25 Aug 2008

Critics call the Fellowship of Friends a cult; members say it's a school of spiritual development

Appeal-Democrat California   August 24, 2008

A former believer takes on the leader

by Ryan McCarthy

It's not that the emperor wears no clothes at the 1,171-acre property in the Sierra foothills with a winery, cemetery and main building meant to resemble a French castle, says Elena Haven.

The old folk tale speaks of adults afraid to say their ruler is naked. But Haven, a former member of the Yuba County-based Fellowship of Friends, said silence surrounded the colorful clothes — the salmon pink silk suit, shiny blue shoes or bright yellow pants — leader Robert Earl Burton, 69, sometimes wore.

"It's the picture of the whole phenomena," Haven, 49, said of the religious group that she calls a cult and that she left in 2007 after 17 years as a member.

That Fellowship members don't comment about Burton's clothing during gatherings at the group's headquarters in the foothills community of Oregon House is a symbol of more serious problems, Haven said.

The 6-foot, 4-inch silver-haired Burton, a one-time elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the unchallenged ruler of the Fellowship and doesn't face questions, she said.

Not about his living like a king, not about a lifestyle said to rival a ruler in the last days of the Roman empire, not about the nuclear Armageddon that Burton proclaimed would happen in 2006, not about whether the Fellowship is following the "Fourth Way" system of spiritual development taught by two 20th-century Russian philosophers and mystics, Haven said.

"If you challenge him you have to leave the cult," she said. "No one can understand how crazy this can get."

A fresco-style ceiling painting that includes a depiction of a man with an erection is an example of the excesses of the Fellowship, Haven said.

Last month Haven did something other former members said no one had attempted since the Fellowship established its Sierra foothills site in 1971.

The 5-foot, 3-inch dark-haired Haven began picketing in July at the Rices Crossing Road entrance to the Fellowship property 29 miles outside of Marysville. Most members live in a bubble, unaware of what takes place in the Fellowship's inner circle, Haven said. Her protests came as the group said members from around the world — the Fellowship has centers for students in many countries — were gathering.

"How many more boys, Dear?" read one of her signs, a reference to what Haven said are the half-dozen young men constantly in Burton's company and known within the Fellowship as his boys. "Dear" is the term Burton uses to address members.

The Fellowship reaction to her signs was swift, Haven said. They photographed her, she said. They called the Yuba County Sheriff's Department. When Haven returned the next day to picket again, the Fellowship had put two trucks and a tractor to block the space where she had parked her car, Haven said. A member shouted several times at her, Haven said.

"I was shaking I was so afraid," she recalled, puzzled by the strong reaction to one woman with a few picket signs. "One person standing on the side presents no threat to anyone."

Before the end of the month Haven was in a Yuba County Superior Court courtroom arguing against a lawyer for the Fellowship, which sought a court order to keep Haven away from its headquarters.

When she spoke in court about what she said was Burton's conduct, the judge said it sounded like Haven was accusing Burton of wrongdoing.

"I am not," Haven answered. "I do not think being homosexual is a crime."

The Fellowship more than a quarter-century ago did not allow such sexual behavior.

Homosexuality — along with smoking, firearms and hitting with fists — was prohibited for members in a 1980 guide. By then the group had been at its Yuba County property for nearly a decade. The Fellowship began in the Bay Area and, in 1971, looking for a nearby retreat, settled upon the Sierra foothills land in Oregon House.

Burton was the leader.

From elementary school to the Sierra foothills

In 1967, Robert Earl Burton was a 27-year-old teacher at Springhill Elementary in the Bay Area, coming to work in a coat and tie, carrying a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and talking about sports.

"He was kind of one of the stars," recalled Carol Blackburn, who taught at Springhill when Burton was there. "Everybody loved him."

After a school break he returned, transformed.

He was dressed like a hippie, complete with headband, recalled Blackburn.

Burton resigned his teacher job early in 1967 and in the book "Self-Remembering," a collection of short statements by him, Burton said that six months later that "Influence C" - 44 angels who include Walt Whitman, Buddha and Abraham Lincoln — revealed themselves to him.

"Life after death instantly became a fact," he wrote.

Within a decade Fellowship leader Burton had a blue Rolls Royce with the personalized license plate "Oracle."

On March 19, 1976, a "crystallization" occurred, Burton declared.

"I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby," Burton wrote. "It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished."

"It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved," he said.

Fellowship members and their children came to live in houses around the Oregon House property of the Fellowship and followed guidelines - since changed - on conduct that included wearing contact lenses rather than glasses, using an English accent when speaking and not using contractions in speech.

Bruce Wodhams, 58, now superintendent at the same Lafayette School District in the East Bay hills where Burton once taught, worked in the early 1980s as a school administrator in the Yuba County community of Dobbins near the Fellowship headquarters.

Wodhams remembers students whose parents were Fellowship members telling him the youths weren't to use contractions when speaking.

"The point," he said, was "to make you think all the time about what you're saying."

Haven joined as a 30-year-old in 1990 in London at one of the Fellowship centers after finding a bookmark of the group in a philosophical text she was reading about the Fourth Way — intended to provide the West with a system of spiritual development that develops the body, mind and the emotions.

The mind and its motivations had been a consuming interest since her mother shot and killed herself when Haven was 8 years old.

"I wanted to understand why people did that," said Haven, who began reading philosophy as a teenager.

She said the Fourth Way philosophy is of value but that Burton and the Fellowship no longer practice it.

Haven agrees with a key assertion of a 1996 lawsuit filed against the Fellowship by a former Yuba College student who said Burton had seduced him.

"Fellowship of Friends is a cult whose sole purpose, despite its claims supporting its tax-exempt status, is to satisfy the sexual, financial and power needs of Robert Burton, the leader," the suit stated. "Burton's word is law and cannot be questioned because he is 'awake,' while his followers are 'asleep' and therefore cannot think for themselves."

The 1996 lawsuit was settled before going to trial — the terms remain confidential.

The Fellowship family - and the biological one

Haven in 1998 made what she calls the biggest mistake of her life - deciding to leave her 11-year-old daughter Daniela with the girl's father, whom Haven had separated from years earlier.

Fellowship members, Haven said, are told that "families are biological - that they have no meaning."

Haven said she'd heard how hundreds of other women had done the same thing with family members. And she left her native country of Columbia for Oregon House without her daughter.

"Cults induce brainwashing — an inducement into an ideology that then gets practiced," Haven said. "You are not supposed to be leaving your family, you're supposed to be becoming free of your unnecessary ties."

She regrets the impact her leaving had on her daughter's life. "A child is a wonderful thing to have," Haven said.

Haven's later marriage to Girard Haven, senior minister of the Fellowship, ended because of differences the two had over the Yuba County-based religious group, she said.

In 2007, after three years of taking care of an elderly Fellowship member with Alzheimer's, Haven said she asked for some help — and that the Fellowship banned her from speaking about the situation involving the 87-year-old woman.

"I was treated as though I was saying something wrong," added Haven, who said she helped pay for additional care for the woman.

Haven said the Fellowship strips members of the lives they led before joining the Fellowship and leaves them in a cult where only their money matters.

Former member Susan Zannos, 74, who now lives in Southern California, said the financial demands on members - including such fees as $100 to be photographed with Burton — are constant.

"Every time you turn around you're getting nickled and dimed," Zannos said of requests for money that also include substantial teaching payments to the Fellowship.

Zannos, a member for three decades starting in 1976, said Burton is "the wizard behind the curtain."

The Fellowship's lure is simple, she said.

"Here's this place where everything is spelled out," Zannos said, "and everything is safe."

Sid McCarty, 74, left the Fellowship in 2006 after 28 years as a member.

"It doesn't have a heart," he said of the organization. Departing meant, "I could be myself again."

Another former member said many of those who stay in the Fellowship wonder what will happen if they leave.

Nikea Lea Erwin, 30, a member from 1996 to 2007, said true believers have invested their lives in the Fellowship story of conscious evolution and fear how they would fare emotionally outside on their own.

At the entrance in Oregon House to the Fellowship, Haven returned regularly in July to again picket after a temporary court order keeping her 50 yards from the property. Ames Gilbert, 57, a Nevada County resident who was in the group from 1978 to 1994, joined to picket with her.

"In the Fellowship there is no graduation," Gilbert said, wondering about a school of philosophy that never lets go of its students.

The remote site of the Fellowship, in what's been called the "hidden Sierra" because no major highway runs through the region, benefits Burton by keeping members close and away from communities where they could see life outside Fellowship, Gilbert said.

"The isolation in Yuba County really helps him," said Gilbert.

Protester's goal: 'Be a huge pebble in their shoe'

While the Fellowship has its critics, 64-year-old Tom Richards is not among them. His family has owned 6,000 acres in the foothills since 1942 and the Fellowship property is next to Richards’ ranch in Oregon House.

He recalled a friend visiting from Redding and complaining that the Fellowship was a cult.

Richards responded, “They have a little tiny cult,” and referring his friend’s membership in a traditional religion, added, “You have a big cult.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Richards said.

Haven, however, does worry about the Fellowship – and was not looking forward to a return to court for a scheduled Aug. 8 hearing on the Fellowship’s try for a permanent order to restrict her picketing. When Haven called the Yuba County Superior Court late in July she learned the Fellowship had dropped its legal action.

Rick Ross, who heads a New Jersey-based institute that studies cults, said the group’s initial reaction to take Haven to court over her picketing shows the impact of her actions.

“It’s powerful, in particular, when former members do this,” said Ross, who testified in March in a civil case in federal court in Sacramento that he considers the Fellowship a cult.

Ford Greene, the attorney who represented the former Yuba College student in the 1996 lawsuit against Burton and the Fellowship, said Haven has stuck with her challenge to the group despite the legal action the Fellowship filed over her picketing.

“She wasn’t going to be buffaloed and intimidated and go away,” Greene said.

Haven has rented out her three-bedroom, two-bath home in Oregon House to provide her with some income and pays $250 a month to stay in a 20-foot-long, 7-foot-wide trailer.

She misses some of the comforts of her own home but is happy to be out of the Fellowship after 17 years.

She writes often on a Web site popular with many former Fellowship members who say the Internet can alert people intrigued by the group. Members once left without others knowing why they departed, Haven said, but now their reasons are posted for anyone to read on the Web site.

“The Fellowship cannot hurt me more than it has already hurt me,” Haven wrote in one post. “I may not be able to stop them but I’ll be a huge pebble in their shoe until the end of time.”

“Each prospective student who does not join in the next 20 years,” she said, “is worth all the trouble.”

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  1. Don't people see this type of mental torture while they are in it? why does it take all these people years to see Robert Burton for who he really is? A manipulator to make money. Living in trailors and picking grapes for the rest of your life? Why? to find yourself? I too have an Ex, that is in this cult. Not in Californis yet, but his best friend is and has been in Apollo since 1996. They have not spoken since he left Toronto.

  2. Back in the 1980s the Fellowship was a wonderful institution. I received huge emotional and spiritual growth from The Work, despite living way off in Australia among a tiny population of dedicated students, and having only two brief visits to the Sierra Foothills property.

    I feel it's a highly incomplete depiction of the Fellowship to suggest that its only purpose is financial exploitation of the students and aggrandizement of the teacher. I witnessed countless small miracles of personal transformation in my brief time there, and a sense of transcendental beauty that is extremely rare in the outside world.

    1. Perhaps your geographical distance, being in Australia, and your relatively minor involvement, made it seem so wonderful to you. Simultaneous to your nice experience, others were experiencing something very different. I've heard former (adult) members describe the 70s and 80s as a golden time, before anything went bad. Nonsense. The FoF is a jewel-encrusted, gilded mass of maggot-infested, rotting-but-still-living flesh. Poke the finery, inhale the stench. There was no innocent time before corruption. And everybody was and is complicit. Richard Buzzbee handed his son Troy over to dubious strangers. All our parents did. He didn't know? He should have. RB was "doing" him, and he was kind of ugly. His kid was cute. Didn't know? Nobody knew. Everybody knew. Everybody still knows. When I was 10 years old, we big kids knew that the friendly guy who came around to the "kid's house" was messing with the little ones. We let him 'cause the babies wanted grown-up contact so badly (their parents were off self-remembering and developing their higher states) and would scream if we tried to warn them off. So we let him. And we knew and we told ourselves we didn't. Everybody always knows. We just choose not to so we can maintain an illusion of ourselves as good people, or evolved, or clear, or whatever our own deluded schema calls it.

  3. Farid said...

    I agree with the previous comment.
    It is all up to you what you find in Fellowship.
    It can turn out that it is a cult, it can turn out that it is a School.
    In my case it was a School.

    If you came to Fellowship to have fun or to be happy then you made a mistake. It is about work, not fun or happiness.

  4. I am a 40 year old woman. I was in the Fellowship for 4 years, and then left about 10 years ago. My father was allready a member of the FF for 7 years when i joined.
    3 years after i joined, my father killed himself.....

    I can not stress enough how what is written in this article is accurate-
    My experience of the FF was that it IS a cult, that you Are going through a very sophisticated and manipulative brain washing.
    Most people coming to the cult are have weaknesses that led them to search for answers. The group gently and shrewdly plays on those weaknesses and gradually creates a state of dependence in the member.
    Robert "recommends" that if someone leaves it is better to cut ties with them...Robert "recommends" that you be more and more involved in the group...Robert "Recommends" not to expect happiness, and that happiness has nothing to do with self development.
    I see all these recommendations (and many more) at a sophisticated way of developing co dependency.

    When i was there, i kept hearing stories about young guys that turned gay after Robert slept with them, or just guys that Robert slept with. This, and the constant demand to contribute more and more money (which had to do with the ruin of my family and my father), led me eventually to my leaving.
    I can say allot more, but English is not my native tong.
    I'll just tell you this: there are allot of Narcissistic bustards out there that want to be your spiritual teacher.
    Robert Burton is one of them, For sure.

    1. So sorry about the suicide of your father. Remember the recommendation that if someone was suicidal, we were to refrain from trying to intervene? I guess that's why nobody "noticed" ligature marks on the neck of a twelve-year-old. RB may be a malignantly narcissistic sociopath, but he is supported by an entire organization of complicit minions. Nobody is innocent.

  5. Dear Elena Haven,

    17 years - that's a long time and you wasted it? Let me tell you something: YOU decided to join the fellowship. YOU decided to live in Oregon House. YOU decided to leave your daughter. That's all YOUR sole responsibility. You didn't found a deeper sense in this school, I see. But I wonder if you find it in another one. I'm not a member of the fof, but I know some members and all of them are friendly and on a better way than some Catholics.

  6. Dear Anonymous at Feb 15, 2012 09:54 AM

    You are a fool if you trust people just because they are friendly. Con artists, fraudsters and cult leaders don't deceive people by being mean and scary, they deceive by being friendly, charming and charismatic. They make empty promises and offer phony deals which on the surface appear too good to resist.

    You criticize Elena for her decisions. What your ignorance overlooks is the fact that the decisions she made were not fully informed decisions based on complete transparency and accountability of the group and its leaders. Furthermore, her decisions were made in an environment of emotional, psychological, and spiritual manipulation or coercion.

    No one freely chooses to join an abusive cult. They are deceived, manipulated and indoctrinated to do so. That is not a freely and fully informed decision.

    1. Elena regrets leaving her child in Columbia with her father? Because "a child is a wonderful thing to HAVE?" Probably, it was the best thing she could have done. If she had brought her with, she would have been raised by these people. She would have been one of those perfectly dressed, smiling little ladies and gentlemen who can quote Shakespeare and waltz, but not protect themselves or say "no" and who are primed to become the next generation of abusers.

    2. Good point. I hope she read this!

      Then maybe she'll feel less guilty about leaving her daughter. We do the best we can in a given situation.

  7. learning the principles of what this institution teaches wont do any good if they arnt applied and exercised outside the institution itself. the instituation can only teach a format of living spiritually but if your not exposed to the reality outside of the institution then the reality of what the institution has taught becomes useless. the sole purpose of school and institution is preperation and only by tests can you measure the degree of that preperation. anything other is systematic thought control.

  8. If one refers back to P.D. Ouspensky in "the Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution" he clearly states that ANY sexual deviation or perversion immediately renders the Great Work impossible. Ouspensky himself parted company from Gurdjieff for reasons he did not elucidate. I strongly support Elena Haven's discontent over her experience in Burton's cult. During the 8 years that I was a member, I never knew Robert Burton was a homosexual. I did spend time with him and as an attractive female was grateful he did not make sexual advance as other teachers had. When I found out he was gay, it was a shocking wake up call. What I thought was gentlemanly behaviour was simply homosexuality! In truth it is impossible to closely and consistently observe Robert in REALITY as he poses as a subdued presence. Truthfully he distances himself from most Students. Having been in the Arts nad living in Europe for many years, I had many gay men friends. But Robert was not transparent about his homosexuality and this is suspicious and deceitful. Only after leaving the fellowship, did I learn of the serious sexual crimes Robert committed against so many young male students. I felt a total sense of betrayal and loss. I realized that during the 8 years I was in the fellowship, I was totally deceived and betrayed by Robert. Again, P.D. Ouspensky was precise and clear about sexual perversion rendering the Great Work impossible. Young men were raped while all of us paid huge sums of money for Robert's facade and his horrific sexual perversions. We "footed the bill" for Robert's lavish pretentious lifestyle; his facade of nobility and dignity a complete sham for his true perversions! He has no ethics nor morality. When one learns the hard truth of his outrageous betrayal and deceit it destroys trust forever. Since leaving the fellowship, I have sought more sincere authentic Spiritual studies in Buddhism and Taoism, where I had originally developed my Magnetic Center. Be aware that though the Fourth Way is a wonderful System, there has an inherent flaw: it discourages students from questioning the teacher. Herein is Robert's manipulation. But Ouspensky also emphasizes to VERIFY EVERYTHING. Do not accept "appearances" as Truth. The fellowship is based on extreme perverted lust and greed in excess. I wish everyone to heal from the masquerade of deceit and betrayal. Do not trust the fellowship of friends: they are not friendly nor do they have your best interests in mind. Run as fast as you can from this cult of deceit.

    1. While I do not want to minimize the trauma of being coerced into unwanted sexual situations, an adult young heterosexual man who submits to sex acts with an older homosexual for gifts of travel, Armani suits, jewelry, restaurant meals and other perks is not being raped. He is prostituting himself. I was associated with the FoF from pre-teen to late teenage years, when I was put out on the street in a big city with literally only the clothes on my back. So I know about survival sex. It was raining, and the smiling student who told me I was out would not even give me my coat, which was hanging in the closet behind him. Robert's entourage knows what's up. Everybody does. But they don't. Everybody wants to be innocent, but nobody is.

    2. Unfortunately by ascribing the actions of the young cult members to nothing more than cunning cupidity, you are in denial about the victimization they have suffered. Whether or not they were raped--and many witnesses are coming forward attesting to the rape of minors--they have suffered severe spiritual abuse by a trusted authority figure that they probably felt it was impossible to say no to, first because nobody else in the community would believe them or could be trusted, and second because they had been indoctrinated in the notion that this leader had all the answers and could be trusted implicitly.

      But you should also examine your assumptions. It is quite common for child molesters and the rapists of teens to give their victims gifts, candy, money or privileges, both initially as part of the grooming process (so that the child will trust the perp or be reluctant to be clear with protective adult figures about what is going on (of course these folks often groom the parents as well) but also deeper into the abuse and violence as a way to control the victim by compounding the shame and confusion. It also provides the perp with some sort of internal justification for their actions.

  9. Are some of the members teachers in the local Yuba County public school system?

  10. Since this type of uncounsiousable behavior has continued without any accountability it would only be reasonable that members of the cult are also teachers as Mr. Burton was locally.

  11. In the name of Allah the all mercyfull all beneficent!

    The teaching of the 4. Way was tought by Mr. G.I.Gurdjieff . Mr. Gurdjieff's teacher was the 39.grandshaikh of the Naqshbandi order Abdullah Faiz ad-Daghistani.
    The teaching needs to have a teacher which is connected to a cain of transmission. Gurdjieff was. Bennett was. Ouspensky was brilliant-but was not connected-wasn't accepting Gurdjieffs guidance,which would have been neccesary-made himself a teacher and therefore was not connected. That is why he said to J.G. Bennett'' you are the only one...'' Bennett acceptet to be guided and made his connection with Shaikh Abdullah ad-Daghistani.
    That is why Gurdjieff said at his deathbed: ''I leave you in a mess...'' Bennet was sent by Gurdjieff to his own teacher,and Bennett sent many of his students finally to search for the Head of the Naqshbandi Order.

    The Fellowship of Friends founder Robert E. Burton claims to have permission from above to transmit the teaching. He claims to have the autority from angels and even A.Lincoln which is a proof of distortion. A. Lincoln was not a wise man at all and cannot be considered a guide from above and also others in the list of Mr. Burtons encounter.
    And what came to light of Mr. Burtons abnormal sexual activities,which he states it is ordered from C-Influence to humble him, is a clear sign that Mr. Burton,despite his knowledge,is not able to understand that he confuses the influence of his 'inner devil' and ego with the workings of C-influence. C-influence means influences from the world outside of life itself. Its the influence from the devine presence canneled through heavenly beings as there are angels,prophets,saints and spiritual guides(shaikhs). Mr. Burton often recites sufis but surely failed to take the saying 'Who has no teacher (spiritual guide/shaikh),satan is his teacher'' as granted. If it is true what came to light than he is no longer autorised to teach or represent the teaching. Gurdjieff himself would have cursed such a behaviour. He has to step back repent and beginn from the beginning. People have to leave him as quick as possible and serch elswhere if they consider themself as sincere.The shool is shot down,closed. It failed. Mr. Burton failed.
    He had never and has no permission to use this teaching as he used it and uses it. There is no need for hailing luxury. No! Its rather to avoid luxury as much as possible. This fancy gay lifestile is never accepted in spiritual tradition. Never!! To be gay is no crime but one has to understand that he has to change or has to go. Its a hinderance to higher development. Gurdjieff wasn't accepting it just because he was working with gay people. Its abnormal and remember God doesn't like it but rather hates it. he destroyed a whole comunity in biblical times just because of that-so don't come and tell stupid peaple that C-influence has ordered you to do such disgusting activities. Shame on you ,Mr. Burton,and followers that you go on with this. And shame on everyone supporting and assisting such a man.
    Gurdjieff said that people which are involved in such -on their forhead is written:
    'Candidate for the mentalhouse'

    best wishes


    1. PERRY BULWER: I don't usually allow comments that like, but made an exception as it adds information to the original news story above. Personally, I think anyone who believes in such things is a "candidate for the mentalhouse', as Gurdjieff so crudely put it.

  12. I lived in Dobbins for several years and I had no idea 'the fellowship' existed, until the last month I lived there. Off of Marysville Hwy, on a side road, there was a very small market/gas station that everyone went to. Every time I went there, inevitably, there would be these well dressed people, in linen clothing, wearing handmade shoes for comfort, they spoke Swedish, and other foreign languages, many were very blonde, they'd drive up in BMW's, Mercedes...and they really looked OUT OF PLACE. They looked drugged up, always seemed nervous, or paraniod, and they avoided eye contact. They gave me the creeps! You could spot them instantly because 98% of the true local guys were missing teeth, wore snap button plaid shirts, that they bought at that same little store, smelled faintly of goats, wore dirty ball caps, and drove up in dirty, banged up trucks, pulling metal fishing boats.. I found out about them from a co-worker after I had invited her & her husband to come visit. She happened to tell her mom, who was retired, WAS VERY WELL READ, was an artist, and a world traveler. She and her husband decided to end their travels by driving across the entire USA, staying at all the Thousand Trails campgrounds, BUT ONE, they had missed on the catalog. The one in/near Dobbins. So, they went camping there, and saw the signs for 'the winey'. My friend's mom and husband went to visit it. They meandered through the garden, and then they went inside, and they noticed a door in one of the rooms. It wasn't locked so they went inside. It was a small library. My friend's mom started looking at the book titles, and her being so well read, could see that they were ALL of satanic/cult subject matter. It startled her, but not as much as the foreigner who caught them inside the room, and started screaming at them, at the top of his voice, for them to get out! Screaming questions about what were they doing there, who were they, what did they want, what were they looking for...The man called for reinforcements and they all escorted them off the property, with a warning to never come back. So, my friend's mom decided to do a little research on this winery and found out quite a bit of ugly truth, like child molestation, tax evasion, physical punishment, group sex, ...the USUAL depraved cult activity. To me, they seemed like a bunch of really nerdy wall flowers, you know, like the ones in high school that were drab, self conscious, and blended into the walls, didn't go to the proms, and whenever you look at your year book you wonder who that is. Loosers, who are now together with other loosers, and now they finally have MANY someones they can have sex with. They have horses and dress up in their English riding costumes, and jump, build their own tennis courts, and THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE NOW COOL, and they now allow themselves to do all the dirty things they think we do, like molest children. They believe that DOBBINS WILL BE THE LAST PLACE STANDING ON EARTH, WHEN IT'S ALL OVER EVERYWHERE ELSE...I had gotten 2 bottles of their wine, as a gift, and my friend and I poured it down the drain! ME, I just wonder why they don't use their full name: The Fellowship of Friends, of The Devil.

  13. My Exboyfriend was in the school of Mr. Burton between the end 80s and 90s. As he was quite attractive he got invited to the inner circle quite soon. And Mr. Burton makes it a spiritual exercise to suck the genitals of his mail students, calling it an exercise for consciousness ..... Today this ex boyfriend of mine is an abuser himself, why I decide to write this here anonymously. When he misbehaved, the Fellowship threw him out of the school and no one ever was allowed to talk to him any longer. And nowadays this sick person is totally deranged, but this is so covered in his instant talk about the fellowship of friends and Gurdjeff that people not involved think he is much spiritually advanced .....

  14. @Perry Bulwer: I see a lot of comments here regarding the sexual exploitation. So far as I know, there has not been any cases against him. But I was wondering if you can help me find/inform me if there were any cases against him for molestation or fraud. This would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Perhaps two people quoted in the original article can help with that info? Rick Ross, the cult expert, and Ford Greene, the attorney.