Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Abraham Goldman, Fellowship of Friends attorney, commits suicide

Fellowship of Friends cult attorney Abraham Nathan Goldman
Abraham Goldman, Fellowship of Friends attorney
[ed. - On the night of July 31, 2011, while many Fellowship of Friends members were gathered at Apollo's Theatron for a ballet performance, Abraham Goldman, long-time Fellowship attorney, committed suicide by hanging himself outside his home at Apollo, Oregon House, CA. In a hand-written note left behind (cited in the Yuba County Sheriff's investigation,) Abraham explained "that he could not afford to pay for his medical treatment and would have no money left." He was scheduled to have surgery the next day. The report adds that his wife "did not believe that they were having any financial issues." 

For more on this topic, see posts labeled "suicide".]

"Ollie" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 8, 2011:
This is an excerpt of the email that went out to all Fellowship members:
“Abraham Goldman, a beloved member of the Fellowship of Friends, completed his task by his own hand, shortly before midnight on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Abraham was sixty-one years old.

"...Abraham was consistently a strong supporter of the Fellowship, a loyal friend, and loving husband and father. As an attorney, he provided important legal advice not only to the Fellowship, but to many students as well. Experiencing severe hearing loss, Abraham was a master at silently containing his instinctive suffering as he played out his role. On behalf of all who knew you, we thank thee.”

"NG" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011: here and here:
Business as usual. Part 1. [ed. - Italicized words is this section are the poster's comments, bracketed comments are mine.]
The following is a transcript from the meeting held after Abraham Goldman’s death. The source of this material wishes to maintain his/her anonymity. Please note that dates and numbers might be imprecise due to the highly complicated algorithms used to exponentially multiply justifications.
Robert Burton: Abraham Goldman voluntarily ended his life by his own hand. His birthday is December 21st (supposedly the date for the next end of the world prediction in 2012).
[S. G.] called 911 and the Galleria for help. [C.] went over immediately, his birthday is October 4th (allegedly the whereabouts of the anniversary of RB’s meeting C Influence, this year it will be 44 years and from that date it will be 444 days to the 21st of December, 2012).
It is a shock from Rembrandt.
Did he take sleeping pills? Usually one takes pills before. [Burton as authority on suicide?]
He ‘kneeled’ and leaned into the noose facing east.
This shock reminds us of [C. and D.] (who died in a car accident in Egypt). I mentioned that during Journey Forth By Day, C Influence issues a shock, and they scripted it in a high moment (the ballet gala).
We stay centered and not being under the law of accident.
Somehow Abe will be taken by C Influence.
He was under a lot of pressure; it was too much for him: financial pressure, migraines and he was facing yet another operation to restore a chip in his head. He left a note speaking about that. [ed. - It should be noted that the Fellowship places most members, save Burton and a select few enablers and "Robert's boys,"  under great financial pressure.]

Dorian: Three weeks ago we saw the sign:”Friend’s death”.

Robert Burton: Yes, [B.] said it was a very frightening omen.

(Unidentified speaker): When we were coming back from lake Tahoe with his son we saw on the back of a truck: “It is written!”

Robert Burton: Yes! It is written. This is payment for what might occur to life, it is payment for acquiring privileged information from C Influence.
Suicide is extremely rare in the long history of the school.
Of all the students in the school, only Kevin out of so many people in so many years. [ed. - Burton ignores those who left, or were ejected, and committed suicide, and those who were "collateral damage." See below.]
[D.W.] went into Marysville the day after and saw the license plate: ”ALLDONE”*.
This is evolution as we experience it; schools pretty much all even out for payment.
Now we will all have “I’s” so just ‘Drop’ and be present.
Note from the thirty imperishable stars:
“Kneel”: Do not resent friction.
“Drop”: Do not judge or keep accounts.
 [* ed. - Curiously, the "ALLDONE" license plate has appeared several times in Fellowship lore. Once, over thirty-five years ago, in the early 70s, after one of Burton's first students named Alden left the teaching. "No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar." - Abraham Lincoln]


"NG" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
Business as usual. Part 2. 

For all the speculative thinkers: AG’s son was away camping when it happened. Someone went to Tahoe to drive him back home to his family.

Also, the note ‘appended’ [in the above post] was my personal introduction, like the following: Be prepared for this subtle in-your-face propaganda, certainly not suitable for the faint of heart.
Robert Burton: A little more on Abe. I’m wearing the cuff-links that once belonged to him this evening.
I had a beautiful dream about him: he was in the old Blake Cottage, I rushed into the bathroom and he was sitting on a ledge.
He was a sweet child and he was screaming: “I don’t want to die!”
So I took him in my arms and he kind of collapsed into my arms; then I put him on the bed on which I crystallized and became immortal on.
I started to give him a foot massage…taking care of his soul.

I received a letter from [S.] explaining a few things: his great love for Influence C and myself…
The pain had become too much for him to work with, he just reached his end with the ability to withstand anymore.

Armando's personal reflection on Abraham's death:
(When was A.G. fired by the Board of Directors? Was there any particular reason? Didn’t R.B. move to protect him from this time? R.B. always protected him in the past. I can think of a good many reasons why he might have been sacked – but those reasons were extant in the 1980s. Why now?)

A pivotal figure in the FOF suddenly sidelined, facing financial difficulties, disabled and in pain, and who knows what else going on, taking his own life.

His “role,” his lovely house in the very shadow of R.B.’s [Robert Burton's] Galleria, the concerts in his home, the angles at meetings – all a facade.

He was completely isolated, completely alone – as someone put it recently: More than 400 Facebook friends, and no one he could turn to. So he hanged himself on a Sunday night, a thousand light years from light and love.

This desperate death is being retooled to look like a heroic martyrdom. Glorifying this suicide keeps people from seeing their own participation in the demise of this desperately sad, disappointed and broken man, using him to rally once again and suppressing a shared sense of guilt. In fact, I suspect it’s the shared guilt and complicity that keeps the FOF together.

Is it really that different from Kevin K. [Kevin Kelly], who following his daffy Teachers’ teaching about a catastrophic earthquake, in a benighted act of faith and trust, gave up the very lifelines he needed to exist as a quadriplegic? He, too, plotted his own death, planning it for a time he was unattended, driving his wheelchair in a pond where there would be no hope of timely rescue – indeed, where he could not even rescue himself in a last-minute bid for life.

Please take note current FOF leaders: You too can be sidelined and discarded at any moment. You too can be “churned.”

For the rest of the FOF members, please reread S____y #154: “For example, the FF party line about AG’s death: If you issue a bland untruth, then pretty soon, you lose the impetus to probe and question freely.”
Please get out. Get out now.

Abraham Nathan Goldman obituary in the Appeal-Democrat.


The following was posted by "NG" on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
Abraham Goldman Funeral Service
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Minister J. B.’s Introduction
We are here to celebrate the life of our beloved friend, Abraham Goldman, and to express our gratitude for the privilege of having shared our lives with him.
The meaning of a student’s life is not to be found in its large events, in its apparent successes or failures. The moment C Influence first touches one, the true significance of one’s life is revealed: the transformation of a play, lovingly designed and guided by the Gods for a divine purpose.
At the death of a friend, we can see their play as a whole. We can see it as we cannot yet fully see our own: as a miraculous destiny, fully guided by a higher hand, perfect. Abraham’s play has come to fruition, so that he might now truly say, “Father, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do”.
Let us stand and honor Abraham with our silent presence.
(Silence)
Eulogy: G. R.
Abraham Goldman, 1949-2011
When one of our fellow students completes his role, it is always a shock. In the case of our beloved friend Abraham Goldman, that shock cuts particularly deep. Because Abraham was so masterful at concealing his suffering — because he always greeted us with one of his sweet smiles or a warm hug —his death took us by surprise.
Higher Forces though are also masterful in revealing a profound design in his passing. So here we are today to express our love for Abraham, to honour the love and devotion he felt for his Teacher, for his family, and for his friends, and to bid him safe passage as he continues his journey beyond this life.
Abraham was a servant. Our Teacher called him “The Shield of Apollo.” He was a member of the Fellowship for over 32 years—more than half his life—and for much of that time he served as the Fellowship’s legal counsel, navigating our ship through difficult waters, never abandoning his responsibilities, never swerving in his support of our Teacher and Higher Forces. Abraham was completely devoted to Robert. And through his unwavering devotion to the School, he gave something of himself to each one of us. He gave more to the School, in fact, than most of us will ever know. But he never called attention to himself. One friend said that “service was his signature”. As a true servant, he was content in the simple well-being of those he served.
Those of us who were close to Abraham will remember him for his kindness, his generosity, his valuation, his love. For the “nobility of his heart.” For his ability to “be the words.” Abraham’s mother had been the personal secretary of their Rabbi and as a child Abraham had often helped out at the synagogue. He had even considered becoming a Rabbi himself. But then he discovered his love of the law. The law enabled him to express his desire to help people in need.
The oppressed. The maligned. The injured. The forgotten. He repeatedly took on cases no one else would take. He was deeply involved in civil rights litigation in Chicago, where he was born, and when faced with a challenge, a difficult case that he believed in, he would not give up, even if it took years for a decision to be reached. He became known as a “peacemaker,” someone who built bridges between opposing groups. The law was where Abraham’s inspiration flowed, where he could bring his patience, his compassion, his keen intelligence. As a lawyer living at Apollo he represented many of us over the years in our legal battles. As the Fellowship lawyer he successfully represented the School for an untold number of occasions.
Abraham was a devoted husband to Susan for 27 years, and a loving father to Rosie and Elan. One could feel the warmth and affection that passed between them. It was palpable. Abraham and Susan’s marriage was deeply founded in the Work. They worked together building centers in Rome and Chicago, and they worked together building Apollo; together they created a beautiful home, inviting students into an elegant environment of concerts and dinners and workshops, a loving chalice for the School. Abraham’s law office at Apollo also provided work for many students. When you visited his office, though, you didn’t see framed certificates or diplomas. You saw photos of the family, the children’s handmade cards for Father’s Day and their birthday greetings in colourful crayon. The legal world can be a treacherous landscape, a minefield, a desert. Susan, Rosie, and Elan were Abraham’s oasis.
Few of us could understand the suffering that Abraham went through with his hearing disability. He experienced terrible headaches, and he often coexisted with what he used to describe as ‘an air raid siren and a fog horn’ continually blasting in his ear. But as terrible as the physical pain was, the disorientation and isolation of being thrust into a world of silence was worse.
Our Work, however, teaches us that suffering is a fixative, a bracing gift from the Gods that, when silently transformed, makes presence permanent in us. So while Abraham worked silently and invisibly to meet his suffering, a part of him was created that could transcend suffering, and survive the shock of his death.
And in that shock we again see Abraham’s role as a servant. For his death, and the many signs that have accompanied it, produced World Six in us. It’s difficult to accept that the manner of Abraham’s death was an inevitable part of his play. But here at Apollo and in centers around the world, Higher Forces have communicated that what has happened, was written. That his soul is safe. One cannot fathom the ways of the Gods. But as one of our friends observed, Abraham never argued against heaven’s hand. So we too, in bidding farewell to him, we also accept heaven’s hand.
Minister’s Conclusion:
May Abraham’s capacity to serve inspire us to fulfill our own allotted tasks with greater resolve and courage.
May the intensity of his suffering deepen our understanding of how firmly the Gods may, in their wisdom, choose to press upon us; and our understanding of why.
It remains only to bid the hero farewell. The Teacher’s farewell to Abraham was inspired by a eulogy written by Walt Whitman’s for a fallen soldier:
Hard has been thy part,
To conscious life has it been enacted!
Abraham: father, husband, servant, warrior, friend, we thank thee.
At the Cemetery: Minister’s Introduction
Here on this beautiful day, we release Abraham to his home, and return his ashes to the earth.
Minister’s Conclusion
The earth returns to the earth and a divine spark returns to its divine source. “Love comes from eternity, and returns into eternity”. The circle of life is complete.

"Someone" posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 19, 2011: 
I talked to a friend of mine (a member) about Abraham Goldman’s death. Abraham was a good friend of mine.
There is a great deal of evil and viciousness in the hearts of those who connected Abraham Goldman’s death with being in the FOF and spread the lies about alleged attempts in the FOF to hide the circumstances of his death.
The day after Abraham Goldman died Robert said publicly and openly during a large event that Abraham commuted [sic] suicide.
Hundreds of people heard that on-site and on video.
No one was hiding anything!!!
Abraham has suffered tremendously form [sic] serious medical issues accompanied with unbearable pain that could not be sufficiently controlled even by powerful narcotic drugs.
His prospect of recovery was very slim and he was not able to bare [sic] anymore pain.
This blog has turned into a snake pit.

Afterword


"NG" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 11, 2011:
Latest news: It seems that Elan Goldman (who allegedly made a brief appearance on this blog on September 9, 2011) has joined the FoF. He is only about 16, but apparently Robert Burton and his inner-brown-circle made an exception; after all, he is the son of Abraham. This week-end there will be a special dinner at the Galleria: we don’t know who the host will be, but the guests will be teenagers (14-16 years old), sons and daughters of students and former students (that’s the creepy part). The host will be chosen to be young and approachable, as the guests and prospective prospects chosen are forever younger and suggestible. They will be served dinner and they will be given the opportunity to ask any questions they will like: bon appetit!

Other suspected suicides in the Fellowship


"Suicide is nature's way of eliminating weak seed." - Robert Burton.

"coot" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 16, 2007 at 6:20 p.m.:
coot notes subjective and partial of this stories. If others have better understandings (as could be wrong), so fill in blanks please add. But from perspective:

Brian [Brian Sisler] seem “RB boy” who later have serious psychological breakdown maybe like schizphrenia [sic]. (guess maybe have late 20s years of age and very sweet solar type) Walk up and down Rice Crossing Road day and night, can’t stop. Finally taken to Marysville by FOF and just dropped off. Lived in tent by river. Homeless. Later live on street in Sacramento city and stabbed in stomack [sic] (chest?) by the other homeless?, loose much blood, university hospital, almost die. Older students help get Brian back to “life” family. Later to all shock RB let Brian back in school. (maybe top rung of ladder of bad decision – non responsible action). Saw on wikipedia until remove Brian Sisler found dead in Marysville hotel, believe thought suicide.

Kevin was brave quadriplegic went to Berkeley university on own, eventually live in Roseville? work for HP? Uneasy balance in hard life like many of us will never know but basic stable. When California to fall in ocean – RB put out word that all must come to high ground. Kevin came to high ground, lost stability. Fell out of wheelchair and drownd [sic] in small amount of water – felt to be suicide by many. Later, heard RB put out another of his famous ugly epigram on Kevin – not sure but something like play of crime. Ugly words for brave man. No humility from second after Jesus [Reference to Burton's claim that he is the "Second Coming of Christ."] Sad joke.

Let them who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

And for noble Kevin: trouble not the epigram of small man, dear friend, they are as payment for God’s delivery of Israel, “Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs”

To both – in peace

"rock that boat" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 9, 2011:
I just recalled a very painful event that happened about 4 years ago in Oregon House. An American student came back with a Russian wife. Soon they had 2 children. The mother of the wife left Russia and moved in with the couple to help with the kids etc.
Some Russian Robert Boys started visiting her and confessed what was going on. That they were sex slaves on salary, and if they did not serve RB they would be send [sic] back on the first plane home.
This mother, with a daughter and son in law in that ‘school’ could not digest it and hang [sic] her self in her little room.

"Honest Abe" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 19, 2007:
ABRAHAM N. GOLDMAN, Oregon House, Calif.: Goldman was licensed in Illinois in 1977 and in California in 1983. He failed to competently represent several clients, did not keep clients reasonably informed about developments in their cases, misrepresented the status of matters to clients, improperly agreed to an aggregate settlement of the claims of multiple clients without their informed written consent, failed to render appropriate accountings of settlements to clients, and misappropriated and commingled client funds. As a result, he was suspended in California for one year, with the suspension stayed for all but the first six months, followed by a two-year probation subject to certain conditions. Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him one year, with the suspension stayed for all but the first six months to be followed by a two-year period of probation subject to the conditions imposed by the State of California.

Found here:

Illinois State Bar Association website:

ISBA Bar News, December 15, 2000:  http://www.isba.org/Association/0012-15c.htm

Of course, Abe has mended his ways, he is more honest now (than Abe Lincoln); witness Kiran’s [blogger] freely given testimony. Almost all record of prior legal malpractice has been expunged except the above. Reposting here may prevent disappearing forever.

What you cannot find could speak volumes. Tip of iceberg? Titanic can tell. How do you bring a legal action against a lawyer?

That is certainly a question full of contradictions. Try it Kiran and get contradictions to your heart’s content.
DLE could result.

Honest Abe

"Man Without a Name" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
The meeting described by NG (#1) above leaves me speechless. Well, almost speechless. Not quite.
Let me use the adrenal fluid currently circulating in me to tackle the [David] Springfield letter which Ames describes in #176, 107.

In my memory of the inner workings of Apollo/Isis/whatever, Abe never lost a fight. Robert always backed him up against all comers. So suddenly there’s a coup d’etat on the FOF Board, and A.G. & D.S. are ousted?

It must have been with R.B.’s support. The Board, especially given the rabbits on it, would not have gone against Robert. So it looks like Robert abandoned his champion in the end, the meeting in #1 above notwithstanding.

Or else Robert is so gaga that he’s simply not interested in these byzantine workings anymore, and the monkeys are running amok.

In the letter, D.S. warns that the FOF is going to look like “a criminal organization that is functioning as the later [sic] 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.” Nah. Whoda thunk it?

A.G. always managed to put a legal fig leaf on the shadier goings-on of the FOF. The (so far) legally impregnable fortress of the FOF was A.G.’s creation. Then, in 2007, he was apparently given a pink slip with a good deal of bullying, according to the letter. Must have been an awful blow. Whatever happened later to compensate, if anything, it must have been devastating to suddenly be on the receiving end of a heave-ho.

Someone – R.B., probably – must have figured that it would be more advantageous to walk the tightrope without a safety net. There must have been something he wanted pretty badly, and couldn’t get with the observance of legal niceties. Perhaps Abe & co. were warning the FOF about some illegal activity that Robert wished to continue, and Robert’s greed overcame his caution. So Robert asked the board to hold illegal meetings, etc., to fetch whatever gimme he wanted. In my observation, Robert could only have wanted two things: money (or objects that money can buy) or a river of young men.

I also note the timing: 2007 was the aftermath of a membership exodus. Funding must have been down and it was probably getting harder to accommodate R.B.’s greed. So maybe shortcuts were invented.

Anyone in the FOF who was party to the 2007 goings-on is welcome to come on this forum and correct me if I am wrong. Much of this is inevitably speculative, and some of it secondhand – but in an organization that thrives on secrecy, rumor and reasonable guesses are the only way we can figure out what the FOF/Pathway to Presence did.

Here’s more: I heard that Karen B. was dismissed from whatever poobah role (CFO?) she had when she had the temerity to tell R.B. there was no money to give him. The piggybank was empty. Apparently, it wasn’t an answer he liked. You were supposed to find some. Story may be apocryphal, but there are others.
I know that Peter B., president of the FOF, vigorously opposed the L.A. Times lawsuit – even as Robert was telling FOFers that the FOF was going to make a killing by suing the newspaper. The rest is history. But I’m told that R. was so irritated with the P.B.’s loyal opposition that, in the end, he wouldn’t even take phone calls from him. (Yes, dear FOF students who may be reading this, R.B. can be wrathful and vengeful. Plenty of other examples – f’rinstance, I know several women who have been in sexual triangles with him. Nasty stories.)

Peter B. was cast into utter darkness. Until, that is, P.B. was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I always wondered if the stress contributed to his unexpected physical deterioration. With the diagnosis, of course, it was all kisses and hugs again. Each utterance of the dying is treated like Holy Writ in the FOF. P.B. got all the overblown, awestruck, deferential, monarchial rituals that surround death in the FOF. A stadium funeral, even.

Abe is going through that process posthumously.

These are the stories FOF members won’t hear as a backdrop for a suicide. “Financial problems” and “instinctive friction” have been cited – but who will discuss Abe’s treatment at the hands of the organization he fought to protect?

This is a lawyer who had jettisoned his professional credibility to be the front man for a cult (he was even suspended once – a very big deal for an attorney). He, who had bullied others, was finally bullied himself, and shuttled to the sidelines. He watched his god dismantle the legally untouchable fortress that was his carefully erected creation, the work of decades. I bet whatever Robert wanted in 2007 is already gone. But then, so is Abe.

Yes, Armando (#165), “a desperately sad, disappointed and broken man.” Will there be others?

(Finally, Moderator, may I thank you for protecting our very necessary anonymity?)

"Ill Never Tell" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
4. Man Without a Name – August 12, 2011 [above]:
‘I heard that Karen B. was dismissed from whatever poobah role (CFO?) she had when she had. . .’
That’s Karen J., not Karen B. (she was a Karen B. at one time), and the role was vice-president of FoF, at the time described, if I am not mistaken. Otherwise the paragraph is somewhat accurate. Karen J. did manage the ‘shadow’ or ‘grey market’ financial system (read: REB’s personal local bank accounts), while another managed the facade financial system of FoF (GioB was CFO). The books were/are cooked and someone must manage each side. Yes, the well went dry and heads will roll. The queen has spoken! Don’t believe that K(9) of Hearts bull for one minute, because behind the scenes one sees the real face of REB. It ain’t pretty.

"sockpuppet" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
16
Go back and read my post on the previous page, 175.

One of the ways the FOF works is that no one has the whole picture.

Karen J. doesn’t see herself as evil because she’s moving money around for Robert. It’s just money, “A Influence,” and a lot of financiers do things a lot worse. Many people in the FOF think that Robert is just gay, and that’s just fine. A.M.F. doesn’t think she’s evil because she’s helping people get people R.B. picks into the country by hook or by crook. She’s just “helping Robert” (if she’s still doing that).

The whole thing is partitioned and departmentalized so few people get anything close to the whole picture – and if you try, you’re “gossiping.”

One of the people who was closest to having the whole picture was Abe. And he killed himself.

6 comments:

  1. This Blog owner is vicious. He has no human dignity and no respect for the living and for the dead.

    Abe Goldman has never been under any financial pressure by the Fellowship of Friends. Abe WAS the Fellowship of Friends!
    Abe was very ill for a long time. He was not able to handle his affairs properly and that has led to a financial crisis.
    I am a member of Fellowship of Friends for almost 35 years and I have never experienced any financial pressure, nor do I know anyone else who has. Being a member in the Fellowship of Friends is completely voluntary. Any member can freely leave at any time without notification and with no obstacles whatsoever.

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  2. Fact: Prior to Goldman's death, Burton's official stance on suicide was that it was the worst thing a person could do. Anyone committing suicide would "lose Influence C" and lose all possibilities for eternity. This was a topic of conversation with Burton on multiple occasions. There was no doubt -- you just don't commit suicide. The handful of members who did commit suicide were summarily dismissed as being weak.

    Goldman's suicide presented a public relations problem since he was such a prominent member of the group for so long. Burton had no choice but to change his official stance and act like he never said those things about suicide in the past. Instead, he honored Goldman -- after all, it would have reflected poorly on the cult if he hadn't honored him. Perhaps people would have given the event more thought, and pondered its significance -- that perhaps something was very wrong with the Fellowship.

    Anonymous No. 1 up there -- 35 years in a cult is not something to be proud of. It's a disease, and you are suffering from it.

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  3. The "Blog owner" is providing a public service here. This is one of the few places where you can find accurate information information on the Fellowship of Friends. I was there for about 20 years. I'm not sure where you found the word "vicious" to be relevant here. Sometimes the truth is painful, though.

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  4. I have known of Robert for many years. I would have to meet him personally to know if he is real, or is he a fraud? I can tell by a handshake. He has many opinions which have changed many lives. I can only hope he truly means well.

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  5. This is the second time I've seen Kevin Kelly's death referenced. Does anybody know the truth?

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  6. Oh, anonymous one (first commenter above,)

    If you have indeed been in the Fellowship of Friends for 35 years, you have had your head firmly planted in a very dark place, or you are intentionally being insincere.

    Financial pressure is one of the foremost reasons members leave the Fellowship. Burton and his lieutenants instructed that the onerous Fellowship "teaching payments" (euphemistically known as "donations") must "always" take priority over other expenses.

    You state that any member may freely leave. This ignores very real obstacles to leaving the cult, especially for long-term members at the Fellowship headquarters in Oregon House. (As a 35-year-member, unless perhaps you were a member of Burton's entourage, the conditions in the Oregon House community should have been obvious to you.)

    Many have lived in poverty for years. Following Burton's guidance, they broke ties with their relatives and other social networks, liquidated assets and relocated to "the heart of the school." In Oregon House, many (as I once did) donated labor in lieu of money. They relied on the Fellowship (and no small amount of public welfare) for support. Living in relative isolation, their skills were often meager or outdated. Some arrived under religious visas, with severe consequences for violating the terms of those visas. And, of course, there is still the stigma and fear intentionally perpetrated by Burton: anyone who leaves will be forbidden any further contact with members (in many cases, their only remaining "friends." These "lost souls" are destined to be "food for the moon," their possibilities for further enlightenment expunged.

    The blog is not an attack on Abraham Goldman. His story is tragic. Yet, it is only one of countless tragic stories that have emerged from Robert Burton's inappropriately-named Fellowship of Friends.

    From the earliest days, Robert Burton has shown a voracious appetite for the finest objects money can buy. Soon after attracting his first students and creating a schedule of "donations," his shopping spree began. The first acquisitions were rather modest: a VW van, fine clothes, coins, jewelry. Then came the airplane, new Mercedes Benz cars, and a ranch. And that was just the beginning.

    Ever since, his followers have been slaves to his desires, whether they be material possessions, or of a more prurient nature. Burton's wants and needs have always come before those of his followers.

    One of the hallmarks of The Fellowship of Friends is its worship of material objects. Burton inculcated this reverence in his followers who, while impoverished, nevertheless attempt to emulate the wealthy. (How better to attract the affluent?) The love to which Robert claims his school is devoted is predominantly his own self-love.

    If anything, the blog is an indictment of that narcissism.

    ReplyDelete