Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Monday, October 2, 2017

"(Robert Earl Burton) is a professional predator."

Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton, Dorian Matei, Fellowship of Friends cult leaders
Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton, Dorian Matei, with god, er...dog.

[ed. - Michael Shelton, a self-described Mormon apostate, has created a series of podcasts examining cults. In this podcast, he addresses Robert Burton and the Fellowship. Though the narrative may be disjointed and difficult to follow, the final few minutes offer a clear-eyed assessment of dynamics at work in the Fellowship, that are common to most destructive cults.]

Robert Earl Burton Fellowship of Friends Cult (podcast)

“Here's an easy way to figure out if you're in a cult: If you're wondering whether you're in a cult, the answer is yes.” - Stephen Colbert

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today

[ed. - The robertearlburton.org domain now forwards to the WordPress blog Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today (below). As previously mentioned, Burton and the Fellowship have had an on-again, off-again relationship with The Fourth Way, even resorting to such extreme measures as banning the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky! And it is indeed a stretch when the biography below states that Alex Horn was "affiliated" with the Gurdjieff Foundation and that Horn "studied" with Rodney Collin. But Robert Burton's (and the Fellowship's) credibility depend upon establishing a clear (though at best tenuous) link to the Fourth Way Lineage. And in that pursuit, truth is often sacrificed.]


Apollo/Oregon House Fellowship of Friends cult website Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today
Screenshot from Fellowship of Friends blog, Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

50th Anniversary of the legendary meeting with Influence C

Alex Horn meeting house where Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton met Influence C
Scene of the legendary 1967 meeting

[ed. - According to Robert Burton, he first met Alex Horn, his direct link to The Fourth Way Lineage, and the gods (also known as "Influence C") on September 5, 1967, in San Francisco, California. The following was transcribed from a meeting Burton led on the 44th anniversary of that sacred event. At the time, his recollections were accompanied by photographs.]

The extraordinary meeting with Influence C, as retold 44 years later, on September 21, 2011, in Robert Burton's own words:
“On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us [the royal "us"?], and our quest for divine presence began. We could say that on this day: ‘It has begun.’ Here [referring to a photo] we see a photograph of Alex Horn, showing four fingers on each hand. This [referring to a photo] is the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, where I played tennis. I met Influence C hitchhiking because it was just fashionable in the sixties; one would hitchhike from Berkeley to Carmel, and such things. I met Influence C in Berkeley on the crossing of Ashby and Domingo Avenues, like Placido Domingo, the singer. He was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, so it is an omen of my bringing the sequence – the Song of Solomon – to our school. Incidentally, the sequence is a ‘Song of the Self.’ It is four words. This is where our journey began. A doctor picked me up and gave me a ride. He would later turn out to be payment for Dr. Ethan Harris. So we did very well! The doctor was on his way to a prospective student meeting on Page Street (like William Page) in San Francisco. This [referring to a photo] is the house at 350 Page Street where I had my prospective student meeting. It is eight – three plus five. This [referring to a photo] is the interior. The owner was quite gracious about inviting us in. Here [referring to a photo] I am before the gated entrance. … I am looking up in gratitude to Influence C. I was just like you, one of many, one of seven billion. [ed. - World population was around 3.5 billion at the time.] There was no particular reason on the surface they would give any of us this gift, but we are exactly the ones they wanted. And now we are all present and we can see why they wanted us.”

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 2, 2017:
September 5, 1967. Fifty years ago, this coming Tuesday.

In case anyone misplaced their scorecard, that’s the day Robert Burton met Alex Horn. At least according to the version of their meeting as told by Burton. Well actually, he has rarely made it clear that he met Horn on that day. What he says is that’s when he met “Influence C.” But a very sharp “student” figured out some years ago that that date of meeting “Influence C” and Alex Horn coincided, and that Alex Horn must be “Influence C.”

In any case, he has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Meeting Influence C” for a year now. And right now is the big weekend, not only the culmination of another “Journey Forth” gathering (and a large one), but the pinnacle of a year-long build-up of excitement. Endless meetings (4 in 5 days, 3 days in a row, through Tuesday), dinners, “fund-raising” activities, a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. And I’m willing to bet that “The Absolute” will make his Fourth appearance sometime this weekend, probably on Tuesday, Sept 5. Perfect.

And the 2 nearby fires are also perfect, the smell of smoke, the extreme heat warning this weekend.

Pity the money-counters having to work all that overtime (without pay). Pity, too, the chefs working in 100+ temps to feed the masses visiting from the around the world.

But especially pity the 1500 or so lost souls who still believe that Robert Burton holds their ticket to Paradise, and who have given all their will and power and personal responsibility to a fake guru.

Well, at least everyone gets what they wish.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher

[ed. - As the inevitable passing of the torch approaches, The Fellowship of Friends has introduced new Robert Earl Burton hagiographies.

The domains "robertearlburton.net" and "robertearlburton.com" both direct to the "Nature of Presence" WordPress blog (below). The blog is the latest in the endless shuffling of Robert Burton aphorisms paired with "meaningful" images. New look, "same old jive" (as Miles Barth once called it.) Curiously, Burton and the Fellowship have had an on-again, off-again relationship with The Fourth Way.]


Apollo/Oregon House Fellowship of Friends website Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher
Screenshot of Fellowship of Friends blog Robert Earl Burton - Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Fellowship of Friends registers "robertearlburton" domains?

For privacy protection, namecheap uses a Panamanian web-hosting service.

[ed. - Six years ago, when this blog was established, I registered the domains "robertearlburton.com" and "robertearlburton.org" but allowed the contracts to expire after one year. Now it appears The Fellowship of Friends has registered those domains, in addition to the "robertearlburton.net" domain. This may suggest the Fellowship's intention to engage in some damage control, and directly compete with this blog for search result ratings. If that is the strategy, it may backfire, as members may now be even more likely to stumble upon this blog rather than the Fellowship's (and in so doing discover the truth about their organization!)]

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ames Gilbert's liberation plea

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The "Death-Bed" Edition


"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 23, 2017:
To everyone who is currently a member of the Fellowship of Friends.

Of course you have been advised to not read this blog, so I’m almost certainly wasting my time with this appeal. But maybe a psychic vibration will get through, or someone will pass it along…

You have a great opportunity RIGHT NOW to end the madness.

There is some part of you that recognizes that you have been led down a dark and dismal path, no matter how gorgeous the externals, the trinkets and ornaments and endless ‘cultural’ activities, no matter the beautiful surroundings. There is something inside you that recognizes these are masks covering the corruption and emptiness. As Burton gasps his last breaths, the ‘leaders’ he has appointed or who have clawed their way into the limelight are deciding your future. You have become very used to others making the important decisions in your life, but I beg of you now—take back your power and break free of these people and their machinations.

Withdraw your support, leave the organization now, let it wither as it should have done decades ago. Do not accept the claims of the would–be ‘leaders’, why should you? They are just very ordinary people who have been lent spiritual and temporal authority by Robert Burton. Without that, they have nothing, are nothing. Why should you follow their directions? They have spent decades being mere ciphers, mouthpieces for Burton, and every one of them carries very heavy baggage of their own.

They were chosen by Burton for their weaknesses, not their strengths. They were chosen because they were more willing than you to give up their chances for individuation. They were chosen because they are consummate ‘yes men’ and ‘yes women’, not because they have the abilities to manage the organization in the absence of Burton.

Take Dorian Matei, for example. Do you want someone who sells favors for sex to take over your spiritual path? Or Linda Kaplan/Tulisso, do you want someone whose sole moral guidance is, “I was just following orders” to teach you likewise? Do you want those like Steven Dambeck who would do anything that Burton ordered, regardless, without question or compunction or care for the consequences, to act as an example for you? Do you want any of the other slimy sycophants who did whatever was necessary to please Burton to gain ultimate power in the organization? Do you want the weak fools who comprise the Board of Directors, who were especially selected by Burton because he knew they would never take any independent action, to lead you? Do you really want any of these and other contenders for power to take charge of all the things that are important in your life?

You may have believed that Burton was connected to or even represented higher powers, and that those he has selected and groomed to take over have their approval as well. But, look back at the history. Every single person that Burton anointed as a ‘future conscious being’, with the sole exception of Girard Haven, turned out to be a dud. So, do you want someone like Girard to be your leader? Someone who advises you to abandon the idea of verification and instead look for evidence to support received wisdom, you wish such a person to guide you? What does Burton’s sorry record on that score say about his capabilities to choose those who would follow him? Why has he surrounded himself with people that wholeheartedly and uncritically supported his fantasy, and who never aspire to graduate from his ‘school’, don’t even consider it possible? Why do none of them ever stand up to him? When the new management takes over, you will be required to give your unconditional support to people who were chosen for their colossal weaknesses, not strengths. So, don’t tolerate or condone it! Whatever your history in the Fellowship, recognize that it is over. It’s over. The prophecies were false, the signs and numerology were fake, there never was some justifying ‘grand purpose’ to the ‘school’, the whole setup is dead and rotting from the head downwards. C’mon, do you really want to go to any more meetings where the ‘leaders’ mouth yet more platitudes, cherry–pick quotes from dead philosophers out of context, project fake meanings into ridiculous symbology and numerology, claim false connections to higher wisdom, snare you deeper and deeper into the fantasy. Do you want to spend the rest of your lives trying to square the circle over and over again?

So what happens if you men and women stop the nonsense right now, individual by individual? Well, it’s certainly a risk, no question about that. You are heading into unknown territory, especially internally. But, nothing stops you folks being a community and supporting each other. I understand—you have friends, family, houses, jobs, commitments. But, you don’t have to lose any of this. You don’t have to stop trying to be present (though you might want to question the techniques you’ve been told to use), you don’t have to cut yourself off, you don’t have to cut others off, and you can learn to make new friends. You can carry on trying to be a decent human being. You can start to forgive yourself for your complicity in the enormous boondoggle. But not if you stay and support another generation of charlatans.

Really, what on earth can Dorian Matei offer? He has nothing but borrowed authority, pat phrases with no meaningful content, and an acquired taste for loud clothing. He wants your money, your adoration and plenty of sex, like Burton. Of course he does, he has spent twenty years or more exploiting the accidents that allowed him to move from Romania and end up in the U.S., with the status of princeling. He has became accustomed to this lifestyle, all courtesy of Burton’s physical desire for him and his own ruthless cunning. But why should you let this continue? Why should you deliver yourself into his clutches? He has nothing of value to offer you, he is empty inside, he has spent his adult years conforming to Burton’s will and giving up all possibilities for individuation and graduation. The same goes to any of the contenders for power.

Do you really want those who pursued ‘consciousness at any price’, but have no idea of value, who think that the ends justifies the means, who are willing to squash their consciences so they could fit in and ascend to the temporal power they so desperately crave, who want you to do the same, who want you to give them unquestioning obedience, your money, maybe your body, and most importantly, your psychological power—do you want such people to control your lives? In a few weeks, whoever is the most ruthless will have consolidated their power, and you will be required to conform to their vision, to pledge loyalty to them in all areas of your life. Is that what you really, really want?

End it now. Take your future in your own hands. Step away, and end it now. For your own sweet sakes, end it now.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 27, 2017:
Seems like Dorian Matei and Sasha Shalapanov, previously both anointed ‘future Man #5s' by Robert Earl Burton, have taken over as front men for the Fellowship of Friends. Supported, presumably, by ‘older students’ such as Rowena Taylor, and the Board and Spiritual Council of the FoF.

Last Friday, Sasha ‘led’ a meeting of the faithful, and last Sunday Dorian did likewise.

The words of Sasha Shalapanov (he of the clown costumes) have not yet been relayed to your humble blogger; no doubt they also consisted mostly of similarly vague and soporific generalities. The point—kindly keep the bubble of the joint fantasy inflated with worship and money. But during a vapid monologue lasting 70 minutes, Dorian Matei took incoherence and the very essence of the insubstantial to new levels of vapidity (sample follows).

His performance was apparently highlighted with images of Burton, photos taken that same day. Maybe someone will post them, but my initial impression was that neither Dorian or Sasha grasped any of the essential principles from the correspondence course in Basic Taxidermy that they had obviously ordered and studied in haste over the preceding days. Their first publicly revealed experiment was a sad indictment of both the course ($39.95 including shipping and handling, from the College of Steer Preservation Technology, 44/45 Slaughterhouse Ave., Chicago, IL60618), their own abilities, and the facilities in the Galleria kitchen. So, Big Fail. My objective advice: practice a whole lot on smaller roadkill first.

Dorian started his monologue with the words below. Imagine them continuing in the same vein for the rest of the seventy minutes. No questions, comments or observations allowed, during or after.

Summary: Everything is fine. (Subtext: keep sending $$$$$. Don’t forget the $$$$$. If you forget your ‘teaching payments’, the only alternative is hell.)

These guys already have a history within the organization of exchanging favors for sex. My guess is that everything will be prim and proper for a little while, then some nubile young sheep will attract their attentions, and the process of grooming and seduction will continue as before, with nary a bleat of protest from the rest.

Where is Asaf Braverman when you need him? Although Asaf’s smoothly delivered words also dispense received wisdom by the bucketful, and he also mixes short pithy sayings of conveniently dead philosophers—lifted out of context— with his own to imply some non–existent connection or even sanction; which he also plentifully lards with unverifiable claims, he is a model of clarity and wisdom compared to this claptrap. Not that he is immune to the temptations of power either. How long before some pert young follower with plenty of upthrust over there in Italy attracts his attention and subtly conveys that if he seeks comfort, she is willing to exchange a favor or two for more private access to Asaf? After all, his wife is busy with their new child, and will take a while to recover her youthful grace… and in the meantime, how can a little sincere communion behind closed doors, based on their spiritual bond, possibly matter?

Enough from Ames, over to Dorian:
[ed. - The following is a transcript of the first 15 minutes of the Sunday, July 23rd meeting led by Dorian. The transcript and photos were provided by an inside source who shall remain anonymous, as they are not authorized to speak on behalf of The Fellowship of Friends.]
Good morning. I guess it’s now 2 weeks since this great gift came to us as a school. We are still in the furnace. I was thinking before coming here these words from Bernard of Clairvaux. He says, “The fire that is God. It is indeed a fire that devours, but it does not debase.”
Beautiful image. “The fire that devours, but does not debase.” In fact, it refines and concentrates and purifies.

I was thinking that we will look at our school as the time before this incident happened with Robert, and a time after this incident, marking a great  transition, in a way; and that we…it’s yet to be understood exactly what our school was given, but one feels a very, very powerful gift descended upon us. And related to the subject this morning, I feel that in order for this gift to be received and used, we must do our very best not to attach any positive or negative thought to it.  It’s a little easier to avoid attaching negative attitudes toward it, such as resentment, fear, concern, because these are more obvious, and I think as a school  we’ve done a great job staying away from those emotions. But it is equally important to not attach hope and happiness to it. Somehow when Hydrogen 12 and 6 come, the more pure they descend on us, the more they can change our lives. I had a birthday last week, and this desire came to make a wish, and it was before Robert came back from the hospital; and of course this tendency was to make a wish related to that. I then understood that my wish would stain this great gift, and then I had nothing to wish for.

(Shows 2 photos of Robert taken earlier that morning [ed. - screen shots of video monitor. Filmed inside a bordello?]:)

I mentioned at the beginning that we are still in the furnace, and what I mean by that is part of this gift that C Influence has given us is a very precious and rare substance which we call Hydrogen 6. A shock like this infuses Hydrogen 6 in a school.

This week, especially witnessing Sasha’s meeting Friday, which I thought was wonderful, and I understood that, in a way, the requirement of a host for our events is to be able to address the present moment, and yet it’s a very mystical present moment. It’s a present moment that our whole school experiences. It’s a present moment of the whole earth, you would say, and it’s a present moment that includes what Influence C releases to the school and to humanity in this moment. It’s a very mystical moment once more, and the requirement of a host is to bring awareness to this moment and all of its contents that is happening before our eyes. Only Higher Centers can do that. No intellectual process…we can’t imitate that. To address what is here now. And the “here” is here throughout the globe, in centers, in places where students are alone.

It’s a very mystical year (laughs), and this is the requirement of a host, somehow to bring awareness to that and thereby assimilate the gift that Influence C is releasing right this moment.

It is hard to move somewhere from this place because it’s so beautiful, what we share now.

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 27, 2017:
49. Ames Gilbert [above]

I thought it was fucked up when I left 32 years ago…this is unfuckingbelievable. They must have some truly and deeply stupid people making up the rank and file…besides the psychopaths at the top of the hierarchy Clearly, RB has passed his psychopathology down to the little runt mini-RB’s. Then again, they all deserve each other. Now it’s just a wankathon.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Robert Earl Burton undergoes cardiac procedures

In Robert Earl Burton's absence Dorian Matei leads Fellowship of Friends meeting at Apollo, Oregon House, CA
Dorian Matei (center) informs Fellowship members that everything is fine.

[ed. - An individual who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of The Fellowship of Friends provided the photos and information for this article. The insider reported that, on the morning of Sunday, July 9th, Robert Burton was unexpectedly unable to lead a scheduled meeting at the Fellowship's "Prytaneion." Standing in for Burton, Dorian Matei (pictured) began:
"Good morning, and everything is fine. Robert is fine. Uh, he uh, he wanted to be cautious with his, um, health and balance, and he decided not to come to host the meeting this morning. But he is fine.

“Interesting situation. In a way, I am grateful we are here to experience this.”
Burton would be admitted to hospital the same day, undergoing tests that determined he had blockages in his coronary arteries. On July 11th and 12th, he underwent surgeries to place stents in two of the arteries.

Sasha Shalapanov, Robert Earl Burton's companion, Fellowship of Friends
Sasha Shalapanov. Everything is fine.

On the 12th, Sasha Shalapanov led a meeting at the Prytaneion, during which was shown a brief video of Burton in a hospital recovery room.

And today, Rowena Taylor, Dean of the Fellowship Council, and Greg Holman, President of the Fellowship of Friends, issued a very upbeat (no pun intended) statement to the Fellowship congregation, the gist of the message being:]
Robert is home and hopes to lead events in the near future. Meanwhile, our school spirit is strong. At Apollo, in the week Robert was away in hospital, students gathered together even more frequently to share energy and provide emotional support to one another. Meetings were held as usual and work at the Theatron [ed. - being restored primarily for tax-exemption classification] continued at a good pace. Robert has asked various students to step up to lead meetings and events, and everyone is responding.

Shocks help us in interesting ways. It is a time of energy and renewed sense of direction. We also have a renewed appreciation for one another, and for the being of the school. It was heartening [ed. - No pun intended?] to see that students immediately met the shock of Robert’s illness from higher centers and the kings of centers, rather than the queens. [ed. - Which conscious follower verified this?] We have been able to see what we have, and what we are. We see more clearly that each of us must work to co-create the school.

The Fellowship organization includes a Board of Directors that helps to govern our infrastructure, meeting regularly to assess needs and priorities. The Council maintains links with our worldwide centers and helps our teaching reach students and prospective students. [ed. - "Please trust us."] We are working to publish a new website [ed. - Yet another?] on Robert and our school, and will share it with you later this month.

Thank you for keeping the flame of presence alive as we continue as a school and fellowship of friends.

[ed. - If Robert Burton's prediction is correct, once he shuffles off his mortal coil, a Fellowship Council, Board of Directors, and website may be unnecessary.]
"One positive aspect about the completion of my role, that is, the dissolution of this body, is that I feel I will be able to communicate to students information I could not give them here, particularly about their next roles." - Robert Earl Burton

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Miles Barth, once declared a "Man Number 5," dies

Former Fellowship of Friends minister Ronald Miles Barth
Miles Barth as Fellowship minister, April 26, 1981 (Photo by Bruce Levy)

[ed. - Ronald Miles Barth checked himself into a hospital on Friday, June 26th, and on Monday, June 28th, died from an undisclosed illness. Few details are available at this time. Members of the Greater Fellowship network, may visit Miles Barth's In Memoriam page where remembrances are being shared. Miles was one of Robert Burton's earliest followers, joining in the Fall of 1970. Over the following decade, he would become a Fellowship leader, regarded by many as second only to Robert Burton. Miles was considered a "Man Number 5," a conscious being (though he officially lost all that the moment he decided to leave Burton's teaching.)]

For further discussions about Miles, see:

Miles and Susan leave the Fellowship

Damage control following Miles' departure

Miles Barth's Letter (extracts)
.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fellowship of Friends recruiting in Surat, India

[ed. - A recruiting advertisement for the Fellowship's Surat, India center. See their Facebook page.]

Fellowship of Friends Fourth Way School Living Presence recruiting Surat India

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends recruiting materials will never feature Robert Burton quotations like the one shown below.]
Robert Burton speaking to James Bryant, regarding Sharole Mannering, a Fellowship member who was dying of cancer:
"Remind her that this is C influence speaking directly with her through me. Remind her that this is their way of warning her and that she has to become current with her donations now or she will have to leave the Fellowship. Tell her that the only other place to go is hell."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Should I stay or should I go? Why breaking with the Fellowship is hard to do.


In the 1970s, "Wachet auf" (literally "wake up") was used as a form of reveille at the Fellowship's "Lincoln Lodge."

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 5, 2017:
I have also been interested in...why so many people remain in the Fellowship when they freely admit they get nothing from Robert’s “teaching” or from being around him. Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):
Some are employed by the Fellowship and are not ready, or are too old, to replace that income.

Some are not ready to risk losing some or all of their friends. Even if they keep a few, they will probably be excluded from larger gatherings, like at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Some (quite a few, really) now have their own children in the Fellowship.

Some can’t live with having people think about them (ex-members who have lost all “spiritual” possibilities) the way they used to, or currently, think about members who left.

Some have businesses (housekeeping, outdoor work, carpentry) that might suffer if they lose member support.

Some are 60+ years old and pay so little (compared to their earlier years), that it can be thought of, not as a “teaching payment,” but a modest membership fee to the local country club.

Some want to stick around to see what finally happens to Robert and the Fellowship.

Some imagine that they would have to sell their home and move away from OH, since OH is “Fellowship territory.”

Some (especially the “kids”) find Apollo a fun place to hang out when they come home on vacation. (And they only have to pay $40/mo for the first 2 years, maybe longer if they are friends with Rowena, Dorian or Sasha.)

Some are afraid of the unknown, including what they might come to see once removed from Robert and the FoF.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A drone's-eye view of Apollo's gilded (and crumbling) monuments

[ed. - The following screen captures are from drone footage posted on The Daily Draw, a site created by Fellowship members.

As the drone glides past gilded statues, in the background stand monuments to Apollo's fading glory: the sprawling terraced hillsides mostly stripped of grapevines and overgrown, a massive winery now barely used for its primary purpose (though still intended to serve as a bunker when the predicted-though-tardy nuclear holocaust finally arrives), and "The Theatron" amphitheater.

Since the early 70s, when members first presented him a gold coin, Robert Burton has been fond of shiny objects. He continues to surround himself in beauty. Luxurious accommodations, expensive automobiles, the finest clothes, jewels, art, lots of shimmering gold and crystal, gardens with fountains, and exotic palm trees. However, just beyond The Galleria (Burton's "parsonage")
and its grounds, the landscape generations of followers labored to transform, increasingly lies in ruins. View the video.

9/5/17 note: The Theatron was recently given a makeover and put back into service for the 50th anniversary celebration of Robert Burton's first encounter with Alex Horn, September 5, 1967. Burton terms that event his meeting "Influence C." It has also been suggested the restoration was undertaken to reinstate a tax-exemption for the property.]

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends Living Presence Apollo gilded monuments

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends Living Presence Apollo gilded monuments

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends Living Presence Apollo gilded monuments

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends Living Presence Apollo gilded monuments
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare
From The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1

[ed. - One further reminder from The Fellowship of Friends Articles of Incorporation:]
VII

The Property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious purposes and no part of the net income or assets of the organization shall ever inure to the benefit, of any director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private persons.

Upon the dissolution or winding up of the corporation, the assets remaining after payment of all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under Section 501(d) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Living presence, dying conscience

[ed. - With the expulsion of Asaf Braverman (creator of the "Ark in Time" network) the Fellowship has resumed publishing "Living Presence Monthly," suspended two years ago when Braverman's "experiment" began.

While Ms. Taylor's post quoting Jesus and Al Ghazali speaks of expanding the heart, her behaviors reported elsewhere suggest an hypocrisy that has been common in Fellowship of Friends leadership since its inception. Rowena's more clay-footed pursuits have allegedly included the personal procurement of young Russian men for Burton's harem, and ambitious efforts (along with Stephen Dambeck) to wrest control of the organization.]

Fellowship of Friends cult newsletter Living Presence Monthly

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fellowship of Friends recruiting in Rajkot, India

[ed. - Recruiting advertisement for the Fellowship's Rajkot center. See Facebook. (Whatever happened to "The Sequence"?)]

Fellowship of Friends Fourth Way School Living Presence recruiting in Rajkot India


[ed. - Fellowship India centers advertisement]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Fellowship of Friends (alone) teaches "the greatest miracle in the universe"

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends once again assumes a disguise ("Fourth Way School - Northern California") to recruit unsuspecting spiritual seekers. The Fellowship is well-known in Northern California, and not necessarily in a good way. Historically, Robert Burton's name would not be shared with prospective members, but the Introductory Meeting actors (and they are indeed actors) would simply state "we have a conscious teacher."

Claims that the Fellowship is the present-day manifestation of a sacred "esoteric tradition" is fantasy, an imagined mantle of legitimacy for Burton's endlessly "evolving" and increasingly bizarre "teaching." The Fellowship long ago severed the (at best) tenuous link it had to the Fourth Way lineage of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.]


Fellowship of Friends-Fourth Way cult, Robert Earl Burton, R. E. Burton, recruiting

You are invited to join us on Saturday March 25, at 10:30 for a 1 hour introduction to the Fourth Way, a system of inner development based on the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky. We will discuss the practice of being present and the possibility of Man’s Psychological Evolution. This meeting is open to the public but you must call to reserve a space (530) 701-8842.

“To reach divine presence is the greatest miracle in the universe; every esoteric tradition offers its unique expression of this ultimate truth.”

Fellowship of Friends - Fourth Way School Northern California Facebook recruiting site
Fellowship of Friends-designated "conscious beings": G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn

Fourth Way School - Northern California

Community

We are students of the Fourth Way living in Northern California. Our school is practical in nature and designed to produce consciousness in its members.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Apollo Beautiful



The photography of longtime Fellowship of Friends member Jonathan Beth captures many charming aspects of life at The Fellowship of Friends' Apollo compound. Among the many profound contradictions of the Fellowship, the focus on the arts introduces great beauty into the lives of its members, while blind obedience and the task of "avoiding the expression of negative emotions" serve to hide the dark underbelly that Robert Burton and his officers long concealed from the flock. A casual observer of the cult and its leader will marvel at the group's artistic achievements.