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 an ominous, yet unspecified new threat late in 2018.) While non-believers shall perish, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers will 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 on official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the (former) Fellowship Wikipedia page, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wiki project, 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, September 9, 2009

A discussion of criminal activities

"No person" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 23, 2007 at 4:24 a.m.:
Dear Howard [Howard Carter], hello!

I have to disagree with your generalization that “The ones who stay do so because the school is the all and everything.”
Certainly for some it is true, and I am actually happy for them – people are having a great time, good for them.
But there are many, many others who are not sure why they are staying in the Fellowship of Friends now. They are not at all happy campers. They are disillusioned and disappointed but stuck. Some start to see the teaching as faulty and are appalled by the lies. But most are not sure, scared, confused and are in lots of emotional pain and suffering.
How do I know? I know. I was recently one myself, and it was hell. And now I am in touch with quite a few. You may be surprised how many are actually now unhappy “fence sitters”. They are not waving any flags, you know.
So for these guys the spell is broken – they know too much to quiet the voice of conscience within. More of exposing truth about Robert and Fellowship of Friends helps them to make a healthy transition. You don’t want them around anyway – right?
I totally agree with Ames that persuading satisfied students to leave is a waste of time and is just silly. I don’t think anyone here is trying to persuade you or Siddiq or any other happy student to leave. Why would we? You guys are satisfied with the teaching and the school is obviously working for you. Keep up a good work, I mean it sincerely.
Most of these postings are for friends who need them to make their decision. Also for new potential members as a fare warning.
It’s nice to let our stuck friends know that here are other wonderful spiritual opportunities, nice friendly people and simply full juicy life outside of the FOF. Amazingly, when you quit judging “life” you may see it as something beautiful. And when you quit obsessing with states and “being present” you may discover that presence had been there all the time… Unnoticed.
And it’s nice to get to know the real face of the FOF too- not the smiley one. This face is kind of ugly. Here’s the latest KGB attempt to control our free discussion:
Our friend V. (professional programmer) amongst others was recently asked by Kevin Brown to do some HACKING on this blog to trace who is writing there and basically spy on friends. He refused to do it and left the school.
Nice going, Kevin! Looks like you really sold your soul together with your conscience… What’s next? Whom are you going to hire – snipers, may be? ;) I already heard some very funny/scary threats coming from “inner circle” towards some bloggers… Not scared, sorry. You guys are simply disgusting… And pathetic.
Dear V., I absolutely admire your noble behavior. You are a hero in my book. Come visit us any time please.

"Rita Penfold" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 23, 2007 at 1:36 p.m.:
Dear No Person,

I also know many students who are staying in the Fellowship of Friends for the reasons which are related not to ‘awakening’, but to their job commitments (i.e. working for other students); because they have settled around Isis, having family, land, houses there; their children go to the LC school. Some stay because they love their friends and don’t want to leave as they think they’ll lose contact with them (I was one of those and I think it’s the main reason for staying after disillusionment and seeing things as they are in the school and Robert Burton for who he is). And there is fear of being left alone, without communal support. ‘Where would I go?’ question.

One of my friends from a European centre called me recently saying that his centre is so far removed from the main stream events, that they hardly know all those things which are going on in the school now. Sometimes they don’t have enough English to read the blog.

I am in contact with several students, all of them have their reasons to stay. I don’t hold it against them, they do what they have to do. My only reservation about it is that with their money they support the whole thing rolling on. As far as I understand, Robert Burton will ‘teach’ until he runs out of funds.

Thank you for letting us know of V.’s leaving, I am so glad that he didn’t commit to something so vile. V., you are my hero too!

"Vide" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 11, 2007 at 11:27 a.m.:
Dear ……,

Re: abuse

I worked with the FBI for 6 months following my departure from the FoF regarding these and other issues. If you have information regarding sexual abuse I can put you in touch with agents who would probably be interested to investigate.

Eventually they wanted me to return to the FoF and wear a wire; however, I did not feel right about going that far.

One positive change I had hoped would happen was the financial abuse that students on stipend had to endure. The FoF was lying to the government about the wages they were paying them. I was told that after the investigation those people who were here on stipend would begin receiving minimum wage and workmen’s compensation (in the case of being injured).

Please omit my name from any posting but you can share my story if you like. Below you will find the name of one of the special agents that I was working with. Interestingly I had a very nice discussion with the agents at a library here in Chico about consciousness.

They know a great deal about the Fellowship and whether or not she is still working on the case no doubt would direct you to the correct agent.

I hope this will be useful information and that if there is someone who needs help, they will benefit.

I will not return to that land until the evil king has been thrown down and his minions scattered. My own play there involved some deep connections to the inner circle and I saw all that I needed to see to understand that. That is why I refused to become one of RB’s boys, because I could see the corruption there and RB could see in me that I would never accept it….


If you would like the contact information for the agent please contact me on:

"noagenda" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 8, 2009:
As center directors my husband and I were given the task of stealing antiquarian books from libraries. This was when Robert was first developing his taste in the handbound art. It created a clear memory for me being asked to do it. At first it clashed against my sense of right and wrong, then there arose a feeling of belonging! ” Doing something for the teacher”, It required Intentional insincerity and conscious acting!…….Besides, life people in libraries aren’t reading Goethe anymore……It was OUR 3rd state that really mattered……

"Laura" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, on June 12, 2007 at 5:53:
I am one of many students who left around the time Troy’s lawsuit. One day at the lodge I saw Michael Goodwin going through all the students’ mailboxes and removing the letters that Richard Buzbee had sent out to inform everybody of what was going on.

I found this attempt at censure outrageous, as we were all adults who should have been allowed to make their own judgment. Even in case the information included was found to be false and slanderous, we didn’t need to be protected from it: didn’t we trust our teacher enough, should he not trust our judgment in return? A more mature and civilized course of action would have been to address the issues openly, and let everyone draw their own conclusions.

So, for the first and only time in my life, I phoned Girard, eager to hear what he had to say about it. I don’t remember the entire conversation, and I wish I had written it all down, but his attitude really struck me and had no small impact on my subsequent leaving. At one point he compared the school to a healthy body and Richard and his accomplices to “bad viruses” who, if allowed to come in touch with it, would infect said body like a dangerous and potentially destructive disease. I like metaphors, but I knew Richard and the other persons involved. They were no viruses for sure, just suffering people trying to get some answers.

Later, when I got a little “emotional” while telling him how I felt about the situation, he threatened to cut short the conversation if I didn’t keep my negativity in check. I regained my composure as best as I could, but when I finally hung up not only was I fuming with repressed anger, I hadn’t received one single humane and reasonable answer as to why things were being handled in this manner.

I had to admit to myself that the number two pillar of the school was buffering big time. He could not bear to look at the simple reality involving people and their problems, he had to make sense of it and find justification for himself by resorting to vaguely Nazi and very abstract conceptualizations. His travesty of work language was used as a neat coat of paint to cover a very ugly emotional truth: Girard did not really care about Richard, or me, or any of the other sincere and dedicated students who were in “deep shit” at the time.

My emotional reaction was dismissed as a nuisance, a mechanical act to be photographed, and not understood and accepted as a sign that I was a sincere student who was feeling upset and concerned about something that at the time really mattered to me, the value of being part of the fellowship.

What real friend would try to make you stop and feel guilty when your conscience is strongly reacting to what it perceives as an injustice and an act of cowardice by those you are supposed to place your faith in?

Please don’t tell me he was doing this for my evolution. Or maybe he did: in fact, his answers really helped my evolution in the sense that they took me right out of the school.

Dear students one the fence, I suggest you try the same experiment: call your center directors, confront them with your issues and see if they can come up with something better than your most esteemed man number five. I sincerely wish you will receive all the understanding and support you so clearly deserve.

And good luck to all!

"Jomo PiƱata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 9, 2009:

[ed. - Here, "Jomo", a lawyer, without suggesting the existence of such evidence, suggests what might constitute evidence.]
For example?
Imagine a bookkeeper of a nonprofit organization who comes forward to the IRS to say he was directed by higher-ups in the organization to not account for millions of dollars in cash coming into the United States in the bottom of a suitcase. He has direct knowledge of something which violates the law. He knows who carried the cash, how much cash there was, personally witnessed the transfer of the cash, and was directed not to account for it in the books of the organization. That’s an example of direct evidence of something which is probably criminal wrongdoing. Another example would be someone who heard direct instructions from an official of a church to church members directing them to steal valuable materials from libraries and museums and send the stolen items to the church. Bonus points if the person witnessed someone else who performed the action. A further example would be someone who received specific directions to lie to federal immigration and customs authorities about, say, a fraudulent marriage, or to conceal expensive baubles or artwork or antiquities coming into the United States.

"Dr. Pangloss" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 9, 2009:
Another example would be the use of the California resale number of the FOF gift store to avoid paying sales tax on items purchased by Bob that never were resold at the gift shop.

"Intercontinentia Buttocks" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 21, 2007 at 5:12 p.m.:
Forgive my anonymity, but what I am about to write concerns my friends, to whom I don’t wish any troubles with the authorities.
Some 4 years ago two of Robert’s boyfriends, both Russians, were rejected visas to the US. Robert then came to the aid of students (then in Rome) to acquire forged Czechoslovakian passports through Italian mafia with which they tried to enter the country.
Immigration officers discovered the forgery and the two boys spent some time with police at the airport.
Decision was made to send them back to the country from which they came from, i.e. France. They spent about 3 months in prison there, after which time they were sent back to Russia.
Being in the prison did some good to one of them, as he had time to ‘come to his senses’ and finally decided to leave Robert and the school.
The other, however, is still ‘serving’ Robert, although hating it, but such is the price of staying in the country of his choice.
The one who was leaving told Robert about his decision, to which he said that if he does leave him, his wife is going to leave him and he’s going to loose some attractive things offered to him by his teacher. Still, he left and after a while his wife left him.
After a while, he decided to blackmail Robert by writing an article about his experiences with him in American papers. I told him to get a good lawyer if he were to do so, but he went ahead alone and had to deal with Mr. Lawyer A.G., who blackmailed him back, using his knowledge of certain circumstances of the boy’s life. The whole thing was settled for a pitiful $3.000 in exchange for a signature on a paper stating that the information about Robert should not be disclosed to anyone.

"Secret keeper" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 22, 2007 at 2:22 a.m.:
I. Buttocks – this story is true. I heard it too from the guys themselves and from many other students. I’ll never mention any names here for the same reason – I don’t wish any trouble for the guys, both of whom I like very much and wish them well. Funny how an illegal thing could be almost glorified in the Fellowship of Friends because Robert went against feminine dominance. So many things that are immoral and simply wrong or criminal can be justified and glorified based on a belief that the teacher can do no wrong. I only wonder if Department of Homeland Security thinks that crossing US or European border under fake name using a forged passport is OK and is no wrong doing… Especially in post-2001 era. What shocking is that RB went to such risky extreme only with a purpose to get personal sexual pleasure out of these 2 young males. He would have never done a similar thing for a female student or an older male student from a different country. Many students knew about this story, news spread quickly in Isis. Friends would secretly tell each other: Robert got him a fake passport so he can come here to be with him under different name, but – psst! – don’t tell anybody it’s a secret… I guess as long as Robert goes against feminine dominance, doesn’t inner consider and uses intentional insincerity he can do whatever he wants. He can even bend the US law if he wishes and students will have to faithfully keep his secrets.

"Susan Zannos" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 8, 2009:
Well, alrighty then, Bruce. (207) That would be me in the “enabling” category. Travelling teacher, center director, both on a fairly regular basis for a disgustingly long time. Whatthehell, man, I was creating a soul and about to save humanity by the somewhat circuitous method of becoming conscious and joining the 200 conscious beings who could save the earth, so obviously the ends justified the means. No doubt in terms of legalities the most interesting activity was international smuggling. Whenever going back and forth from foreign climes to command central in Northern California, there would inevitably be a little something or other to squirrel away in the bottom of a suitcase: usually fairly large sums of money from accumulated foreign teaching payments (sometimes it would have been a year since a willing courier had been to a particular center), occasionally small antiques or pieces of jewelry that Robert wanted brought to him (without paying duty, of course), a couple of times even a supply of his favorite European yogurt. I can’t claim to be all bent out of shape with remorse about this activity, since I do not hold the laws of my native country in particularly high regard, although they have certainly edged into a higher status than the practices of the Fellowship. The stories of betrayal–and I’ll recount a couple of them perhaps–in which I was a willing part of Robert’s white slave operation, those are quite another matter. I really hope those fire and brimstone and burning lakes tales are not accurate. Fuel purchased free of highway taxes for "farm use" was routinely used for on-highway vehicles, and even sold to members who commuted to jobs in the area. One of the upstairs dining rooms at the Lincoln Lodge, at the time called "The American Room", seating 24 to 36 members for up to three meals a day, on the occasion of health & safety inspections was converted to what members jokingly called "The Imitation Meditation Room". It was illegally used to serve meals. Another little deception: the Blake Cottage Press Room was labeled a "chapel", rather than an income-producing industrial printing facility (with its inherent health risks.) Volumes could be written in this category, and hopefully more stories will surface.

"Panorea" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 7, 2008:
When the IRS (could be another organization, I am not familiar with the American government) visited the property either last year or two years ago, there were students preparing to show to the authorities that they were really part of a Church. There were meetings to memorize what to say about their religious order and of course there were only a few selected ones who could play this game. Why hide if you know you are doing the right thing? Conscience? Being aware of oneself? Being present? To what? To your own self lying and manipulating? And we call this Conscious School and Conscious Life?

"Purchasing awakening" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 19, 2007 at 3:29 p.m.:
Meet our new Teachers, the same young Romanians who not so long ago were totally abusing their position of power by exchanging vouchers for sex with married female students and organizing orgies in the Galleria while RB was away…
Women who agreed to have sex with them were rewarded with front seats at the meetings (for free so to speak) and invited to the Journeys and cruises with the Teacher… While others were guessing: how in the world those poor girls can afford all this?

These 2 men showed their true colors by misusing FOF funds and abuse of power. Did we forget already?

One of them is still in a fake paper marriage to E [Elisabetta Da Ros] in hopes to get a green card.

Proved to be corrupted and dishonest thieves, now these people “teach”!

Teach… what?

How deluded and brainwashed one must be to follow “teachers” like these two!


Friday, October 12th, Meeting led by Mihai [Algiu] at the Galleria at 7:00 PM. The topic of the meeting will be “This Moment.”
Sunday, October 14th, Meeting led by Dorian [Matei] at the Galleria Salon at 10:00 AM. The topic of the meeting will be “Creating Oneself.”


Friday, October 19th at 7:00 PM – Dinner at the Galleria, hosted by Dorian and Mihai, on “The Inner Citadel.”
Saturday, October 20th at 8:30 AM – Breakfast at the Goethe Room, hosted by Dorian, on “Where Are You?”
Sunday, October 21st at 7:00 PM – Informal dinner at the Wine Cellar, hosted by Dorian and

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 4, 2011:
Found on The Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition [ed. - Petition website was deactivated in 2014. A copy may be viewed here:]
Petition Online at
Entry #205. JOHN ESAM
Missing US$40,000 possibly more out of John’s estate. He died ill and destitute on 24th June 2011. The Fellowship took control of his savings and his pension money and gifted it back to themselves. Theft/fraud/deceit/corecion/duress etc. When will law authorities enforce criminal charges against this cult?How many more people must be robbed and coerced by this cult? Also they write fraudulent Wills and Power of Attorney documents. The Fellowship attorney – David Springfield is definitely dodgy.

"steve lang" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2008:
Congratulations! How interesting that Wayne Mo** [ed. - Wayne Mott] would bring a camera to document what was sanctioned by the authorities as legal freedom of speech. That other brainwashed follower, Steven “Olive Oil” Damb*** sounds equally over-protective in his reaction to your presence.
Speaking of olive oil, I don’t know how it is now, but when Steven first opened his oil business, he was using unpaid help (I was one of them) to pick his harvest from the trees that were located on Fellowship property. How did he manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit? 

"dandelion" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2008:
One of the biggest coverups by the FOF was the purchasing of fake Italian passports for 3 Russians in a Naples train station by Judith Grace - cost thousands of $$$.

"dandelion" added:

Also just one of Robert's velvet suits cost $20,000 and he bought at least 4.

"Richard M." wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2008:
[Quoting] steve lang (above)
“Speaking of olive oil, I don’t know how it is now, but when Steven first opened his oil business, he was using unpaid help (I was one of them) to pick his harvest from the trees that were located on Fellowship property. How did he manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?”
Here is an interesting quote from the Apollo Olive Oil web site (capital letters added by me for emphasis):
Steven planted HIS first 600 olive trees in 1979, on steep slopes adjacent to HIS fruit orchard. And, after traveling extensively through the Mediterranean during the 1980’s, he knew he wanted to make olive oil.
So every FOF member who contributed their personal time laboring in the orchard/olive grove at Apollo since 1979, thinking they were working for THEIR church’s orchard and olive grove, were apparently working free for Mr. Dumb**k and HIS for-profit olive oil company. Guess who paid for his extensive travel through the Mediterranean during the 1980s. This certainly poses legal and, at least, ethical questions about personal inurement from a non-profit organization. By the way, if any olive oilers are reading this, the use of “1980′s” in your text is a grammatical error.

"Associated Press" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 7, 2008:
[Quoting] 35. steve lang – July 6, 2008 (above)[ed. - Referring to Steven Dambeck, who started Apollo Olive Oil on Fellowship land, using Fellowship trees, labor, and facilities]:
How did he [Steven D*mb*ck] manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?
Answer: Private inurement. According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service: ‘Churches and religious organizations, like all exempt organizations under IRC [Internal Revenue Code] section 501(c)(3), are prohibited from engaging in activities that result in inurement of the church’s or organization’s income or assets to insiders (i.e., persons having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization). Insiders could include the minister, church board members, officers, and in certain circumstances, employees. Examples of prohibited inurement include the payment of dividends, the payment of unreasonable compensation to insiders, and transferring property to insiders for less than fair market value. The prohibition against inurement to insiders is absolute; therefore, any amount of inurement is, potentially, grounds for loss of tax-exempt status.’ [Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, a minister of the Fellowship of Friends church. Steven D*mb*ck possibly was the recipient of the gift of real property from the assets of the Fellowship of Friends church. That would be the property where his home now stands. Steven D*mb*ck, according to Elena in her recent account above, possibly claims to own property that belongs to an homeowners' association and is owned as 'community property.' Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, the recipient of favourable, no-bid, business arrangements with the Fellowship of Friends church (likely directed by the head hauncho himself). The Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l company may be likewise favourably treated. Benefits may extend beyond just the olives - i.e. to other agricultural areas and materials. Steven D*mb*ck possibly is 'person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.' The practices of Steven D*mb*ck and Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l may be worthy of investigation for exploitation of workers (both legal and illegal workers, as well as possibly using Fellowship of Friends' religious workers for the benefit of these private interests; both in the past and possibly now.] ‘An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization’s activities must be directed exclusively toward charitable, educational, religious, or other exempt purposes. Such an organization’s activities may not serve the private interests of any individual or organization. Rather, beneficiaries of an organization’s activities must be recognized objects of charity (such as the poor or the distressed) or the community at large (for example, through the conduct of religious services or the promotion of religion). Private benefit is different from inurement to insiders. Private benefit may occur even if the persons benefited are not insiders. Also, private benefit must be substantial in order to jeopardize tax-exempt status.’ [Perhaps Steven D*mb*ck is a charity case. But to single one out in that manner may constitute 'private benefit.' And, likely, 'substantial' at that.] - – - – - - To all: The lessons of love taught by the Fellowship of Friends are primarily ‘tough love.’ That is what abusers primarily understand and that is why they deliver it upon others. 

"ton" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 7 2008:
i’ll state it a little differently — to anyone and all who read this: stop sitting on your thumbs and start tapping your keyboards, it will only take a few minutes and ‘stuffing the ballot box’ at the chronicle might draw some attention, it doesn’t hurt to try… it might help if someone in the area with a digital camera would get their ass to the next picket line and attach photos in their mail to Marshall… 

"ton" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 9, 2008:
[Quoting] vinnie the shill 186
I don’t manipulate followers into having sex do I? Conscience means MY conscience, not judging others. I never said RB has a conscience did I? If he has one it might be very atrophied.
earth to vinnie… by continuing to support the con, you help perpetuate the manipulation. i guess your glib attitude is an attempt to feel and appear to be ‘above it all’ or somehow ‘superior’ and more ‘evolved’ — i’ve got news for you, you’re not. you and the dues paying members are part of the problem and the reason why it still persists…. wake up dude! a person (such as yourself) who appears to realize the abuses and yet continues with their support, is MORE culpable than the sheep who may not have a clue or insight into the depravity… you know what vinnie, here’s a clue for you, you need your ‘judgment’ in order to have a functioning conscience… part of the brainwash you’ve been subjected to is the silly notion of ‘not judging others’ — consider this: it may be you with the ‘atrophied’ conscience… (i hear it’s contagious).

"Joseph G" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 3, 2007:
Across The River #499 [blogger and  post number - regarding the Investigation Petition]

Nice work. I made a few tweaks on paragraphs #2 and 3 to improve accuracy:

There are about 15,000 former members worldwide, and current membership is estimated at 1600. The influence of this church is documented to have had damaging results on the lives of many members, leaving them in a state of poor physical or mental health, financial ruin and moral confusion.

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

Old Fellowship wrote in the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
Re: financial impropriety

I’m not even sure if it is literally legal in California to REQUIRE church members to meet certain “donation” minimums. It may even go against 501-c-3 Federal regulations? And, of course, we all know that if those minimums are not met the members are ejected from the church – and shunned. This alone may be a big point – and may go to the heart of the Fellowship of Friends non-profit status.

As to private inurement (and fraud) – on information and belief – there may have been and seems likely that there were a number of strange real estate transactions beginning perhaps in the late 80s / early 90s – possibly reversed recently – whereby members (some or all who could not afford this) “bought” houses in their own names essentially for Robert Burton’s private use. In at least one case, a student on salary was offered to have his salary raised to pay for the cost of the monthly mortgage. The down payments were to come from somewhere else – but I believe from the Fellowship somehow.

In other words, non-profit non-taxed donation revenues being diverted in a hidden manner for the private use by Robert Burton – as he would take his boys to these spots for “relaxation and recreation.”

By the way, this model (in the abstract) is ONE of the main kinds of ways that Robert Burton oversaw and directed the fraudulent schemes that literally permeate the financial landscape of the Fellowship of Friends. I’m wondering if RICO statutes apply given the systemic nature of the various frauds including likely immigration violations, sham marriages, financial frauds – all operating across national boundaries – and with likely money stashes outside of the U.S.

In any case, back to the real estate, the two geographical areas where this may have occurred (that I heard about) in California were Graeagle (Plumas County – county seat Quincy) and Palm Springs area (Riverside County – county seat Riverside). And there may have been others, including outside of California – I would think Europe (but have no knowledge, perhaps others do).

It might be a little difficult to verify – as one would have to know the names of students and do the sleuthing, but these transactions and possible reversals would be a matter of public record. There may collective memory – meaning some of the students here may know more about this and might shed more light on the blog or to the Reporter ? It would also be interesting and characteristic that if the transactions related to these houses essentially purchased with non-profit monies were later reversed (or sold) for profit with the proceeds including profit finding their way quietly back to Robert Burton. The fraud squared.

At one point, a church member made a big score on a drug deal ($1M?) and was hiding from other drug dealers who apparently wanted to kill him. He hid on one of the properties near the Fellowship Property. To my memory, Robert allowed this – but asked for a donation based on the a percentage of the score.

Also, at one point – again on information and belief – Abraham Goldman – the person who became and may still be the main Fellowship of Friend’s lawyer (and who at one point for a time lost his ability to practice in California due to ethical infractions I believe) – administered a secret off-the-books fund from solicited student donations – whose primary role was to buy Robert Burton gifts or otherwise go to Robert Burton-directed projects. This was a long way back – does it still exist?

"J. D." wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 31, 2011:

Among the many others [enablers for Burton] don’t forget Judith Grace, who, during her royal days as first lady in Italy, received direct orders from ‘above’ to buy fake passports for a couple of Russian pages from the able Neapolitan counterfeiters. This type of illegal activity soon proved to be decisive for the ban sanctioned on Mr. Burton by the French government when later on another couple of pageboys tried to sneak in Europe by train.

I believe that Mr. Burton is still not welcome in Europe.

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