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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A cult of male rape?

Burton, engaged in second favorite activity
Some enchanted evening you will meet a stranger – the appearance of your own divine Soul. - Robert Earl Burton
Back in the mid 70′s the people who knew about it were the people that it was happening to, and the people who aided and abetted it. That’s pretty much it. Of the people who it was happening to, we didn’t even acknowledge it to each other, even though most of us were frequently in each other’s proximity. People didn’t know what to say, nor to whom. And we were pretty much walking around shell shocked. - Bruce Levy on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog

"Joseph G" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2007:
I saw an ad on a Muni bus the other day that said: “I thought he was a great guy until he raped me.”

Following is copied from a gay-and-lesbian website. Sorry it’s so long but the whole thing just seems incredibly pertinent. If you don’t have time to read it, I suggest at least scanning through “Gay Rape Myths” at the end… 
Male Rape: When Mr. Nice Turns Nasty
By Brian Van De Mark
Published Thursday, 12-Jul-2007 in issue 1020

Joseph’s date seemed to be going well enough. After meeting “Frank” online, with whom he’d chatted for a number of weeks, he’d agreed to meet for dinner at Joseph’s favorite Indian restaurant. Conversation was pleasant and flowed easily enough, so they decided to take a casual walk around Hillcrest. Frank even offered to walk Joseph back to his apartment. It was about 9:30 on a Thursday evening in March. The sun had long gone down, and the cool San Diego weather lent itself well to a few warm goodnight kisses at the doorstep. It didn’t seem unusual to Joseph that Frank asked if he could use the restroom before he made the drive home. After all, they had both had several cocktails that night at dinner.

Beginning of a nightmare

But “opening the door for [Frank] that night was the beginning of a nightmare,” recalls Joseph, 34. “And the horrible thing is that I can’t get it out of my head, even though I don’t completely remember most of it.” To this day, Joseph still struggles with calling “it” rape, although he understands that what happened next was not consensual: When Frank came out of the bathroom, he walked over to thank Joseph again for a fun evening. A few more mutually enjoyable kisses were exchanged, and Joseph was ready to call it a night. But Frank asked if he could “just stay for a bit” until some of the alcohol was out of his system. “By then, I was ready for him to leave, but what can you say when someone says they don’t want to drive after they’ve been drinking?” Joseph says, recalling that he was feeling pretty tipsy himself. So, Joseph closed the front door and offered to fix them some coffee. The moment he turned to go into the kitchen, however, his “worst hell began.” Joseph recounts the scene numbly: Frank, Joseph says, pounced on him and was kissing and groping him all over. At first, Joseph tried to just laugh it off and tell Frank to go back to the sofa. But Frank persisted. The next 45 minutes are a relative blur, Joseph says. What Joseph does know is this. When he next looked at a clock, it was shortly after 11 p.m., and he was bleeding slightly from his rectum. And while he doesn’t remember everything that happened, he does remember sporadic moments of words and phrases, including his own voice saying “no” and “stop” and “hurt” and “please,” and Frank’s voice saying “relax” and “condom” and “your fantasy” and “You know you want it.” What he also knows is that he continues to feel a great deal of shame and confusion over just exactly what happened that night. And while his tears have abated, and the several-month long, every-waking-moment fear of HIV has passed, Joseph does not think he will ever be the same again.

A community issue

What Joseph may not realize is that his experience is hardly unique. In fact, it’s common enough that San Francisco has launched a campaign to raise awareness about rape in the GLBT community. The campaign, in response to a growing number of Bay Area sexual assaults on gays, includes posters on public Muni buses that read, “I thought he was a great guy until he raped me,” as well as a gay rape hotline (415-333-4357) for reporting crimes, and a Web site, [ed. - Link defunct]. The campaign is among the first in the nation bringing a voice to this relatively unknown issue. The Federal Bureau of Investigations estimates that 5 to 10 percent of all reported rapes involve male victims, and the 2003 Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Study indicates that 1 in 10 rape victims are male. The Department of Justice says that one in 33 men in the United States has been a victim of rape or attempted rape, compared to one in six women. It estimates that between 12 to 30 percent of gay and bisexual men have engaged in sexual intercourse when they did not want to because they felt coerced to do so – the very essence of the definition of rape in the United States. However, Detective Sergeant Judy Woods of the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit (SDPD) suggests using caution when considering FBI or Department of Justice statistics. “It’s important to note that when you see the FBI statistics that they are very specific about what rape is, and that rape for them is defined specifically as a penis in a vagina, which fails to include, then, forced penis to anal penetration, forced penis to oral penetration, and forced object to anal penetration. Those are considered sexual assaults.” In other words, national statistics grossly underreport sexual assaults on men, if for no other reason than by sheer definition. To get a better idea of the situation in San Diego, Woods took a moment to search SDPD’s database with the key words “male victim/sexual assault.” She discovered more than 1,200 cases of reported sexual assault against men, most of which, she says, date from 2001. About 80 percent of those, Woods says, are from what the SDPD calls “brief encounters.” “We don’t use the phrase ‘date rape’ because that isn’t accurate for encounters such as meeting someone at a nightclub or on the street, having a conversation and a connection,” Woods explains. However, assures Woods, whether the violation is classified as sexual assault or rape, each is a felony and treated with the same vigilance by her unit. In fact, the SDPD uses the same protocol countywide for all assault reports, male or female – the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).The SART team investigation consists of a physical medical exam for forensic evidence, a law enforcement officer and a victim advocate. “Regardless of the gender or sexual orientation, people need to know that their situation will be taken very seriously,” says Woods, who has been in the Sex Crimes Unit for 26 years. As staggering as the 1,200 number may be to some, it doesn’t even come close to the actual number of assaults that happen, Woods says. “The numbers we have are consistent with the grossly underreported assaults across the board,” Woods explains. “It’s because of the same factors in female victims, that there is often embarrassment or the feeling of not wanting to stir things up. Sometimes people think they made the mistake, and so they just want to let that one situation go.” But Woods argues this is not in the best interests either of the victim or the community. “Preventing sexual assault is all of our problem,” Woods says. “It could be me, my son, you, your friend. We have to be responsible for our own behavior and make sure others are responsible for their actions.”

Men less likely to report rape

Often in male rape cases, though, it’s the male victims’ perception of their own behavior or actions during the assault that leads male rape to be so grossly underreported. Paul Sussman has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and works in the area of sexuality, sexual orientation, and violence and trauma. Sussman suggests there is a series of events or variables that are different for male victims of rape than for female victims of rape. “First of all, when we think of rape, we generally think of women,” Sussman says. “And so our services are generally set up to treat women victims. Men might not even know there are resources for them. Secondly, often men don’t even think in terms of male rape victim, and so it might not even occur to them that they were a victim of rape, per se.” Sussman cites Mike Lew’s groundbreaking 1980 book, Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and other Sexual Child Abuse, in which Lew explains the social phenomenon that leads people to believe that “men are not victims, and victims are not men.” “Somehow, we learn to believe that it is not OK [for a male] to be a victim, and that we are less than male, or not male enough, if we fall into that category,” Sussman explains. There is also the issue of “confusion,” which can manifest itself in a wide range of ways. For example, Sussman says, “Male victims are often sexually or physically aroused during an assault, and that can lead to some confusion on the part of the victim who might be asking themselves, ‘Why was I aroused?’ It’s not unusual for a male victim to become physically aroused or experience an erection. For one, fear and excitement are wired closely together, and both nervousness and fear can cause an erection. And, if a male is anally penetrated, the interaction with the prostrate may cause arousal and/or an erection.” Sussman explains that the more sexually or physiologically aroused victims are, the more confused they are, and the less likely they are to report the assault. Arousal also makes victims more vulnerable.

Eroticism or violation?

Take Jessie, for example. Jessie, 32, is a self-described “leather boy,” and frequently participates in leather bondage and S&M scenes. Jessie says he is considered by most of his friends to be a pretty “worked-out muscle stud on the outside and a teenage fem-boy on the inside.” That is, Jessie says, his sexual encounters tend to be with people who are willing to overlook his larger, masculine exterior to dominate his more submissive interior. Last year, Jessie thought he had met someone who might be a good match for just that. Jessie, who says he has about 13 years of experience in the leather-boy role, is very particular about safe words and safer-sex play. His erotic moments come from pushing limits, but never from violating the agreed-upon boundaries. When Jessie met “Phil,” he was pretty confident that Phil was capable of playing within those parameters.
After a few play sessions, however, Jessie noticed that Phil’s erotic arousals came when he was pushing the agreed-upon boundaries further than Jessie liked. However, because they had a pre-set form of communication, where Jessie was barred from speaking in Phil’s presence, with the exception of the safe word to indicate a need to stop the play, Jessie felt he was unable to really discuss his concern with Phil. Jessie sensed that Phil actually became aroused by Jessie’s use of the safe word, rather than respecting the role it played in their scenes. Also, because Phil is an active member of the leather community in San Diego, and, in fact, often a leading voice in that community, Jessie was afraid to confront Phil for fear of being alienated by the group. While Jessie knows that if he were to come forward to members of the leather community, that such a charge would be taken very seriously, he is still concerned that Phil’s stature in the leather community would trump any concern Jessie has. “The leather community is really good about policing their own,” Jessie says. “In fact, it’s not uncommon for those of us who like scenes that take us to the edge to get references from others who have played with a partner we are considering. But with [Phil], it’s different.” Jessie fears that it would be a “his-word-against-mine” scenario, and he just isn’t sure how it would end up. After all, Jessie, himself, likes pretty extreme play. Consequently, beyond the leather community, seeking help seems unlikely, he says. “How seriously would I be taken if I went to some authority and said, ‘Well, I invited the guy over for a rape scene. But we had boundaries, and he showed up to do just that, but without the boundaries? Yeah, I was already tied up and gagged when he got there. Yeah, I was blindfolded and had the word “bitch” scrawled on my back in marker.’ How seriously do you think they would take my concern?” Jessie’s attempt to define the line between eroticism and violation became more pressing one Saturday night: Phil had arranged for Jessie to service several of his friends. And, Jessie says, what began as an erotic scene ended, at least for Jessie, as a night of horror, shame and confusion. Phil, showing off to his friends, responded to Jessie’s safe words with comments such as, “Yeah, that’s right, I know you don’t think you want it, but you do,” and “Shut up, boy, I didn’t ask how you felt.” Phil even took some duct tape and put it over the gag so Jessie’s words became completely muffled. At some point, Jessie says he just froze and stopped protesting, since every time he did, it just incited more aggression. Jessie says he understands, on one level, that what happened was rape. On the other hand, confusion nags. “Maybe on some level I wanted all of that,” he says. Much of Jessie’s uncertainty comes from the fact that he finds the very scene he took part in erotic. Further, Jessie says that his own physical response is part of what causes him to question the assault element, since he experienced a high level of physiological arousal, including an erection and multiple orgasms, during the episode. Finally, Jessie says he questions whether it was really rape, since he himself is a 6-foot-1-inch man and weighs 245 pounds, while Phil is a 5-foot-10-inch man and weighs about 160 pounds. At any point, Jessie suggests, he should have been able to stop the scene.

Physical strength not a factor in avoiding rape

Not so, says longtime rape crisis hotline counselor Yvonne Lewis. “It’s so tragic to hear [Jessie’s] story,” Lewis says. “Tragic because it’s precisely why male rape is so invisible today. Size, physique, none of that matters when psychological control is in play. I don’t care if you’re a linebacker for the Chargers and the rapist is a 4-foot-9-inch horse jockey. Control isn’t about size; it’s about psychological [control]. [A recent paper] says: ‘Male rape in the 21st century resembles nothing so much as female rape in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries. Men are afraid to come forward for many of the same reasons women were [and some still are]. [Men] fear they would be blamed for their victimization, that their sexuality would be the issue, not the defendant’s wrongdoing, that they would never escape the stigma, no matter how blameless they were.’ Just because [Jessie] wore a certain type of clothing, and showed up to do a certain thing with one person, does not make him less of a victim of gang rape than the college student jumped in an alley coming out of a late-night biology lab at UCSD.” Holly Desimone, a leading rape awareness advocate in Calgary, Canada, recently turned her attention to the issues of gay male rape after meeting with Judy Shepherd, mother of the late Matthew Shepherd, who was murdered in 1998 for being gay. Judy Shepherd, who speaks frequently about the hate crime, is a leading voice in the movement to raise awareness of the issue. Desimone, a rape survivor herself, began to see a pattern emerging among rape and violence cases as they related to homeless persons, gays and lesbians, and people with disabilities. “There is this tendency to lump the rape into the hate crime,” Desimone explains. “And I think we need to separate the two from each other. Rape is rape, and beating is beating, and we can’t lose sight of the fact that many of the victims that we champion as victims of hate crimes were also victims of rape.” SDPD’s Detective Sergeant Woods agrees with both Lewis and Desimone. Woods says her department makes sure all factors of every reported attack are investigated and prosecuted. “I want people to understand that this mentality of ‘nobody is going to listen to me’ isn’t true,” Woods says. “We will listen. Let me just give you an example of when nobody thought we would listen, but we did. On Aug. 8, 2006, Joel Kuchmann was convicted and sentenced to 206 years to life in state prison. He was convicted of holding three people at gun point – a transvestite and two transgender individuals in August of 2005. He was convicted of three counts of rape with a foreign object, forced oral copulation, as well as robbery with a firearm. He was also convicted of dissuading a witness from reporting the crime.” In other words, each and every crime committed was charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and the resulting sentence was not simply a hate crime sentence, but rather a series of sentences for the series of crimes committed. At the time, prosecutor Dwayne Moring issued a statement that he was “pleased with the verdict because. in this case, a defendant preyed upon individuals who he believed would be too frightened to report the crimes he committed against them.” The department’s vigilance in bringing Kuechmann to justice, Woods says, is a prime example of the SDPD’s policy of taking every victim’s case seriously. “If there is a gay man out there who is assaulted, he should know that the SDPD treats all cases equally,” Woods says. Another powerful element in the process is that the SDPD’s protocol is strictly victim-driven and, with the exception of domestic violence or child molestation, can be stopped by the victim at any time. “A person’s identity is kept confidential during the process, and people need to know that our protocol is victim-driven,” Woods explains. “At any point, an adult victim can terminate the process. People need to know that it isn’t a case of just getting a ball rolling that they can’t stop. At any point, a person can call back later and stop the process. But people should come forward as soon as possible, because the sooner we get the toxicology and forensics, the better the case is going to be.”

Condoms don’t make it OK

Another area of confusion among male rape victims has to do with condom usage. “A lot of times, you will hear a male victim of assault explain away the actual act of rape if the perpetrator uses a condom,” Lewis explains. “The thinking there tends to be that if the perpetrator used a condom, then it can’t be rape, because rape is an instantaneous, violent, spur of the moment, testosterone-filled moment, and using a condom means the perpetrator is engaged in some form of rational thought during the act, which leads to confusion on the part of the male victim. This is different than female victims’ thinking, actually. Condom or not, rape is rape, in a woman’s mind. But for some reason, we get a lot of hesitation from male victims when the issues of condoms are factored in.” There is one other area of interest when it comes to male rape, Lewis says, and that is rape within a relationship. “People don’t always think about coerced or forced sexual encounters within a relationship as sexual assault or rape,” Lewis explains. “After all, most people in a relationship have probably had sex with their partner when they weren’t necessarily in the mood themselves. And, to some extent, that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is a partner who is a little drunk, or a little high, and forces their partner into a sexual encounter that is unwanted and unwelcomed. Rape isn’t just about strangers.” Cory, 38, knows this all too well. He recently left a relationship that he finally came to understand as abusive. In fact, Cory says, he was probably raped by his partner of nine years more than 200 times. “I know that sounds extreme, and maybe people don’t understand, but when [Kevin] would come home from a night out with some friends, he would come into the room and wake me up by getting physically aggressive and sexual with me,” Cory recalls. “It’s not just that I wasn’t ‘in the mood’ or ‘up for some play.’ He would pin me down, tear off my shorts and just begin to either rub himself against me, forcefully jack me off, or, sometimes, even [anally penetrate] me.” Cory tried discussing the problem with his family, but they couldn’t understand how a man can be raped, especially one who had erections and ejaculations. How was that congruent with a lack of desire? Like so many others, they believed a person could only become physiologically aroused if one is enjoying the act. So, Cory turned to his friends. Unfortunately, most of the responses centered around telling Cory to “loosen up a little” or “Well, if that’s what you have to do to keep [Kevin] monogamous, then suck it up.” Cory says it got to the point where he would just take sleeping pills, so that he could sleep through any late-night assaults. Cory felt very alone in his struggle. “Friends and family need to gently encourage the victim to get help,” Sussman explains. “If, for nothing else, just to know that they are not alone. It can be a very destructive, corrosive feeling to think, ‘I’m the only one it happens to.’ That can make a person feel even worse. And being informed gives a person choices, whether that’s an Internet chat group on this theme. That can be a very safe first step into it. People have to be able to understand how this has an impact on them. It’s sort of like being gay 30 years ago in Davenport, Iowa, say. One might have thought, ‘I’m the only person on earth that’s gay.’ In the same way, a person in a relationship, who is a victim of sexual assault today, may think they are the only one that this is happening to.”

Fear of disclosing sexual orientation

One of the leading reasons men like Cory don’t come forward about sexual assault is out of fear of disclosing their sexual orientation. Both Cory and his partner are active military, and disclosure of their sexual orientation could lead to being discharged – in essence, being fired from the only jobs they’ve ever known. As a result of the continued sexual assault and abuse, as well as his inability to go to the authorities, Cory says he is doing his best to cope with the hostility and anger he has for Kevin, as well as the sleep disturbance he now experiences. All of these reactions are extremely common, Sussman says. In fact, a male rape victim’s response is often that of post traumatic stress syndrome, with depression and anxiety being significant factors. “Add to all of that the shame that gay men often have surrounding their homosexuality, and you have a person who is at risk of being extremely vulnerable psychologically and emotionally,” Sussman says. As for Cory, he says he wants to stay strong. And part of that strength means not being in a relationship for a while. The issues surrounding gay rape are as complex as they are painful: shame, confusion, solitude, physical trauma and the fear of HIV transmission. But there is help for those who have been victims of gay rape. And, as cities like San Francisco become more open about the dialogue, there is hope, as well.

Gay rape myths

Myth 1: Men can’t be raped.

According to the Department of Justice, 1 in 33 men in the U.S. is a victim of rape or attempted rape.

Myth 2: Male rape only happens in prison.

While statistics may suggest that the number of daily prison rapes exceeds the number of daily rapes in society at large, rape of both males and females does happen every day, whether by strangers, friends or even partners.

Myth 3: It wasn’t rape; it was just rough sex.

A gay man can be violated, and it is considered rape if the acts continue beyond the consensual activity.

Myth 4: He just had too much to drink, so it’s not really his fault.

Alcohol is a leading factor in sexual assault, and it is not a legal excuse for a rapist’s actions.

Myth 5: It isn’t rape if you’re in a relationship.

Any sexual act that is the result of being coerced, forced or is non-consensual, whether it is a stranger, a friend or a partner, is considered rape. A partner can be charged with the same crime as a stranger.

Myth 6: He was aroused, so it wasn’t rape.

Male victims can be sexually or physically aroused during the rape due to psychological causes or fear or excitement, as well as physical causes such as the stimulation of the prostate. It’s not uncommon for a male rapist to go out of his way to make sure the victim does have an erection – and possibly even ejaculate – as this adds to the victim’s confusion and subsequent non-reporting.

Myth 7: Men are strong protectors and providers, so they can’t be raped.

Whether through physical or emotional coercion, threats or drugs (such as the “date rape” drug, GHB), men can be victims of rape.

Myth 8: The police or medical team will not take me seriously.

The San Diego Police Department has a Sexual Assault Response Team in place countywide to respond to all rape victims, including male victims.

Myth 9: Oral copulation is not rape.

If you are forced to commit any act of a sexual nature, including oral-genital contact, it is sexual assault and it is classified as sexual assault and subject to the same protection as vaginal or anal penetration.

Myth 10: Male victims don’t suffer as much as female victims

All victims suffer, and the variables that may contribute to the trauma experienced vary a great deal. And while male victims are not at risk of pregnancy, there is a much higher risk of internal damage and tearing, and, with that, comes a higher possible HIV-transmission risk.

[ed. - The following was included in the above article, but omitted from Joseph's post. Whether or not you are a heterosexual male in The Fellowship of Friends, this is sound advice:]
What to do if you are raped
  • Get to a safe place, be that a friend’s house or family.
  • Call 911 or the police dispatch if the crime has just occurred. You will be directed as to where you can seek medical attention, both physical and psychological. (If you go to a hospital, despite any embarrassment or uncomfortable feelings you might have, make sure they perform a rape kit. Preserve all possible forensics. Don’t bathe, douche, chew gum or gargle anything (there is just as much DNA in saliva as semen), and don’t wash any clothing, bed linens or other possible objects that may have collected fluids.
  • Write everything down that you can recall.
  • Remember that this is not your fault, and that there are whole networks of professionals who are there to help you.
In May, South Africa passed legislation to broaden the definition of rape. It now includes forced anal or oral sex, irrespective of the victim or perpetrator’s gender. The new legislation also recognizes male rape, which was previously classified as indecent assault, and widens rape to include sexual penetration with an inanimate object or animal genitalia. 
Last month, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly also broadened the definition of rape victims to cover both men and women. 
"'I see' said the blind man" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2007:
Male Rape. Thanks for bringing it up Joseph in 261.

The perpetrator of rape is traditionally the one who penetrates the victim without permission.

Although there have been attempts to bring charges against women who have forced men to have sex with them, I don’t think it has ever been made to stick because having an erect penis is seen as evidence of arousal and therefore of complicity in the act of penetrating another. It looks very different from a man forcefully penetrating a woman or other man.

The only cases I know of where someone has been sexually abused even though it was they who had the hard on, is with minors or the mentally handicapped. In these cases the victim has been stimulated in order to be taken advantage of. Think Michael Jackson masturbating boys in his bed.

Viagra changes things rather. If it can be proved that a man has been stimulated with sodomize in order for him to be sucked or made to fuck another man when he was not aroused by that other man, you surely have the makings of a case for rape.

Not only that, but if a system is in place to turn this into a production line of penises for sucking and stimulating the prostrate, it includes institutional rape, where the organization that knowingly creates the necessary conditions is guilty of rape.

Out of all the circumstances for a smart criminal attorney to earn his spurs, this has to rate high. It is a great opportunity to win fame and glory for putting away a perverted monster and destroying the institution that fed a homosexual elementary school teacher come prophet and head of a clut’s appetite for heterosexual men. You can just see it in the papers, can’t you.

We have an authority figure who is the founder of a church and self proclaimed angel, a system of victims looking to replace themselves with new meat so they can move on from suckee or poker to procurer, an institution that actively supports this in all ways, money that changes hands for the soul purpose of making this possible, drugs administered and pornography shown (straight, not gay!) to the victims in order to make them erect, so they can be milked of their sperm, explicit and also more obscure threats for those who do not go along with this including the withholding of ‘benefits’, victims who for the most part come from a background where abuse is acceptable, favors and benefits for complying (as with all prostitutes, you never give them enough to leave, but just enough to lock them in), round it all off with lots and lots of mumbo jumbo, peer pressure, economic hardship, fraudulent immigrations statuses (an R1 visa is not for sex slavery) and the insecurity of vulnerable young men and this is what you get.

If you feel love for Robert Earl Burton, affection for Isis and your dear friends and place value on the years you have spent in the Fellowship of Friends, that is not a good enough reason to refuse to look at what is going on in your name.

Do Robert Earl Burton’s crimes amount to the ‘systematic rape of numerous vulnerable men?’ (around 700 men abused, 10,000 instances – after all he currently has sex for around 3 hours with 4 people a day – do the maths.)

If you heard this about some other ‘esoteric school’, what would you say?

Just to anticipate a ‘no-one put a gun to their head’ argument. Prostitutes who enter their profession unwillingly are tricked, drugged, deceived and threatened into it, no one holds a gun to their head either. Once they are in, it is very hard to get out. As with everything else, humans adapt – especially if a system exists to accommodate them. People can do the most outrageous things if it seems that it is normal within the group of people that they belong to. The Fellowship of Friends has without doubt made all of this possible, you could even sympathize for Robert Earl Burton as he has been let down by the cowardice and petty self-interest of his loving students. The Fellowship of Friends supposedly consists of people who are on a higher level than ordinary life and yet this corruption and crime goes unchecked. What a wake up call. It could almost have been done on purpose to show us what we are really made of.

"Joseph G wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 13, 2007:

#284 “I see” said the blind man [above]:

“…if a system is in place to turn this into a production line of penises for sucking and stimulating the prostrate, it includes institutional rape, where the organization that knowingly creates the necessary conditions is guilty of rape.”

I have to confess my previous complete ignorance about the definition of rape between men. If you are NOT gay, why would you ever think about such a thing? Seeing the ad on a Muni bus was a revelation of sorts for me. (“I thought he was a great guy until he raped me.”) Of course, I thought. That is what’s really happening.

The gay community is not so naive when it comes to respecting ethical boundaries around sex between men. These boundaries have apparently been validated by US law and are being enforced by police departments, at least in cities with sizable gay populations.

If you read the definition of rape in the article cited in my #261, rape and sexual coercion are clearly defined by law to include precisely the type of activities that are Robert’s standard operating procedure. Even more pernicious: this criminal activity has become institutionalized by both the passive/permissive as well as the active/proactive support of the FOF organization.

The common myths about rape between men were also a real eye opener for me, seeming obvious now but a blind spot previously. e.g.:
Myth 7: Men are strong protectors and providers, so they can’t be raped.

In fact…”whether through physical or emotional coercion, threats or drugs (such as the “date rape” drug, GHB), men can be victims of rape.”
Isn’t this why Robert is able to be so brazen? As a practical matter, psychologically, how does a young hetero male admit to being raped? The only way for a straight but vulnerable young man to buffer this degrading experience is by labeling it. Consensual, loving, non-formatory, a blessing…any words that allow one to move forward with some shred of self respect.

Consider several other myths (quoted):
Myth 6: He was aroused, so it wasn’t rape.

Male victims can be sexually or physically aroused during the rape due to psychological causes or fear or excitement, as well as physical causes such as the stimulation of the prostate. It’s not uncommon for a male rapist to go out of his way to make sure the victim does have an erection – and possibly even ejaculate – as this adds to the victim’s confusion and subsequent non-reporting.

Myth 4: He just had too much to drink, so it’s not really his fault.

Alcohol is a leading factor in sexual assault, and it is not a legal excuse for a rapist’s actions.

Myth 5: It isn’t rape if you’re in a relationship.

Any sexual act that is the result of being coerced, forced or is non-consensual, whether it is a stranger, a friend or a partner, is considered rape. A partner can be charged with the same crime as a stranger. 
I am not writing this to try to provoke legal action. I am writing it for the victims, and for the enablers. Think about it. The correct expression is “rape”! Not “abuse of power.” Not “gay lifestyle.” Not “conscious love.”
If you were ever in that room, you knew it then. But something in you made you forget…that you really did not want to do it. You were coerced. You were raped.

If you were not in that room but you know this is true, shame on you. Shame on you.

Quoting again: “Control isn’t about size; it’s about psychological [control]. [A recent paper] says: ‘Male rape in the 21st century resembles nothing so much as female rape in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries. Men are afraid to come forward for many of the same reasons women were [and some still are]. [Men] fear they would be blamed for their victimization, that their sexuality would be the issue, not the defendant’s wrongdoing, that they would never escape the stigma, no matter how blameless they were.’ ”

Whether multiple rapes of male students by RB can be legally proven is not my issue or my aim. The bigger issues are recognition of the truth and subsequent emotional healing by the victims, as well as hopefully an awakening of conscience and responsiveness within the FOF community.

With love to all, both in and out,

Joseph G

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