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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Conscious Teacher's Credentials

Fellowship of Friends cult leader and dandy, Robert Earl Burton (R. E. Burton)
Fellowship of Friends dandy
Robert Earl Burton
(Source)
From the Living Presence website:
Robert [Burton] lives at Apollo [in Oregon House, CA], together with about six hundred members of the Fellowship, and teaches at many events each week. He also travels regularly, encouraging students to join him as he follows traces left by schools around the world.

How to describe a conscious teacher? His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students. He does what no one else will do or can do—teaching the most unpopular of all truths: that our illusory sense of “I” must die before presence can be born. He is the living reminder that it is possible to awaken, and that presence means humility, acceptance, and conscious love.

[ed. - By his own definition, no follower of Burton can verify that he is "conscious" (whatever that may be.) He has proclaimed himself the only "conscious being" and instructs that "the lower cannot see the higher," thus his acolytes must take this "credential" on faith. As for judging by the "effect upon his students," an estimated 15,000 have fled his teaching, many in penury resulting from the financial sacrifice demanded of this "teacher". According to the latest count we have, current membership numbers roughly 1,500 worldwide. Burton has warned his followers that it would be better they were not born than face the fate that awaits any who leave his "school".]

"Panorea" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 1, 2011:

Thank you qwertyuiop [blogger],

A week ago I watched parts of dvds with Robert Burton with my counselor. Almost three years out of the cult and I felt ready to face the deceiver… with the help of a professional. The hour I have with the counselor was extended to 2,5 as it became clear we needed to watch the tricks of the magician. My reaction was smoother that I had expected. The “impressions”, the music ok. Burton talks gibberish. He moves his hands and counts and interrupts and there is method in his madness. If you have not studied the fourth way and Robert’s codes nothing makes sense. The people around him appear fascinated and unhappy. His looks unstable and possessed. I could see part of all this when I was in the cult but I was blaming myself, my self will and my “instinctive centre” for the perceptions. My counselor called the other day to say that he was quite affected by the experience. He has worked and still works with people who had been in a cult but the Fellowship seems to be quite refined in its methods of deceit. Robert is a charismatic charlatan and there are many people who cannot protect their boundaries and are after an authority to tell them what to do. There are people who are hurt, who are after power over others so they can feel real; spiritual seekers who are after salvation and a remedy against death, and some others who have forgotten about the whole spiritual thing but have invested both in material as well as in social life within the doors of the Fellowship castle.

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