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.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Children's stories

Robert Earl Burton, Fellowship of Friends cult leader, with Dorian Matei in Oregon House, CA
Robert Earl Burton and Dorian Matei. Image source.

[ed. - Like his mentor Alex Horn, Robert Burton (often through intermediaries) controlled most family planning decisions. From a distance, it appears part of a strategy to utterly disempower his followers. This is from Stella Wirk's website:]
In the first year or so the group gained a reputation for wrecking marriages. Of the first batch of couples who joined 37 of them split up within a few months!

Rules about children caused a lot of emotional trouble. Burton's suggestion was to wait 5 years after marriage to have children, and sometimes that's a nice idea that doesn't work. Burton told the hierarchy of the group to tell these people to have abortions if the "timing" was wrong! They did, and women had abortions!

Linda [Linda Tulisso/Kaplan] who worked closely with the teacher told us in Amsterdam in 1980 that she was "only following orders" when she told women members to have abortions! (She was a member since the early 1970s, and still is as far as we know.) Burton wanted children to be a certain age at Armageddon, for which he claimed, "I will bridge the gap for humanity at Armageddon." Ack! People were believing this! If one *believes* this, one MUST obey. Fear of "higher forces" was instilled in members, and most easily introduced into people who did not actualize the Work ideas within themselves by personal observation so they could see what was going on and avoid the pitfalls.

Children were frequently spoken of as being a considerable waste of "higher energies," and some women were convinced to give their children away!

"No Kid" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 8, 2007 at 4:08 a.m.:
In post 8/38, Lady B writes:
At Isis [Apollo, Renaissance, etc.], children are the last concern. In fact, a friend who doesn’t have children told me, "I think that Isis needs an orphanage." I was shocked and offended. (snip) Someone said — I wish I could remember who — that you can see the level of civilization in a country by looking at the way they treat children and old people. Elena, you’re right: I don’t recognize the same Ark that I boarded 20 years old.
Response:

There was no golden age before the fall, but there was once an orphanage of sorts…It was called the kid’s house. It was a double wide pre-fab installed at the base of the long drive near the entrance the farm, Via del Sol. Kids who hadn’t been given away lived there. The big house was about a mile up the road and the barn, which later became the auto shop, was at about the half-way point. The kids were allowed as far as the barn to work milking the cows and such, but were forbidden to go further. We did of course, steering clear of the adults, roaming the woods, having fun and being kids. Food was scarce. People were supposed to come take care of us, bring food and such and sometimes did, but often did not. Twelve kids lived there. Another dozen came on weekends. sometimes bringing snacks, and a lively pomegranate-centered economy developed. Sometimes we’d pool money, walk to Oregon House store and buy loaves of bread to divide. A certain male student used to come around a lot. The older kids were suspicious of him and poked fun behind his back, but the youngest ones, who felt their parent’s absence more acutely, seemed to take comfort in his attention. Cold water showers in winter: “Arctic Regions!” was a running joke. You’d shout it out when showering and everybody would laugh.

My association with the FoF continued until 1980, most of that time as a student. I was a free worker then on salary. and know hard work, long hours and little sleep. My education was spotty, but I have since corrected that. Incongruous gaps remain. My upbringing was remarkable: both bizarre and traumatic, but also instructional, and for me, foundational. In fellowship language: the FoF was my influence B. I now take the Buddha’s advise and follow my own path. The fellowship broke me…repeatedly over many years but I survived and eventually grew strong. Life is good.

Peace to Every One and best as All Ways.

I bear no one ill will.

And I am not naive.

I am

No Kid

"For my friend" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 11, 2007 at 4:08 a.m.:

Here is a true story from my dear friend whom I know for many years. When this happened just few years ago I was very shocked and almost couldn’t believe it. And then the story became even more strange and shocking… But see for yourself.
Here’s how she got married… She dated a young man who happened to be RB’s boy. A month after she started dating him Ana Fantoni approached her and asked her to “serve the school” by marrying this guy because his visa expired and he would have to leave the country, so if she marry him – he would receive a green card through her and everyone including the Teacher will benefit from it.
My friend wasn’t planning to marry this guy, but being a Good Student and passive type, and honestly willing to “serve the Teacher and the school” she went as far as marrying a guy she met just a month ago!
A few months later after a Margarita Dinner with the Teacher he goes to her 9 years old daughter’s bedroom at night and molests her. When little girl screams for help and tells to her mom what happened, my friend reacts as any normal mother would and immediately calls the police. Police arrived, her husband is arrested and now facing 8 years in prison! My friend is in complete shock, feeling as a victim herself, a mother of a victim and a wife of a victim – all at once.
Now is the most screwed up part: RB’s comment on this was that she made a tremendous mistake to call the police. Different students would talk to her everywhere expressing their mostly judgmental opinions. Among many there were: “he is an angel, he was with Robert” “he is in essence” “it was a Play written by the Gods, “you should never have called the police”, “It’s school’s business, we should keep it inside”, “you were under feminine dominance”, “he is not guilty” “he might be killed in prison because of your foolish selfish behavior”! Basically, pretty much everyone – including the Teacher – judged her and blamed her, and in the same time condoned and justified an outrageous crime – child molestation! How screwed up is that! What’s wrong with you people?
My poor friend was torned between the feelings of guilt and rejection from fellow students and natural desire to defend her daughter.
She finally leaves the country under pressure and the case is dropped for the benefit of all.
But the story did not finish here. A few months later her hubby who was free by then needed to go to an interview for the green card. He begs her to return – he needs her for the interview. She moves back from another country where she had began a nice life and a career – to help him again – my dear, kind-hearted friend!
But the “family” could not function anymore – 3 could not co-exist in the same house. Besides a few months after her sacrificial return he started an affair with another woman… My friend being rather frustrated after getting such a reward for all her heroic selfless efforts – finally has enough of it all and wants to file for divorce.
But being an RB’s boy he complains to daddy -RB – about it. What happens next? You guessed right! A phone call from Linda T. – “The will of your Teacher is to not divorce him. Work with your queen of hearts. Are you going to disobey the will of your teacher?”
How could she? “The will of the Teacher!” That’s serious heavy duty stuff! It’s really scary to disobey the “will of theTeacher”… So she swallowed her pride and did not divorce this jerk.
She came out of all this with a deep trauma and a confusion about what right action of defense is. Now even if the murderer will get in her house she probably won’t call the police, especially if he is an RB boy…
Now talking about safety of the children in the FOF, talking about crimes, talking about f…ed up judgment!
Did her Teacher cared for her at all in this horrible play? Or all he cared was his prostitute who got in trouble and needed cover up for his crime and a green card so he can stay around? She was used like some kind of disposable tool in the most cold and unloving way – by a “conscious being” who preaches love and external consideration to all of you, blind! Open your eyes already, will you?
And shame on all of you people who were so brainwashed, scared and screwed up to blame my friend when she called police! Would you cover up a rapist of your own children too? Would you call police if your innocent daughter was molested or raped? Or you’d rather protect a criminal, buffer and lie, so “your Beloved Teacher” – who is just as criminal – can keep his dear whore for his perversive disgusting pleasures?
Shame on you people, you owe my friend a big, big apology. I feel sorry for you for your complete loss of common sense!
I am not saying names here but it is a totally true story, and many of you already heard it, probably with lots of distortions. I heard it first hand from my dear friend whom I love and trust. I wish her healing, and may be exposing this on this blog somehow will help it! We need to know stories like this, be aware of what’s going on, of what we support. And the ongoing crime should be exposed and stopped, and healing should begin.
Make your own conclusions. Don’t buffer, please.

[ed. - The following is a response to the previous post on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, and to the bloggers who commented on that post.]

"Half Life" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 12, 2007 at 9:29 a.m.:
Re; RitaP #2, RabbiBurns #10, YesriBaba #12, #14, DonJuan #22, Skeptical #19, -responses to #439′s charges
It’s disappointing & distressing to see how quickly you rush to judgement in the court of the Blog without questioning or waiting to hear more about the incident & asking for ‘other opinions’. And, somehow, some of you immediately sieze this opportunity to attack your favourite target – Robert Burton.
I’m the last person on earth to stand by his excessess, his depraved behaviour, his exploitation & by the delusional parts of his teachings- past & present; but this quick use of this incident to bedevil him without looking into the facts based only on one post is to me very disturbing. I’m reminded of lynching sentiments.
I am also unhappy to spend time on this, but I feel compelled to do so. Do not let gross distortions & gut reactions discredit & cheapen this otherwise useful, healthy blog.
(And particularly distasteful is DonJuan’s rush to judgement words in #22 "cover up the rape of a nine year old girl”).
Here is another unbiased point of view & facts:
I knew about this incident then from those involved and asked for more information now.
#439 wrote:  "he was an RB boy".
-no he was not. He was on a religious visa at the time.
#439: “she was not planning to marry this guy”.
- she wasn’t that sure but she had been married before, a few steady boyfriends before and after. When she returned from the ‘other country’ she returned happily to the same person.
#439: “being a good student and a passive type”.
-she was a ‘good student’ in the past (less so now), but she is not passive nor docile: she is active, mercurial, self centered, self serving, manipulative, verbose, even overbearing at times.
#439: “after a Margarita dinner with the teacher he goes to her 9 years old daughter’s bedroom”.
-they both returned equally very drunk that night, he apparently entered the child’s bedroom & maybe touched her. The girl started shouting. He claimed she misunderstood and the lady immediately called the police. They used to argue much, qaurrel a lot & scream. Maybe the girl was stressed as a result of the tension in the house and she reacted to something somewhat hysterically.
After the incident the lady said to her closest friends that she actually doesn’t know what happened.
In an incident involving her former husband (a very sweet person who would not hurt a fly) after a loud argument she called the police claiming physical abuse though he didn’t touch her; he was taken away & the fellowship had to pay the bail for him. The charges were dropped because the complaint was baseless.
She left the country because she wanted to leave & she returned because she wanted to return.
#439: “she came out of this with a big trauma”.
- If you only knew her…not even close. She was the same old flirtious, attractive, manipulative, partying, teasing, self centered old self.
#439:”the family could not function anymore”.
- the family situation was dysfunctional to bagin with, before & after, with former husband & boyfriends, frequent change of countries & residences.
And while she was married & living with boyfriends she continued to flirt, behave in a suggestive manner. In parties after a few drinks she could french kiss serially a few men including yours truely. In another party in which I was present her flirting almost brought two of her fans/suitors to blows.
She is not a person to easily succumb to pressure and do something that goes against her interests.
All the above said is not intended to condemn her, but to remind you that there may be another side to the story.

[ed. - Now it's "For my friend's turn...]

"For my friend" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 12, 2007 at 5:31 p.m.:
#32, Half Life – you must be writing about a different person. She is my friend and I know her for years! She is not mercurial. you must be describing some one else… She is not flirtatious! And never been like this to my knowledge – she is not that kind of girl… You are definitely talking about someone else. And if you’re talking about my friend – you are a liar and are trying to deliberately mix her with dirt.
I heard the story first hand, right after it happened, and again later, and this is all true. Obviously, you present here some of your assumptions, which are not correct. (May be the jerk-molester is your friend?)
You are doing exactly what all of you people without conscience did and keep doing – defend a molester and blame the mother. “He was innocent! And she sucks!”
Do you need more details??? Of what exactly happened? May be let’s get the girl to tell what happened?
Your points are weak. Besides – what about RB’s loving comment, what about Linda’s call about “the will of the teacher” not to divorce the jerk for his green card? What about it? No comment from you.
All you did in your posting is tried to cover my friend with dirt. “Another side of the story”. Nice going. It realy makes sense now.
(Besides, the guy was an RB boy… Just not a permanent academy-based one. He was more like a whore-on-call type).

"Lady B" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 12, 2007 at 7:35 pm.:
This post is directed at current Fellowship students who write in this blog – I mean those who jump all over anyone who has a story to tell.
You might believe that you’ve getting in the last word, but the last word is still a long way coming. The history of the FOF is going to be written by the children of the students, particularly those who grew up in Oregon House.
Something is happening in the world right now, and it’s not limited to the Fellowship.
Just as in the Catholic Church, where parents sent their children in good faith, only to have them abused by priests, the suffering has finally emerged after so many years. The efforts of the hierarchy to cover up what happened in the end, just weren’t sufficient. The ironically named Cardinal Law, who spent 30-plus years hiding the facts now is hiding himself in Vatican City.
What finally shook this ancient institution was the power of the children’s voices.
The Hare Krishnas were also sued by their followers’ children.
Now the Protestant churches are facing the same sort of revelations.
It’s something they have in common with the FOF.
In post number 32, there was mention of someone who was “sweet and would not hurt a fly.” Well. When that person got out of jail, Robert brought him to his side to make it clear that all was forgiven.
Many of us were horrified, though we didn’t do or say anything about it. That person has a history of being an abuser, and he casually ruined another man’s reputation — ironically,
by accusing this other man of sexual abuse — just because it got him something he wanted.
None of this mattered because he was one of Robert’s wonder boys.
If a man sleeps with Robert, he can get away with anything. It doesn’t matter how badly he behaves, how many orgies he attends, how many girlfriends he has. He sleeps with Robert, so that makes him an angel.
My message to current Fellowship students is this: People have stories to tell. You would be better off just letting the stories come out. I never wanted to write in this blog at all. What provoked me to do so was the assaults of FOF students. So much for not expressing negative emotions, by the way!
Just keep in mind that your negativity helps those who might otherwise be silent to finally tell their stories.
A belated reply to Siddiq’s [blogger] post to me: I should have said “mothers and mothers-in-law” urged men to become Robert’s lovers. Also, you say that children aren’t in any danger. Can you explain why, during the years I lived in Oregon House with my children, that no one felt the need to tell me or anyone else I knew that there was a registered sex offender among the students I knew?
To Whale Rider [blogger]: Thank you for your posts, especially your first one. What you described was so shocking and foreign to me, that I could never have imagined Robert behaved that way. I admire your courage, and believe you’ve given a voice to all those who’ve been hurt by Robert in this way. I wish that the admiration and compassion I feel could somehow help you to heal. I’m so sorry, and I love you.

"Monitoring Crime" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 13, 2007 at 2:19 a.m.:
To my friend 8/439 [blogger, blog page, blog post number, quoted above]

100% True story. The raper name is Maurizio. The student from Italy. At that time he was working in landscaping.He never smiled, never spoke and always looked upon the ground. People tried to avoid frictions with him because messing with him was messing with Burton.
For years Maurizio was daily beating up Gabriella, his previous wife before his new fraudulent marriage with T. (Gabriella is a very nice and always friendly Italian lady who now married to Japanese student )
And in the school where negative emotion were strictly forbidden people were ignoring that horrible behavior and never spoke about or even mentioned that. Many were aware of his permanent violence but all of them have feared Burton’s anger. Maurizio was a Burton’s lover.He never had his permanent “serving days” and usually was randomly called.
This story is one of the best revelation of Burton’s criminal essence.
Many people were praying to see this bustard staid in jail. Where most likely he would harshly and justly die from the same reason he got in there.
After 6 month of imprisonment in Yuba City jail Maurizio was returned to his landscaping octave like nothing happened.
But fate of the depressed abandoned mother and her traumatic daughter remained uncertain to this day.
Message to his former wife T.
Dear T. we all supporting you! Your action was absolutely right.You have acted like a real mother and normal human being.We also know that you were under heavy pressure from the FOF to leave the country before the judgement day.
You will see,the Justice will arrive and every one will get what had deserved.
With much support,
your friends

"Parent" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 7, 2007 at 1:39 a.m.:
Asaf Braverman, Robert Burton's disciple
Saw Asaf [Asaf Braverman] in YC [Yuba City]… Got me thinking…

What does that nice, talented & sincere young man tell his mother and father about his life? What a quantity of deception must be necessary. Asaf is not much older than my own son. What a terrible grief I would feel if Asaf’s play were his, and I lost my son to Robert, in the way that Asaf’s family must have lost him. What indescribably rage I would feel towards Robert, if my son were used as Asaf is used by Robert. Involvement with Robert necessarily separates parents and child: the need for lies and disconnection is absolute. Robert deliberately usurps the parental role, explicitly denigrates familial relations, engages his “boys” in a corrupting lifestyle that burdens them with the need for secrecy and falseness, effectively separating them from all, excepting those in the same predicament. What a f**king sad mad pathetic tragedy is going on here, embodied for me in the sight of that nice young man, Asaf.
I feel outraged now for all the parents that are “bereaved” of their sons…every boy that Robert consumes is somebody’s dear son — subject to debasement, emasculation, degradation, and other subtler psychic damage.
Those young men believe they do not need help – reminiscent of the syndrome in which victims eventually willingly collude with and protect their abusers – but their resistance only increases the pathos.
I wish I had known more, earlier. Would have left much earlier had the “school” maintained the proper transparency. Perhaps – like so many – I am guilty of intentional ignorance.

"Joseph G" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 25, 2007:
#93 my2bits [post number and blogger]

You are correct, both about J & J’s family tree and about my memory these days. Sorry to anyone whom my mistake may have offended. I was simply trying to help Laura contact B, who certainly treated these two boys like her own sons.

I have a few children’s stories…but they’re not of the bedtime variety. It’s too late now, and these stories deserve time and respect in the telling.

We hear about many kinds of victims of the FOF here on the Blog, but children are not frequently mentioned. IMO child abuse in the FOF has always been encouraged to the point of being institutionalized. This may be because children in the FOF are more often abused through passivity and neglect, whereas most of the adult victims we talk about were hurt by some form of active force (e.g. deception, coercion, violence, rape). Children are always the truest victims because they are the most vulnerable and defenseless. They have no options and no power over what happens in their own lives. The prevalent neglect of FOF children over many years appears to produce many negative side effects: from low self esteem to chronic depression to suicidal acts…and even possibly to bullyism for all we know. The potager and the agora are weak charades of FOF family values today, where the second class status of children is communicated in countless subtle and not so subtle ways. There are some fine parents in the FOF, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. And even if their hearts are in the right place, way too much income is diverted away from taking care of family in the form of teaching payments, cultural events, or simply accepting a low-paying salaried position that places one’s family below the poverty level. The result is often squalid living conditions for the kids that parents learn to buffer and justify over time.

Linda T once told me that family and children are A Influence, an attitude I’m quite certain is shared by Robert Burton. How can you get any lower on the scale of priorities than that?

I made many mistakes in the name of the FOF’s “higher right” raising my own two oldest sons, and in refusing to repeat these mistakes with my younger children I’m sure I also presented denying force to RB and his perverse child-neglecting gods, a decision I have never regretted.

Joseph G

"Another Name" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 6, 2009:
When B. Y. [Benjamin Yudin] was Principal of the LCS [Lewis Carrol School, the Fellowship's private school] I questioned him about how he interacted with women in the fellowship. He said I want to have as much sex with as many women I can. After that I got so worried about him being with the teenagers…. Not long after he gave up his principle ship. I could not understand why Robert gave him his studies task for bible and Kabala. I could not trust the man anymore. This was one of the first time I questioned Robert decision making as a distant student. And there is much more.

"Anonymous" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 3, 2007:
I don’t even know how to begin this. I lived in the Fellowship from age five or six to thirteen. The sweetest and most wonderful childhood memories are there, running around in the woods or going to the ballets or the operas. Culturally, it was amazing. I had the finest of educations and am well-versed in the classical arts.
Emotionally, I’m still devastated. To find out that the home of your childhood, the one place that set a standard for your environment is simply a facade for greed, power, and money is not easy thing to cope with. Having grown up there and spent almost all that time with the children, my main concern is the children.
These children, including myself, are never going to be fully adjusted to the real world. The ones that I know who left are all self-destructive and are trying to find some way of ever relating to the world again.
I’m not sure what my point is, but I thought I might as well comment. The Fellowship has granted me so much, but there’s no way they could ever make up for the emotional manipulation that the children and young adults end up having to put up with.

"No Kid" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 31, 2007 at 8:53 p.m.:
Interesting that the subject of kids is up again. Probably not for long. It seems that usually when it is brought up it dies pretty fast…
#359 Associated Press [blog post number and blogger] wrote:
“If there is abuse of the under aged or the young in the Fellowship of Friends community, it is likely indirect and mostly due to neglect. Remember, a person must be 18, or older, to be a member of the Fellowship of Friends.”
Please don’t underestimate the effect of neglect. Also, it was not always the case that a member had to be 18. At first, it was 16. Then there was a single exception, an 11 year old. Other young adolescents followed, and eventually there were about a dozen minor members. This was only a phase. But at this time, at the property, 14-18 hour work days substituted for education for the very few kids who lived there. This is not great for rapidly growing bodies, and in the case that I can speak to, permanent, lifelong physical damage was one result.
Also, it is not neccesary for a minor to be a member to be abused. A very long time ago, in the first couple of years, children on the property lived separately from the adults and adult members would come around occassionally with food. Not daily. Parents came sometimes, but the most frequent visitor was a man who just liked children a lot. The older kids (8-14) suspected what he was about and mostly shunned him. The little ones (3-6) missed their parents much harder and would crawl all over this friendly man who brought food, and would scream if the older ones tried to separate them. That is ancient history, but I don’t see why non-member status would protect today’s kids any more than it protected the kids in the 1970′s.
I have only posted here once before, (8/328) to test the water, and getting no interest, I went back to listening. I only check in once in a while to see if the conversation has taken any new path. Sometimes there has been some change, but it is remarkable how much of the same comes back. I suppose that is what this blog group most needs to process. Your issues tend to be quite different from mine and I tend to find I have more in common with others who were raised in different cults than I have with adults who joined on their own volition.
Here, there is of course lots of interest in young men’s sexual experiences, and not much about the experiences of former or current kids. One thing that always surprises me and that comes up over and over again is the idea that adults in their 20s are actually “children.”
#527 Rain wrote:
“Some have made a distinction between men and children. But remember, these men are in a state of childhood…”
Pleeease…that is just mind-boggling in its silliness. There is no equivalence between an 6 year old child and a 26 year old man, unless that man is profoundly brain-damaged or severely retarded. But I suppose that denial does motivate. I am not trying to belittle the terrible trauma of getting unwanted head, but from my POV, and compared to some of what I and some of the *actual* children grew up with, poolside fellatio while lounging in Armani would have been really really great.
Perhaps many who post here had children of their own and don’t want to think about what they may have exposed them to. It is certainly a lot easier to think and talk about the ways in which others mistreat us than the ways in which we mistreat others…the grand nobility of victimhood. To those few of you who have actually accepted some degree of culpability, thank you. I do not think that the FoF is one evil man plus thousands of innocent lambs. The abuse is well-distributed and I suspect that almost everyone involved is culpable in one way or another…and I include myself in that. We let the kid-lover play with the toddlers so that they would be quiet and he would leave us alone. I am not innocent, and I very much doubt that most of you are either.
BTW: I am not trying to bash anyone with information that he or she does not want or to hear, or force you to accept some degree of responsibility for your lives and your interactions with others. However, I found that, for myself, I started to heal from the substantial damage inflicted by this fellowship of “friends” when I *stopped* thinking of myself as a victim and began to take back my own agency. That included acknowledging my own part. Just an idea. Use it or not.
I am not naive to the wrongdoing of others…
…and I am not innocent of it myself.
And I am also – No Kid.

"lauralupa" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion  blog, January 6, 2008 at 10:45 p.m.:
544 No kid  [preceding post]
Yes No kid, please write down your stories, I think it would be very good to learn more about the point of view of the children. I myself have mothered three girls during my eight years living at Renaissance. But it was the late 80s-early 90s, and in that period things were easier, if not easy, for parents and their children.
Not much was ever said to me, either in public or in my circle of friends, about the families situation early years. I just learned quite a few things from your post. We were in fact in the dark about a lot of things that had happened before (or that were happening at the time, for that matter). I knew that some (at the time, it seemed to me that there were only a handful) of the students had abandoned their offspring, but no details were offered (remember? we were not supposed to talk about our measly personal matters). I mostly had heard of such stories from students who had subsequently retrieved their children. Maybe the others were too ashamed to talk about it, I don’t know. It all sounded so impersonal, it’s weird to think about it right now. It was all for the good of the school! And no one ever told me anything about the abortions and hysterectomies, or most of the various horrors slowly coming to light through the blog…
The pain was definitely deeply buried behind self control, self denial and self satisfied smiles…


"Associated Press" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 7, 2008 at 5:50 a.m.:
on December 31, 2007 at 8:53 pm
27/544 No Kid wrote:
Interesting that the subject of kids is up again. Probably not for long. It seems that usually when it is brought up it dies pretty fast…
#359 Associated Press wrote:
“If there is abuse of the under aged or the young in the Fellowship of Friends community, it is likely indirect and mostly due to neglect. Remember, a person must be 18, or older, to be a member of the Fellowship of Friends.”
Please don’t underestimate the effect of neglect. Also, it was not always the case that a member had to be 18. At first, it was 16. Then there was a single exception, an 11 year old. Other young adolescents followed, and eventually there were about a dozen minor members. This was only a phase. But at this time, at the property, 14-18 hour work days substituted for education for the very few kids who lived there. This is not great for rapidly growing bodies, and in the case that I can speak to, permanent, lifelong physical damage was one result.
Also, it is not neccesary for a minor to be a member to be abused. A very long time ago, in the first couple of years, children on the property lived separately from the adults and adult members would come around occassionally with food. Not daily. Parents came sometimes, but the most frequent visitor was a man who just liked children a lot. The older kids (8-14) suspected what he was about and mostly shunned him. The little ones (3-6) missed their parents much harder and would crawl all over this friendly man who brought food, and would scream if the older ones tried to separate them. That is ancient history, but I don’t see why non-member status would protect today’s kids any more than it protected the kids in the 1970’s.
I have only posted here once before, (8/328) to test the water, and getting no interest, I went back to listening. I only check in once in a while to see if the conversation has taken any new path. Sometimes there has been some change, but it is remarkable how much of the same comes back. I suppose that is what this blog group most needs to process. Your issues tend to be quite different from mine and I tend to find I have more in common with others who were raised in different cults than I have with adults who joined on their own volition.
Here, there is of course lots of interest in young men’s sexual experiences, and not much about the experiences of former or current kids. One thing that always surprises me and that comes up over and over again is the idea that adults in their 20s are actually “children.”
- – - – - – – - – -
Thank you for your appearance here and your posting. You do elicit thought and emotion as well as presence.
When I wrote:
“If there is abuse of the under aged or the young in the Fellowship of Friends community, it is likely indirect and mostly due to neglect. Remember, a person must be 18, or older, to be a member of the Fellowship of Friends.”
I was speaking in generalities and of more recent history of the Fellowship of Friends. I was also speaking in the context at the times on the blog, which was about legalities, if memory serves me correctly. So, thank you for the greater detail. Here is some more detail:
There certainly were both upsides and downsides to circumstances for children of Fellowship members. Some might say that there was a lot of adverse conditions for raising children – some worthy even of intervention by child protective services (which, BTW, could even be worse for the children). One could start with the fact that student number 2 (Robert being student number 1, although he probably long ago stopped thinking of himself as a student, maybe not). That was the woman that Robert purportedly had sex with in order to establish a certain ‘bond’ which could go beyond the normal teacher/student relationship bond. That woman was married at the time and had children. This ‘conscious teacher’ action may have led to the marriage having difficulties, to say the least. Family life for those children in that family was not necessarily ideal prior to said marriage but it was family life of some kind once there was a marriage. Then the disruption from FoF took place and at least one of the children, still under age, became perhaps the first FoF ‘orphan.’ The only family that child had left was the Fellowship of Friends, by proxy. Do you see any scruples (scruples: an uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action) at work around here? Or, do you see screw pulls?
[The next generation that the above child produced reflected the valuation for family life that they did not have. The only real way that seemed possible for them to have stability of family life was to isolate themselves from the undesired 'influences' of you-know-who and eventually leave the Fellowship.]
Children, generally speaking, were marginalised and shunned from the beginning of the school (and likely from the beginning of their lives). They were too much trouble, too uncontrollable, and a distraction from the aim of creating a new civilisation and building an ark – as we were told by the Teacher. So, if you did not have any, then do not have any. And, if you did have any, they should be out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Also, as mentioned elsewhere on this blog, there were other solutions to the child problem. But, eventually, there was a place for the children and a creation of The Lewis Carroll School. Also, worthy of mention, is the family that Robert dotes upon and is the godfather to at least one of the children – which means an uneasy life of employment and housing for life supplied under Robert’s direction. (I would not wish that on my worst enemy. But, there it is.) It certainly makes it look like Robert is pro-family in that sense, doesn’t it? In that community, nothing miraculous seems to happen unless Robert wills it to happen.
One problem, that I was aware of, was one of children growing up in an overly speciallised environment. In particular, there was more development of essence and not so much development of personality. This could present a problem when the children had to go and live in the general scope of life on the planet. They would not be prepared. Ouch!
Another problem was the overly licentious life style that existed from the leader which spread to other Fellowship members. They thought/felt, if Robert can do whatever he wanted, well so can I. There were acts of sexual abuse of children that repeatedly would appear on the rumor mill – the ‘alternate grapevine,’ if you will. You just cannot stop the hidden communication channels. Were they more than happened in the general scope of life? I do not know. But some children were very screwed up, not only because they may have been abused this way directly, but also because they knew what was going on in the white mansion on the hill.
Add to these the problem created by the ‘no contact with former members exercise.’ Think about the disruption that would create for familial relations if one or the other in a marriage chose to leave the Fellowship when children are involved; estrangement likely, as a minimum.
But eventually there was the Buzbee incident in the 1990′s. This has been mentioned before on the blog, so, I will be brief with it. A child of a Fellowship member, while under age, was persuaded to having sex with Robert Burton, allegedly. I say allegedly, because the legal action that developed was settled out-of-court. Since that time, a strict adherence to the age requirement was implemented so as to filter and prevent such an ‘accident’ from happening. At least it looks good on paper. What actually may have happened, and what is still happening, could be any body’s guess.
Still Fellowship members are offering up, or being asked to offer up, their offspring, underage or not, to the designed purposes of the so called ‘conscious being’ who knows better what is good for all.
So, in short, as I said in 27/359:
‘There is more likely abuse of the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the infirm, as they can be members, and be deprived of their human rights and dignity. This seems to happen habitually in the power structure of the Fellowship of Friends, right from the man at the top (read: Robert Burton) and as a trickle down from the top type behaviour imitated by others. Just read the postings of Elena for example. It is not always the case, though.’
According to this post:
on January 5, 2008 at 11:21 pm
27/604 rich wrote:
Re: 601 Nuthead
So glad you left this cult. For whatever reason. This particular cult leader, in my opinion, in the main, shortens a persons life span. Now whatever teaching you might find in the future check the following before anything else. How are the elderly treated? Are there any children, if so ,are they happy? Best yardstick you could ever use. In my opinion, for whatever reason, your action was correct.
I agree and I recommend that you evaluate the society you live in on the basis of how it manages affairs of the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the infirm. Are they all respected? Are their human rights and dignity preserved? In what manner? Especially in the contemplation of: There, but for the grace of God, go I. Or, in another sense: That IS me and the only separation from me, that might exist, is in my mind.

"No Kid" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 7, 2008 at 11:11 p.m.:
Hello, Bloggers.

waskathleenw wrote:
“No Kid…I wish you would post more often and provide more details if you feel comfortable doing so…Current students, prospective students, newspaper reporters and who knows who else are reading this blog. It’s important for the stories to be shared…”
zoecan1 wrote:
“No Kid- Please stay and share. You are so very important too. I have only been here a few weeks and feel comfortable. Soon you will be too.”
No Kid responds:

Thank you, Kathleen, Zoe. I will probably pop around from time to time. Who knows, I could become a “regular.” Stranger things have *certainly* happened! I do in fact have a great deal of ambivalence about posting here. And I have no interest *whatsoever* with talking to the press at this time. My reluctance actually has little to do with my personal comfort, but thank you for considering it. One thing about being raised in the fellowship is that I have a very high tolerance for discomfort. Scar tissue is a lot tougher than pristine baby skin! My reluctance has more to do with potential repercussions against elderly relatives. I will not repay their neglect of my best interests with the same. I am better than that. If their well-being is ever threatened, *that* is when I will consider activating my considerable political and press connections. Failing that, I will allow entropy to do what it does best – with no help from me. Everything decays eventually.

Lauralupa wrote:
“Yes No kid, please write down your stories, I think it would be very good to learn more about the point of view of the children.”
No Kid responds:

I won’t be posting the best of stories (the worst of stories) here. They are my ace up the sleeve in case I ever need to use them strategically.

Lauralupa wrote further:
“I knew that some (at the time, it seemed to me that there were only a handful) of the students had abandoned their offspring…”
No Kid responds:

Well… “abandoned” can cover a wide range of actions. As far as I know, kids were not just dropped off on the side of road with a blanky and a P&J sandwich. Students *were* encouraged to get rid of the kids, though. Generally this meant they were sent to live with friends or relatives. In retrospect, given a choice, I would rather have been sent away. There was a nice family who probably would have taken me. But…ancient history.

Mishaba7 wrote:
(about students who cut themselves off from their families of origin) “Have you apologized to your mother lately?”
No Kid responds:

Good question. Obviously I would add: “Have you apologized to your children lately?”

veronicapoe wrote:
“I for one am very interested in your experiences. If you are interested in writing to me privately to tell me about them I am interested in listening.”
No Kid responds:

Thank you, Veronica. I will consider it.

Associated Press wrote:
“Thank you for your appearance here and your posting. You do elicit thought and emotion as well as presence.”
No Kid responds:

Thank you, AP.

Associated Press further wrote:
“…That woman was married at the time and had children…and at least one of the children, still under age, became perhaps the first FoF ‘orphan.’”
No Kid responds:

Yes. I knew that woman, knew her husband, knew the child. I won’t say anything further out of respect for the privacy of others.

Associated Press further wrote:
Do you see any scruples (scruples: an uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action) at work around here? Or, do you see screw pulls?
No Kid responds:

Nice pun, AP. I don’t quite understand the question, though. Do you mean scruples “here” on this blog or “here” in that history?

Associated Press further wrote:
“Children, generally speaking, were marginalised and shunned from the beginning of the school (and likely from the beginning of their lives). They were too much trouble, too uncontrollable…”
No Kid responds:

Uncontrollable and trouble…I certainly was! It eventually resulted in my being put out on the street in the middle of the night in the rain with only the clothing I was wearing. That was lots of fun. It was a good thing that I had been mixing with outsiders. That bit of disobedience kept the rain off my head on subsequent evenings. And, of course, when one is a relatively attractive and personable teenager, there are always older men who are happy to provide the basics of life in exchange for the luxuries of young flesh. I am not complaining about that, BTW. My sugar-Daddies probably saved my life and I am grateful to them for that.

Associated Press further wrote:
“…the children had to go and live in the general scope of life on the planet. They would not be prepared. Ouch!”
No Kid responds:

Not prepared…well THAT is an understatement!

Associated Press further wrote:
“…There were acts of sexual abuse of children that repeatedly would appear on the rumor mill – the ‘alternate grapevine,’ if you will. You just cannot stop the hidden communication channels…”
No Kid responds:

I have enormous respect for hidden communication channels. I think that one of the reasons that gossip is so disparaged (not only in the fellowship, but in most other structured social groupings) is that it is generally the channel through which those without direct access to power and to conventional channels of communication are able to share information about what kinds of people are to be found in that structure. That is obviously very threatening to those who in pursuit of personal and political power would control all communications. One of the first things any tyrant does is seize control of communications. Grab their presses and their minds will follow…

Best to All.

I am, No Kid.


"Pamela Lichtenwalner" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 9, 2008 at 5:54 a.m.:
39 No kid

I have been reading the postings and I am fairly speechless. I see love and pain and growth and anger and fun and humor and, for most of you, deep compassion and friendship with one another. And, as a group, you are quite the wordsmiths ….. the books, plays, music and poems that will come from some of you ………
Now, back to a topic that I have brought up before and I am responding somewhat to No Kid.

I am wondering how any of you that left in adolescence, without your parents’ or your families’ support, survived? (Yes, there is a sociologist [and others] who is wondering what the counties could do to assist kids leaving such groups but first the professionals need to know just what the needs are.) What about the younger kids? Did they, while in the group, have adults who looked after them, have a child-centered schedule of good meals, school, play-time, medical care, being able to play sports with kids not involved with “FofF” and just plain kid fun? Do the high-school-aged kids get an education to prepare them for college or university or further trade/arts education? What is a day in the life of a kid like?
Someone once said, “The measure of a society is how the members care for the most vulnerable.” In a previous post here, someone alluded to a similar thought. So, I am just asking. If anyone wants to contact me to contact them privately, that is fine. I am neither a journalist nor a writer nor an attorney. Just a teacher.
 

"Mishaba7" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 11, 2008 at 6:35 a.m.:
Dear No Kid,

I’m glad you found a way to save yourself and are now saving the savable, one kid at a time. Building a life where you are now well-respected, well-connected, and most of all well-loved, is a huge accomplishment for anyone, but you had to transcend so much hell to get there. I have deep respect for your success.
After my horrific clash with the fof, I went to teach in the ghetto. I, too, find meaning in saving one kid at a time. I found that the ghetto is not just full of ugliness, one can find beauty and music, dance and art, and kindness and love there. Oh, yes, and also depraved predatory sex, vanity, posturing, drugs and aggression, a gang pecking order, and a social viciousness. But, in reading the blog and in having contact with an fof teaching house, those things were evident there also. Angels and demons can be found anywhere and the way they are dressed, the words that are used, the music that is listened to don’t determine what they are, their treatment of others does.
Sincerely.

"No Kid" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2009:
Hello. This is mainly to Andrew [blogger]. Others take what you will. I follow this blog from time to time. I was involved in the Fellowship as a child, for ten years, between 1970-1980, and was put out on the street as a teen for not flying quite right. I am referencing post #61, which the moderator kindly re-posted: Andrew: Has anyone who has a mind that they can still use, tell me what happened to your kids while you were in this cult? Wildz [blogger]:
Yes, Andrew, I can. I joined the Fellowship in 1978 before I had children. I married in 1979; I had my first child in 1982. (snip) also was witness to the neglect of children by their parents in Oregon House.
No Kid responds: I do not intend to provoke anyone. I do not post here much. I notice that when, very once in a while, there are posts here from people who were actually *children* when we were involved (through our parents, such as they were) that these posts are most often ignored. I wonder why. Anyway, because of that, we tend not to post. I suspect that these kinds of posts make people uncomfortable because if they are parents, or if they had ANY interaction with any children while they were involved, that it points a finger back at them. I think that it is a lot easier to to concerned about the effects that non-consensual sex acts might have on adults (young, non-citizens…I do get the power dynamic) over whom one has no authority than over what the effects of unknown acts involving one’s OWN children might be. It is easier to live with those answers, because someone ELSE is to blame. Andrew, in post # 103, you wrote:
“So I need all of your help my ex is planning on going to apollo with my 12 year old daughter. I am afraid how do I stop them.”
Andrew, you are a grown man. She is a twelve-year old child. If you do not protect your child now, you will have to live with that. Do not think for a minute that she is safe because she is a girl, or “just a baby” or anything. There is a lot of talk on here about RB’s abuses. I am not minimizing that. But anyone who thinks that is the ONLY abuse that goes on in th FoF is way beyond naive. I am not. I would never have survived if I had been. I was only a part of this organization during its “glorious” golden day – before it “got bad” according to many on this list. Nonsense. It was rotten at its root. There were no glory days. In 1971, children went hungry. People who “liked children” were a lot more likely to bring food. Got it? The little ones went for the food and the bigger ones went without. I have no idea what is going on there now, but if you allow someone to take your daughter, that is on YOU. Not the group. Not Robert. Be a man. Protect your child. Please. I am… No Kid


"JustDiscussing" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 5, 2009:
I agree that it’s dangerous to throw around serious accusations, but AL was imprisoned for at least 2 years for a sexual offence with a minor. I was told that it was his stepdaughter and that his wife had reported him, though she remained loyal to him later. When he moved to Oregon House around the 1998 prediction time he neglected to register a change of address with the authorities, presumably believing that California would fall and everyone would forget about it. Eventually he was found out and had to spend a few days in the cells. He was a salesman for RVW at the time and they had to publicly suspend him, though he just carried on working at home. When this happened a second time he fled the country via Mexico and moved back to England. I’ve heard him say without embarassment that as he gets older he is attracted to younger and younger women, and this after everyone knew about his imprisonment. I also heard of a previous incident, but only second hand so I won’t risk describing a garbled version here. He also told me that he used to be a drug dealer in England, particularly selling speed. I’ve also heard him refer to his long-term imprisonment and his few days held by Marysville/Yuba police as a kind of heroic suffering. “I didn’t realise she was underage”. If this refers to his stepdaughter then it’s obviously false. If it refers to anyone else, then it’s obviously his own responsibility to find out the age of the girl. It’s the response of every man who has seduced an underage girl and been caught. “I didn’t realise she was underage.”

"Dr. Pangloss" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 6, 2009:
153 Another Name [blog post number and blogger] "When B. Y. [Benjamin Yudin] was Principal of the LCS [Lewis Carrol School] I questioned him about how he interacted with women in the fellowship. He said I want to have as much sex with as many women I can.” This guy used to come over to the house I shared with students at Oregon House on a weekly basis to have a session with one of my house mates. I used to wonder how any woman could have sex with that. Oh well. Of course this was during the no sex unless married exercise. Later this fat schlub was my center director and called me to tell me I needed to stop living with the student I had a committed relationship with unless we got married by order of the teacher. Hypocrites rise to the top of the cesspool within FOF.

"X-ray" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 7, 2009:
157. Dr. Pangloss – September 6, 2009
‘This guy used to come over to the house I shared with students at Oregon House on a weekly basis to have a session with one of my house mates. I used to wonder how any woman could have sex with that. Oh well. Of course this was during the no sex unless married exercise. Later this fat schlub was my center director and called me to tell me I needed to stop living with the student I had a committed relationship with unless we got married by order of the teacher. Hypocrites rise to the top of the cesspool within FOF.’
I’ve heard that the Bible keyer is an orgy lover.

"wildz" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 6, 2010:
There has been much in the news about school children and bullying lately. One high profile case where the young teen girl committed suicide. Just wanted to share an experience I had with my son attending the Lewis Carroll School. He was in the third grade and was being bullied by an older boy. This boy was the son of one of Robert’s favorites at the time. My son came home saying he wanted to kill himself because of the abuse (some of it physical). I addressed the issue with his teacher J_n_t. Nothing was done. I took him out of Lewis Carroll and enrolled him in public school. Not long after I was called with a message from Robert, “You are traitor to c influence.”

"Mariposa" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 7, 2010:
On the Children’s house: There was a man who came to “babysit us” at the “Children’s House”. soon after it was placed in site. Now ,I think the site is ‘ Lake Nancy’. A “brother” ? of one of the first wave of students when the farm was purchased. He was called “the Tongue” by us kids , because when he gave us the required “kiss” on each side of the cheek , he stuck his tongue in our mouths and we had to just divert his attention and wiggle out to escape his embrace…. We ended up crawling under the “Children’s House”, and braving the rattlesnakes to avoid him when someone gave a ‘heads-up’ with his arrival on the wooded path to our “house.”We actually kept a watchman for spotting him coming in the distance , among us, me , the oldest, at 14 yrs. This man was asked to leave the farm some time later in the summer / fall of 1972. I don’t know why…except he couldn’t pay the $35.00 each month to remain a student. Memory, 1972. AR

"Just the Facts Ma'am" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 8, 2010:
273. Mariposa (AR) 274. Mariposa Re: Lake Nancy Lake Nancy used to be a lake that was half way to the FoF back gate – rather remote and, yes, over towards Dobbins. (There is a Lake Francis in Dobbins but not on FoF property.) Later, the same name was applied to a lake that is below the winery and the ‘Old’ Lake Nancy got a name after a figure in ancient China, I believe it was, but people still called it ‘Old’ Lake Nancy. Did you read this: ‘On the Children’s house’ ?: ’90/273. Wouldnt You Like To Know – March 28, 2010 Re: Lower House By about 1977, or so, it was called the Franklin Complex. It housed, as No Kid said, ‘store/salon/studio:’ M.M.’s gift shop, hair and nail salon (beauty shop), architect office, bathroom, possibly more. It was a rudimentary mobile home situation that, within about a decade, was removed entirely to make way for the terraced hills of the vineyard and a series of ponds, known as, in descending elevation order from the Lodge: Milton Pond, Christ Waters, and Lake Nancy (may have different names now). The old (antique restoration/wood shop) barn was also razed about the same era – parking lot is near that spot lately. That was a good location for the ‘lower house’ (appropriate FoF euphemism). Children would have been out-of-sight and out-of-mind there. Now, ‘Lower Self’ has become the name applied to the place in a person where the desire to procreate comes from. It would also be the ‘Lower Self’ that is interested in reading this blog – as FoF would see it. Of course, the ‘Satyriasis Cult’ behaviour, practiced by the Teacher, does not come from the ‘Lower Self,’ but from divine inspiration!’ [It is possible that what 278. Opus 111 said, re: pond names, was/is/are the names. Names have been regularly changed to protect the guilty - as one would say in FoF speak.] 275. Mariposa: ‘Didn’t we always think RB’s Chief Feature was Greed /Vanity and Dominence? Has anything changed in the last 40 yrs.?’ Yes, all of those features are certainly possibilities (they are obvious), however, I would suggest that they are masking features that are deployed to hide the true Chief Feature: Fear. I say that from up-close and personal experience of the person for years. Additionally, that is the ascribed Chief Feature of the type: Saturn-Mars, significantly Martial. One main fear is the fear of returning to being just Arkansas Bob – which is what he has been all along, hiding behind a façade. There is also the fear of being exposed for the fraud that he is. There is also the fear of being alone and having to address conscience, if that is possible any longer. There is the fear of knowing the nothingness at the center of being. ‘Fear’ explains why those other features are so grotesquely played out and are difficult to limit. Oh, there is also one of the major lessons that Influence C has chosen to try to teach RB: how to overcome fear of failure. That is why so many of the so-called predictions and ventures have been failures – in that way, failures become successes, when looked at from the Work point of view – fear of failure gets conquered. In any case, it is said by some, that ‘Fear’ is, supposedly, everyone’s last feature to be conquered because it is the last feature standing immediately prior to one becoming featureless. Then, the Emperor, themselves, realizes that they are naked and there really wasn’t any new clothes after all.

"No Kid" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 9, 2010:

#73 etc. Mariposa: Wow. Soap root, yes. We boiled it into shampoo. I remember that. Remember the laughing man? And calling BM “the tongue!” I had forgotten that nickname. He was a creepy character. Fit right in. I guess the more absentee of the parents were glad to have such a nice man volunteer to keep an eye on us. I had been well-enough taken care of before the FoF that I had a pretty clear idea that he was one of the kinds of adults I was supposed to shun, and I pretty much did. It seemed that most of the bigger kids avoided him but that the little ones liked his attention. You were the oldest at 14 and I was the youngest of the big kids at 10. There was a gap in 8/9 year olds and then a slew of little ones. Then centers started. I saw you a year later. You had gotten married in the mean time, which was pretty shocking to me since I was 11 and considered you a peer. By that time my objections to being handled by strangers had resulted in an “exercise” for me to allow it. To overcome willfulness, you see. I guess it did not take. I am still willful when the situation calls for it, but then again Now I am…
No Kid

"Mariposa" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 27, 2010:
No Kid, part 92, #13 Memories: Yes, I remember the Laughing Man! The idea that we could be in “silence” for 3 days, and not eat for 24 hrs. to begin the “exercise” was too difficult for me at 14 yrs. I went to a tent with Stella’s daughter around 10pm the first night, ate grapes, cheese, and whatever we could steal from the “cold room” at the Lodge. The Laughing Man was, if memory recalls, discovered that evening , due to the “laughing ” heard on the farm trails that night by a “man”, and for several nights after. Turned out to be a local unhappy about the FOF closing the road across the farm…Also, we were “run down” those first few months in 1972 on the “cross” road by a pick up truck and some were really in danger. We survived several dangers that 1st year on the farm, Via Del Sol… Remember the “search for the Laughing Man” evening? David G. stayed in the Children’s House to keep the children safe…It was rather exciting, with folks finding rifles, hammers, axes, and one machete to track the man down…didn’t find him that night…but a horrible terror/excitement, and a cold feeling that evening, maybe even more than the cold showers! the event terrorized me for a while… I think it was a kid group idea, or maybe mine, or yours, to have all of the kids huddle together in the one man shower to try to stay warm during our washing in those first months of the C. House. We were just thrilled to have running water, even though there was no hot.! We were a safe group together. I used to cook potatoes on the pot belly wood stove for breakfast..the house was sooo cold, as there was no heat for the house, and the stove needed to be filled with wood. The little kids stayed in bed and we older ones got the stove going..I was happy not to have an adult there..( they always seemed to sleep through the morning chores in that little room off the kitchen) we managed better with ourselves…. I did go into a stable relationship at the age of 16 in Hawaii with a fellow student, a quite older man. The age of “consent” in Hawaii was 14 yrs. of age at the time, and I was considered by the locals as being an adult. My spouse lived in the Islands, and I, as an American Indian, also simply followed my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother in marriage regarding the age issue. So, this was a normal for me. My marriage was the best thing to happen to me. I had an education, a sense of self and personal value. I also learned values for life. I love that person for saving me from a fate worse than growing up in the FOF alone. Also, though, I’m not surprised at your perceptions and feelings that I was married so young. I was, but wouldn’t wish to change my life regarding this. Please join the GF site and we can talk more. Find some happiness to remember the better spots in the terrible situation we were in as children. We become the people we ARE, and find the positive days that abound around us. And may we all.

[ed. - The following two stories (on abandonment of children) are from the Greater Fellowship Forum:]
I was given a “leave of absence” in 1994 because I was planning to host a party the following weekend that included friends that had been tossed or given a leave of absence the weekend before (at “that meeting”). We had been planning this event for several weeks, and I told the caller when she called that I would not cancel the event. She called me the next day at my place of employment (the office of Abraham Goldman and Associates) with the news of my three months “leave of absence”.

During that time my 12 year old son was in the Renaissance Children’s Choir. They were to give a performance at the Town Hall around Christmas time. He was very upset that I was not allowed to attend...it made no sense to him. I encouraged him to participate as a member of the choir. He was one of the few altos. I was allowed to drop him off for the performance and pick him up after the performance, but not attend.

Near the end of my three months “leave of absence” I was let go by Abe.

- Name withheld

I am so sorry that happened to you....my husband, [name withheld] was asked to give his son up for adoption in 1979....it was very painful...I had just married him and could not imagine how he was able to do what he did...but he did it because you did what Robert requested...for years we never saw his son...about four years ago we again tried looking for him and found him in Rhode Island just one state away...we've developed a wonder relationship and talked alot about what happened and why....FOF people in power just think of themselves.....I hope you son is well

- Name withheld

"Ms Reality Check" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 25, 2007:
A word to those who have children being raised in the FoF: (Yes, I know some join. They are naïve, as one would expect a young person to be).

For those children who will not join, what will be the legacy you pass on to them? They will have to explain to their friends and colleagues, or more likely, they will need to hide the embarrassing fact of their parents supporting the activities of a very strange person indeed, in a very strange social environment which caters directly or indirectly to his every whim.

Do you understand how carrying shame relates to self-esteem? Do you understand basic Human Psychology 101, which recognises how important it is that if at all possible, a child should be able to look up to his or her parents? Or do you want to load your ‘karma’ onto them as the gift of a loving parent? My own son is not about to volunteer any information to his new friends of his own parents’ involvement. There is nothing to be proud of her[e].

I don’t want to drag the names of people into this conversation without their permission. I want to say that if by chance, L. R. & R. R are reading this blog, I have never forgotten your exquisitely beautiful, innocent children, especially the little princess whom LR affectionately referred to as T—ny. When I think that this little girl and her brother will have to hide all the goings-on in the FoF from their friends or acquaintances (since the cat is indeed well and truly out of the bag and it’s loud caterwauling will not stop), it makes me shudder. Because if they find a way to rationalise it—or far worse–to justify it positively—it will be the worse for them and I would hate to see them morph into the persons that they would need to become in order finally to achieve this point of view. Not to mention that you discharge your burdens onto them, as RB has discharged onto his students, the difference being, that our children didn’t ask for it.

"heather" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 25, 2007 at 10:12 a.m.:
As the daughter of a long time student of the FOF and child of a former student, the FOF “has always been at war with” my conscience (not to be confused with consciousness). recently I have come to see a once student friend of mine be asked to leave the FOF for posting under her true name on this blog. it has completely isolated her from her once peers in ground zero which is remote to begin with (wonders if this is divisive) and caused a marital separation that would be unheard of continuing with such a traitor, between a man of such high merit according to the big B. I am appalled at the complete estrangement process she has had to suffer for her brutal honesty, as “big brother” can not allow such “thought crimes” to continue amongst his ranks. I have always gravitated towards the ideas of the fourth way but have always felt a pit in my stomach which I have called the institution surrounding these noble ideas most consistently “cultivated” among the FOF. imagine that point in life in which we all discover that wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have talked openly and honestly with those “students” who will break out of the formality and stop talking to me as if I were an idiot and rather instead as a young woman who has grown up in this “system” all her life. im not daft and I can talk the talk with the best of them. I listen too and what I’ve been hearing and witnessing of late is only jading my life’s position on the FOF even more. what I have heard and verified by the stories repetitions among different conversations with different people makes my conscience sick. I believe that the FOF has/is willing to overlook conscience for the so called crusade for consciousness when I feel there cannot be this separation. in my very bones and nature it makes me sick the corruption I see and hear of. and it really hits home when it affects someone so close to me that I will not isolate, but will learn the omissions that surround the falling outs with this good person. I see I have been lied to in a sense by those who are falling away from this person in that they will give me a reasonable sorry as to why they must leave this person and yet I know these are lies because the truth is too awful, too informal, and thus is my intelligence betrayed along with my friend(s). 1984 anyone?

a person on her path,

heather

"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!

No comments:

Post a Comment