willing to play God with the lives of others. Along with the right to play God comes the right to destroy, to eliminate.

Now, some former members who are reading this will think right about now that this is precisely what RB does with peoples lives, he plays God, and they have every right to think whatever they want. But they don’t have the right to take away his rights to due process just because they think he is doing injustice to them or someone else. At least they don’t have the right to do that and not become the very thing they claim to oppose.

When an immature soul encounters abuse, or perceived abuse, it will respond in kind. The person will seek out their abuser for the purpose of retribution. The person will attempt to abuse the abuser if they feel the abuser has escaped justice, and if they cannot reach their abuser they will attempt to abuse some random abuser.

This is a law for someone caught in the lower realms of human consciousness. If a mature soul experiences abuse, or perceived abuse, that person will respond in the opposite way. They will experience compassion for the abuser. They will be more determined to not abuse others, including their own abuser. The last thing they wish is to hurt others as they have been hurt – and this very definitely includes other abusers. This is the only way the endless cycle of abuse is broken. The blog is rife with verbal abuse, aimed at anyone who indicates support or sympathy for the FoF / Robert Burton.

One thing is abundantly clear; you and the other 30 or so regular bloggers feel quite different about Robert Burton than do I, or hundreds of current members.

But you allow your strong feelings of distain [sic] and anger to supplant your reasoning. It’s fine if you feel Robert Burton is disqualified from being a legitimate spiritual teacher because he has sex with certain of his students.

I personally don’t think that disqualifies him. How do you deal with my preferences, my morality? Do you simply dismiss them? Do you think my reasoning is inferior to yours? Or do you allow the mystery of our differences to exist side by side?

I don’t think buying expensive, pastel suits and accessories disqualifies Robert Burton from being a conscious teacher. Can I express my right to believe that without feeling your wrath?

I believe Robert Burton has every right to run the FoF exactly as he deems necessary and if that includes the school buying thousands of palm trees so be it. I am still a current member expressly because Robert Burton does have the right to intuit how the FoF is created and formed. Can I retain my status as a human being and still claim Robert Burton as my spiritual teacher in your eyes? Not if you can’t hold out the possibility of being fallible in your powers of reasoning.

The David Springfield letter is an insignificant piece of information. Due to your own bias against the FoF you have misread Abe’s reaction to it, as well as it being some sort of smoking gun concerning the FoF. There are thousands of letters like this circulating in cyberspace pointing to corporate, religious, political improprieties, most submitted by wronged, or perceived to be wronged, current/former members/employees/staffers.

Do you realize how simple it is with today’s technology to doctor a letter of this kind? To change a word or phrase here or there to convey a different meaning than what was intended? Do you really believe Black Marker was able to resist the temptation of adding his or her own flourish to it?

This letter, obviously written when David was upset about being terminated from the board, contains allegations of improprieties, not known truths. Even if the words are all from David they only represent David’s views, not any confirmed truths.

The gist of the matter is that David, if he was being truthful, was interested in cleaning up certain improprieties that he felt existed within the FoF structure, and as the legal representative of the FoF it indirectly shows the FoF’s desire to comply with any known rules. David brought up these points acting on behalf of the FoF and must have felt that the FoF would have sanctioned with his chastisement of the board. If anything the letter shows the FoF in a good light. No ex member would ever acknowledge that obvious point. Of course one would also have to realize that Board members in general have their own free will, and their actions do not always coincide with the well being of the organizations they represent.

Your logic concerning the letter is to think that if Abe is trying to block its publication there must be damaging information contained in it, but on this issue you completely miss the point. The letter was an internal memo between the legal representative of the FoF and individuals on an FoF board.

If your bias was not so prevalent you would be able to put yourself in the FoF’s shoes. Bias is an interesting thing. We don’t like to be on the receiving end of it but it doesn’t bother us at all to be on the giving end. Hypocrisy is one of the many maladies that come with living most of the time in the second state of consciousness and taking it to be all there is.

If some hacker got hold of your In Box/Sent folders and started releasing your private e-mails indiscriminately you would not sit idly by. Why not? What’s the harm in it? Do you have something to hide? Is there damaging information to be gleaned from them? That’s not the point. The point is you are entitled to your privacy and so is the FoF, even though you consider them to be corrupt.

What Abe was trying to tell you was that if you and other ex members are successful in circumventing privacy laws you have only succeeded in making it easier for someone to tamper with your privacy one day knowing they can get away with it because they saw you get away with it. The lower self is a master imitator.

This blog is filled with mis-information but since only one collective viewpoint is being propagated there are no checks and balances to recognize truth from fiction. In fact when an individual’s bias reaches a certain level it supersedes truth. Seeking truth is no longer the aim. Feeding the bias then becomes the aim. Bias is its own self fulfilling prophecy, its own Catch 22.

When someone is biased against another it is self justifying. One feels the right to be biased because the object of it is deserving of being harshly judged. What the biased nature doesn’t understand is the bias exists first and then looks for an object to impose its judgment on.

“Bias is a term used to describe a tendency or preference towards a particular perspective, ideology or result, especially when the tendency interferes with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced, or objective.”

Bias cannot co-exist with truth; they are mutually exclusive. Because bias wants a certain outcome/reality more than it wants balanced facts. In the nearly 40 year existence of the FoF there has been countless good deeds done under its auspices; there has been a wealth of new esoteric knowledge ushered into the world, and much more old knowledge re-discovered. There has been much joy brought to innumerable individuals. There have been lives reclaimed, lifelong friendships formed. There have been families forged, careers launched, and many other wonderful results. This does not even include the spiritual results, the infusions of consciousness on an individual level, which must remain unspoken of and unseen by all but the recipient. But none of this is admitted on the blog, much less considered at face value. The bias on this blog erases all the good and singles out all the ill will, mistakes, foibles, all the assumptions based on lack of understanding, mis-information, wrong conclusions based on the “facts lying”, out right fabrications and malicious lies, and puts all this side of the ledger under a high powered magnification until it is distorted to the point where an ant becomes a Tyrannosaurus.

While bias rules this blog those biased natures are nevertheless blind to it. At the same time it is extremely transparent to those witnessing it that are free of that particular bias. Therefore, many outside readers will discount much of what is “reported” because it is so obviously coming from a slanted viewpoint. They will simply see abusers of the FoF’s rights moaning about their own past when they were abused by the FoF. In other words, they will see the pot calling the kettle black.

Ames: “I believe that one of my civic duties is to help expose crime if I’m made aware of it; that not doing so implicates me in the crime as a knowing accessory to that crime.”

What is Crime? Is it as simple as what Ames decides it is, regardless of his personal bias?

You will likely reply to this post, possibly with direct comments you want me to answer or expand on but it is unlikely I will contribute any more to the thread. It is not my aim become a regular, or even an infrequent, participant once again.

I understand that the usual cast of characters will also respond to this post. Their words will be insulting, abusive, dismissive, coarse and indignant. They will be operating from their bias but they will not see it. It takes some degree of separation from a manifestation to see it. They, as usual, will simply be it. And it will feel good and correct.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship ofFriends Discussion blog, July 3, 2009:
Hi Abraham,

I’ve been reflecting on your comments about me putting the e-mails between us on the blog. I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes, and I think you are right, when all is said and done, it was the wrong thing to do, so I apologize.

Here is due notice. Any communications between us in future will become part of the public record if I so choose, and of course, if you so choose.

Any legal actions you take against me will become part of the public record. If you subpoena me, I will announce it on the blog, together with all subsequent actions, as they happen. This will prevent you getting any court sealing the records after the fact, which in my opinion is a travesty of justice.

Hi Daily Cardiac,

I guess it provides some kind of balance to hear another representative of the FoF making the usual arguments. As I’ve pointed out before, I think you would do well to take a course in argumentation and logical thinking. I told you before that I’m not going to engage with you further in discussion, so I won’t, there is no point. But thanks for standing up for your beliefs. Hopefully, one day it will be safe for you to do so under your real name.

Hi everyone,

The bell cannot be unrung. Abe is rather naive to think that we bloggers, even if we were willing and had vast resources, could somehow remove all references to the letter and to David Springfield from the internet; that is not how it works, thank goodness. The ripples are spreading, the networks are forming, and will continue to do so. That’s why it’s called the internet, or the World Wide Web.

Personally, I’m not trying to ‘bring the Fellowship down’. If I had my way, I’d simply want all the facts possible put in front of the membership and especially prospective members, and let them make their decisions based on the facts. If the Board of Directors took their responsibilities seriously, like Board Member Samuel Sanders bravely and impeccably did, then the Fellowship of Friends in its present rogue form would cease to exist, and Robert Burton would become accountable. A responsible board would force him to obey the laws, including those against inurement. And a responsible board would ensure the safety and well-being of the members of the organization. Anyone, including DC and his ilk, must now acknowledge that the board clearly fails to perform its legal duties, and is instead completely under the direction of the person it is supposed to supervise, Robert Earl Burton.

I think I have done all I can to make another series of facts available. I think that Abrahams energetic but clumsy defense speaks volumes for the veracity of the ‘David Springfield Letter’ and its contents. Again I thank Black Marker for bringing the letter to our attention, and I hope that present members, if they ever get the opportunity to see it, and prospective members take this letter into account when making decisions to stay or join.

I apologize for any stridency, for any hectoring or lecturing tones, for any sense of superiority or judgment that may have come through in my posts. I’m fairly sure that there is no-one, from Bush to Burton, who gets up each morning intending to do evil. Everyone thinks they are doing the best thing, for themselves and others, myself included. It may be best to avoid judgment, but if there is to be any judgment, then that judgment has to be by a person’s fruits; “By their fruits ye shall judge them”, said JC. I am completely responsible for my life and my fruits, DC is responsible for his, Burton is responsible for his, and Abraham and David are responsible for theirs.

Regards to you all, ‘in’ or ‘out’,

Ames

"Wouldn't it be nice if…" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 4, 2009:
(Overheard at a well-known insurance company) “Hey Dave, look at this!” “So, what is it?” “No, I mean, come over and look at this!” “OK, I’m on my way”. “I’ve highlighted it. See what I mean?” “Yeah, it looks pretty much like a confession to me. So, Jim, who are they?” “One of our clients; they call themselves the Fellowship of Friends, and this is an internal memo or something from one of their lawyers”. “Well, it says here, under “Notes”, that they’ve been dropped before, ‘cos their leader thinks he can do what the hell he likes and have the insurance pick up the pieces. But they promised they’d do better, and even then, it looks like Risk Assesment tripled the premiums”. “What do ya think we should do, Dave?” “Drop them like a hot brick, Jim. Do it now. It says a premium has just come in, so just return it, tell them we’re dropping them because they didn’t divulge full information and answer the questions honestly.” “What happens if they get shirty?” “Tell em we’re onto them. They wanna to play dirty, we’ve got them for any number of things. And spread the word. I know the AIA is competition, but why the hell would any member insure this pack of retards?”

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 4, 2009:
Happy Independence Day, American readers. Nice to be relatively free. Happy Dependence Day, members of the Fellowship of Friends, and members of any other organization in thrall to their leaders. Or should it be Happy Co-Dependence Day? Have a good time at the picnic at Lake Nancy, or whatever it is nowadays. And take a few moments to think for yourselves. Here’s a possible subject: what is the difference between ‘revealed knowledge’ and something you have truly verified for yourself?