Introduction


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

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

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

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

This archive draws from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship. Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Friday, June 22, 2012

How will it end?

Robert Earl Burton, Fellowship of Friends cult leader by square stone

[ed. - A September 2014 update: it is rumored that Robert Burton is currently working on a plan to retire to Mexico.]


"Tempus Fugit" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 22, 2012:
Several recent posts have suggested that Asaf Braverman is possibly being used as a front for the FOF or even groomed as Burton’s successor.
To me this raises the question of how the FOF will end.
One blogger recently recalled, and I also heard Burton say personally, that he would die at age 72[*], his current age.  However, we know that Burton’s predictions are meaningless, and I believe he will continue his current ways as long as he can.
That said let us consider the possibilities. Burton is now old and of unknown health status. Thus it is not unreasonable to think he may die at anytime.
So what will be the final act in this tragedy? How will Burton die and how will his death affect others?
1) Burton could die suddenly, leaving the governance of the FOF and disposition of its assets to whatever legal structures are currently in place. True believers might then stay on while those more loosely attached might leave.
If Braverman or someone else has already been installed as the new leader this could support a more stable transition.
2) Realizing death is near Burton could choose a grandiose exit with special ceremonies, last pronouncements, and enshrinement in a special mausoleum with speeches by his chosen successor. The importance of continued membership and spiritual connection to Burton would be emphasized.
In my opinion Burton is highly narcissistic, and the image of a “church” in his name might make this ending an attractive choice.
(If anyone knows of any funeral plans made by Burton, or plans to build a mausoleum or shrine in advance of his death please share this information.)
In this scenario true believers might continue to live out their lives in fantasy of eventual reunification with Burton, while, again, those less attached would tend to drift away.
3) But what of the possibility of a true horror ending?
As Burton gets older and his body ages the pleasures of the flesh will weaken. Serious illness, if it comes, will only accelerate that process. Unlimited sex, the best wine and food, and the enjoyment of power over others will lose their appeal. Envy may arise as he sees those close to him, healthy and vigorous, continuing to enjoy what he cannot.
I remember 1978. I was at the Farm (aka Apollo) when we heard about the mass murder orchestrated by Jim Jones of the People’s Temple cult in Guyana. Over 900 people were killed, including more than 300 children.
I was standing on the patio of the Lincoln Lodge with Burton and several others when someone asked Burton if this could happen in the FOF.
Burton said “no” because (approximate quote) “we are a real school and C influence would not allow such a thing to happen to us.”
Well, in my opinion the FOF is not a real school, and mass murder-suicide could certainly be the final act of the FOF. Just like Jim Jones, in bitterness and failure, Burton could decide to destroy himself and what he has created.
Here are words from a transcript of an audio tape recovered by the FBI at Jonestown [http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/]. This part of the tape records Jones exhorting followers to poison their children and themselves (punctuation is from the transcript as given):
“Jones: … Must trust, you have to step across … We used to sing: “this world, this world’s not our home.” Well, it sure isn’t. … We were saying, it sure wasn’t … Really doesn’t want, you’re telling me. All he’s doing is what we’ll tell him. Assure these … Can some people assure these children of the relaxation of stepping over to the next plane? That’d set an example for others. You set 1,000 people who say, “We don’t like the way the world is ….
Crowd: That’s right, that’s right)
Jones: … (unintelligible words) … take our life from us, we laid it down, we got tired. We didn’t commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.. …”
Although the story and belief systems are different I can see parallels in the lives of Jones and Burton. I can imagine a time when Burton, perhaps realizing his life is ending in frustration and disgrace, chooses a similar path.
On page 113 of this blog, comment 135 recounts words allegedly spoken by Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We are destined for immortality – eternal life – and this is what makes Paradise so sweet: it is a deathless place. Also, everyone is conscious and immortal there. Here everyone is mortal and unconscious, except for us.”
If you are reading this as a current member of the FOF, please don’t dismiss the possibility of a “Jonestown ending” as unthinkable because all around you seems beautiful.
Isn’t is possible the brightly polished apple is rotten at the core?
[*ed. -  If any of the five birth dates he has claimed as his own are indeed correct, he is now 73. So, his Prophecy Realization Rate - PRR in spiritual circles - remains a dismal .000.]



"Toby" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 23, 2012:
96. Tempus Fugit [post number and blogger]

Some sort of shocking and negative ending, whatever form that might take, is not unthinkable. It hasn’t been useful over the years to think about the FOF as though it’s a benign entity. That sort of naive thinking is partly what got many of us in trouble from the start: thinking and believing that Burton was benign and incapable of hurting anyone.
Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach for the Penn State football program, was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. Right up to the end, his supporters continue to be in denial. “I think he’s innocent,” one supporter said this week. “Think of all the good he’s done for all of those kids over the years.”

* * *

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 24, 2012:
Toby (#121-98 or thereabouts)[blogger, blog page and post number], yesterday was a bad day for pedophiles:
(CBS News) PHILADELPHIA – For the first time, a senior member of the Catholic Church in the United States has been convicted of concealing sexual abuse of children by pedophile priests. Sixty-one-year old Monsignor William Lynn was the secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has 1.5 million members.
Lynn was found guilty on one count of child endangerment. He was found not guilty of a separate child endangerment count and not guilty on a conspiracy charge.The jury came back in the afternoon after 13 days of deliberations.
Lynn was taken into custody and seen weeping when he left the courthouse. Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams said the verdict sent a clear message that anyone who protects pedophiles would be held accountable.
“What happened here was unspeakable,” said Williams. “People knew that these were predators — who were much more concerned with the institution than the victims of sexual assault.”
As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I was part of a group of folks who met from time to time to discuss the issues; we called ourselves “The Furry Insects Society”, and one of the stipulations was that anything could be discussed. We had some heated moments during the furor over the Troy Buzbee case. Half of us left within the next few days, the other half stayed. One of the more amazing moments was when fellow participant Mary Carlisle/Hinrichs told us that “everyone knew that Robert was having sex with Troy Buzbee”. I asked her when she knew. She replied, “From when it started, it was obvious to everyone around”. I was amazed, I actually caught myself with my jaw hanging open. Since my wife and I had not been living at Apollo/Renaissance/Isis at that time, after I had recovered somewhat, I pressed on. I asked, “So you knew that Robert was having sex with Troy when he was underage?” “Yes, I knew, and everyone around knew as well” “Did it occur to you to intervene?” “What could I do? Robert is my teacher, his sex life is none of my business, and Troy was very mature for his age, as far as I could see he was able to handle it”.
Here’s the kicker. Mary Carlisle/Hinrichs was a Center Director at Renaissance at the time she was speaking of (not when I had this conversation). I believe she had a duty to those under her in the hierarchy. Maybe not a clear, ‘strictly legal’ obligation like the members of the Board of the Fellowship of Friends had and have, but surely something, not to mention common humanity? I don’t know if she was also on the “Spiritual Council” as well, but whatever, like the quote above, she and others, Center Directors, members of the Council, every member of the Board, every follower who stayed, “were much more concerned with the institution than the victims of sexual assault”, and very protective of Burton, the “brightest light in two thousand years”.
None of the people that stayed cared a damn, obviously, whether they had power/authority/obligations within the organization, or not. And part of the self-justification, the self-calming was and is, “Burton/The Fellowship have never been convicted of anything, so he/we must be innocent”. Yes, it is true that cases did not come to trial, but only because the Fellowship settled the cases (and had the records sealed as part of the settlement). But the actual truth is, Robert Earl Burton is a pedophile (and this also means, a rapist), and would surely have been convicted had I and Mary Carlisle/Hinrichs and dozens of other witnesses been called to court and simply told the truth to a jury. And, after a long prison term, he would be on a permanent sexual offenders list.

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 24, 2012:
Ames, you know that almost all of the members who had “positions” somewhere in the hierarchy used the exact same argument. “What can I do?” “He’s my teacher”. “It’s nobodies business.” ad nauseum. Until they’re ready to leave, then all of a sudden they get indignant, shocked and hurt at the shit they knowingly and conveniently accepted all along. For me, that’s the height of hypocrisy, and pure bull shit. They leave, and then seek sympathy from those already out, to help heal their emotional wounds. They can go fuck themselves, collectively. They too are sociopaths, narcissists and manipulators.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 24, 2012:
Bruce, (#121-105 or thereabouts)[responding to above]
you are right, that is indeed sometimes the case.
You yourself told anyone who would listen about Burton and his abuse, what, in 1980? That included me, I hung around at the edge of a crowd, and I heard. I believed you, and thought you were right to leave, but only because it was right for you personally. I simply was not mature enough to extrapolate, to see that the harm done to you was harm done to all of us. And to see that by not getting to the bottom of it by ruthless questioning, by not speaking out on your behalf, by not acknowledging that condoning Burton’s behavior by any pretext or disguise, coruscated my soul and diminished me. I didn’t trust my conscience, and actually at that time couldn’t tell its voice from all the others internally arguing for and against. I stayed for sixteen years, after all, didn’t I? So, what you say about those who were in authority is true, but it was equally true for me and those like me, who happened to never attract such a position. As more information became available over the next fourteen years, I had further chances to act for myself and others. I didn’t take those chances. Little by little I became comfortable; the latest revelation was not that so much different in degree or detail than the previous one. But it sure all added up, didn’t it? I did the whole round, “It doesn’t affect me personally, it’s the teacher’s private business, they are adults, they can take care of themselves, it’s not my responsibility, I don’t know enough, the lower cannot see the higher, crazy wisdom, the good outweighs the bad . . .”, and on and on.
That is one of the reasons why I spend the time I do trying to put what I see as the truth in front of anyone who chances on this blog. The fact is, I was so self-unaware, I was able to join an organization supposedly for the purpose of ‘waking up’ but which actually made me more asleep. I was so unaware that I devolved instead of evolved in every important sense. And what got me out were not any particular efforts, but grace. So, one of the ways I can show gratitude for an unearned and undeserved reprieve is to try to warn others, here and now.
And I apologize for not valuing your gift when you tried to warn us. You paid a very high price for direct knowledge of Burton’s criminal behavior, and had the rare courage to tell us, but I spurned the gift, not recognizing its value at the time. But you did plant a seed . . . thank you so very, very much!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Is Robert Earl Burton a sociopath?

[ed. - Reprinted with permission from NaturalNews.]
How to spot a sociopath - 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job

Friday, June 08, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) One of the more offensive duties of being an investigative journalist is taking out the trash -- exposing liars, fraudsters, con artists and scammers for the people they truly are. Each time we investigate a sociopath, we find that they always have a little cult group following of spellbound worshippers who consider that particular sociopath to be a "guru" or "prophet."

Sociopaths are masters at influence and deception. Very little of what they say actually checks out in terms of facts or reality, but they're extremely skillful at making the things they say sound believable, even if they're just making them up out of thin air. Here, I'm going to present quotes and videos of some legendary sociopaths who convinced everyday people to participate in mass suicides. And then I'm going to demonstrate how and why similar sociopaths are operating right now... today.

Why cover this subject? I've seen a lot of people get hoodwinked, scammed or even harmed by sociopaths, and it bewilders me that people are so easily sucked into their destructive influence. I want to share with NaturalNews readers the warning signs of sociopaths so that you can spot them, avoid them, and save yourself the trouble of being unduly influenced by them.

Much of this information is derived from the fascinating book, The Sociopath Next Door, which says that 4% of the population are sociopaths. The book is a fascinating read.


10 signs for spotting a sociopath

#1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a "glow" about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.

#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn't do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.

#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others.

#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.

#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and "win" at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.

#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.

#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don't actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.

#8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running "stream of consciousness" monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers and even poets. As a great example of this in action, watch this interview of Charles Manson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIfGj_55FHI

#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, "I've never killed anyone! I don't need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don't need to live in this physical realm..."

Watch Charles Manson saying this at the 3:05 mark of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIfGj_55FHI

How to dispel illusion and get to the truth

Sociopaths are masters at weaving elaborate fictional explanations to justify their actions. When caught red-handed, they respond with anger and threats, then weave new fabrications to explain away whatever they were caught doing.

A sociopath caught red-handed with a suitcase full of cash he just stole, for example, might declare he had actually rescued the money from being stolen by someone else, and that he was attempting to find its rightful owner. He's the hero, see? And yet, in reality, he will simply pocket the money and keep it. If you question him about the money, he will attack you for questioning his honesty.

Sociopaths are masters are presenting themselves as heroes with high morals and philosophy, yet underneath it they are the true criminal minds in society who steal, undermine, deceive, and often incite emotional chaos among entire communities. They are masters at turning one group of people against another group while proclaiming themselves to be the one true savior. Wherever they go, they create strife, argument and hatred, yet they utterly fail to see their own role in creating it. They are delusional at so many levels that their brains defy logical reasoning. You cannot reason with a sociopath. Attempting to do so only wastes your time and annoys the sociopath.


Tip for exposing sociopaths: Start fact-checking something they claim


One simple method for dispelling sociopathic delusion is to start fact checking their claims. Do any of their claims actually check out? If you start digging, you will usually find an inconsistency. Confront the suspected sociopath with the inconsistency and see what happens: Most sociopaths will become angry or aggressive when their integrity is questioned, whereas a sane person would simply be happy to help clear up any misinformation or misunderstanding.

Beware of fact-checking the sociopath by asking other people under his or her influence. A sociopath will usually have a small group of cult-like followers who not only believe their fictional tales, but who actually internalize those fictions to the point where they rewrite their own memories to be consistent with them. If a guru-style sociopath talks about his "levitation sessions" over and over again, some of his believers will sooner or later start to form false memories in which they imagine seeing him levitate off the floor. So if you ask those people, "Did you actually ever see this person levitate?" They will enthusiastically say, "Yes!" Because in their own minds, that illusion has become something indistinguishable from a vivid memory.

That's why fact-checking a sociopath requires evidence from outside his circle of influence. Does anything he say actually check out in the real world, outside his sphere of direct control? If not, you've probably spotted a sociopath.


Sociopaths never answer facts; they always attack the messenger


Another very valuable red flag to recognize when trying to spot a sociopath is to see how they deal with attacks on their own integrity. If a sociopath is presented with a collection of facts, documents and evidence showing that he lied or deceived, he will refuse to address the evidence and, instead, attack the messenger!

As an investigative journalist who exposes some of the most despicable sociopaths on the planet, I've been attacked on every front imaginable: I'm a secret government agent, they say. Or I'm an alien from planet Zorg. I've heard it all, and while the accusations vary wildly, the pattern is the same: Attack the messenger but refuse to answer the documented allegations.

If you really try to nail a sociopath down to answering a documented allegation, they will quickly turn on you, denounce you, and declare that you too are secretly plotting against them. Anyone who does not fall for the brainwashing of the sociopath is sooner or later kicked out of the circle and then wildly disparaged by the remaining members of the cult group.


Inventing bizarre tales

One of the easiest signs to spot is how sociopaths exaggerate things to an irrational absurdity. In the sociopath's world, every explanation is more intense and more heroic-sounding than the way it really went down. Where a normal person might say, "I vomited last night," a sociopath would say, "I vomited up a 27-foot tapeworm!"

And a truly psychotic sociopath might even add details such as, "And then the tapeworm climbed up the wall and jumped on me and tried to strangle me!"

You might laugh at such an explanation, but I know lots of similar examples that have been believed by irrational cult followers.

Every story the sociopath weaves, often on the spur of the moment, is impossible to either confirm or deny. No one can prove him wrong, since they weren't there, so he can spin whatever details into the story he wants. "After eating this, I had a three-hour ejaculation!" Or, "The Dalai Lama wanted to anoint me as a spiritual leader, but I declined, telling him that I only needed faith, not any official recognition."

How can anyone disprove such a claim? They can't. So the sociopaths relies on these un-provable, unsubstantiated claims to build up a false aura of authority, spirituality or knowledge. This creeps up on followers like a serpent, slithering into their brains and taking hold of their belief systems before they realize what has happened.

As a survivor of the Jim Jones "Jonestown" mass suicide says in a PBS documentary video (see link below), "Everything was plausible [at the time], except in retrospect the whole thing seems bizarre."

That's how sociopaths operate. As they're speaking, they capture your imagination and sound reasonable, even authoritative. But in the clear light of day, what they are actually saying is absurd... even dangerous.

But no matter what fictions are presented by the sociopath, they always present him in the light of a hero -- sometimes even a saint -- who sacrifices his life for the good of others. He often talks of "healing" or "detoxification" or being "cleansed." When he is exposed by truth-tellers, he merely accuses the truth-tellers of being secret undercover agents. When he is accused of sexual assault by one of his own followers (a common occurrence in these circles), he denounces her as an enemy or a spy.

The ultimate destination of a sociopath is to destroy himself and take as many willing victims with him as possible. This is the Jim Jones scenario: Drink the Kool-Aid laced with poison, and thereby prove your worth to your entire cult group.


A common theme of poison, sainthood, redemption

Interestingly, many sociopaths do indeed center their actions around a bizarre food or drink theme, often demanding their members eat or drink poisonous or highly offensive substances that no rational person would otherwise consume. The Heaven's Gate cult, for example, was led by a classic sociopath named Marshall Applewhite. He managed to convince 38 followers to kill themselves by eating applesauce laced with phenobarbital.

Watch the fascinating video of Applewhite here and ask yourself: Would you follow this man to your own grave? (Other people did!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqSZhwu1Rwo

Notice how Applewhite speaks with authority, clarity and some level of charisma. Notice the intensity of his eyes? This is another common trait among sociopaths (including Manson, above). Remember, this man gained such influence over his followers that they voluntarily killed themselves in order to maintain his approval!

As Wikipedia explains: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven%27s_Gate_%28religious_group%29#Ma...)

On March 19–20, 1997, Marshall Applewhite taped himself speaking of mass suicide and asserted "it was the only way to evacuate this Earth." The Heaven's Gate group was against suicide but they believed they had no choice but to leave Earth as quickly as possible. After claiming that a space craft was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp, Applewhite convinced 38 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could board the supposed craft. Applewhite believed that after their deaths, a UFO would take their souls to another "level of existence above human," which Applewhite described as being both physical and spiritual. This and other UFO-related beliefs held by the group have led some observers to characterize the group as a type of UFO religion. In October 1996, the group purchased alien abduction insurance to cover up to 50 members at a cost of $10,000.

The cult rented a 9,200-sq.-ft. mansion, located at 18241 Colina Norte (later changed to Paseo Victoria), in a gated community of upscale homes in the San Diego-area community of Rancho Santa Fe, California from Sam Koutchesfahani, paying $7,000 per month in cash. The thirty-eight Heaven's Gate members, plus group leader Applewhite, were found dead in the home on March 26, 1997. In the heat of the California spring, many of the bodies had begun to decompose by the time they were discovered. The corpses underwent autopsies, where cyanide and arsenic were found. The bodies were later cremated.

The suicide was accomplished by ingestion of phenobarbital mixed with applesauce or pudding, washed down with vodka. Additionally, plastic bags were secured around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading "Heaven's Gate Away Team" (one of many instances of the group's use of the Star Trek fictional universe's nomenclature). The adherents, between the ages of 26 and 72, are believed to have died in three groups over three successive days, with remaining participants cleaning up after each prior group's death.


This episode speaks directly to the mind-altering power of sociopaths. Their delusions can be so convincing that followers will even kill themselves in order to stay in alignment with the expectations of the group. I know of a fringe health sociopath operating right now who has killed several of his own followers, but of course he always blames them for their own deaths. It's never his fault, you see.

Sadly, even when one sociopath kills himself (and takes a few of his followers with him), there is always another sociopath waiting to take his place, seeking power, influence, and sometimes fame. It is common for sociopaths to strongly desire to be on television shows or to desperately seek out opportunities for short-term fame, often from engaging in bizarre acts or staging strange events. This is one of the ways in which they recruit followers to join their cult.


Jim Jones and drinking the Kool-Aid

The most horrifying master of sociopathic delusion was, of course, Jim Jones who convinced 900+ people to kill themselves by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid.

And people loved him for it! They felt inspired, excited, healed and guided. Jim Jones was their savior, their prophet. They believed his every word, and they paid for their foolish belief with their lives.

Watch this powerful PBD documentary video about Jonestown:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7IxGGfpSWk

As Jim Jones proved, people can be easily swept up into an irrational belief in a guru or prophet who quite literally plans to murder them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown)

This is the other dominant factor we see in dangerous sociopaths: An odd obsession with dead things, rotting things, putrid things... things that would cause a normal, mentally balanced person to shrink away in horror. Jim Jones, for example, was fascinated with death and would reportedly murder small animals and then hold funerals for them.

Jones was a master at invoking spiritual concepts and presenting himself as spiritually evolved. This is another common theme among sociopaths, and you see it among Applewhite, Manson, Jones and even present-day sociopaths who are operating in America right now.

Historically, perhaps the best example of a delusional sociopath was none other than Adolf Hitler. He showed all the classic signs: A brilliant orator, a congenital liar, a complete lack of compassion for others, a dominant, aggressive personality, and the invoking of spirituality to justify his actions. The Nazi Swastika symbol, in fact, is a derivation of the Flower of Life symbol derived from sacred geometry. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KMxmJVtp2Y)


The modern sociopath: A threat to us all

Sociopaths aren't just a relic of history; I see their kind operating today, in 2012. A surprising number of people continue to fall for the delusional (but convincing) web of lies spun by wordsmithing sociopaths who may operate in almost any area of society: Science and physics, New Age circles, fringe health, self improvement and even "pop" spiritual development.

People from all walks of life allow themselves to be fooled by these sociopaths, buying into their false narratives, toxic products and destructive behavioral patterns, all driven into their heads through a complex web of social engineering, linguistics and emotional influence. Most people are completely unaware they have been mesmerized into these cult groups, just like the Jonestown people were completely unaware... or the Heaven's Gate crowd.

There are people today, right now, who are zealous members of fringe cults that advocate drinking toxic metals dissolved in sulfuric acid, eating rotten meat festering with deadly bacteria, playing with poisonous snakes or even dehydrating yourself in a sweat lodge to the point where you suffer hallucinations that are then interpreted as "spiritual guidance."

These cults are operating right here in America, and they are led by sociopaths who follow in the footsteps of monsters like Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite. Some of today's cult followers will pay for their misplaced faith with their lives. Others will eventually come to their senses and wonder how they could have been so completely blinded by a false prophet.


Seven rules for personal empowerment (without joining a cult)

The most shocking realization to take home from all this is that people who live under the spell of a sociopath almost never realize it until after the spell has been broken. Just as the worshippers of Jim Jones believed his organization to be based in love, life and light, people today who worship sociopathic, charismatic leaders usually have no idea they have already surrendered their will to someone who does not have their best interests at heart.

This is why, here at NaturalNews, I have always taught people the following authentic principles of responsibility and power:

#1) Think for yourself. Be skeptical of everything. Most people, corporations, governments and institutions are lying to you. There is much good in the world, but there is far more selfishness and greed which is falsely presented as that which is good.

#2) Follow your inner truth, not some external guru. Any guru who demands your obedience is a false prophet. A real teacher is one who empowers you and sets you free to explore your life experience with complete freedom tempered by a code of morals and personal responsibility.

#3) Serve in the protection of life, with or without a church or spiritual group. You can protect life every day in your own garden. Resist the seduction of profit and power that comes from serving darkness (i.e. working for Big Pharma). Seek to protect life, which is sacred and precious.

#4) Value all living things, including animals and plants. You are their shepherd. Protect the diversity of life and the integrity of the continuation of life. (For example, resist GMO and plant only non-hybrid seeds.)

#5) Live an authentic life. Practice what you teach. Walk your talk. Do not speak with one face and then secretly act out another. Spiritual strength comes from spiritual authenticity, and even if the world isn't aware of what you do when no one is looking, God and the universe most certainly are. Karma counts.

#6) Defend the innocent. Stand your ground against bullies. Resist tyranny. Promote freedom, liberty and justice. Help others when you can, and seek to empower others with the skills and knowledge they can use to support themselves rather than creating dependency.

#7) Tell the truth. It is powerful... perhaps the most powerful thing in the universe. The truth unfailingly outshines lies and deceptions. And even when the people around you may not see the truth, the greater universe does. By telling the truth, you empower yourself in all areas of your life, and you bring yourself closer to true spiritual understanding.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Our Spiritual Teacher": the authorized biographies, and more

The official biographies
[From the Fellowship's "Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centers" website, March 7, 2007:]
Robert Earl Burton - the Founder of the Fellowship of Friends

Robert Burton: The Early Years


In 1967 Robert Earl Burton attended a meeting led by Alexander Horn, and immediately knew that he had found what he had been seeking. Mr. Horn conducted a group based on the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky ideas that used theater as a form for work on oneself. Burton devoted himself to studying the Fourth Way and to participating in Mr. Horn’s group. After eighteen months, however, Robert Burton found it necessary to part from his teacher, realizing that Mr. Horn’s teaching methods were no longer serving his aim.

Robert Burton: The Fellowship of Friends
 

On January 1, 1970, Robert Burton founded the Fellowship of Friends, a school based on the Fourth Way principles and dedicated to the aim of creating higher consciousness in its members. On July 4, 1971, his students purchased 1,200 acres of mostly uncleared land in the Sierra foothills. For the next five years, Robert Burton focused his efforts on establishing a network of satellite groups or “centers” in California, and on developing the property—later called Renaissance—to serve as a central retreat for Fellowship members and as the focus for their external efforts.

Robert Burton: Developing the Soil and the Arts
 

In those early years a major effort was the clearing of the land and the planting of a 365-acre vineyard by Fellowship members. Later a winery was built, and the first wines were produced under the Renaissance label in 1984. At Renaissance, hard physical labor went hand in hand with an intense study of the arts. From the beginning, Robert Burton focused on what has become a signature characteristic of his teaching: the use of the arts to promote an unremitting effort to be present. He established the first Fellowship art collection and traveled extensively in Europe, educating himself and his students in the visual as well as the performing arts. Robert Burton taught the Fourth Way at weekly meetings in the Bay Area for several hundred students, and at “teaching dinners” held six nights a week at Renaissance.

An International School

 

 In 1976, Robert Burton asked many of his students to move to cities across the United States and establish Fellowship centers outside of California. Approximately 20 centers were founded and the membership increased dramatically. In the early 1980s centers were founded in major European cities, and the school became international. Eventually centers were also established in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, many Central and South American cities, and—after the fall of the Berlin wall—in Russia and Eastern Europe. As the international centers were established, members were encouraged to travel around the world, teaching newer students and studying languages and the arts. Renaissance hosted an ambitious concert series and developed its own opera, orchestra, chorus, theater, and ballet companies. In 1991 Burton’s book, Self-Remembering, was published, which highlighted the core of his teaching of the Fourth Way: his unwavering emphasis on the disciplines of self-remembering and the transformation of suffering.

The Effort Continues

 
As the school matured, Burton began a prolonged study of ancient Greek and Roman art and literature, a study that later widened to include the great thinkers of all ages. He encouraged his students to research the noblest thoughts humanity has produced, and those thoughts were shared in publications and at meetings. The name “Renaissance” no longer seemed to reflect the global, timeless nature of the Fellowship, and the name was changed to Apollo. As the school entered its fourth decade, Burton began to study the Bible, finding the roots of the Fourth Way clearly expressed within its teachings. Today the Fellowship has 2,200 members who live at Apollo and in approximately 65 centers around the world. Apollo possesses a concert hall, an art gallery, a library, and formal gardens, and every effort is made to develop the practice and appreciation of the arts as an aid to self-remembering. Robert Burton continues to strive to bring the Fellowship to all those who may be interested in it, and to teach and apply the principles of the Fourth Way in daily life.
[ed. - On a previous version of this site, the below photograph was included. However, the St. Petersburg, Russia center apparently became an embarrassment.]

[From the Fellowship's still-active The Art of Divine Presence website:]

Robert Earl Burton

Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton

Robert Earl Burton is a spiritual teacher and founder of the Fellowship of Friends.As a young man, Robert studied intensively the teachings of the Fourth Way, as presented to the West by George Gurdjieff* and Peter Ouspensky. He focused on the practical side of this teaching, and quickly grasped that self-remembering was the basis of the system. His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, provides a collection of personal insights into the practical nature of this spiritual work and its application in daily life.

The course of Robert Burton's life as a spiritual teacher is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the Fellowship of Friends. Robert has worked single-mindedly to create an environment of inspiration at Apollo that is conducive to awakening, and at the same time he has labored to extend his spiritual teachings to interested people around the world. Through the efforts of Robert and his followers, the Fellowship has opened and continues to maintain centers in dozens of cities on every continent. The Fellowship became, and remains to this day, international.

Throughout the years, Robert’s spiritual teaching has never strayed from focusing on the practical moment-by-moment efforts necessary to awaken from sleep. He has taught the same message at all Fellowship gatherings, and has striven to be personally accessible to each member of the Fellowship. He has tirelessly sought new inspiration, introducing fresher approaches to each member’s internal efforts, and always providing loving guidance and support.

Robert has come to understand the esoteric nature of all spiritual teachings throughout recorded time. He has concluded that all religious traditions are the same and that the basis of all great spiritual work is the same--to escape from imagination and the lower self and to awaken and recognize one's Higher Self. Today the Fellowship focuses on these basic spiritual ideas common to all esoteric traditions.
[*ed. - Burton admitted never having read Gurdjieff's works.]

[And from the Fellowship's latest Living Presence website:]
Robert Burton founded the Fellowship of Friends on New Year’s Day, 1970. The school grew so rapidly that in 1971 its students collectively purchased the land that became Apollo. Over the decades the external form of the school—Apollo, the Fellowship centers, and the teaching—took shape and flowered from Robert’s conscious vision.

Basing his teaching on Peter Ouspensky’s Fourth Way writings, Robert focused relentlessly on “self-remembering,” the effort to increase consciousness by a direct effort to be present within a moment. His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, reflects his initial understanding of the subject.

As his teaching matured, he came to prefer the term “being present” as a more simple and objective way of describing self-remembering. He also expanded the Fourth Way tradition, studying esoteric schools from all eras, and isolating the common thread to reveal their universal message.

Robert lives at Apollo, 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. - After forty years of claiming both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff's supposed influence on his teaching, this most current Fellowship of Friends website, quietly omits references to Gurdjieff. As reported throughout this blog, Burton's "presence" is a highly-polished act and for the many unfortunate enough to witness his dark side, it certainly does not "mean humility, acceptance and conscious love."]

The not-so-official biography
"spoonful" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 24, 2008:

I recently visited the FOF Web site and was disturbed to discover how misleading most of the information was. The FAQ’s are definitely in need of an overhaul, but I thought it was only fair to begin on “Our Spiritual Teacher”. So here it goes…
Robert Earl Burton

Robert Earl Burton is a spiritual teacher and founder of the Fellowship of Friends. As a young man, Robert studied intensively the teachings of the Fourth Way, as presented to the West by Alex Horn and Sharon Gans. He focused on the practical side of this teaching, and quickly grasped that self-remembering was based on an appreciation of the male genitals. His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, provides a collection of personal insights into the practical nature of this spiritual work and its application in daily life, while having sex with a young boy, or a group of boys.

The course of Robert Burton’s life as a spiritual teacher is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the male organ. Robert has worked single-mindedly to create an environment of inspiration at Apollo that is conducive to the awakening of this fact, and at the same time he has labored to extend his spiritual teachings to seduce boys from around the world. Through the efforts of Robert and his stooges, the Fellowship has opened and continues to maintain centers in dozens of cities on every continent to maintain a constant supply of male members. The Fellowship became, and remains to this day, international, with the spotlight currently on hand picked Russians.

Throughout the years, Robert’s spiritual teaching has never strayed from focusing on the practical moment-by-moment efforts necessary to arouse himself from sleep. He has taught the same message at all Fellowship gatherings of young men, and has striven to be personally accessible to each member as his fancy takes him. He has tirelessly sought new inspiration, introducing fresher approaches to each member’s external efforts, whoever he happens to servicing in the moment, always providing loving guidance and support, either orally, or by a hands on approach.

Robert has come to understand the erotic nature of all spiritual teachings throughout recorded time. He has concluded that all religious cults are the same and that the basis of all great spiritual wanking is the same–to escape from imagination and the limp self and to awaken and recognize one’s higher coming. Today the Fellowship focuses on these basic spiritual ideas common to all homo-erotic traditions where a male leader is surrounded by eligible boys.
You can read the original here:
http://www.beingpresent.org/index.php?toc=Robert-Earl-Burton&
Perhaps you feel there are other areas that need expanding on.

The definitely-not-official biography

[ed. - The following submitted by Ames Gilbert via e-mail]
Robert Earl Burton is a spiritual charlatan and founder of the Fellowship of Friends, an organization solely devoted to assuaging his unlimited appetites and perversions. As a young man, Burton studied intensively the deceptions of Alex Horn, who had learned a few words of the Fourth Way as presented to the West by George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, while waiting for his girlfriend as she completed the last three days of a nine-month course by J. G. Bennett in England. Burton focused on the practical side of this scam, and quickly grasped that frequently mentioning self-remembering was the best hook to lure in disciples. His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, provides a collection of particularly shallow personal insights by an imposter, designed to further bamboozle his victims.

The course of Robert Burton's life as a con-man is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the Fellowship of Friends, since he has assumed dictatorial powers over both the organization and his followers. Burton has worked single-mindedly to create an environment of infatuation or fear at Apollo (as the headquarters of the shakedown is pretentiously called) that is particularly conducive to sleep, and at the same time he has labored to extend his fraud to gullible people around the world. Through the sincere but deluded efforts of his followers, the Fellowship has opened and continues to maintain centers in dozens of cities on every continent. The Fellowship became, and remains to this day, an international racket.

Throughout the years, Robert's fake teaching has never strayed from focusing on the practical moment-by-moment efforts necessary to rip-off the sheep. He has repeated the same sham at all Fellowship gatherings, and has striven to personally access every male member of the Fellowship. He has tirelessly sought new ways to gratify himself, always fostering fresh illusions to suit each devotee's fantasy, and continually hustling for extra money and sex.

Robert has come to understand the essential nature of all spiritual stings throughout recorded time. He has concluded that all religious chicaneries are the same and that the basis of all great spiritual hoaxes is the same—to fleece the sheep today and promise rewards for their sacrifices sometime in an indefinite future. Today the Fellowship still focuses on these basic shell games, common to all esoteric swindles.

And definitely the most creative biography...

"unoanimo" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 26, 2007:
A Slight Historical-Fact Modification Catharsis Pendulum
__________________________________________
Robert Earl Burton is a sexual predator and floundered the Fellowship of Friends and enemies. As a young man, Robert studied intensively the pre-school children he taught, particularly those who closest resembled the nude young boy painting now for years is situated on the Fellowship of Friends Galleria wall, as presented to the West by his sex slave and Russian artist in resident. He focused on the practical side of zipping down zippers, and quickly grasped that self – ‘members’ were the basis of his narcissism system; he’s currently still working on zipping up zippers, particularly his own.

His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, provides a collection of personal coercive platitudes into the practical nature of how to quote oneself re assuredly alone (while practicing how to smile) so to get someone who has allot of money, time, naive spiritual enthusiasm and (if he’s really lucky) a large ‘member donation’ into his sexual predation work and its application in more sexual predation work.

The course of Robert Burton’s strife as a spiritual teacher is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the fungus that paleontologists now believe rocked the world of the woolly mammoths, causing them to charge head long into thinly iced over, bottomless mud pits.

Robert has worked single-simplemindedly to create an environment of desperation at Isis that is conducive to giving him more and the giver less, and at the same time he has labored to extend his penis, hand/wrist and tongue to interested people around the world. Through the efforts of Robert and his cult followers, the Fellowship of Friends has opened and continues to maintain his sexual predation in dozens of cities on every continent. The Fellowship of Friends became, and remains to this day, hell’s rendition of The International House of Pancakes.

Throughout the law suits, coercive rapes, excommunication of those who “Just said No to Hugs”, Robert Burton’s sexual predation has never strayed from focusing on the practical sex-by-coercive fear-efforts necessary to awaken from sleep and roll over to the next one sleeping in his bed (it’s a big bed folks).

He has teased the same psychic massage at all Fellowship of Friends grumblings, and has striven to be personally re-accessible to each member and ‘member’ (ahem) of the Fellowship of Friends, if, they pay to see him alongside 43 others who have also paid to hear the same thing the other 44 the night prior heard, but slightly different due to the logical progression in the pronunciation of the proceeding different day’s names spelling; hence, Tuesday is pronounced differently than Monday, so, ‘logically’ the literary script is simply not the same; we at the Fellowship of Friends appreciate that all seven days are spelled differently, this gives our Second Coming of Christ a great opportunity to diversify himself and to repeat daily the spiritual ‘double-dribble’ we’ve all come to love to just let him get away with on the big galactic basketball court of the universe.

He has tirelessly sought new perspiration, introducing fresher sexual predation candidates to each member’s external orifices, and always providing ‘rape-like’ guidance and support.

Robert Burton has come to underestimate the esoteric nature of all spiritual teachings throughout recorded time and before recorded time (it takes a special person to finely hone prehistoric history into a pencil eraser). Therefore, like a bright eyed high school student tapping the pencils end on his forehead during an exam he simply forgot was ‘today’, he has concluded that all religious sexual predations are the same and that the basis of all great sexual predation work is the same–to escape down his secret trap-door in his bedroom in case a furious, conscience intact, non-member-man-parent, father (or mother) to one of his sexual predation ‘meals’ aftermath were to get past his guard house and make it into his ‘lair’ looking for a bit of old fashioned ‘Medieval Tweezer Fun’ for his imagination and lower self and to awaken and recognize his Rapist Self.

Today the Fellowship of Friends focuses on these basic spatial deals common to all acidic traditions.

The Work of Our Spitting Preacher

The principal work of our spitting preacher is to initiate and prolong his and his sexual predation partners and victims penises with Viagra, Anti-depressants and high definition pornography in the lives of Fellowship of Friends members. He does this in many ways: by conveying all sorts of coercive ‘goodies’ attributable to all sexual predators in positions of power, where another’s (the victims) personal welfare and family’s safety has found itself in bondage within such clutches; by offering money and expensive ‘high-end’ clothes, travel, jewelry and political power for sex, personal one-on-one rape sessions, and opportunities to work in harvesting new, fresh victims for his predation by becoming ‘traveling teachers’ and simply going home to visit the family for awhile; and by simply lying and allowing us to become liars too. All such efforts spring from his own pants, and his desire to convey this reality to us.

How does he tweak in the moment? At one level, he may use an anti-depressant, sit on a pillow placed on an already plush seat during meetings, reference some distant dead person’s quote that’s been ‘trimmed and shaved’ to something closer at hand, as a way of bringing a person out of an inattentive state of historical honesty and more deeply into the present state of media manipulation, conspiracies to defraud and all around hypnotic debauchery that pretty much any relatively healthy powerful sexual predator would say is redundantly and methodically customary to their class and rank.

At another level (underneath the bottom of the barrel), he may use all drug methods and pornographic instructions as a way to sustain erectile function once it has been achieved.

After a period of sincere rapes, a member comes to understand that awakening to Robert Burton is neither the practice of one exercise nor the overcoming of one obstacle alone, it’s all of the above, excluding god of course. It is a way of life. Awakening to Robert Burton has become the way of life of our spitting preacher, and he invites us to join him in this life (of course he doesn’t invite the ones already members of the Fellowship of Friends, since, after all, we’re already here and would have to drive back and forth from home twice.)

Our Creature provides direct reanimation of buried traumatic pains. Direct reanimation means both using his penis and someone else’s without words (of course that’s because he cannot actually pronounce anything with a penis in his mouth.) It would seem that the use of coercion is more direct rape, less subtle love and easier to follow through to another rape without any pausing for that pesky critter called ‘Conscience’.

Yet all forms of coercion and systematic hypnotism of ‘all the others not waking up to Robert Burton in the morning’ require effort to keep the puke down (regurds are true suffering at it’s finest acidic level), and each person must regurd to regurd. Learning to regurd means recognizing and acting upon the obvious position of the putrid glob somewhere between the Adam’s apple and the little floppy thingy that hangs down from the entrance of one’s esophagus, as well as acknowledging subtle, wordless bouts of confusion that lead to alcoholism, spousal abuse, elderly abuse, child abuse, poverty wages, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, hysterectomies, suicides, unwanted children and adoptions, illegal immigration, tax fraud, moral turpitudes and all around other fun stuff.

Each person must value his or her money donations to the Creature, be it several young sons or only a few minutes of unexpected oral sex or coerced anal penetration, to garner what he or she can and make further use of it. In addition, a person must recognize opportunities for effort without expecting the Creature to request them, he does not like to ask for the same thing twice; remember ‘The Four Wordless Breaths’ refer to how long it should not take to answer the Creature’s demand for sexual predation-food.

Awakening to Robert Burton or any of his numerous sexual predation co-conspirators is a personal experience (indeed!), and our Creature can provide each ‘member’ with lesions (little blisters and red swelly smelly things) that are subtle and direct, and unrecognized by others, particularly in the dark.

A simple-minded indication or request, if followed, can open the trap-door to new worlds of pain and possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases, rape, trauma and spiritual entrapment. The Creature is motivated to work with and for his students because he’s a millionaire sexual predator for having done so well at it for 37 years, though he is more advanced, thanks to those in the Fellowship of Friends who simply can’t get enough of hell on earth, he understands that a sincere person trying to awaken to Robert Burton possesses the same potential that he does when he practices, once again, to smile in the mirror and will at some time attain what he has attained prior to what he had attained previous to where he attained it.

Members and orifices alike have the opportunity to verify that the Creature is more knowledgeable and experienced in sexual predation than they are, and that he is even more interested in their erectile tissue growth than they are (sorta). It is on this basis alone–on the verification that one does not know as much as one’s spitting preacher with regard to awakening to Robert Burton–that a right angled rape-relationship can develop into all sorts of traumatic heirlooms for the participant’s family, friends and of course ‘self’.

Great sin is required to accept that although we originally formulated the aim to awaken, our own desire is sufficient, no need to go and satisfy it and graduate from any painful toil, we like pain. And yet we are never closer to the truth than when we remember that we forgot it and continue to do so.

Developing a personal relationship to the Creature does not depend upon proximity to him, don’t worry, we’ll find you one way or another. His influence permeates through all aspects and dimensions of the prostitutions he’s created, and the moment a person connects to this prostitution through any channel in Robert Burton’s mouth or anus, he or she will experience the Creature’s gloving influence directly.