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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 181 August 16, 2019

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.

Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence Discussion.

Here, you can share your thoughts, your stories, your own experiences as a former member of the FOF.  If you are considering becoming a member, you are invited to read the discussion to better know the organization you are considering joining; we welcome your questions. Participants in the discussion may post under their own name, or anonymously.

The first comment of all new participants will be moderated before they can start communicating in real-time.  You will need to register with a valid email address and be able to reply to the welcome/verification email you will receive. If you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear within a day after it has been submitted; any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, such as personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion anonymously will prompt a warning. Continued abuse will result in your removal from the discussion.

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;



1. warpage - August 17, 2019

I think for many of us, who are somewhat removed from the iron grip of the cult, we may need an ethos, a beacon to guide our steps, to navigate our healing souls…I have never heard a passage of such nature better than this of Whitman, the Father of America, the emancipator, the lover of all…

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

2. Golden Veil - August 17, 2019

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. ~ Samuel Johnson

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. ~ H. L. Mencken

3. Joey Virgo - August 17, 2019

In the spirit of quotation offerings with some insight:

“Disillusionment in living is realizing nobody can be agreeing with you on any one thing.” — Gertrude Stein, “The Making of Americans.”

4. Insider - August 18, 2019

In their obvious desperation for money, sex partners for Burton, and even more money and sex partners, a new hook is being cast by the Fellowship: an online membership. No mention upfront of the cost; but since the “face to face” membership fee is now only about $50 a month for the first couple of years, the online fee is probably no more than half that. No doubt the pressure will be intense (especially for the males) to become a “real” member once the online membership has expired.


Fellowship of Friends, Apollo, Online Introductory Membership

We offer a six-month introductory online membership for those who live far from our network of worldwide centers. We strongly recommend face to face contact as the way of meeting us and participating in our school. Actual attendance in activities with other students can accelerate one’s work on awakening relative to efforts done alone. These shared activities increase the opportunities to be reminded of presence and to observe one’s mechanicality. Nevertheless, we hope online membership will provide an opportunity for those for whom this contact is not possible or possible only periodically.

Online membership offers a weekly online meeting in English with Fellowship students, entry in a private discussion group where personal observations can be shared and questions about our teaching can be asked, as well as the possibility to visit our spiritual headquarters, Apollo. We ask a small monthly donation for this membership.

Full membership offers additional benefits. For more information about full membership, contact the one of our centers that is closest to you or send us an inquiry.

For more information about online membership, click here (http://livingpresence.com/online-introductory-membership/)

5. Golden Veil - August 18, 2019

4. Insider – August 18, 2019

Insider, thank you for the heads up.

“These shared activities increase the opportunities to be reminded of presence and to observe one’s mechanicality.”

We all know what kinds of sexual participation during which REB could possibly utilize the above kind of language, referencing “Feminine Dominance”, etc. to a reluctant, heterosexual potential lover.

But, REB is getting quite up there in years and evidently has poor arterial health (in addition to his hospital stay not to long ago, and his ED condition – and his necessity for Viagra could be be a “canary in a coal mine” regarding Atherosclerosis.)

Do you think it likely – or as an Insider – can you possibly assert that REB is still actively seeking new sex partners? And are Fellowship of Friends teaching payments still funding shopping trips and exotic travel for REB and his young male inner circle?

Is it possible that these days, the men closest to him, Dorian and Sasha, are more adored male emotional-support companions and possible future leaders to take the helm, be the teaching face of the Fellowship of Friends, rather than active lovers?

Could it be that the new, greatly discounted online venture is instead simply to attract new members (or trickle of funds until the hook is in) to a greatly aging student population?

By the way, still no SSL certificate on their website. They need to get that together.* If websites have an SSL certificate it means that credit card information entered on the website is encrypted and personal information secure. * See tiny padlock here on far left of browser and “Not Secure” on LivingPresence.com.

6. Insider - August 18, 2019

5. Golden Veil

“Do you think it likely – or as an Insider – can you possibly assert that REB is still actively seeking new sex partners? And are Fellowship of Friends teaching payments still funding shopping trips and exotic travel for REB and his young male inner circle?”

Yes, still seeking new sex partners. Less than a year ago (as reported here), 2 members were expelled from the FF for refusing sex with Burton. One wanted to stop the sexual activity with Burton; the other, a married man from Europe, did want to begin.

No exotic travel for several years. Virtually nothing outside of California, especially since the heart issue 2 years ago. A lot of antique shopping is now online, which is more out of control than ever, and is funded by donations, the 6-7 meetings a week (2 of which are free), and by foregoing badly needed maintenance around Apollo.

7. Joey Virgo - August 18, 2019

4. Insider

“We offer a six-month introductory online membership for those who live far from our network of worldwide centers. We strongly recommend face to face contact as the way of meeting us and participating in our school.”

A friend reported to me that he emailed Living Presence about the six-month introductory online membership just to see what the response might be. He received the following response:

“Thanks for writing about our online membership. It is not a course with a curriculum but a trial membership in our school with weekly online meetings with members and a private discussion forum.

Seeing that you live in or near Philadelphia, I suggest that you arrange some kind of meeting with our members in New York or Washington, to find out more about us.

For New York, the email contact is: nycpresent@gmail.com, telephone: (877) 755-0428

For Washington DC, the email contact is: mcdavit.kimic@verizon.net, telephone: 240-882-8682

Best wishes for your inner work.”

So if you live far from “our network of worldwide centers” and want to obtain a six-month introductory online membership, you still have to arrange some kind of meeting with “our members in New York or Washington.”

Is the FoF using Skype now?

8. Golden Veil - August 19, 2019

6. Insider – August 18, 2019

“A lot of antique shopping is now online, which is more out of control than ever, and is funded by donations, the 6-7 meetings a week (2 of which are free), and by foregoing badly needed maintenance around Apollo.”

Shopping for antiques to the point that the property is not taken care of might indicate that REB is not a “good householder.”, and could be another tip-off that he’s not a man with “higher being.”

7. Joey Virgo – August 18, 2019

Regarding Skype, I don’t know if the Fellowship of Friends uses it, but the cult’s ex-website IT person Asaf Braverman uses Skype for his website’s online student-to-student sessions. By the way, he seems to follow REB’s pattern in that he has his older followers instruct the newer students.

9. warpage - August 19, 2019

10. Insider - August 19, 2019

8. Golden Veil

Those who are especially close to Burton know that any plans he has for the Fellowship do not extend beyond his own lifetime. That is why Oregon House has no town center, no services, only 1 non-Fellowship-owned store, no cafe, 1 restaurant too expensive for most locals, no main street, no shops, no sense of permanence. And it’s not like all these civilizing influences are located on the “Apollo” property, and not to be shared with the local “life people.” No, there is nothing on the property either. No community, no village, no city, no state, no 10,000-year civilization. Just a temporary stage set so Burton can pretend being a wealthy European nobleman, with everyone else a servant and/or sex-slave.

11. Ames Gilbert - August 19, 2019

Golden Veil (#8), you have pointed out something very important, IMO, when you say, “By the way, he seems to follow REB’s pattern in that he has his older followers instruct the newer students.”
Yes, Asaf has learned everything necessary to control a group of humans and bend them to his needs from Burton. When he asks a follower to instruct other followers, he is doing at least two things. First, he saves himself a lot of work. But more importantly, he binds the sub–teacher more closely to him. What a privilege, the lucky chosen one might think, Asaf trusts me, he must think I am ‘strong in the work’, I must be worthy. And his/her chest cannot help but swell with pride and a sense of achievement.

But before this, of course, Asaf has evaluated the future instructor. What was he looking for? Boiled down to the essentials, he would look not only for someone who would manage the flock competently, but also for someone who would emulate his style and who would faithfully transmit the message. He would actively pass over anyone who was confrontational, who questioned his authority or qualifications, who had any tendency to independence, who was equivocal, or who asked him uncomfortable questions.

Asaf would also be bestowing ‘authority’ to his lieutenant, and that ‘authority’ would be tangible to the psyches of the rest of the followers. The ‘chosen’ one would be elevated, and at the same time, the ‘not–chosen’ would feel less worthy and attempt more efforts to become worthy (this aspect of the psychological dance has gone on for fifty years in the Fellowship of Friends, and is very easy to observe).

The chosen one naturally would try to please Asaf with this important duty, to ‘not let him down’. I’m sure that he/she would at first probably be nervous, so would try to memorize as many ‘official angles’ as possible and produce the correct one to suit any occasion, try to imitate Asaf’s posture and confidence and assertiveness, and even some of his mannerisms—maybe even practice in front of a mirror.

Asaf would do this because this is how he learned from Robert Earl Burton over decades. He was excellent at memorizing tracts of Fourth Way literature, had a great mental filing system that allowed connections and recall with marvelous ease, was young, pliant, vigorous and active—a very pleasing sacrifice to the God–Emperor of Oregon House. Burton rewarded him by catering to his weaknesses, telling him he was ‘on the Way’ and such, and later, that he was a forthcoming ‘conscious being’. In other words, sent him to sleep.

Braverman cannot help but continue this chain of indoctrination, these are the only methods he knows, they are automatic and he is helpless and unaware of his helplessness. It may be true these techniques have been successful on their own level, he gets the moolah and attention he craves and cannot do without. But these methods do not lead to individuation, for himself or his followers, they lead to the exact opposite. Both parties become prisoners of their circumstances and their desires, more and more dependent on the other, and so less and less free.

12. Honeur - August 20, 2019

I followed Insider’s link to the “online membership” page (#4) and checked out the “Worldwide Centers” list. Does someone know how many members remain – at Apollo and worldwide?

13. Joey Virgo - August 21, 2019

12. Honeur

One source says 600 members at Apollo and 1,000 more worldwide.

14. Insider - August 21, 2019

Connecting #4. Insider and #13. Joey Virgo:

On the new “online introductory membership” site (http://livingpresence.com/online-introductory-membership/), there is a very old photo of Robert Burton leading a meeting in a tent, known at the time as the “Grand Pavilion.” We know it’s quite old, because one of the men sitting up front near Burton has his legs crossed, and this has been prohibited at meetings for the past 7-10 years. I found it curious that the Fellowship would choose this old photo, when there must be scores of newer ones they could have used.

Now I look at the localwiki page and what do you know: It’s the same old photo of Burton leading a meeting. Well, we know that Cult Survivor put up that photo on localwiki (on May 21, 2019, to be precise), because he said so (many times).

And isn’t it interesting (maybe just pure coincidence) that, right after Cult Survivor left the blog recently, the online membership idea was rolled out. (And way too quickly. It’s clearly a half-baked idea, and no one was ready for the first inquiry.)

Could there be a connection? Is Cult Survivor back in the Fellowship in charge of these online introductory meetings?

How did that old photo end up in 2 places at roughly the same time?

15. Insider - August 21, 2019

More about that photo of Robert Burton leading a meeting c. 2010-2012 that appears in the new Fellowship online membership page, and in Cult Survivor’s modifications of the local-wiki page on the Fellowship: Both photos are watermarked with “Copyright 2019 The Fellowship of Friends.”

Now, I can see why would Cult Survivor have in his possession an old photo of Burton leading a meeting. But why would it have a 2019 copyright stamp? (The other 2 photos from local-wiki are not copyrighted.) It sure is beginning to look like the Fellowship itself, with Cult Survivor’s assistance, modified that local-wiki site, supplied the meeting photo (copyrighted 2019), and made sure that nothing too revealing was said about Burton or the Fellowship.

Although Cult Survivor has mentioned multiple times in this blog how he can’t be part of the Fellowship, and he can’t be working for Burton, because of all his “anti-Fellowship” activities (e.g. local-wiki), I cannot come to any other conclusion than he is part of the Fellowship, or at least has some sort of an ongoing relationship with them, and has been tasked with protecting Burton in various ways during his entire time here.

16. crossroads - August 21, 2019

Knowing Cult Survivor, he wouldn’t have put up all that IT work for free. Besides, he is so obvious and cynical, alike the others in the team he is working with. Just picture a Board meeting…
Where did he go anyways? And His Artemis? and His Solar Type?

17. fofblogmoderator - August 21, 2019

I blocked CS and Artemis. They share the same ip and email and CS was clearly taking up too much space, so to block one I had to block both. That’s why they are not here.

18. Rich - August 22, 2019

17. fofblogmoderator thanks! a lot of hot air is gone!

19. ton2u - August 22, 2019

Any of the old-timers here know what might’ve become of Walter “little Ouspensky” Scheer (sp?)….?

20. warpage - August 22, 2019

Walter helped put together the Communion Set idea which I carried out for material cost only in 1984. I have no idea what happened to Walter or the Communion Set but when I completed the Papal Commission in 1987, Walter sent me a sweet note (I think he had left the ‘school’, maybe sexual orientation difficulties or unable to deal with REB’s disgusting perversion). If he is still alive, he is probably in his 80’s. It appeared to me he was one of those who played by the rules, respected difficulties folk were having, strove for the ideal and placed others before himself

21. Joey Virgo - August 22, 2019

19. ton2u

I know Walter’s last name is actually spelled Scheer. (I looked it up on the Robert Earl Burton blog.). I left at the end of 1982, and at that time, at an after-meeting gathering at the Jackson Street teaching house, I learned that Walter knew all about Robert’s predilection for pederasty or what-have-you, and had accepted it — much to my dissatisfaction — even if he didn’t want to speak boldly on the subject to everybody and spoke in hushed whispers only to the cognoscenti. You had to be part of the inner circle or a close mate of his to get the facts. He was protecting Robert and his money flow. Let’s face it — most of the “inner circle” at this point were already complete hypocrites – except for those who were totally clueless. It’s only gotten worse and worse. People with integrity simply leave.

22. Phutatorius - August 22, 2019

I remember Walter. I think he wrote articles for an encyclopedia. I also left at the end of 1982 and I don’t know what became of him. My question about the FoF has always been, how did so many smart people get fooled so badly. It still makes me wonder.

23. Joey Virgo - August 22, 2019

22. Phutatorius

Being smart or intelligent is no guaranty against being conned by a psychopath. A skilled manipulator can use your best qualities against you. That’s what happened to many of us. Our earnestness was used against us, our honesty, our wanting to live with like-minded individuals in a unique community, our desire for more in our lives, our respect for work in all its myriad aspects — was used against us. Because we were decent people, we saw others as being very like ourselves, decent and hard-working, especially the Teacher — only perhaps even better than ourselves, more magnanimous, etc. A skilled, manipulative and heartless SOB snookered us through our own virtues.

Back in the 1930s, how many intellectuals fell for Communism and Stalin’s propaganda? Countless. Richard Wright. Paul Robeson. Dorothy Parker. The media and Soviet government prevented journalists and artists from knowing about the mass killings, mass starvation schemes, and incarcerations behind the scenes. To love humanity was a virtue in Western culture, and this was a goal — to free humanity with love of the people– even if it meant death by millions and keeping most “useful idiots” in the dark.

There is a psychopath test, which Dr. Robert D. Hare of Canada created. He admits he too has been conned by psychopaths to let him release them from prison even as he claimed to have expertise!

So long as we look at smartness merely, we’re letting the bastard off the hook each and every time.

24. John Harmer - August 22, 2019

Mention of Walter Scheer has triggered a memory of a meeting at Renaissance sometime in 1983. He gave an angle that stuck in my mind at the time because I enjoyed learning the derivation of words, but in hindsight it says something about how the Fellowship operated. He gave the angle that we need to be “docile” with regard to suggestions by the teacher. He elaborated that the root of the word docile means “teachable” in latin, and that it came to be used about animals that could be tamed, but that we should see it as our task to make ourselves “teachable” so we can benefit from having a conscious teacher.

25. Joey Virgo - August 22, 2019

24. John Harmer.

Good one. Excellent. Lots there in that memory-rich anecdote to teach us about our former cult leader. And docile does mean teachable in Latin. A little bit of truth helps the lying and manipulation go down.

26. warpage - August 24, 2019

Forgive me for interjecting, but I do feel the blog has achieved a new and better level. Much has been said about REB and his cohorts, rallying around to protect ‘the goodness that is actually rotten’.

Being one who has achieved a certain social freedom and no longer under MHU constraints, I can quite conclude that it matters where one finds oneself in life – the town, the people and one’s line of work.

27. Joey Virgo - August 24, 2019

26. warpage

Congratulations on your achievements.

28. Rich - August 24, 2019

26. warpage: maybe everyone doesn’t know MHU, i know I don’t

29. Golden Veil - August 24, 2019

28. Rich – August 24, 2019

26. warpage: maybe everyone doesn’t know MHU, i know I don’t

Forgive me for answering your question to warpage myself, but although the acronym MHU may mean for example, Mars Hills University, the most common usage might indicate they meant “mental health unit”~ that is, a place for inpatient mental health services care.


30. warpage - August 24, 2019

I was half expecting Ames or Bruce to be there first…

Yes, an unsectioned entity, on par with en masse.

31. Joey Virgo - August 26, 2019

“The value of the vessel depends upon what it contains.”

Does anybody remember Robert Burton saying this, announcing this precept, to his followers in the Renaissance Journal?

I once thought it referred to a human vessel that contained a soul or body- Kesdjan or astral body, and yet how curious it is that this great goddess managed to surround himself with valuable vessels known as antique treasures as well as with attractive young men who themselves are empty vessels — behavior not different from the way corrupt Popes in Rome have always conducted themselves: speaking super-celestial thoughts while pursuing subterranean conduct amid countless riches.

This mystifying precept has knocked around in my brain, on and off, for almost 40 years like an ear worm or like a cereal jingle that just refuses to be totally forgotten. I think it hangs around in my head because my brain hopes that this indigestible piece of foolishness might one day finally make sense, so it keeps trying to make a connection– but always fails.

32. WhaleRider - August 26, 2019

Not a bad price for an empty vessel…

“Qing Dynasty Vase Yields Record Price at Auction”

33. John Harmer - August 27, 2019

#31 Joey Virgo quotes Burton saying “The value of the vessel depends upon what it contains.” I don’t recall hearing that myself, but I can hazard a guess as to what prompted Burton to make that pronouncement. The Fellowship used the concept of Alchemy in a big way, and it especially seemed to apply to those aspiring to enter the inner circle. This might lead some to wonder if the Fellowship was composed of people looking at each others appearances and making judgments based on the level of grooming, good taste and wealth displayed. To counter this possible charge of superficiality Burton probably came up with this deep analysis about the contents of a vessel, the implication being that a good student would both attend to the external, but would be working even harder on cultivating their inner qualities, through unobserved, unapplauded, silent efforts to be present and to externally consider their fellow students. I was never much attracted by the gold alchemy approach to awakening, and felt that Burton was displaying what Freud called “anal compulsion” which I believe is basically trying to gain the approval of one’s mother by being potty trained, for the rest of ones life, with everyone one meets.

34. Insider - August 27, 2019

31. Joey Virgo

Yes, I’m certain Burton said something like this, possibly borrowed from Shakespeare:

“The worth of that is that which it contains,
And that is this, and this with thee remains.”

It highlights one of great fallacies of Burton’s “teaching,” and indeed of most of the so-called “4th Way.” What is so patently false, is not so much the issue/debate of whether a dense physical body can “contain” a subtle, far less dense, substance (whatever it is called in different teachings: the Self, Awareness, Consciousness, Higher Centers), one that, rightfully, would penetrate and envelope the body, but certainly not be contained by the body; but rather the rather absurd idea that the gross body is capable of creating a finer body, that something limitless and deathless (consciousness) can be created by that which is obviously limited and finite.

This idea of “working” to create a soul, or to “bring higher centers into being,” or to “grow being,” permeates “4th Way” thinking and activities, including those coming from Burton and the Fellowship.

Even though there is not a shred of proof that one’s “higher centers” have grown even one iota, Fellowsheepers continue to make all sorts of extreme external efforts (e.g. endless fundraising dinners, dishwashing, etc.), having nothing but faith that “something must be happening; I must be changing.”

And thus they watch and wait. And wait and wait. Year after year; decade after decade. Yet not a single person can say, “Yes, it worked. I have created my higher centers. I now have a soul.” Because there is nothing to create. If what we think we are creating is limitless and deathless, then it already IS, and has always BEEN, and shall always BE. It is uncreated by definition.

If Robert Burton does not understand this simple and obvious fact, then he is assuredly a false teacher with a very elementary understanding of “spiritual” matters. If he does understand it, but allows his followers to continue to be deceived, then he is a con man at best, and at worst a psychopathic criminal.

Fellowsheepers have been on a fool’s errand for nearly 50 years, and it continues today with no less fervor, and false hope, than when it all began January 1, 1970.

35. Joey Virgo - August 27, 2019

34. Insider

You are a good, sly man! You found the original (Shakespeare) quotation from which Robert Burton copied his precept — which reminds me of Stella Wirk telling me years ago (1985) that none of Robert Burton’s “words of wisdom” were original with him and that they were copied or stolen from the canon of Western literature. I did not know how she could know that at the time. But her remark further validates your perception.

I agree with your analysis of how faulty thinking is responsible for the idea that something infinite can be created from something quite limited and I think you expressed it finely. Critical thinking had little chance of development so long as one lived among the fold.

Kudos to your neologism about “Fellowsheepers,” too. It’s just the right word for these cult members. I enjoyed your comment very much.

36. warpage - August 27, 2019

34. Insider

This has reminded me of how I thought…

“That fire and pressure are the unmasking of every human”.

37. Joey Virgo - August 27, 2019

33. John Harmer.

“This might lead some to wonder if the Fellowship was composed of people looking at each others appearances and making judgments based on the level of grooming, good taste and wealth displayed.”

Yeah, do ya think? Such habits definitely were going amongst us former members as well as going on now. Burton had turned the whole idea of alchemy inside out: what was spiritual was now material, what was inner was now outer, visible. It was and is like that joke: The spiritual leader says, “God speaks in signs. Here is a sign made of wood and painted words, and it reads: ‘God is here.'” And his followers applaud and nod with approval, not seeing the stunt at all.

I also liked your intriguing interpretation of the Burton saying in terms of Burton’s intent or motivation to use it for the alchemy of pleasing the mother archetype by perfecting potty training. Like your earlier memory of a Walter Scheer statement, it has some weight and bearing. It also suggests that Burton couldn’t be consistent in his attitude towards feminine domination.

38. Rich - August 27, 2019

like give up believing in superman(s) it’s a comic book or movie,
what happened to real life?

39. John Harmer - August 30, 2019

Another cult leader who abused his power, and was eventually exposed by those he molested. It may not be every spiritual leader who indulges in this way, but it does seem to be very widespread.


40. Linda Jo - August 31, 2019

And this is how it works:

In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity, one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies, or it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.

Dr. Judith Herman,
Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror


86. Bares Reposting – September 10, 2016

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold
is for people of good conscience
to remain silent.
Edmund Burke

* * * * * *
FoF Blog Page 5/#363:
‘Perpetua Says:
April 7th, 2007 at 8:42 am
I found this letter in Stella Wirk’s website.
I think some of you might like to know about it.

Samuel Sanders Tries to Help FOF

The following Letter to the Board of Directors, Fellowship of Friends, was presented by Samuel L. Sanders, one of the FOF board members, in an attempt to have the Board of Directors take appropriate action to censure the unethical and criminal behavior of Robert E. Burton, self-professed prophet of the Fellowship of Friends.

(Around this same time, a precedent was set for this by the San Francisco Zen Center which had done the same for their leader for similar activities, and had given their leader a year off as leader to get straightened out with counseling or whatever. This had given some hope to FOF members that something similar could be accomplished.)

It was not discovered until later that Burton’s unethical activity already had transpired unabated for fourteen years!

Samuel’s letter to the Board:

March 4, 1984

Dear Friends,

What is to be said can only be heard through your heart. Please try to listen from that part. For a long time we have been part of a criminal process which has hurt many individuals. Some of these individuals have been sacrificed because we have chosen not to listen to our conscience.

Robert has over the years pursued and sodomized young men. He has used his position to seduce these young men with the promise of immortality. His actions are simply that of a degenerate being no matter how refined. We in our blindness have allowed some dear individuals to be defiled and damaged by his appetites. Our omission, and it is one in the strictest sense, is allowing it to continue.

Some of these young men have become seriously psychologically impaired through this process. Yet we go on minimizing it because it is safer not to know. These acts are a violation of Robert’s position. If we excuse this by saying that it is his privilege or his private weakness we are both accomplice and victim. If it is allowed to continue, the karma which we attract will bring down our school and leave very heavy stains on our being. It is simply not worth the contamination wrought.

There may be much discomfort which comes from these words. But please try to think of the anguish some of these young men have been subject to in the name of evolution; and ask yourself whether you would knowingly, as a higher being, conduct your life in this way.

Can you truly accept that one can enter higher worlds by such actions? Would you wish to enter these worlds by such acts? This reasoning leads to one final not-so-profound conclusion; the Emperor is indeed very naked and we sadly provide his mantle.

Robert is a victim also. The highest that one can extend him is compassion and help. If one becomes angered at him or oneself or me the cycle continues. He is and will be confused and hurt by these actions. Yet firmness and equanimity are what is needed. We do great harm to our school and our being should we choose not to act.

We have talked and preached an ethic of love and acting for the higher right. Now is the time to be the words. It would also be a solemn and humane act for us to help the young men who have been hurt and damaged by Robert. It would be a proper legacy to pass on to the next generation.

If you find in your solitude that fear and or the wish to defend has kept you from hearing what has been said, you lose a very dear friend. You lose yourself!

In friendship,
Samuel L. Sanders

Update within a day:

The Board of Directors would not discuss this letter or its contents and closed the meeting to “think about it.” The next day, unbeknownst to Samuel Sanders, the Board of Directors voted to remove Samuel as a Board member and excommunicate him from the Fellowship of Friends.

On June 6, 1984, Case Number 36937 was filed in Superior Court of California, County of Yuba, by Samuel L. Sanders, Plaintiff, versus Defendants: Fellowship of Friends, Inc., a corporation; Robert Burton; Miles Barth; Frank Annis; Gerard Haven; Helga Ruth Mueller; Abraham Goldman; Charles Frank; Charles Randall; Clair Bowan; and Does 1 through 50, inclusive.

The Lawsuit Complaints:
1. Fraud
2. Conspiracy to defraud
3. Breach of fiduciary duty
4. Conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty
5. Injunction
6. Damages

During this time, Stella Wirk still was publishing a small newsletter called “The WirkShop,” in which she had reported on the lawsuit and letters to the editor containing comments about the situation. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Stella and Harold were out of the group, the members of FOF who subscribed to the paper had subsequently cut off their subscriptions per FOF rules about not communicating with former members in any way. (Part of the conspiracy is that the usual line given members is “If you don’t communicate with former members, they have a better chance to come back into the teaching!” The “Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap” approach, and it works.)

Abraham Goldman, lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends, brought a copy of “The WirkShop” to court and asked the presiding judge to put a “gag order” on the case, and charged that Stella was “out to destroy the Fellowship” with gossip and slander. The “gag order” was ordered by the Judge, all this without any notification to Stella Wirk. The result was that none of the participants in the lawsuit were permitted to speak about it to each other or anyone else!

(Abraham Goldman has gone so far as to state publicly for newspaper articles that Stella is merely a “disgruntled former member” who is leading a *conspiracy* to destroy the FOF because of a personal vendetta against Burton! Stella finds it amusing that a lawyer would make such a ridiculous statement. A conspiracy to expose the truth?)

The outcome of the lawsuit, some three or so years later, was that it was settled out of court. That is, the Fellowship of Friends made a financial settlement payment to Samuel Sanders, and the case was over and would not go to trial. Samuel was not permitted to reveal the financial nature of the settlement, due to the “gag order” and Robert Burton told members of the Fellowship of Friends that the case was “dropped for lack of evidence,” or words to this effect, lying to the FOF membership.

It was considered by members to be a 4th Way Work effort to follow Robert’s task of not speaking about this issue among the members, which effectively gagged most of the FOF and thus insuring the secret life of Robert Burton would remain secret for several more years.


It was approximately two years ago that an upsetting event took place at a meeting held at the FOF farm at Oregon House. From information received, the meeting was led by Belinda Rockwood (formerly known as Linda Kaplan), who asked the members attending, “Are there any questions?” the standard opening for an FOF meeting.

Yes, there were several pointed questions about what was occurring with Robert Burton’s activities, to which Belinda would redirect the meeting by re-stating her required topic. Some people still tried to ask questions and Belinda abruptly ended the meeting. Those people who had stood at the meeting and asked questions were excommunicated from the Fellowship by the next day. Emily Gordon, Ramona Merryweather, to name two long-term members (Ramona from the 1970s!), thrown out of the group for no other reason than requesting truth!

Of course, people being ousted from FOF are not said to be “excommunicated.” The line for their removal is, “They were *released* by higher forces.” Mmmm Hmmm, sure. “Higher forces” are supportive of the life Burton leads, according to Burton, which is almost as absurd as Goldman’s remarks.

It was about this time in 1995 that approximately 250 members left FOF (although rumors erroneously report about 400 people left).

Last we heard, the farm, now called Apollo, is no longer open to the public one day a week and no tours are being made there. The restaurant, La Cochina, is closed to the public and only open once a week for the membership.

The Fellowship conspiracy to “cover up” Burton’s activities is not explained by weather balloons flying over Apollo, yet it may be becoming more clear that these terrible secrets may be coming out at long last.

If a board covers green grass on a lawn, the grass turns brown and all sorts of insects, worms and other wiggly things take up residence under the board. When lifting the board and allowing the sun to shine in that former dark spot, the grass immediately begins to heal in the sunlight, and the bugs, beatles and other insects scurry out of sight fast! Healing for the Fellowship requires that light be shed on all that has been kept in the dark for a quarter of a century and the group must return to adhering to the *original principles* of the Fourth Way!

Everyone in the hierarchy involved in keeping the membership in the dark certainly is responsible for supporting this unfortunate situation.’

41. warpage - August 31, 2019

It is difficult to perceive, yet necessary to note, that the FOF is not set up for the evolution of its members or for a future civilization, nor any ‘arkish’ entity. As has been set out on this blog and, better still, on the ‘Robert Earl Burton Blogspot’, the FOF exists solely for the decadent, lavish, perverted, expensive and not so well covered up lifestyle of Burton.

A heirarchy exists, through meetings held by Dorian Matei, and downwards, through members who may or may not be still alive (they probably started off dead anyway, so no loss there!) that holds the whole deck of cards, cemented by the Superglue of Supershit, so that anyone who REALIZES their dire situation has the sense to leave.

No – I do not feel sorry for the hangers-on. Their falsehood is their own to bear.

42. John Harmer - August 31, 2019

#41 Warpage, what to your mind is the “Superglue of Supershit”?

Is it the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky?

Is it the hypnotic effect of Burton on his followers?

Is it the fear of loss of a community that has come to be their family and friends?

Is it the fear that this maybe their only chance at immortality, and if they blow it, they may regret it for more than a mortal lifetime?

Is it the psychological phenomenon where once someone has already committed resources like time and money into a project/job/political movement etc, they build a wall of cognitive dissonance to prevent them from seeing they should cut their losses and depart?

Is it the vague intimation that there may be something else behind the material observable world?

Is it the social menace of a heirarchy run with fear and deference as its weapons?

maybe a combination?

43. Joey Virgo - August 31, 2019

40. Linda Jo

(1). Crime and Lawyers.

I don’t disagree with your attitude or viewpoint. I even share it, emotionally and morally. I loathe what happened to all the young men in the Fellowship of Friends who became prey to the Predator In Chief. To me what happened to them is a crime — against nature, against humanity, against love. Yet the word “crime” is a loaded word – legally. You quoted an authority on trauma and recovery, not an attorney. Often psychotherapists and psychiatrists know very little about the law, except for how it empowers or disempowers or limits them personally. Look at how differently the Fellowship of Friends’s own attorney views the circumstance:

“To these charges, Burton’s attorney has responded, ‘We don’t think a [sexual] relationship between a leader and a member of the congregation is abusive in and of itself.'(9) However, two lawsuits filed by former Fellowship of Friends members claiming sexual abuse have been settled out of court.”

–“Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers” by Robert L. Snow (a police officer!), Chapter 11. (I own my own copy of this book.)


Not only does an attorney view the sex act between student and leader as not a crime; legally, it is not even an act of abuse!

And it is the law that helps Burton. Burton doesn’t have superpowers of any sort. He is aided and abetted by the victims’ fellow students, the hierarchy, and the law.

2. Lawyers and the Disgruntled.

You quoted Samuel Sanders as saying:

“Abraham Goldman has gone so far as to state publicly for newspaper articles that Stella is merely a “disgruntled former member” who is leading a *conspiracy* to destroy the FOF because of a personal vendetta against Burton! Stella finds it amusing that a lawyer would make such a ridiculous statement. A conspiracy to expose the truth?)”

Stella may have found the lawyer’s statement amusing, but it was totally effective as a legal argument. And from my own experience in the Fellowship, Stella well knew about the Predator In Chief’s activities long before she ran into conflict with him over the smoking task. It was only when he threatened her with expulsion and then expelled her, that she finally opened up and told the truth. Prior to that major conflict, she was still one of the sheeple receiving much more attention than the average of us because she was a teacher’s pet, a known member of the hierarchy with privileges, and thus guilty of the secrecy you claim (through Dr. Judith Herman’s statements) was Robert Burton’s own penchant, power or skill. Miles Barth was also a co-conspirator in the secret conspiracy as well as Helga Barth and all of the hierarchy.

Lawyers are horribly responsible for much that is wrong with our legal system and our society. The Founding Fathers originally designed the U.S. Constitution to exclude these professional casuists from entering public office, but today the whole of Congress is filled with him. Burton is merely a dirty parasite in a legal system that protects his “rights” to feast on innocent hosts, just as it protects the IRS and other parasitic institutions in government to protect their “rights” to steal the money out of the wallets of innocent citizens.

Once upon a time, I had too high a regard for the law and the legal system to believe corruption like this was possible. After the Epstein debacle, can anyone keep wearing blinders?

44. brucelevy - August 31, 2019

43. Joey Virgo

You are 150% correct about Stella. She and I butted heads on numerous occasions for various reasons. She didn’t want to hear shit about Burton’s sexual circus and directed her flying monkey’s to stay away from me because I was telling people the truth. But when her smoking habits were threatened, that was another story. Fuck her.

45. brucelevy - August 31, 2019

43. Joey Virgo

She had her own little obsequious fiefdom down in CarSmell by The Sea and fought against anyone who tried to bring thoughts, other then her own, to her minions.

46. brucelevy - August 31, 2019

43. Joey Virgo

And Miles and Helga…they didn’t want to hear it either. They were as bad as the procurers, and just as guilty. I know this because I was one of the people being told to keep my mouth shut, which I didn’t. And Helga, apparently, still lives up Burton’s diseased ass. I find her far more complicit then Miles…eventually, but too late, he got religion and started drinking. She’s a power junkie. And unless I’m wrong, she’s still at it. Probably for the flock of young boys she can fuck and marry. She’s like the immortal hag who looks in the mirror and occasionally sees what she really looks like. But I don’t think she possesses a shred of self awareness. Only pathological self love.

47. Joey Virgo - August 31, 2019

44. brucelevy

“She didn’t want to hear shit about Burton’s sexual circus and directed her flying monkey’s to stay away from me because I was telling people the truth. But when her smoking habits were threatened, that was another story.”

This accurate scenario reminds me of what warpage at 36. wrote earlier to Insider:

““That fire and pressure are the unmasking of every human.”

Stella was unmasked the moment she started becoming interested in exposing Robert Burton’s secretive pastimes — which was at the very moment she lost her battle to keep her little fiefdom (good word!) as if her position on the truth was merely motivated by a desire for revenge — at least initially.

She then turned her unmasking around, however, after being exposed as just a typical, self-interested creature of small conscience seeking merely her own creature comforts — by doing what Linda Jo at 40. cited: ” publishing a small newsletter called “The WirkShop,” in which she had reported on the lawsuit and letters to the editor containing comments about the situation.” She kept this up for four or five years.

Her efforts did put a serious dent in the Predator in Chief’s cash flow and member enrollment. This wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t had to save face and try to restore her broken integrity and create some conscience for herself. So, I give her a little credit in the end for doing something to try to dynamite this Fellowsheep train, though I appreciate the “fuck you” sentiment. She was an older, mature woman and an “older student” who had a responsibility to honor the truth, which she failed to uphold for a very long time.

Fire and pressure do unmask every human being, but not always for the worse, I think. They expose weaknesses and flaws, but it’s up to the individual what to do with the new self-awareness that results from them. A blow to one’s self-flattery is hard to recover from. From it, however, there is a chance to grow and mature or to become a cowardly turtle hiding permanently under a shell of self-deception, which is what all of the “lifers” in the FoF are. I like to think Stella did her best to avoid becoming a complete turtle in the end.

48. warpage - August 31, 2019

47. Joey Virgo

Last paragraph, you are correct…

My poem is all about ‘one becomes a diamond or, on the other hand, a pile of soot’.

49. Joey Virgo - September 1, 2019

48. & 41. warpage

Thanks. A diamond in contrast to a pile of soot. That fits. I like it.

So . . . was “Superglue of Supershit” poetry or did you have a specific content behind the metaphor?

Both John Harmer and I want to know.

If it was “merely poetry” and I am left to my own interpretation of the phrase, “Superglue of Supershit” means the compound lies that (1) the FoF is an esoteric school as defined by Rodney Collins, which, in the end, has the purpose and role to save humanity from cultural and intellectual darkness, (2) that the FoF is specifically a School of Love through which one can develop a Body Kesdjan, and (3) the FoF is Walt Whitman’s dream of a “city invincible” where “nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love.” The third claim just makes me puke.

50. Insider - September 1, 2019

On the off-chance that anyone has forgotten, a yearly celebration (aka “Journey Forth”) is underway right now throughout the Fellowship, and especially at the “Apollo” compound. Since there are now 12 of these celebrations each year, mostly highlighting an event in the life of Robert Burton, it might be difficult to keep track of them without a scorecard. In any event, the current remembrance is known to the Fellowsheepers as “Meeting Influence C.” The exact day is Sept 5, which supposedly is the day, in 1967, that Burton was picked up hitchhiking in Berkeley/Oakland, and taken to an introductory meeting of Alexander Francis Horn’s group.

According to the official Fellowship mythology regarding lineage going from Gurdjieff to Burton (espoused by ardent Burton follower and imaginative “researcher,” H*gh James), “conscious being” Gurdjieff produced one “conscious being,” Ouspensky, who then produced one “conscious being,” Rodney Collin, who then produced one “conscious being,” Alex Horn, who then produced one “conscious being,” Robert Earl Burton. Pretty neat and tidy.

Of the many problems and inconsistencies with this all-too-convenient myth, a big one is that Horn never met or studied with Collin in Mexico. As reported on this blog sometime in the past year (or thereabouts), Horn’s trip to Mexico, indeed during the time frame deduced by H*gh James, was with a group of fellow actors from Chicago (who later formed a troupe call the Compass Players, which evolved into Second City, which in turn influenced the creation of Saturday Night Live). They all went to Mexico, to some inexpensive beach location for a few months, to practice new acting techniques. Their going to Mexico in the early/mid 1950s, and their explosive return, was well documented by a friend/actor who remained behind in Chicago.

Alex Horn was an actor, and probably a very good one. After all, he convinced Burton that he (Horn) was a conscious teacher. He could be kind and sympathetic, abusive and cruel, almost invisible, and could switch between roles in an instant. His crimes are well-documented, from the physical beatings, the child endangerment, the forced sex. He barely escaped being arrested at least twice, when he left NY City in the 60s, and when he left SF around 1978.

So, as the Fellowsheepers celebrate Burton’s meeting of “conscious being” #80 (according to their own count, Burton himself being #81), we out here in the wilderness of “unconscious life” are no longer so easily fooled, and can clearly see how one fake guru, the money pouring in from his brainwashed followers, inspired the next one to do exactly the same.

51. Joey Virgo - September 1, 2019

And after Robber Burden but before Dorian, there was the Zany Mystic, Lance White, who Robber B. tortured emotionally for years because he was “gay” the whole time he was in the Fellatioship of Fiends just as Alex Horn tortured RB for his homosexuality. This was during Stella Wirk’s traveling teacher heyday where homos were unacceptable – or so the Liar claimed.



52. warpage - September 1, 2019

48. Joey Virgo

I think I was alliterating to impress and there was no great ‘message’ behind the phrase. I would say – build your own.

53. Joey Virgo - September 2, 2019

52. warpage

Thanks. I knew there had to be a reason why you dropped the noose of silence around both our vocal chords – John Harmer’s and mine — and left us hanging. I appreciate your honesty telling much.

54. Rich - September 3, 2019

47.Joey Virgo: I know Stella was devastated when she had to get
rid of her dogs, though this was after I split; It was the ‘no pets’ task
or something. Maybe Robert wanted to ‘get back’ at Stella then?

55. Joey Virgo - September 3, 2019

54. Rich

Stella was devastated more than once while “in the school.” When she failed the smoking task the first time, Robert ordered her to pay a fine. She paid it. It was something like $1,000, not easy money to come by. When she failed the smoking task a second time, Robert ordered her to pay the fine again or leave the “school.” She had a good esoteric argument against paying the fine again. The purpose of the task, she argued, was to learn about one’s mechanicality. Having thus learned for a second time just how mechanical she really was (in regard to smoking in particular), there was no deeper lesson to learn from her second failure at trying to quit smoking; paying a fine was merely punitive, not an esoteric learning experience. That was it.

He Who Must Be Obeyed — or is it politically correct to say She? — would have none of Stella’s psycho-logic and rejected her argument, purging her from the group for her refusal to pay the fine. Stella fought back — as hard as she could without losing her mind in the process and becoming a vindictive harridan.

I do remember something about her having to get rid of her dogs (or one of them), but I’m very unclear as to what got that started and I think that happened, like you suggested, when she was living in cramped living quarters in Sparks, Nevada, nowhere near the Fellowship at that point. Maybe someone else knows clearer details on that score. I have only some vague recollection that the dog problem was related to being a good householder and keeping the place clean, but I might easily be mistaken. I do remember a trivial anecdote about them, however. She called her dogs “my hot water bottles.” She liked to have them in bed to warm her feet.

56. Joey Virgo - September 4, 2019

54. Rich

“Maybe Robert wanted to ‘get back’ at Stella then?”

I think a case can be made that Robert wanted to “get back” at Stella all right.

Well before Stella Wirk’s failure to endure the smoking task and before incurring Robber Burden’s wrath, Stella had become a liability for the Fellowship of Friends. Yes, she had developed her own esoteric philosophy of the Fourth Way within the Fellowship, one that was in direct contest to “the Teacher” and had her own following in “CarSmell by the Bay” (thanks to bruce levy), which was threat enough to He Who Must Be Obeyed, but she had also experienced what she touted as a “higher state of consciousness” to everyone and anyone who would listen while “in the school.”

Who else in the Fellowship of Friends had ever made a Burton-like announcement of having reached a higher state of consciousness through being “in the school”? No one else. That was Robber Burden’s act, his esoteric turf alone.

I wasn’t there when this happened to her, but I was around to hear her later tell her story, part of which revealed that when she tried to discuss her state of mind with her fellow students, one of whom was a Fellowship physician and psychiatrist – they responded by stating they believed she was crazy and needed sedation. She submitted to sedation only through group coercion. She later concluded that even within the “inner circle” of the FoF hierarchy, there were those individuals who were merely mechanical men 1, 2, and 3, biologically unable to recognize a higher state at all. She was at this point behaving more like a real Teacher now, not just a “traveling teacher.”

On a practical level, mania isn’t something that one can ride like a surfboard for any length of time and expect to arrive back at the shoreline mentally intact. At this stage, she had become a legal liability for the Fellowship of Friends now. If what she experienced was mania, letting the mania continue would make the FoF legally liable for not preventing her from going mad when there were legitimate doctors in the group to help her. If what she experienced wasn’t mania but was a real higher state, then Robber Burden’s status as “Man No. 5” or whatever was in jeopardy and a woman was contesting it with her own, unabashed singing of the soul electric.

Either way, Stella had become a threat and would have to go at some point. What better way than to trump up an outrageous fine for a task RB knew she’d fail? He had the “perfect excuse” to dismiss her.

57. brucelevy - September 4, 2019

56. Joey Virgo
Make no mistake. At the same time all the “doctors” in the fof virtually became Bobby’s quacks and did his bidding. They weren’t worth shit. They did what they were told.

58. Joey Virgo - September 4, 2019

57. brucelevy

I agree. Robert was higher than the law for them, higher than their medical ethics. But they were doctors, bona fide and with legal standing, regardless of how unethical they were.

59. warpage - September 4, 2019

56. Joey Virgo / 57. brucelevy

Can we try this out? … as one who has ‘flown to Planet Zog’ many a time (not only once on this blog) … there are terms denoting SANITY and ABILITY to ORIENTATE ONESELF in daily life…

Lucidity…calm thought practically applied to living in well being.
Euthymia…a level or zone in which thoughts and emotions can modulate without harm to oneself or endangering oneself or others.

Just this past week, I have demanded that I be released from a Section 117 (may be different in USA) which is an informal section which places care on the psychs not the service user, who can formally write to have all sections of the Mental Health Act removed. It was when it was being suggested I play ‘hobby silverware’ on my living room table and not take advantage of a professional opportunity being extended to me by the artistic community (mental health bubble wrap or cotton pads).

That having been said and probable too lengthy, I would suggest if Stella were deemed mad, then Burton should have been put in a permanent detention center…if not that, castrated, then shot, then his carcass buried in cement on the grounds of Apollo.

60. Joey Virgo - September 4, 2019

59. warpage

You, of all people, I knew would hear and understand the full tragedy and devastation for Stella Wirk. Stella had a whole argument for why she was not “mad” or “insane” and need not have been sedated — because she was lucid. Because her words were coherent. She wasn’t rambling but she was excited about her new awareness. She described what it was like — after the fact. Lucidity was the very word she used to describe her state even while talking to others in that state. (My conjecture is if the state wasn’t mania, then it was hypo-mania, easily managed and manageable.)

But Robert and his medical henchmen knew that she was interfering with the status quo and had to go or be put down or away. So, even though she was protecting Robert by keeping his sexual secrets from the many for more than 10 years, he didn’t honor that cooperation as even thieves might have done with her. He wanted total control over her — and over anyone who dared to claim power without his consent or design. Soft glove Mafia tactics.

I wish you luck and continuing success on getting out from under on your end of the planet. I know patience is key in the psycho ward bureaucracy. You’ve got a few achievements under your belt already, which are self-validating right there, I think. Don’t abandon yourself or your aim. Diamonds are created from pressure, indeed, but you need to titrate the pressure so it doesn’t ruin the whole. Everyone has his or her limits and we need to be kind to ourselves as we try to improve our lives.

61. warpage - September 4, 2019

60. Joey Virgo

Yes…and value our true friends, for we know there are many along the way.

62. Rich - September 4, 2019

I recall Stella had to dispose of her dogs because they were
‘muts’, not thoroughbred

63. Joey Virgo - September 4, 2019

62. Rich

No pun, but that’s rich! Funny as hell. I did not know that, but it’s believable. Thanks for giving that up. The news has put a smile on my face and a chuckle in my throat. It just shows what a Queen’s rule really means — control over everything down to the smallest detail, eh? Stella’s dogs were dashunds. Any time she was asked about their breed, dashunds was the answer. They even looked like dashunds. Maybe there was a touch of something else. Funny too in an ironic way that RB claimed interest in breeding when he wasn’t himself capable of breeding or being himself a breeder for all the semen he nonetheless managed to waste. He looked like a heterosexual male but he genuinely wasn’t. He was and is nothing more than a predatory sciolist (one who pretends to be knowledgeable and well informed) and a Black Bart of the Fourth Way for Circle Jerkers, one who behaves exactly like a dog. (Disgusting, I know. I apologize.)

64. Joey Virgo - September 4, 2019

50. Insider

Tell everyone on the inside congratulations to all the Predator In Chief’s sycophantic enablers for another year of utterly disgraceful fawning, lying. and incorrigible indifference to the decades of suffering She and her minions have needlessly and quite selfishly caused innocent and earnest others since 1970. While at the same time proving there wasn’t and isn’t a scintilla of evidence for the possibility that man’s possible evolution lies with the likes of She Who Must Be Obeyed and/or Her voluntary slaves for La Burton.

65. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

46. brucelevy

I appreciate your description of Helga Mueller’s character. My experience with her was limited and brief but all of it was shocking for just how nasty and judgmental she behaved when I asked her one or two questions regarding sexual behavior practices in the Fellowship. This was 1979. She excoriated me for even asking such questions, causing me to feel mired me in blasphemous guilt! I had been in the school just 3 years and this was my first time in California. And Miles stood right by her side and said nothing. Was I in a Christian fundamentalist school of esotericism? I wondered. Too much protest made me think something was suspect but I didn’t know the source. Any further opportunities for encountering Helga at Renaissance, I rejected.

The only person I know who was completely ignorant of Robert’s underground depravities and who was historically the second person to have joined the FoF in 1970 and so might be viewed as an insider or member of the inner circle — but actually wasn’t — was David Guido, who left after 12 years, as I did, in 1982 once the bad news was out. David wasn’t complicit in the secrecy in the least. He had always kept his own company and thus never knew or even suspected the guru was just an aging catamite. And he did the right thing by rejecting the idea that Robert’s view of morality was (somehow) higher than ours, his followers.

Do you know anyone else who was an older student from the beginning of the “school” but who was completely ill-informed about RB’s sexual habits and had to find out the truth from people like Stella Wirk?

66. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

65. Joey Virgo

On the other hand she was fishing in the same “young boy” pool that RB was. Also, she was usually very nice to me. She just didn’t want to hear anything that made her uncomfortable around RB.

67. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

66. brucelevy

David Guido was a very sweet person. He may even still be “in” as far as I know. I don’t know what he knew, but with his circle of friends I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually didn’t know. Ignorance is bliss. But he sure married a piece of work back then. I was courting the person I would eventually marry. We allowed her (David’s wife) to stay in our double wide. My soon-to-be and I would make out on occasion…pretty hot and heavy, but we didn’t break the “sex task”. But Davids rabid dickwad girl would on several occasions run to RB and tell him we “broke the task”. She was a real asshole, and ex-military. I ended up having to explain to RB that we didn’t. After the second or third occurrence RB said he was lifting the task on us and that pretty much made David’s girl put a cork in it.

68. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

66 and 67 should have been addressed to Joey.

69. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

Oh, they were. Sorry.

70. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

67. brucelevy

David was a very sweet person, I agree. (He’s also the only individual I know who didn’t know about Arkansas Bob’s “true nature.”)

I know of only one woman David Guido ever hooked up with, and that was a woman named Suzanne. Is she the woman you refer to in the rest of your comment as.a “piece of work”? I wasn’t privy to many of the early relationships of the oldest members of the FoF when I was a member (although I knew Helga and Miles were a couple and Harold and Stella were a couple), but I never was able to find out about the two Guidos and who was hooked up with whom originally.

What I mean is, there was a Bonita Guido who was the very first student of RB’s. I know she hooked up with RB himself at one point (the info is available on the Internet about them — reported by Bonita herself at one point, as I recall), but had she married David later or hooked up with him after RB? David Guido was the second student RB took under his wing. Were they a couple originally or is the similarity of their names just coincidence? This is not prurience on my part so much as just getting a few facts straight after all these years.

Last I saw David was in the early 1990s. He had been out of the FoF for almost 8 years. The three of us had a “last supper” in San Francisco before the two of them left the Bay Area permanently. He and Suzanne moved up to northern California not too far from Oregon House — to grow and sell marijuana (at least that was the plan back then). I doubt very much David would have sought to re-enter the FoF. They both were very fond of country life, and hated the city. Still, I think they might have missed all their friends from their Fellowship days too, and, thus, returning to the Oregon House area might have just made them feel like they were at last “home,” so to speak, and not abandoned.

71. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 5, 2019

Fellowship of Friends (FoF) “Master List August 1971” (showing donations) shows some 71 names, that may include minors at the time, as well as Robert Earl Burton (REB). The names Bonita Guido and David Guido are on the list. There wasn’t any Suzanne (or Susan). [But, you know how the names could be changed to protect the guilty. 😉 ]

Then there are 2 directories from the Via Del Sol period that show both their names. One directory is dated: “May 1971.” The other is undated but is later and has 133 names, that may include minors at the time, as well as REB.

Also, Harold Wirk sketches showing members in that period showed the two of them.

Does this help the conversation?

72. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

71. Wouldn’t You Like To Know

Thanks for your comment and your trying to help move this particular conversation forward. I like that, but the references and names you gave have not answered my question. I already knew that Bonita Guido and David Guido were on the list. The Via del Sol directories I already knew about and they are helpful to the uninformed for sure. What I don’t know is if the two Guidos named in the list were married to one another or whether their names were merely coincidental. One might assume, but is the assumption accurate?

Although I knew David Guido better outside of the Fellowship than inside it, after we both left the FoF, I know that he never brought up the subject of Boniita in conversation with me or mentioned that she was his ex-wife in all the 8 or 9 years I knew him. I only knew of his common law wife, Suzanne. Was Bonita Guido her married name or her maiden name? I don’t know. Harold Wirk’s wonderful cartoons do not shed any light.

I also don’t know the name of the “ex-military” woman brucelevy has referred to, a woman he described as a “piece of work” and who was “David’s wife.” Descriptions of Bonita I’ve encountered in my reading online don’t point to or suggest an “ex-military” type of gal in Bonita, although this description may fit her. This woman I knew as Suzanne may have herself been “ex-military” but I never knew her as such or thought to characterize with such an adjective. Or maybe there is another woman . . .

There is also a time period that brucelevy has not contextualized in his comment about his experience with “David’s wife.” I don’t know if he’s referring to 1971, 1979, or later. And thus the directories are not so helpful only for the kinds of details I seek.

I understand the snooping and snitching behavior, however, brucelevy mentions with regard to the “sex task.” When later the “smoking task” was on, we insiders often joked about how dangerous it was to hug certain fellow students in that they might want to hug us in order to smell smoke on our clothes and report to RB for whether we were “good students” or not. Such people were not really doing the Work, as it was called. They were behaving like spies in a small village, like rats in the Mafia, like informants in a dictatorship of obedience. (But those rats, spies, and informants turned out to be the very characters Robert truly valued in his posse, real inner work be damned.)

73. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

70. Joey Virgo

Yes I think it was Suzanne and I thing it was around 1980.

74. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

70. Joey Virgo

Rb liked David, but he didn’t like Suzanne. Regardless of one’s sexuality she was a real tw*t.

75. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

There were many like her…Linda being the quintessential useless tw*t.

76. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

67. brucelevy

The time period you’re referring to in regard to your comment mentioning the “sex task” isn’t 1971 at all. Am I right?

Rather, it was around 1976 or later, no?

Do you know the name of the woman who was “David’s wife”? A yes or no will do.

Was she the same woman who left the FoF with David in 1982 or are you referring to a completely different woman?

As I understand the early history of the FoF, sex was rampant among its early members, almost all of whom were hippies (except perhaps for Stella, Harold and Miles) — sex, pot, folk songs, and esotericism were the tunes all the early members danced to with orgiastic enthusiasm . At this time Robert already was sexualizing a rude bromance between himself and Miles Barth (who was insufficiently suspicious or just plain naive).

RB later then tried to crush the sexual instinct in his heterosexual followers by setting up a “task” for them, which he instigated around the same time period in which he decided to “raise the school” to be an ark of culture, the idea for which began in 1975-1976, fomenting the idea as well of starting centers across the US and later worldwide.

I think RB was testing his followers with this “sex task” in order to learn whether or not he might exert greater control over them, not just lead them. He did it again with the “smoking task,” insuring that his followers be obedience-oriented in every respect, especially with the consequences of expulsion or purging.

Are you with me? What details have you that I’m not taking into account regarding the time period of the sex task? Having a time-period would help me better ascertain who this thus-far unnamed mysterious woman is you called “David’s wife” if wife indeed she was.

77. brucelevy - September 5, 2019

76. Joey Virgo

No folk songs. Most of us were ex-hippies. I think her name was Suzanne. Ex-military. Very masculine. I don’t know of any other woman with David. It must be her. The task was not to have sex outside a relationship and if you broke up with your most recent relationship you couldn’t be in another for some amount of time. It might have been a year. Enough time for RB to crawl into your pants if he so desired.

78. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

73 & 74. brucelevy

Thanks for your clear, direct response. I was working out a response to you meanwhile and didn’t see your answer to my question, so I apologize for my excess discussion — in lieu of your answers.

Yes, I know the woman you speak of. I also know that David and she had a lot of turmoil in their relationship both in and out of the FoF, if only due to age differences. On the worst of days, David would ask me why I liked her!!!

But here’s something I think is worth sharing regarding Suzanne. You mentioned RB didn’t like Suzanne. I think I know why.

(I don’t like RB in any way, shape or form. He’s vile dirt to me such that anyone he dislikes is already someone worthy of note to me.).

Suzanne was working “on the farm,” helping to dig a trench when one of the rigs or machines students were using to lift the soil out of the trench struck her in the back, pushing her into the trench and seriously injuring her back. She was “out of commission” (military phrase) for a few months as a result

What did this woman do? She sued Robert Burton and Fellowship of Friends! And she won!

She never relinquished or lost her standing in the Fellowship of Friends and she took some of RB’s filthy lucre from him — on completely legal grounds. “Ex-military”? Perhaps. At least that fits this circumstance. She had “balls” here. And, boo-hoo, Robert had to give up some of his unearned money to pay her doctor and insurance costs. LOL!

That’s a memorable incident. RB didn’t like her. Yeah, figures!

79. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

77. brucelevy

Thanks for the clarification and distinctions especially regarding what was meant by the “sex task.” Your having written out a fuller description triggered some early memories that helped me validate you are right in what you wrote.

Yes, it wasn’t about suppressing sex so much as it was an attempt to regulate it for the ostensible purpose of a relationship — by She who knew nothing about relationships except the deviant, sexual ones, and thus if you were young, male, horny, attractive and unattached, he knew he had seductive ploys at hand to take advantage of such men in such vulnerable circumstance. The predatory cat among the mice.

80. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

75. brucelevy

By Linda, I’m assuming you mean the Rockwell dame, right? The one and only. Tw*t isn’t harsh enough for the likes of her IMHO. But these dead soul types, people of low self-esteem, willing masochistic slaves like the female victims in Marquis de Sade’s fiction, women who cannot have healthy relationships with heterosexual men, are what RB values. They’re just meat to him and he’s the Grinder.

81. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 5, 2019

According to this document:

Click to access Inner8vaFOFHist.pdf

(see right side about half way down)
(thanks to robertearlburton.blogspot for the link)
it says Bonita Guido left 2/74.

It is Harold’s musing on ‘Inner Octave’ perhaps significantly after the fact. Bonita was Native American. According to A., Bonita’s daughter, as I remember it, David and Bonita were her de facto parents at one time. Bonita was her biological mother. I am not sure if David was her biological father, though. Bonita has passed on, but A. is still contactable.

82. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 5, 2019

Here is an image of interest:
LOVE, Sweet LOVE 11-27-70
(thanks to robertearlburton.blogspot for the link)

It shows David and Bonita at separate addresses.

83. Joey Virgo - September 5, 2019

81. & 82. Wouldn’t You Like To Know

Thanks for the two tips. That’s very kind of you. I have been aware of these archives and have perused them before — but certainly not in some time. (Stella Wirk once was known as Meg. I just find that funny since the name Stella seemed to stick to her so well.)

And while brucelevy managed to answer the salient question I had concerning the identity of “David’s wife,” the mystery behind the two Guidos remains. Guido is not a Native American name. It’s fully Italian and David was Italian. So who was this Bonita? How did she acquire this name?

That the archive states that she left in 1974 answers the concern I had regarding brucelevy’s mention of “David’s wife.” It excludes her. We now know the woman was named Suzanne. I know Suzanne’s last name, too, before she took on the name Guido. Suzanne isn’t Italian. And Bonita also wasn’t around at the time brucelevy had mentioned, tallking about the “piece of work” who wanted to report him to Robert.

You mention “A.” Who is “A”? Do you have a clue? I don’t. How do you know she’s contactable? What gave you this idea? How would I find that info? (I didn’t catch any reference to “A” on the archive, but my eyesight isn’t great either.)

84. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 6, 2019

Yes, I know A. On Greater Fellowship (see link in upper right corner of this page), if you have access, you can search members for ‘Bonita.’ Her profile page is still there. Scroll down to the bottom and it will be readily apparent who A. is. A. also has a profile page there. I hope this helps.

85. Amanda Raphaelson - September 6, 2019

Hi All,
David and Bonita married in 1965, divorced in 1970. David was Bonita’s second husband. Bonita met Robert at a News Eve party 1969. David was second student. FOF was based in Pleasant Hills, CA at their house for a bit.

86. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

84. Wouldnt You Like to Know

Not sure how you managed that Peanuts cartoon icon on your comment, but it proves you’re an experienced computer user all right. Thanks for the guidance. I followed your instructions, I believe, and found “A,” Bonita’s daughter. She hasn’t replied to anyone since 2009, but I made a first attempt, hoping just to learn where the name “Guido” came from. We’ll see. Again, thanks for the info. It may help.

87. brucelevy - September 6, 2019

i’m beginning to think I’ve mixed up David with someone else. Please disregard my previous postings regarding David Guido.

88. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

86. brucelevy

You barely wrote anything about David other than to say he was a sweet guy. (I wanted to add that he was also kind of quiet, too.) And you wrote that he had a wife who was ex-military and a piece of work. You wrote more about her than him. So this woman wasn’t David’s wife. Okay. Then whose wife was she and who was she?

Just as a humorous aside, I was rummaging around in the Greater Fellowship website this morning and found a picture of “the gang” back in 1972 Via del Sol days and someone on the GF site claimed that Bonita’s husband was in the photo standing beside her – when in fact not only was there no Bonita in the photo there was also no David Guido in the photo either. Mistakes happen.

89. fofblogmoderator - September 6, 2019

#85 is a new contributor

90. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

85. Amanda Raphaelson.

Thanks so much for the attestation around Bonita’s last name, which I now know she shared with David Guido through marriage. If you would, can you say that Robert was responsible for breaking up David and Bonita — for the latter’s cheating on him with Robert? I would just like to track Robert Burton’s trail of destruction and manipulation from the beginning since this is what I know he seems to be mostly about.

I met you in the FoF when I was a member in my twenties and more than a few times, especially, of course, at Renaissance. I had no clue who you were. Every time I saw you I had the impression you were a new student, perpetually young, smiling and happy. We never exchanged more than a cursory greeting, so my impression was based only on a appearances. I also never knew you were Bonita’s daughter even when you married Marc Raphaelson who, at the time I was there, had just become a new student at the Philadelphia Center circa 1978 when Ethan Harris was the director there. I had no idea — but sincere congratulations for almost four decades of marriage! . That’s amazing and lovely! I guess the country life makes for a lot of happiness, eh?

Thanks again for adding your voice to dispel the confusion and ignorance.

91. Tim Campion - September 6, 2019

David Guido appears in Harold Wirk’s drawing of the Lincoln Lodge, circa 1973.

He’s the center figure in the trio at the lower left, wearing his accustomed overalls.

92. Rich - September 6, 2019

By the time I joined in ’74 it was Miles Barth, not Ronald.

93. Amanda Raphaelson - September 6, 2019

Hi Joey,

I don’t believe Robert created David and Bonita’s marriage difficulties. I think they most likely would have separated anyway. Hope that helps a bit.

Thank you for the congrats!

94. Amanda Raphaelson - September 6, 2019

If I recall, Stella’s name was Mary Ellen Gwynne (Meg), but we called her Stella. I’m not sure if she used the name before joining.

95. brucelevy - September 6, 2019

94. Amanda Raphaelson

Hey Amanda.

96. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

93. Amanda Raphaelson

I appreciate your perspective on David and Bonita’s marriage. I feel now I can put that whole matter to rest — because of you and your willingness to help fellow ex-members understand what transpired.

And I do very much like how well you and your husband Marc have been able to maintain and keep going with your lives together. XoX

97. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

92. Rich

Thanks for your comment. I only became aware that Miles’s real name was Ronald after he died and I tried to find his obituary online. Apparently, he had returned to using Ronald after he left the FoF.

98. Joey Virgo - September 6, 2019

84. Wouldn’t You Like To Know.

Thank you again. I have the feeling the encounter with Amanda wouldn’t have happened without you having put down the bread crumb trail electronically for me to follow..

99. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 7, 2019

98. Joey Virgo

You are most welcome. And, how wonderful it is that Amanda decided to make an appearance. Thanks Amanda.

86. Joey Virgo

Amanda has been active on Greater Fellowship since 2009, mostly to update her profile and to post photos of activities on the farm, etc. Do check out the photos.

100. warpage - September 7, 2019


Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

101. Joey Virgo - September 7, 2019

100. warpage

Sharp observation, funny, and true.

102. warpage - September 7, 2019

The little story of Stella having had experience of higher states and the denial by Burton (aided by FOF psychs/doctors) shows how ridiculous the ‘aims and objectives’ of the cult are. Burton is purported to be the only one experiencing ‘constant cosmic consciousness’ and anyone else who reports experiences of these states is deluded. The whole ethos of FOF revolves around a cultural elation (warm, fuzzy, friendly feeling) and Burton receiving high states through daily, perverted orgasms. He knows nothing of the empathy and humanely generous emotions that accompany higher states. He selfishly bathes in lavish luxury…a huge pile of pretence. What was aimed at by the teachings followed becomes its opposite.

What was life, is death and counterwise.

103. Joey Virgo - September 7, 2019

102. warpage

What you wrote is so right. “He knows nothing of the empathy and humanely generous emotions that accompany higher states.” How do we know this? Through his behavior, which, outside of some habits of eccentricity, is painfully base and common.

And that Asaf guy and that Dorian guy, in addition to Girard Haven or Miles Barth, what higher states of consciousness have these men experienced, which allowed for greater empathy or humanely generous emotions like love or compassion? Nothing has been recorded to these ends about any of them at all. All that exists is just a lot of elevated rhetoric coming out of their mouths to mesmerize the FoF audience much to the Fake Guru’s satisfaction.

104. Joey Virgo - September 7, 2019

102. warpage

“He . . . a huge pile of pretence.”

I was one year already in the FoF when a new student recently joined the center. Rb was going to visit soon, his first visit there, so to prove her worth, she decided to cook a meal of ratatouille for everyone in celebration of his visit. It was a big job but she was ready for it, claiming to have previously worked as a small restaurateur in the past, though her present work was administrative.

It happened that at last minute she discovered some of the ingredients she needed for the recipe were not to be had anywhere in the city and her work schedule (and her boss) had not provided more time for her to shop around for ingredients. The substitutes available to her on such short notice she regarded as less than desirable, even inferior. Nonetheless, being pragmatic and trying hard not to “inner consider,” she made the meal for Rb and the rest of us students the best way she could, given the circumstances. Once at table, after Rb tasted a few bites of the repast, he uttered, “This is the best ratatouille in the world and my palette is sensitive and trained.”

After Rb left the center upon dinner’s end, the new student told everyone who would listen to her that Rb was a complete fraud.

She never returned.

She told us who listened that she knew gourmet cooking and she knew her meal wasn’t on par with what even a decent (not excellent) restaurant might offer. She was furious that Rb had condescended to her and wasn’t able to be truthful.

Thus, she knew he had pretended to be a Jean-Anthelme Brillat Savarin, a philosopher of the kitchen, but really knew nothing of the physiologie du gout, having no ability to discern gastronomic subtleties at all.

And now we hear Rb likes to eat fast food (garbage) with his fingers when unobserved. Nothing’s changed. The empress has no clothes or taste.

105. WonderingWhosWatching - September 7, 2019

104. Joey Virgo:
“The empress has no clothes…”

Emperor’s New Clothes trailer 1:34:
(With Sid Caesar)

106. WonderingWhosWatching - September 8, 2019

104. Joey Virgo:
“The empress has no clothes…”

The Emperor’s New Clothes 3:26:

[excerpt from: The Emperor’s New Clothes (1987)
with Sid Caesar, Robert Morse, Lysette Anthony. . .]
‘Everybody sees just what the want to see.’

107. Joey Virgo - September 8, 2019

106. Wondering Whos Watching

“Everybody sees just what they want to see.”

I wonder if this isn’t just one of the most transcendental proverbs ever to have existed. Thanks for the citation.

I mean, even detectives and the police realize how frail, contradictory, and weak are actual eye-witness accounts of an event, proving this adage.

It sure proved so in my case, and based on things I’ve read on this blog, it proved so with other ex-members as well.

I had a dozen or more opportunities presented me over six years of membership showing me the FoF, whether by Rb himself or by his older students, had snookered me in various ways and entrapped me, but I managed to “see beyond” the straightforward facts such that I could believe I was not hoaxing myself at all. The need to belong and the need to change my life were both so compelling, they were like opium, causing me to stay asleep in the sheep compound.

That being said, I would like to believe that had I stayed on in the FoF to that point in the FoF “adventure” when Rb began wearing fuchsia colored suits and pink ties like a countrified Pimp Daddy, I would have realized that the clown clothes he wore did indeed make the Whore Man (or Woman) complete, and would have fled the scene at that precise moment if only on an primitive, instinctual level, one that even a healthy child, boy or girl, might recognize as sick and twisted, much like the Drag Queen story lessons being forced on young children in these politically correct days of decay.

108. fofblogmoderator - September 8, 2019

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