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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trading wine for wine palms?

Palms line the roadway at the Fellowship of Friends Apollo Compound in Oregon House, CA

[ed. - A humorous discussion on the forum of the International Palm Society suggests The Fellowship of Friends was still, as of recently, attempting to barter with its surplus wine inventory, most likely in another attempt to circumvent tax laws. This Fellowship "practice" dates back to the 80s. Only if you fail in bartering, then pay cash.]

"Dooms Dave" wrote:
A while back, a religious sect had a winery up in Grass Valley [sic], and they wanted to adorn the grounds with Jubes [Jubaea chilensis, Chilean wine palms]. They also made a good sweet white wine, which they offered to trade for the Jubes. If you didn't want the wine they paid cash.

They bought A LOT of Jubes, of all sizes, up to big ones. They gave me a nice bit of cash for mine.
Dave continues:
After I sold almost all of my jubes at the time to them, someone told me that the Fellowship of Friends was a religious group that worshipped the Jubes or something like that. Not everyone was enamored of their acquisition of Jubes for that purpose, if that's what it was.

I can think of worse things to worship than Jubes . . .
 Then Dave uncovers the truth...
Beep, they sure sound like a cult, all right.

But, they had a bit of style, at least. That white wine (they gave me a few bottles) was good; Riesling, if I recall. Nice, crisp, sweet with a bite. Perfect with some white beans and some salmon.

"Oregon House, Calif.--Deep in the Sierra foothills, at the end of a twisting road, lies Apollo--an oasis of high culture in the outback. A mock French chateau houses a museum and library stuffed with rare art and books. A vineyard on terraced hillsides produces award-winning wines.

"Apollo is the worldwide headquarters of the Fellowship of Friends, whose 2,000 cerebral members believe that keen self-awareness, a positive outlook and immersion in life's finest things--from Baccarat crystal to Johann Sebastian Bach--offer a path to higher consciousness."

"They have been led on this journey for 25 years by Robert Earl Burton, a former schoolteacher who has guided everything from when his followers bear children to what sort of shoes they wear. Burton tells members he speaks with 44 angels who watch over his flock--among them Abraham Lincoln, Plato and Jesus Christ--believers say. Burton also has predicted that Apollo will be the lone surviving outpost after a global nuclear holocaust in 2006."

"Disillusioned former members say the fellowship is more than just another California curiosity. A growing number of them--as well as some academics--call it a cult that entraps its mostly well-educated members with a false promise of spiritual evolution. A recently ended lawsuit and accounts from ex-members echo that claim and add another: Burton, they say, has for years seduced young males in the group."

No comments:

Post a Comment