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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 189 November 1, 2020

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1. Golden Veil - November 4, 2020

Animated portrait: Robert Earl Burton of The Fellowship of Friends and a new young male student

2. brucelevy - November 5, 2020

1. Golden Veil

Perfect and 100% correct.

3. Insider - November 5, 2020

It seems a good time to recall a posting by “knoti” on Sept 29, 2018:

Down Time with Robert

Travel with Robert was purely a moving instinctive experience. We would often be in a rush but spent many an hour resting in various Starbucks. We would eat in sports bars and Denny’s. Very often there was a TV blaring at dinner. There was never any elevated or emotional discussion. Robert would often ask Sasha about how much we owed each student and how little we could get away with paying them back. “Try to pay them back with an art object.” How much could we borrow? Robert would talk about his health problems but not allow me to comment on them. For example he had severe shoulder pain and he would move his arm from the elbow to try to alleviate the pain. I tried to explain that he must raise his elbow to use his shoulder muscles but he could not understand even this and he shut me down.
He often spoke about changing the meeting time at the last minute in the most off hand and cavalier way as if he enjoyed the fact that he was so important and powerful that compared to his whims the inconvenience to 150 people meant nothing.

There was no teaching but he did speak of the lower self when he wanted to control someone. He demanded that we massage his shoulder for so long and so hard that it was quite unpleasant. Still it did seem like an honor to be with him in this special way. He gave us cookies and frozen yogurt and showed tremendous valuation for these things. Once I felt quite humiliated when he fed me a spoonful of yogurt like a baby in a coffee shop.

Conversation was often about where to find the best weather or the cost of various hotels along the way. Nobody could ever introduce a topic that was not a direct repetition of something Robert had previously talked about. We often stopped at a store where Robert could spend hours shopping for a $200 shirt or tennis shoes. There were also many long hours spent shopping for “art” and antiques. His home is filled with art objects to the point that there is not room for another object. He is clearly hording art as opposed to appreciating art. I find that he has no taste in art. These objects are merely symbols of his assumed elevated status.

We spent long hours in coffee shops and made short visits to museums. There was often a visit to one good hotel but we would often arrive late and leave early. In a rush. To his credit he spends a lot of time at a truly nice garden coffee shop in Palm Springs, but it might be about rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.

Robert spends much of his free time watching Americas Funniest Videos, which is primarily about people getting hurt or looking foolish, or watching football. There is never any kind of elevated or emotion talk. Intimate contact with Robert does not include the right to speak without being spoken to. More than once I was put in my place with a reference to the lower self when I tried to address Robert. Once I tried to address him and he told me that he was too excited by the dinner he had just come from to be able to listen to me. Eventually it appeared to me that he was not able to understand even simple concepts and he did not want to seem out of control or stupid even among his servants.

I remember well the shock I experienced at different moments of disillusionment. The first time was when someone told me that Robert eats breakfast at Denny’. At the time I thought that the he must be doing it to deliver some message. Another disillusionment that I remember was Robert choosing an extremely noisy sports bar for a dinner before a ballet. I was sure that it was not his nature that made him choose it but something else. Eventually after many very consistent repetitions of this experience I came to see that this was his nature and preference. There is a King of Hearts playing card in the top drawer of his bathroom dresser. I saw it once and he quickly hid it from my view. It seemed that it was there to remind him of how he is supposed act.

In my opinion Robert is instinctively centered and not Gold alchemy.

As requested one account of being with Robert when his guard is down

4. WhaleRider - November 8, 2020

Cult Claims Copper Is The New Gold

Full Metal Jacket House, CA~Cult Leader Robert E Burton has made a stunning new announcement, overturning millennia of alchemical understanding, and causing many of his followers, especially aspiring young male sycophants, scrambling to ditch their tan V-necked sweaters and trade in their gold cufflinks.

“Higher forces have recently indicated to me that it’s fine to have a copper alchemy. As the Little Prince says, “What is essential is invisible to the eye,”” Burton muttered at dinner without any further explanation and much to the amazement of his captive dinner guests, who have for decades been programmed to wear only gold jewelry and disdain anything remotely copper, like copper cookware or even copper pipes.

In a vain effort to get noticed, several pathologically accommodating followers have already made dental appointments to have their gold teeth replaced.

Then the following day and without any probable cause, Burton fired his entire gold alchemy staff of male concubines and later proclaimed that henceforth and from this day forward, all his “boys” close to him must hereby have only copper alchemies and then set to task his cabal of enablers to recruit and populate his harem with as many unsuspecting, unemployed young male followers who fit the description that they could surreptitiously traffic from abroad to his gated compound, hidden in the Sierra foothills.

No longer will Burton’s recruiters be searching for naive, well-dressed, young men with clean hands and brushed teeth for Burton to rape, but have been instructed to look for naive, scruffy-looking, young men who have dirt under their fingernails from doing manual labor, who wear tacky plaid shirts or dress in colors that clash like purple and yellow, and who still possess at least most of their teeth.

As expected, by now there are no followers left with enough temerity or the nuggets to ask Burton directly why he got rid of his fine collection of nesting Russian dolls who undoubtedly will eventually leave the nest anyway when they grow up as literally thousands of others have before them; a few hopeless followers had their own theories, but many terminal followers were not shocked awake by the news, after having spent so much time in the insular cult bubble and after having become experts in making up excuses for Burton’s criminal behavior.

“I think he tires of being so divinely present to doing the same guys over and over again that he needs constant stimulation like a child does,” said one timid female follower who refused to be named for fear of being asked to leave for expressing her opinion.

Another fearful anonymous follower put forth their own theory, “I think it’s because the pace of his obsessive sexual appetite is accelerating and the Russian boys can’t keep it up.”

When informed about this puzzling new development in the cult’s new “reverse alchemy”, one ex-follower with intimate knowledge of Burton made this simple assessment:

“What’s the mystery? Anyone who listens to Burton knows he’s obviously a few fries short of a Happy Meal. He probably just found out the corona virus cannot survive on copper.”

5. Someone - November 9, 2020

I met an old FoF guy the other day. He’s still there. He said that recent gatherings look like political debates and RB constantly gets down on D.Trump calling him The Antichrist. I guess that’s one thing incommon.

6. Golden Veil - November 10, 2020

I am a bit curious about this beautiful 17th Century Dutch painting of a man, woman and horse in a stable that was once in the Fellowship of Friends art collection. I’ve always thought that looking at this painting was almost like experiencing time travel. Though a small work and depicting a humble subject, in a quiet and unpretentious way Borch has realized a specific moment of life, vibrantly.


The provenance on the above Getty website places the sale of the painting to the J.Paul Getty Museum in 1985, brokered by a Marco Grassi, probably this Marco Grassi (his biography here).


Does anyone know what the Fellowship paid for the painting – or sold it for? I bet both deals were orchestrated by Marco Grassi! He appears to be a veritable Bernard Berenson type.

7. Golden Veil - November 13, 2020

I was told that REB may have sold the beautiful Horse Stable because of the “low alchemy” presence of the horse “road apples” in the painting. You can see them behind the horse, on the stable floor, under the tall wooden tripod holding the tack. But how foolhardy to sell this beautiful painting, not only because of its artistic excellence, but also its lasting great monetary value. It’s actually one of the best works of art that was ever part of the Fellowship of Friends art collection. And I can’t help but think how appropriate the presence of the horse shit is.

I suppose, though, that the truly significant thing is the timing of the transfer of ownership. Scroll down to see the 1985 sale from the Fellowship of Friends listed in the painting’s provenance (see the link to the JPGM catalogue page above). It may have been a necessary sale, in order to generate funds to settle a particular lawsuit…

8. Golden Veil - November 13, 2020

Whoops, I meant to write that the sale of the painting was in 1986!

9. Insider - November 13, 2020

If Burton only knew that a mere 20 years later, The Absolute would be sending messages via numbers of rino poops in other paintings. Someone better to go the Getty when they reopen to carefully count the number of road apples in this painting in case there’s a hidden message 20 years too late.

10. Golden Veil - November 14, 2020

More on understanding “The Princess”

Twelve years ago – former Fellowship of Friends student “ludoteka” wrote here on May 7, 2008 about Peter Bishop, a loyal thirty year Fellowship of Friends student and the first of Robert Earl Burton’s inner circle to die:

“…Robert started to displace the inner circle of that time around Peter’s death. The older students started getting cut off and replaced by the younger generation of Asafs, Dorians, etc. This was a perfect move from an imperfect master. He replaced students with tremendous personal deficiencies but still a scent of integrity in important roles by newly committed young, ambitious and finely corrupt followers who did not only not question his sexuality, were ready to supply him with an unconditional amount of it. This is what they had already learnt and assimilated from the previous inner circle so it was a much better deal for Robert. With this, he filled the Fellowship of Friends with young blood and credibility for potential new students, rid himself of older and old people which he only tolerates if they can cover themselves with huge amounts of money and took away any possibility of serious questioning by the inner circle who had served him for thirty years.”

The Fellowship of Friends: the corrupted, corrupt and the corrupt to be…

11. Insider - November 14, 2020

A conversation between Robert Burton and Asaf Braverman, October 9, 2002, as reported by Asaf:

Asaf raised the subject of Peter’s shock, and quoted the following angle that Robert has been giving recently at teaching events: “Peter’s shock contains in it the germ of the beginning of the end of the School.” Asaf continued, “There have been repeated requests by students for clarification of this angle. Some students seem to have
misunderstood it, or have perhaps taken it on the wrong scale. Do you think we should address it in any way?”

Robert replied, “Peter has worked in the School for thirty years, and is in the heart of the inner circle. Additionally, he is a long-time personal friend of mine. The School has reached the age (with myself working with the Gods for thirty years) where students are beginning to experience their whole life-cycle, with myself as their Teacher. Peter was a young man of twenty-five when I first met him, and is turning fifty-five this month. For myself, as I live to be an older teacher, I will bury many of my students—some in their forties, some in their fifties, and some in their sixties. I will continue, and may live to be one hundred. However, Peter is the first student who I met in his youth, and who I now see complete his task. It is something I knew I would experience if I lived to be an old Teacher. We may see many students
reach Peter’s age and complete their tasks, having worked with the Gods for thirty years. We must not be disturbed by this—it is the profound nature of evolution.

“All Schools reach their conclusion, after which they become life. So long as I live, our School will remain in its golden age. During my lifetime we will see a considerable flow of souls who will study with me and pass on. The completion of Peter’s role contains the seed of the beginning of the end of the School, not of the civilization. The School will eventually transcend itself into a civilization.

“From another angle, the completion of Peter’s role is the beginning of the end of the inner circle. But the inner circle will continue to exist after my role is complete, although it, too, will eventually become life. Schools can have a short ministry, or a long ministry, but all eventually crescendo into a civilization. Christ’s ministry, for example, lasted only three years, yet developed into a civilization that lasted for two thousand years. People may have difficulty understanding this idea because they do not see the larger picture, which is on the scale of the whole School and is larger than one’s personal play. Our School will have an enormous influence on the next civilization.

“Furthermore, whereas Christ’s ministry lasted three years, we are already into our fourth decade. Many students will complete their roles after having studied with me for thirty years, and they will have received what they needed. My old, familiar inner circle will have completed its task, and I will be working with a regenerated inner circle. That is the nature of becoming an old teacher.”

12. brucelevy - November 14, 2020

Peter was a sweetheart. I lived with him in the Boy Cottage. He was one of the only true believers that I liked. When he was dying RB was in the same room and kept telling his boy toys to convey whatever came to his perverse mind even though he was a few feet away. Peter said. “I’m right here, I can here what you’re saying”. I guess RB thought that if he spoke directly to Peter he might get his deadly cooties. RB is a societal disease.

13. Golden Veil - November 14, 2020

11. Insider – November 14, 2020

It’s amazing, isn’t it, the mythology that Robert Burton created.

14. Golden Veil - November 14, 2020

12. brucelevy – November 14, 2020

That is so strange and sad. This may sound nutty, but it makes me think of The Manchurian Candidate, this level of brainwashing, for the students present to accept such weirdness – and the inevitable PTSD this kind of atmosphere around the death of one of their own must have instigated. I hope that Peter had healthcare, a morphine drip.

15. amesgilbert1 - November 14, 2020

Jeez, 50 years of non–stop bullshitting (#11, above)! Burton is remains the undisputed master of pouring from the empty into the void. I wonder if Peter Bishop had any last–minute revisions of opinion about this blowhard bloviating endlessly before he died? This blowhard, who had to be forced by severe disapproval from almost the entire laity at the time to even condescend to visit Peter on his deathbed? A favor that he granted to few others, if any, of all those who have died embroiled in his fantasy, despite his early promises to personally accompany everyone who made the transition? Burton is actually, IMHO, extremely afraid of death, and will show himself to be a gibbering coward in the face of it, if he is given the time to see it coming.

BTW, if anyone who is doing due diligence concerning Asaf Braverman and his BePeriod psuedo–Fourth Way scam has arrived on this page, and is wondering what the hell the connection is, wonder no more. Despite Braverman having now cleansed his biography and his various websites of any inconvenient connections (gross lies of omission), the fact is, Asaf Braverman was formerly the most devoted of students of Robert Earl Burton, lifetime dictator of the Fellowship of Friends. Yes indeed, he was a member for two decades, and was appointed by Burton to be a “future conscious being” and also groomed to take over Burton’s place in the hierarchy, in due course.

Dig back through these pages, it will be worth your time if it helps you avoid falling for his version of the same scam. And keep asking yourself, what kind of an (admittedly well–spoken) idiot would stick around for so long and absorb this kind of shit like this night and day?

Braverman, if you ask him, may prevaricate (lie) and earnestly tell you that it was an “unhappy marriage”, and further make the thought–terminating claim that “one doesn’t talk about unhappy marriages”. Don’t accept being cut off like that. The fact is, until shortly between the relatively recent and acrimonious parting of the ways, it was a very happy marriage. Asaf actually had a lot of fun for most of the time. He led meetings and fundraisers for years, his considerable vanity was being stroked day and night, he enjoyed a generous salary plus expenses, had sex with a succession of star–struck women (not to mention Burton himself), travelled the world, and received the adoration and worship due the anointed heir apparent to the God–Emperor of Oregon House—for year after year after year! He is clearly addicted to controlling people and groups, and to selling his ‘insights’ to gullible recruits—for your own mental and financial health, don’t be one of them!

16. WhaleRider - November 14, 2020

I can’t think of a better way to manipulate a person to feel depersonalized than to speak about the person while they are in the room as though they were not.

I’m glad to hear Peter stood up for himself at the end.

17. WhaleRider - November 22, 2020

Cult Leader Claims He Won Election

Burn Down the House, CA-Last night in one of his insane monologues during dinner, Cultist Robert E Burton made the unfounded claim that there is widespread fraud everywhere else on the planet other than in his esoterrorist cult and that he won the presidential election by a landslide.

“I AM THE WINNER, SEND MORE MONEY”, Burton tweeted to his ardent and delusional followers, who believe everything he says, including that he once licked the toes of the Absolute.

Despite the thousands of people who over the past decades have awaken to the fact that their great leader is a pathological liar and have quit the group in order to reassert control of their own lives, Burton still insists that he “has an IQ 10 times higher than Donald Trump”, has “bigger hands and feet”, and is “twice as good looking”.

Apparently the vote was held exclusively among his flock and was unanimous, because it is a widely held belief by the group that only their lives matter.

18. Insider - November 23, 2020

17. WhalerRider

Yes, I’m recalling a few other unfounded claims Burton has made over the years and decades:

Shortly after beginning the Fellowship of Friends, claiming he was a “Man Number Five”

On March 19, 1976, claiming he “crystallized” and was now a new-born “Man Number Six”

Somewhere between 1976 and 1989, claiming he was a “Man Number Seven”

Upon landing in San Francisco during the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989, claiming he was a “Man Number 8”

Numerous claims about being visited by old angels, including the oldest one in the universe

On June 25, 2014, claiming that The Absolute visited him (in male form) and “did an act of humility” for him

On Sept 2, 2016, claiming that The Absolute visited him again (in female form)

Claiming a constant companionship with an angel called “Leonardo da Vinci”

A recent claim that he and The Absolute “crystallized” at the same time

The claim that “conscious beings” exist in only 2 places in the universe: in “Paradise,” and at Apollo

Finally, a very recent claim that he will live to be 108 years old

19. John Harmer - November 24, 2020

#18 a great list, Insider. Burton clearly focused in on the numbers, a great attraction of them was that only he could validate which level he and others were on. Simple concepts suit simple minds. It reminded me of a passage in C.S. Nott’s book Teachings of Gurdjieff where Orage relates meeting Aleister Crowley. Looks like Crowley might have read Ouspensky, but Orage hadn’t at that stage. Here is the extract from page 122:

Orage said about this: ‘Alas, poor Crowley, I knew him well. We used to meet at the Society for Psychical Research when I was acting secretary. Once, when we were talking, he asked: “By the way, what number are you?” Not knowing in the least what he meant, I said on the spur of the moment, “Twelve”. “Good God, are you really?” he replied, “I’m only seven”.’

20. Linda Jo - November 24, 2020

At some point, this unsigned letter was sent to The Gurdjieff Club by one of Horn’s victims:

Dear Mr. Rovner,

I found your website, Gurdjieff Club, quite interesting.

I noted with interest your comments about the People of Gurdjieff’s Influence where you talk about Robert Earl Burton who founded the fellowship of friends. You also say that Burton “spent eighteen months in a Gurdjieff group of the Fourth Way led by the spiritual teacher Alexander Francis Horn.”

I feel like you are doing a great disservice to anyone who reads your website without stating the whole truth of these matters.

Robert Earl Burton’s Fellowship of Friends was and is a cult that has harmed many people.

Personally, I was a victim of Alexander Francis Horn who was NOT a spiritual teacher and who had no connection to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

Alex Horn was a psychopath, a narcissist, a manipulator, a rapist and a black magician. Yes, he taught Burton and in that way further perpetrated his evil.

Please, if you are interested in the truth, tell the whole story about these people.

Not all of Gurdjieff’s followers were unscrupulous but some of them were and people should know about this.

Thank you for considering the above.

Best wishes

21. WhaleRider - December 3, 2020

Cult Leader Warns Followers Coronavirus Pandemic Not The Apocalypse

House of Horrors, CA-Yesterday Robert E Burton, the aging founder of the Fellowship of Friends who claims to be the second coming of Christ, was heard muttering to himself and to those remaining followers who continue to hang onto to him and every word that dribbles out of his mouth, along with an unspecified liquid, that the ongoing pandemic raging across the planet and has to date killed nearly 1.5 million people worldwide is not the apocalypse he and his followers have been anticipating for decades.

The reason: not enough “life people” are dying.

“It will be much worse than this,” Burton was reported to have said when asked if this was finally the real deal.

Despite Burton’s continuous failure at predicting other calamities such as a stock market crash, a massive earthquake in which half of California tumbles into the Pacific Ocean, and “hydrogen warfare” that would conveniently wipe out all his skeptics, he still refuses to be humbled and maintains to his dimwitted followers that he is “the brightest light in 2000 years” and that his is the “school of love.”

But the question remains…love of whom?

22. Emili Karlson - December 10, 2020

Has anybody has any info about Heike sell ? She was the widow of the missed person in Richard John Malten in 2011.
I might have seen here in Germany in 2020 but Iam not sure o need to know in which way she was involved in the cult!

23. WhaleRider - December 11, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Cult Leader Makes Startling New Prediction for Day of Great Conjunction

Empty House, CA~ This December 21, 2020 will mark not only the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, but also the “once in nine lifetimes” conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, which hasn’t happened in nearly four centuries, since 1623, the same year the concept of “erotomania” first appeared in psychiatric literature.

When Robert E Burton, aging leader of The Fellowship of Friends cult of glittery things was asked if there was any special significance to the event, he informed his starry-eyed followers, many of whom have been sucking it up for years, that he was making this shocking prediction: to “be prepared for nothing to happen,” and that he was “definitely going to be right this time…all the signs point to nothing.”

“Gee, I was hoping the world was going to end so I could finally stop making efforts,” said one delusional follower sounding frustrated after years of being chased by his own shadow, “I’m getting tired of being so present all the time. I need a rest.”

“My credit card payment is due that day,” grumbled another disillusioned follower, “I was hoping for at least a massive tornado or something. The teacher never mentions those, but it could happen.”

Meanwhile, an anonymous source within Burton’s exclusive inner circle has revealed that for unknown reasons they have secretly been instructed to recruit at least four or five corpulent men to attend each of Burton’s all-night, licentious wine cellar symposiums to be held in the coming week.

24. Linda Jo - December 12, 2020

WhaleRider – October 18, 2016

Studies show psychopaths really do make some people feel queasy. Why? The researchers suspect it might be an evolutionary response to an “intraspecies predator”.

This is another one [method] all the sources agreed on. Don’t listen to the excuses, rationalizations or outright lies. Don’t listen to what they say they will do. Pay attention to what they do.


25. Nevasayneva - December 13, 2020

Re 22 Emelia Karlosn

I remember Heike Sell around years ~1990-2010, living sometimes, sometimes coming and going from Oregon House. But I did not know her particularly well. Like many students at Oregon House at that time, we sometimes made intense impressions on each other without knowing any of the details of each others lives. I suggest you try greater fellowship page if you have access to that. Also some of the German students/ex students would have a much better idea.

26. invictus maneo - December 17, 2020

Page 188, 105, Golden Veil:
“It is strange, to live such a lie. These aging “students” bought into a lifelong fantasy. Each moment, they close their eyes and ears and with intention, ignore great ugliness and criminality. What regret and shame they must feel for their squandered lives…”

I think many of the old ones are pragmatically clearheaded about the Followshit of Fiends. I think persist because they hope to take over and get rich when Conscious Bob dies, rots and his putridity becomes undeniable. The Fourth Way may not produce many conscious beings, but it produces one hell of a pack of predators. Let they who have ears to hear, listen.

Moderator: I can never remember which E-mail address I use posting here, since I do it so seldom. If you contact me I can identify myself. Maybe I need a cute young assistant.

27. Emilia Karlson - December 18, 2020

At 25 Nevesayneva.
Thanks for your reply. You are my only lead in this thing. Can you maybe tell me what the greater fellowship page is? And where do I find German students ?
How was she like? Was she an active member of the cult ? Or more distance? Was she living in the mansion ?
Iam sorry for my interrogation style but this is personally very important over here in Germany. Your more then welcome to write me privately Emilia.karlson@tutanota.com

28. WhaleRider - December 20, 2020

How “mind control” or “brain washing” happens in the 21 century:

“If you bombard people (with lies or disinformation) in the present few have time to dwell on the past.”


29. Nevasayneva - December 20, 2020

re 27 Emelia Karlson
no idea if it is still really active, but I think one of its functions is to put people in touch with people they used to know. The moderator has an email greaterfellowship44@gmail.com, so you might try emailing them and asking if they will post an inquiry on that site for you.
Re your other questions, I don’t really know, and am even wondering if I am thinking of the same person as you, but there was a German Student working on salary on and off about 20 years ago whose name was Heike. I did not know her well at all, we might have been at the same lunch table several time, there were receptions at least once a week on Fridays I think summer and winter, kind of like cocktail parties, so I am sure I met her and a host of other young naive starry eyes people several times a month. I was one of them myself. Re German students, not sure where you would find them now- greater fof site? but obviously there were several.
Goodness when I think back, what on earth was I doing there?
But that is neither here nor there. Not sure what you mean by the mansion. Accommodations of students on salary back in those days was largely off the property and were humble. Good luck in your search.

30. amesgilbert1 - December 21, 2020

Hello Emilia,
It seems I’m in charge of the Greater Fellowship Ning website nowadays. I have looked at the membership list, and there is no Heike Sell on it. I did not know her, indeed, AFAIK, I never even met her, but I did hear her name mentioned, and those of a couple of relations who were also members at the time. If finding her is that important to you, I’d suggest searching in other social media. You probably know enough about her to sort her from all the other Heike Sells that might come up—though you might have to pay for the information, it depends on the source. One clue would be an address in Oregon House CA 95962 at some point, another would be her age; I would suppose that she would be in her early sixties now…

31. Bryan Reynolds - December 29, 2020

Rolling Stone article

Children of Scientology: Life After Growing Up in an Alleged Cult


32. amesgilbert1 - December 29, 2020

Bryan Reynolds, thanks for that.
What cursed bad luck for the children to be trapped in the Scientology fantasy bubble!

As far as similarities to Fellowship of Friends children, I think they fell into (at least) three categories or maybe generations. The first generation were often severely neglected, and some have told their particular stories here. That stage included those that Burton demanded that parents give up entirely, and those that were just abandoned, often for days at a time, in the mobile homes across from the entrance to the property. And, in a deeply sad way, those that were aborted at the direction of Burton and his enforcers. This was when couples were ordered to not conceive because Burton felt that they would be, for some unfathomable reason, the wrong age to ‘enter the Ark’.

Another later stage was where some of those kids (born before their parents joined the Fellowship) returned to a more normal place and were accepted as long as they never reminded Burton of their existence.

Then, after about five years after he put that ‘exercise’ in place, he rescinded it. Most children who arrived after that were wanted and cherished, our daughter included. This still involved keeping them out of Burton’s way, but as they grew, they needed more resources. A kind follower donated a house with grounds well away from the property, which became a kindergarten called, “The Lewis Carroll School”, and which then grew with the kids. I myself installed a playing field with irrigation, a large climbing/play structure, a huge sandbox, fruit trees, and so on. Later, Burton did start taking an interest, and a few years after a group of we parents arranged to send the older kids to Pliocene Ridge school in next door Sierra county, he decided to put some energy and money into some prefabricated buildings right there on the property, about a quarter of a mile from his main residence, and the kids moved back. My wife worked there as the science teacher. Sometime after we left, Burton ordered the buildings to be taken away so he could start the Theatron project. The parents found a location several miles away, went through tempestuous times financially, changed hands, and is now a charter school open to all, and supported by the county.

All this is to say, that I think the kids from the ‘first generation’ were abused, mostly by neglect, and many didn’t do well afterwards. When I arranged the last reunion at Lake Francis, about eight years ago, about twenty of them arranged their own parallel reunion a few miles away. The only one of them who came to both told me that, on average, they hated the Fellowship and all those followers who had refrained from helping the children—the majority. Although I personally arrived well after this stage, I was also included in the disdain and bitter feelings.

It is true that some of the parents of the later generation were so caught up in “third line work” and service to Burton that they also neglected their kids, but the other parents generally covered for their neglect. We certainly had some ‘regulars’ who came over to play, have dinner (and plainly hadn’t eaten, or bathed, for some time), and sleep over. Someone usually stepped up and took care of their needs. Of those children, some turned out o.k., some not so well (including suicide and attempted suicide). The ones who were nurtured seemed mostly to have survived and thrived. The fact is, there were lots of great group activities, including putting on plays and dances, arts and crafts, and a high standard of Montessori– and Waldorf–based curricula, taught by dedicated and qualified teachers. And, very importantly, I and my wife and those I knew well never tried to indoctrinate or convert our children. I guess (a minority, I hope) of other parents did, to varying degrees, though. It was a huge shock to me when I found out that Richard B. had taught his son Troy that Burton was a god, and should be obeyed and worshipped as such. My daughter’s greatest grievance was being torn away from her friends so suddenly—the shunning of parents who left extended also to their children. So, she still steams about that.

Trying to be as fair and as realistic as I can, I’d say that Scientology as a cult is rather more dangerous than the Fellowship of Friends as a cult. And that, from what I hear, on average, the kids caught up in Scientology fared worse than the kids caught up in the FoF. And I know that it will surprise some of those readers who have followed my posts, but I think that, underneath the grossly mentally ill persona of Robert Earl Burton, the God–Emperor of Oregon House, the narcissist, the lifetime sex and shopping addict, the abject slave of his desires, there was and probably is, buried deep, deep, deep, but there nevertheless, an essentially kind man. That is, he was born a kind person. Whether it was his mother who screwed him up, or later circumstances did, or whether he never had a conscience at all, or it got buried later on, I think he started off as a kind person. I think that is the saving grace—contrary to Ron Hubbard, who seems to me to have been essentially a rather mean and cruel and vicious, even evil person who later or concurrently also became severely mentally ill. Likewise, of course, Alex Horn.

33. John Harmer - December 30, 2020

#32 Ames mentions that buried deep, deep, deep inside Burton may be essentially a kind man. That certainly made me think. It hasn’t been how I have thought of him. He doesn’t seem to have been kind to those he entangled in his web for purposes of sex. Not kind to the man who told me what it was like to have been chosen as his lover in the seventies, when his predilections were a closely guarded secret kept from most other students at the time, and of how he would look at them and know there was no one he could reach out to for help or comfort, as they would have rejected his story as exaggerated and false.

However thinking it over I guess he probably does imagine himself to be kind. Kind is probably not grandiose enough for him, he probably thinks of himself as carrying his students as a sacred burden, an expression of his love and willingness to give of his energy selflessly and gladly, as an expression of his gratitude for his immense good fortune in being selected by higher forces for his role.

There is a trope often repeated of the master having to be hard on his students in order to allow them to realise their full potential. I recall a Hollywood movie where the young man intent on becoming a martial arts adept has to wash hundreds of cars and suffer indignities to temper his spirit. Many films depict the maestro musician teaching a pupil by shouting, “wrong! wrong! do it again!”

Maybe in his heart he thinks he is kind, and living up to that softens some of his actions. But at heart I believe he is selfish and vindictive, and hardly notices the existence of others, considering them lesser beings, machines that he can use as he wishes for his own purposes.

34. ton2u - January 1, 2021

Wishing all a beautiful day and health and happiness in the new year!

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