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, October 14, 2012

The Fellowship of Friends pleads ignorance, innocence

Yuba County's Fellowship of Friends decry fed's pot busts

By Ryan McCarthy
2012-10-12 23:16:30

Several Fellowship of Friends members in Yuba County are involved in marijuana trafficking and use proceeds to pay the religious organization, asserts a federal court filing that the Fellowship president says is false.

"It may even border on religious hate crimes," Gregory Holman said of the search warrant affidavit filed last week in US District Court in Sacramento. "In other drug affidavits, do you say someone is a Catholic or a Baptist?

Click here to read the search warrant.

The Fellowship, described in the warrant as "a sect of Mystical 'Fourth-Way' Christianity based upon the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff" and founded by Robert Burton in the 1970s, is based at a 1,250-acre site in Oregon House.

The search warrant states that a confidential source said it was common knowledge in the foothills that several Fellowship members supported themselves, and paid the required tenth of their income or $400 a month, by cultivating marijuana on properties surrounding the religious compound. The payments impose a financial burden on Fellowship members with limited resources in an area with few jobs, adds the warrant by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.

A German resident who moved here to join the Fellowship routinely has more than $100,000 in cash at his home from marijuana sales, according to the confidential source cited in the document.

"People within the Fellowship of Friends, including the leaders of the organization, knew how these people were obtaining the money they were providing," the source told the DEA, but "nobody seemed to care."

Holman responded, "We have no knowledge of any such thing."

"We condone no illegal activity," he said.
Read more at Appeal-Democrat.

Also see this short article on the Fellowship in the ReligionNewsBlog.

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