Sunset Star 7 by Brian Sapere


Part 2



Excerpt from an unsigned letter posted on the Gurdjieff Club site:


"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."



27 May 1997
Tuesday 15:34




From Dec. 1969 to Dec. 1973
By Bonita Hightower
First student of Robert Burton


Excerpt:  "At one of these early meetings, Robert said he had only been with his own teacher for 3 years. He also said that his teacher had increased his payments until he had had to hold down 3 jobs to be able to make the payments to be able to remain with his teacher. Then there had come a time when his teacher had told him it was time for him to leave, and go out on his own. Robert said, that he had traveled across the United States, searching for a student, that he may be able to teach, and was it not strange that he had come home, and found one (a student) in his own back yard."



Official biographies


Excerpt from the Fellowship's "Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centers" website:


Robert Earl Burton – Founder of the Fellowship of Friends

[promotional blurb]


The Early Years
In 1967 Robert Earl Burton attended a meeting led by Alexander Horn, and immediately knew that he had found what he had been seeking. Mr. Horn conducted a group based on the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky ideas that used theater as a form for work on oneself. Burton devoted himself to studying the Fourth Way and to participating in Mr. Horn’s group. After eighteen months, however, Robert Burton found it necessary to part from his teacher, realizing that Mr. Horn’s teaching methods were no longer serving his aim.


On January 1, 1970, Burton founded the Fellowship of Friends, a school based on the Fourth Way principles and dedicated to the aim of creating higher consciousness in its members. On July 4, 1971, his students purchased 1,200 acres of mostly uncleared land in the Sierra foothills. For the next five years, Robert Burton focused his efforts on establishing a network of satellite groups or “centers” in California, and on developing the property—later called Renaissance—to serve as a central retreat for Fellowship members and as the focus for their external efforts.


In those early years a major effort was the clearing of the land and the planting of a 365-acre vineyard by Fellowship members. Later a winery was built, and the first wines were produced under the Renaissance label in 1984. At Renaissance, hard physical labor went hand in hand with an intense study of the arts. From the beginning, Robert Burton focused on what has become a signature characteristic of his teaching: the use of the arts to promote an unremitting effort to be present. He established the first Fellowship art collection and traveled extensively in Europe, educating himself and his students in the visual as well as the performing arts. Robert Burton taught the Fourth Way at weekly meetings in the Bay Area for several hundred students, and at “teaching dinners” held six nights a week at Renaissance.



238. Rabbi Burns Says on Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:

February 27, 2007


Seems like the general trend in this blog is now acceptance and sweetness (always popular), but there’s a lot that hasn’t been said yet. So here’s another disturbing concept: white slavery.


Most of us (maybe not FOF students) are aware that there’s a trade in women from poor villages in eastern Europe who are told that they will get a well paid job as a waitress if they move to, say, Austria, but when they get there, they find they are compelled to work in a brothel until their expenses are paid off, and those expenses seem to increase rather than diminish. In other words, they find themselves in a living hell.


In the FOF, “traveling teachers” visit FOF centers around the world, and if they are truly members of the “inner circle” look around for attractive young men whom they think “the teacher” might find useful for his sexual activities. They send photos of a desirable young man to “the teacher”, thereby gaining points in his favour, and if he likes the photos he pays for the airfare of the unfortunate youth (generally from Russia these days) to California. The youth arrives in Oregon House with the belief that he has been honored by “the teacher” for his outstanding spiritual potential, but soon discovers that sexual favors are expected. So what happens then? He calls for a cab and escapes to Yuba City? Unlikely. Probably he doesn’t speak English at all, or only a little. He has a “religious visa” provided by the FOF, which does not entitle him to work outside the FOF. There’s no way he can pay his own airfare back. He becomes a sexual slave.


What goes on at the Galleria (Robert’s home) has only been hinted at here so far. The obsession with blow jobs is only the tip of the iceberg. Some very strange sexual perversions are practiced there. This is not the place to go into the disgusting specifics; just ask any current or former student who lives at “Isis” and who is well enough connected to know about these things. I was not directly involved myself in these activities, but I have spoken one on one to students who were, students who were, unsurprisingly, seriously psychologically traumatized.


All you FOF members who sit on the fence on these issues, or in some cases offer “psychological counseling” to the victims, are indirectly supporting these activities, like the Germans in WW2 who preferred to believe that atrocities were not happening in the camp down the road.


Please try not to buffer this.



101. Vena Says:


“It was hard enough to understand (and believe) that some people have benefited from the membership of FoF, that for them, it was almost a necessary experience.”


Dear Sheik,
I am posting some excerpts from a letter written by Miles Barth in 1989 (four years after he had left) with reflections on this phenomenon. He was one of the first students in the FOF and was alleged by Robert to be a “Man #5. If he is following this blog I hope he will not mind as some of what he had to say could be useful to someone.


“Though I view RB now as a truly evil person, and his group as a pathetic caricature of a “school”, my real interest has focused on the characteristics in both my personality and in human nature in general that were responsible for my remaining in FOF as long as I did.”


“Though I learned much while in FOF, and much more by leaving it, it has been very hard to acknowledge that I was a fool to remain with it for as long as I did, and that I had to remain because I was a fool. RB did not fool me; he fooled himself, and I fooled myself. He exploited our weaknesses because we were there with them, and he could not do otherwise because of his own twisted belief system.”


“I do not judge him now for being homosexual, since I believe that we do not have conscious choice as to our sexual orientation; I judge him evil for the callous abuse of his power over people and his distortion of the 4th Way to serve his selfish purposes. I see my responsibility now as being to understand why I was so susceptible to accepting his distortions, even with reservations. This aspect of the journey has been much more shocking and disconcerting than anything I learned while a member. Anyway, the point of the paragraph, and really of this letter as a whole, is that for me the acknowledgment of my own foolishness was the necessary first step in growing beyond it.”


“I admire your effort to communicate some of your personal truth about RB to members of FOF. I have occasionally contemplated doing something similar, but for various reasons have not. Don’t be surprised if none of them reply; it is still not a wasted effort, because it may help to plant the seeds of doubt in whatever remaining critical faculty a few of them might have. But we can only hear what we are strong enough to bear responsibility for; the rest may as well be in Sanskrit.”



126. Keith Says:


The Fellowship is not now, nor was ever a fourth way school. It does not now and never did have any connection to Ouspensky or Gurdjieff. Ouspensky and Gurdjieff are the bait in the Fellowship “Bait and Switch” spiritual program. The Fellowship is Robert Burtonism, plain and simple. Always has been. The ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky have been distorted beyond reasonable recognition. Post 121. Forget about Fellowship ideas about the system and go directly to the source (at least the written sources).


RB was in a pseudo school conducted by Alex Horn who was never in a school himself. His wife was a student of John Bennett, I don’t know for how long. Alex Horn was not ever in any kind of Gurdjieff work. We were led to believe that Horn had come through the Gurdjieff Work, ie, some connection to the Foundation. He was, I was told, acquainted with Lord Pentland but never participated in group work. This info was given to me by a woman in the Gurdjieff work who had been a movements teacher for 20 years and a group leader for many years after that. She had known Horn through a friend who had dated him briefly in the 50’s or 60’s. She was also close to Lord Pentland so I trust her opinion on this.


RB was in a pseudo school where the teacher, Alex Horn, made things up as he went along. Using In Search of the Miraculous as his guideline. According to Dave Archer, Horn never read anything by Gurdjieff. RB was in this school for sometime over a year and was kicked out for overt homosexual predatory behavior. This according to Pat Patterson. Alex Horn had an anti-homosexual rule in his school. Again see Dave Archer’s website.


So RB in under 18 months went from man 1,2 or 3 all the way to man 5. He had a spontaneous awakening delivered by his guardian Angel Leonardo DaVinci. Give me a break. So we have a guy who never really studied with anyone who understood the ideas of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, started his own school using ideas that he did not really understand, and any time he came across a question he couldn’t deal with either made something up or deferred to “higher forces”. A con is a con is a con. A cult is a cult is a cult. And each and every one of us fell for it in some way or other.


If we hadn’t fallen for this con we would have fallen for some other con. Hopefully what we all get out of our experience, at least those who were not irreparably damaged, is some new level of critical discernment, the ability to be more discriminating in regards to our spiritual pursuits.


Thanks Vena for your thoughts from Miles. I don’t envy the karmic load he has to carry.



251. more history needed? Says:


Trouble Taints a Cerebral Sanctuary
Robert Burton created Fellowship of Friends to celebrate the intellect and offer a haven from nuclear holocaust. But claims of a sex scandal have prompted many members to leave.

L.A. Times/November 4, 1996
By Jenifer Warren

Oregon House, Calif.–Deep in the Sierra foothills, at the end of a twisting road, lies Apollo–an oasis of high culture in the outback. A mock French chateau houses a museum and library stuffed with rare art and books. A vineyard on terraced hillsides produces award-winning wines.

Apollo is the worldwide headquarters of the Fellowship of Friends, whose 2,000 cerebral members believe that keen self-awareness, a positive outlook and immersion in life’s finest things–from Baccarat crystal to Johann Sebastian Bach–offer a path to higher consciousness.

They have been led on this journey for 25 years by Robert Earl Burton, a former schoolteacher who has guided everything from when his followers bear children to what sort of shoes they wear. Burton tells members he speaks with 44 angels who watch over his flock–among them Abraham Lincoln, Plato and Jesus Christ–believers say. Burton also has predicted that Apollo will be the lone surviving outpost after a global nuclear holocaust in 2006.

Disillusioned former members say the fellowship is more than just another California curiosity. A growing number of them–as well as some academics–call it a cult that entraps its mostly well-educated members with a false promise of spiritual evolution. A recently ended lawsuit and accounts from ex-members echo that claim and add another: Burton, they say, has for years seduced young males in the group.

The suit and similar allegations by other members have spurred dozens to leave the group. It was brought by a Marin County man who claims Burton first demanded sex from him at age 17. Troy Buzbee, who had asked for $5 million in damages, charged that Burton brainwashes members into a state of “absolute submission,” allowing him to feed a “voracious appetite for sexual perversion.”

Fellowship officials and their attorney, Abraham Goldman, did not respond to repeated requests for interviews about the group and Burton. The Buzbee suit was settled late last month. Buzbee’s attorney, Ford Greene, would not comment except to say the case “is over.”

Several former members, including some who held high-level positions, said the details in the suit served to confirm for them what a number of followers had come to suspect about the 57-year-old Burton. “For years I ignored or justified a lot of things, but this I could not ignore,” said Pamella Cavanna, 54, who left the fellowship last year after devoting two decades and more than $250,000 to Burton and his teachings. “A teacher should have moral standards that we aspire to. Instead, Robert has standards we are forced to overlook.”

Former members, as well as court records, fellowship documents and Burton’s prolific writings to the faithful, reveal much about the group and a leader who rose from humble beginnings to command a little-known $26-million empire.

To outsiders, the fellowship can have an entrancing face. Its headquarters sprawl across 1,300 acres in Yuba County about 70 miles north of Sacramento. Its Renaissance winery produces cabernets and Rieslings that have been poured for American presidents and are respected by wine experts. The Apollo Opera company recently mounted an acclaimed production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in nearby Grass Valley.


The fellowship also has a reputation in the art and antique world as a serious collector. The group recently liquidated its museum full of antique Chinese furniture, a collection considered among the world’s preeminent holdings. The collection fetched $11.2 million at Christie’s auction house in New York, where Disney chief Michael Ovitz was among the buyers, snagging a pair of elaborately carved cabinets for $607,500.

The winery, opera and antiques–along with the art, gardens, fountains, rare Persian carpets, inlaid Steinway pianos and other valuables sprinkled around the property–reflect the fellowship’s guiding philosophy. A refined social and cultural milieu, writes Burton, helps a believer “awaken his higher centers” and develop an immortal soul.

“Robert always used to say, ‘Beauty creates its likeness in those who pursue it,’” recalls one former member from Los Angeles who asked not to be named.

Attracting Followers

Burton commands an annual salary estimated by the group’s former chief financial officer at $250,000 or more. Members serve as his bodyguards and chauffeurs, and one is often assigned to record his observations for the faithful. Rarely seen around Yuba County, Burton travels frequently in Europe, where he meets with followers and shops for collectibles for his stately Louis XVI-style home on the Apollo grounds.

Partial to silk socks, Burton at one time insisted his underwear be pressed, say ex-members. He also enjoys golf, manicures, fresh flowers, fine wine–and food. Standing more than 6 feet tall, he is slender now but at one point weighed close to 300 pounds.

A butcher’s son born in Mineral, Ark., Burton graduated from San Jose State in 1963 and taught elementary school in Contra Costa County. In 1970, while living in a Volkswagen bus in Berkeley, he formed the fellowship, apparently after convincing a circle of followers that he possessed the powers of a superior being.

“He was quite wonderful then, a charming person of great knowledge,” recalled Stella Wirk, who was one of Burton’s first 10 students. Wirk said she and her husband were expelled from the group in the early 1980s after refusing to pay a $3,000 fine imposed by Burton for violating his rule against smoking.

Today, about 500 followers live and work at or near Apollo. Others live, work or study at more than 65 fellowship “teaching centers” worldwide. They hold regular jobs but, according to ex-members, socialize mainly among themselves and fill their off hours with meetings, dinners, concerts and other fellowship events.

Members are encouraged to limit contact with family and other outsiders whom Burton refers to as “dead” and “food for the moon.” “Men do not understand what an affliction it is to be average and to participate with the stagnate masses,” he once wrote.

The fellowship attracts followers who are highly educated and well-heeled. Believers tithe 10% of their income and make other “donations” throughout the year, according to the group’s literature. An average American member gives more than $6,000 annually, the wealthy much more, said Charles Randall, the fellowship’s former chief financial officer. He quit the group in 1994 after sending a letter to a fellowship official expressing disillusionment and advising him that men felt coerced to join Burton’s “harem.” Randall said the fellowship’s annual income exceeded $5 million when he left.

Many members joined after finding fellowship bookmarks planted in volumes at metaphysical bookstores. The bookmarks guide the curious to upcoming “prospective student” meetings, held at lavish homes rented by the fellowship. After attending three such meetings, a recruit is invited to join, according to a lengthy 1993 explanation of the group written by members and published in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, a Yuba County newspaper.

The group’s roots are in the arcane teachings of two early 20th century Russian philosophers, George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, whose ideas are referred to as The Fourth Way. One central premise is that humans are spiritually “asleep” and must strive for constant self-awareness to achieve true consciousness. Disciples must also refrain from expressing negativity, such as complaining, gossiping or using defensive body language. Such behavior is said to drain energy needed for the pursuit of enlightenment.

“It’s all very stimulating stuff in the beginning–the ideas, the caliber of the people you meet, the music, the fancy dinners, Walt Whitman, all the culture,” said Ron Lancaster, a member for nine years who joined while working at Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo and left over Burton’s alleged sexual conduct. “But there’s no doubt it’s a cult. Our lives were totally controlled.”

Over the years, the members’ personal hygiene, pets, hobbies, reading material and diet all have been influenced by Burton, often through written pronouncements.

In a June 1980 issue of the Renaissance Vine, a bulletin for members, they were told “the exercise of not expressing wit . . . has been resumed.” At one point, Burton told members to trade their eyeglasses for contact lenses because “it makes the face a more beautiful impression.” Any “discomfort from wearing the lenses,” Burton said, “is good for voluntary suffering.”

Another time he told married couples to wait five years before bearing children. Premarital sex and adultery were explicitly prohibited, as were homosexual relationships until the early 1990s, ex-members said. For a long period, women were required to wear skirts.

Members were notified in 1979 that “a new exercise begins this month: We are to avoid placing our elbows on flat surfaces such as tables or desks; armchairs are fine. . . . Additionally, we are asked to avoid using the word ‘thing,’ beginning August 1.” To help shock members into spiritual wakefulness, Burton has periodically banned the use of such everyday terms as “I,” “really,” “oh” and “hi.”

“It was strange,” said Lancaster. “Instead of saying, ‘I’ll have a cup of coffee,’ you’d say, ‘It wants a cup of coffee’ or just, ‘Cup of coffee.’”

As part of his emphasis on refined living, Burton once sought to turn his flock into a replica of an 18th century English aristocracy. Members took Anglicized names and were told to use their utensils in the European fashion, with the fork in the left hand, tines pointed down. During this period, the common “cookie” became a “biscuit.”

Inside the Fellowship

Burton is also regarded by followers as a prophet. When he forecast a worldwide recession in 1984, believers urgently stockpiled provisions and weapons. He has predicted that a 1998 earthquake will consume the West Coast but spare Apollo. As for the 2006 apocalypse, Burton says Apollo is an “eternal city” that will preserve culture for the ages. Some ex-believers say now that Burton’s rules and pronouncements were a distraction, Wirk said, “to keep us from reflecting on what was really going on.” At the time, however, the members said they followed Burton faithfully, believing that obedience would accelerate their spiritual growth.

“When people join these groups, they don’t go in planning to surrender their critical thinking and personal autonomy to the will of the big kahuna. But that’s exactly what happens,” said Joel Friedlander, a fellowship member for 22 years who was editor of Burton’s 1991 book, “Self-Remembering.”

“The indoctrination is so complete, and the peer pressure so great, that gradually the old you is replaced by a new you who believes all the propaganda, including the line that eternal damnation is the price of getting out.”

Margaret Singer, a professor emeritus of psychology at UC Berkeley and a cult expert, said the fellowship uses techniques common to many cults. Veneration of a single living leader, authoritarian structure and intensive control of members’ lives fit the classic profile, she said.

“They look for people who are a bit lonely or needy and they shower them with love, making them feel special,” said Singer, who has tracked the fellowship and talked with many alumni. “From there, the control and manipulation happen one step at a time.”

With the fellowship, Singer said, “it’s all centered around giving money to Burton . . . his personality sets the tone and controls every little thing the group does.”

Once in the fellowship, members become addicted to the feeling of belonging to a blessed elite, ex-believers say. Leaving that behind–especially after large investments of time and money over a period of many years–takes tremendous will, they say.

“It was terrifying to leave, because you’re trained to view outsiders as this mass of sleeping humanity with no possibility,” said a Bay Area woman who spent 20 years as a traveling teacher in the group. “And when you finally do get out, the fellowship community–95% of all the people you’ve known for the last 20 years–just drops you. You feel like you’ve wasted your life and have no place in the world.”

Many ex-members said they were not spurred to leave until allegations emerged about Burton’s sexual behavior. For years, they said, the teacher’s alleged conduct was unknown because of strict rules against gossiping or speaking ill of him. Moreover, they said, Burton claimed to be celibate, saving his sexual energy for the good of his flock. Word of the leader’s alleged habits first slipped out in 1984, when Samuel Sanders–a former member of the fellowship board of directors–sued the group, claiming fraud and alleging that Burton used his “god-figure role” to prey sexually upon impressionable young men. The Sanders suit–which was settled in 1988–led an estimated 100 members to quit.

A similar number left in 1995 after ex-member Richard Buzbee wrote an open letter to the fellowship’s followers, claiming that Burton had demanded sex from him and had a sexual relationship with Buzbee’s son, Troy, for many years.

Troy Buzbee, now 27, sued last April, claiming that Burton first seduced him when Buzbee was 17. Declaring himself “an angel in a man’s body,” Burton allegedly told Buzbee that the gods wished for the two to be close.

“Burton would kiss [Troy Buzbee] on the forehead, which he said represented the seat of the soul and then instruct [Buzbee] to ‘separate’ from his body and just ‘let go,’” said the suit, which alleged the sexual encounters continued for more than five years and that Burton had sex with other young men. Although Buzbee said he was repulsed and suffered “self-loathing,” his “brain was programmed to believe that there was no place to go,” the lawsuit said.

Troy Buzbee is now married with a young daughter. He declined to be interviewed after the suit was settled, said his lawyer.

Numerous other ex-members have told similar stories in open letters to the membership and to each other, in newspaper accounts and in interviews with The Times.

[John Doe], Burton’s secretary and chauffeur in the mid-1970s, has alleged that Burton forced him to have oral sex on many occasions, assuring [Doe] that surrendering to him would “please the gods and help my soul evolve.

“To understand how this can happen, you have to realize that this man is considered the height of the human species, the second Christ, the light,” [Doe], a member for 18 years and now an artist in South Lake Tahoe, told The Times. “Your instinct, of course, is to run away and refuse him. But how do you reject the teacher, the person in whom you’ve placed all your faith?”

[Doe] has copies of letters from other ex-members describing sexual relationships with Burton. [Doe] wrote to Goldman seeking an apology from Burton, and in a June 9, 1990 response, the fellowship attorney wrote that Burton was willing to apologize if [Doe] agreed not to sue in the future. [Doe’s] charges were reported in 1993 in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

Bruce Levy, an ex-member who restores rare books in Grass Valley, also has discussed having a sexual relationship with Burton. “No one held a gun to my head,” said Levy in an interview with The Times, “but in a spiritual sense, he did. Under his teachings, one has to do what one doesn’t want to do in order to evolve spiritually. . . . It’s the least you can do for your teacher.”

Goldman, Burton’s attorney, acknowledged in a 1995 article in the San Diego Union that the leader had sex with the senior Buzbee and at least one other male follower. Goldman said it was Burton’s policy not to make public comments, and added that “we don’t think a [sexual] relationship between a leader and a member of the congregation is abusive in and of itself.”

Good Neighbors

Despite the controversy around Burton, the fellowship enjoys a relatively comfortable coexistence with its neighbors in Oregon House, a wisp of a town populated by retirees and urban refugees. In the early years, locals were wary of the newcomers, who poured in with chain saws to clear manzanita and terraced the hills to plant grapevines. The group also raised suspicions by closing a county road that crossed its property and buying up surrounding land when it became available.

Yuba County Assessor David Brown said the fellowship has rankled some people by seeking special tax exemptions to avoid paying property taxes, which totaled $273,000 last year. When one exemption–for the Apollo museum–was denied, the fellowship took the matter to court but ultimately lost. The fellowship is exempt from state and federal income taxes as a religious organization.

“At first . . . there was a lot of anxiety about them,” said former county Supervisor John Mistler. “But they’ve worked hard on their image.”


Some civic leaders now view the fellowship and its Renaissance winery–the county’s third-largest taxpayer–as a source of pride. The group keeps a stretch of road litter-free through the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program and gives generously to the local Lions Club. “This year, they’ve offered $10,000 toward our new community center, and around here, that’s a big deal,” said Ken Eaton, a retired contractor in Oregon House. “We don’t understand them, but we live with them.”

Meanwhile, ex-members say they live with lingering effects of their time at Apollo. One woman, who has been out of the group for two years, cannot listen to Bach without feeling a chill. Another catches herself standing in a daze in the supermarket, unable to make decisions such as which brand of soap to buy.

Janja Lalich, who runs a support group for ex-cult members in Alameda and who has counseled fellowship alumni, said such “mental traumas can be devastating.”

“The real tragedy of groups like the fellowship,” she said, “is they rip off the best and brightest people in society and use them like slaves for years. When these people get out–if they get out–there’s an awful lot of pain to overcome.”

Scott Wilson of The Times library contributed to this story.

written by:
Jenifer Warren
Los Angeles Times, Capitol Bureau
Sacramento, California
(916) 445-8860



6. Rita Penfold Says:


Dear All,


Yesterday I received a message from my close friend Kosta Dmitriev from St.Petersburg, which he sent to the students in Russia.


I thought that it was quite funny (if it wasn’t sad), and asked Kosta if I could translate it and post it on the blog, to which he agreed. If you have any questions, you’re free to ask Kosta directly, his email address is:


To those who don’t know Kosta personally, I am pleased to tell that he is one of those handsome young Russian men who rejected Robert’s advances.

Dear friends,


Thank you very much for the time we spent together, it was wonderful.


As many before me, I decided to leave the school when I discovered the details of sexual ‘adventures’ of the teacher.


Of course, as everybody else in the school, I knew that Robert is a homosexual. So what? So many great people and even our friends were and are homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites – nobody is shocked by this nowadays. Especially among the different kinds of ‘spiritual seekers’, where there are always many, let’s say, exotically oriented people. That’s not the case, as me and my wife too, sometimes doing such things, that… let’s not talk about it.


Back to business, here are the results of my observations and investigations.


The school as organisation and its exercises are intended to:


1. Attract sponsorship for the very expensive and exquisite erotic games of Robert and Co. Teaching payments are spent on expensive clothes, often made to order for the boys and the entourage; original Viagra pills which cost $50 per tablet (completely identical ones in India cost $0.5). Air tickets and 5-star hotels for the harem; fake passports which are bought from Italian mafia, for the especially treasured lovers from Russia, and of course, for the new centres in developing countries, where new ‘members’ (‘member’ in Russian is the same word for penis – Rita) are so cheap. Also, 5-figure sums for the lawyers and parents of some of the ‘woken up’ underage victims of the teacher’s ‘mischievous’ activities.


2. Cover up the very fact that those orgies are taken place just before and after the meetings and are the main interest of the teacher in his school and the reason for its existence.


The cover-up is necessary in order to prevent students from thinking about how the teacher was using his mouth just before he kisses their foreheads. Many wouldn’t like to think about it at all. Of course, there will always be those who will work with acceptance and continue to be present to any sort of madness. But most students would leave the school to be present elsewhere.


Robert is interested only in young men, only straight (otherwise it’s not such fun to ‘get’ them), usually in financial need, preferably spiritually unripe and, what’s called in Russia, ‘without a King in the head’, and with high level of conformity of behaviour. That’s it.


Yes, my friends, it’s all about ‘members, members and more members’. Preferably big in size and several at the time. But if only that was all…


The stories of the participants are beyond even the most perverse sexual imagination.


One student has almost choked on the teacher’s penis while giving him a blowjob. He had to be rescued by his fellow orgy-participants from the unstoppable in his sexual urge teacher.


The ‘height’ of those stories is the ‘Fountain of Eternal Youth’. What do you think that would mean? Very simple. Students are pissing in the teacher’s mouth. One at the time, or all together. I asked about the next, you know, logical step… They said – yes! That step has been taken. Sometimes all would get smeared. And why? You won’t believe… Gurdjieff ordered from the astral plane!!! In order to be more present!


It’s understandable that such moments of presence will never be forgotten. You’ll be in the third state without any effort, and maybe even beyond third state, as many afterwards live their lives, wearing ‘horse faces’ forever.


You will ask me, what makes these people do this? It’s very simple, really: everybody does it, they say. It’s accepted behaviour. You know about ‘norms of group behaviour in the totalitarian sects’.


Strangely, but many continue to interpret what happened to them in terms of the enlightenment. As a special, mystical experience of presence, which they would not get anywhere else. And, at the same time, they hate Robert for what he’s done to them and cherish plans for revenge (usually blackmail of some kind). It’s understandable, because otherwise you’d have to admit that you’ve been simply …..


Some invested too much in the school, suffered, paid; some simply have nowhere else to go. Most students simply don’t know many things, despite the fact that all information is published on the Internet. And, except for the ‘special’ details, it’s known to the ‘old’ students. I didn’t know the details myself, so I was hoping that Robert’s ‘antics’ were simply ‘free love’ with a bit of tantra. But, according to the participants, the whole thing is completely rotten and Robert is a typical ‘post-traumatic psychopath’. Of course, you can continue as if it wasn’t true, but then you’ll have to pay him, and that is a question of moral standards which, as any case where one is trading one’s conscience, is deeply personal. For me, it’s simply too much. It’s your business now, think for yourselves.


I wish you with all my heart to wake up before, and not during, the time when you are asked to piss someone in the mouth, given the reason of working on the 3rd line of work.


Thank you. You are welcomed any time to call or to write me.





THAT GIRL July 25, 2007


Re:  “There is no doubt that even with Robert huge sex life and greed he loves his students from his heart, and guess what even loves his former students. He is very sensitive in my opinion. ….I had a sexual relationship with the teacher and because I was homophobic at first it was dificult; but in my case I set the limits with Robert and he agreed. Now with others, I understand that they may have had bad experiences. ….There is alot of morality around sex and so many of us will have our opinions of what should be right or wrong. It is really subjective.”


Dear Fat Boy


There are few stories from wives of RB boys for good reason – the shame involved is incredible. But, believe me, we are around in numbers. The shame is two fold, one at being a wife or serious girlfriend whose beloved man is having regular sex with someone else. But the shame I most want to talk about is living with, witnessing, the man’s shame. My husband was with RB a long time ago and he is NOT homosexual and the sex was coerced (he was an ‘idiot’ type). He was shamed into it by not being a ‘high’ being as RB. After being shamed into the sex, it was incredibly shameful for him to have enjoyable physical sensations. It haunted him for years and impacted his manhood – his perception of his manhood. This is VERY IMPORTANT for a man, it goes to the very CORE OF HIS ESSENCE and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with feminine dominance or morality. RB shit on these men a festering scum cloud deep into their core. It takes extreme measures to heal from that and clean it out. I feel very sorry for you and very sorry for a woman who loves you – your cloud is still festering.



240. Ames GilbertDecember 9, 2009


I’ve tried to avoid telling other people’s stories, but since this one was told to me and it had a really big effect on me, I’m going to go ahead. When I started asking people about their sexual experiences with Burton, something unexpected happened. Somehow the word that I was interested got around, and people started approaching me, unbidden and unexpected.


One night, a man called and asked if I would talk with him. I agreed, and expected the conversation to continue over the phone. Instead, he asked if he could come and talk in person, right away. I said okay, and then, just before calling off, he said, “By the way, I want to bring my wife”. I said that was fine, and did he mind if my wife was present; I told him that she was completely trustworthy and would provide balance.


Five minutes later, he was there, with his wife. They were pale and distraught and obviously in turmoil. The next hours were some of the most amazing of my life. This man told me about his relationship with Burton in detail, and it was revolting from every point of view. The relationship had been going on for four years. One of the more surreal aspects of all this is that most of this was new to his wife. She had only learned the fact of the sexual relationship the previous day, without details. She was processing all this right in front of my eyes, and I could see her reaction to all the details as her husband told them. He was confessing to her and us at the same time, and his grief and shame and agony, and hers, was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had in my life.


As all this unfolded, I was also conscious that this was a very rare moment, that the unvarnished truth was being told, and I must remember everything.


When the first wave had finished (about twenty minutes), I was aware of the incredible anger building up in his wife. She was boiling with rage and plainly wanted to be elsewhere. I felt I should say something, so I asked him if he minded if I asked him questions. Obviously, I asked how it started. He told me that Burton asked him to stay on after a ‘Symposium’ where everyone had a great deal to drink. Burton took him to a bedroom and told him to get undressed. The man knew enough about Burton to guess what was about to happen, and protested. Burton told him that his reluctance was due to ingrained mechanical morality, and specifically that working against this would aid his evolution. This convinced the man; he for sure agreed that this would be deeply against his nature, so it would indeed be very strong ‘work on his mechanicality’. After oral sex on the man, Burton then told him to lie on the floor.  Burton then masturbated to climax over him.


This was the pattern of the relationship. Every time the man had doubts, Burton told him that he was advancing, that he was on the fast track of evolution, that the angels approved, that he was privileged, that his spiritual future was assured. It was also the sexual pattern. As this unfolded, I was conscious that I was hearing a description of pure, unmitigated evil.


So we found out that all this time, his wife had no idea. She was not a follower when they met, and only joined because he was already a member. She liked the people, but did not particularly empathize with what the FoF claimed. She had had a strong (but not fundamentalist) religious upbringing. But she did know she loved her husband. She started talking, her words were of disbelief and betrayal. “How could you have done this?” she asked over and over again. My wife and I were just spectators for the next hour, and we might just as well have been invisible for most of the time as they thrashed with the issues.


When the second wave was over, we tried to comfort them. I could see that now a period of doubt and regret had started. Why on earth did they come to two strangers and spill all this out? After a while I asked. Because the people that they knew, the regular Fellowship folks, could not be trusted. They had no one to turn to. They had to express and confess. The wife felt so stupid. The man felt such shame, felt such a fool. He should have known better, he should have told his wife immediately, but the longer he avoided it, the harder it became.


Then we started talking about conscience. I buried mine, the man said, I can see that now. I knew at the time that this was wrong for me, but I thought that Burton knew better, and that sacrificing mechanicality was what was needed for awakening. Burton assured me over and over again that I was on the road to awakening, that my understanding hadn’t caught up yet.


We talked for another hour about what this meant. What is the nature of betrayal? What can be learned from it? What is the nature of forgiveness? Is there such a thing as volitional forgiveness, or is all one can do is prepare the ground as best as one can and invite forgiveness in when it is time?


The last fifteen minutes we spent hugging and caring, and then they went back home, with at least a temporary peace.
And they did stay together.


From this, I deeply understood why a man would submit to Burton. As I’ve said before, I don’t know what would have happened if Burton had pressed me, had not taken ‘no’ for an answer. DC is right in one way, anyone could say ‘no’, and most of us were adults in the technical sense. But DC is very wrong in the most important way. Burton uses his authority and power to get his way. The Fourth Way demands that one give up one’s will to a teacher, and Burton certainly demands that. What do you do when it comes to the crunch? Burton either claims outright or by implication (and it’s a damn strong implication, DC, whatever you say) that this is an excellent way to ‘work against mechanicality’. And the idea that once we’ve turned 18 we are all adults, all competent and able to prevail in the world is nonsense. In some very important ways, many people attracted to the FoF are children who want to be told what to do.



Res Ipsa Loquitur

January 20, 2008 by Pavel


Some ideas and thoughts on the Fellowship of Friends. Taken from the previous discussions, which are to be found here and on Animam Recro.

Collected and assembled by UnoAnimo.

unoanimo July 28, 2007 at 8:41 pm | Reply

A list of circumstances and convictions upon the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton that are as applicable now as they were 10 years ago.

Fellowship Of Friends – A Cult In Oregon House, California.
Another lawsuit filed against F.O.F/Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Robert Burton, Girard Haven, Abraham Goldman, Helga Ruth Mueller, and Clair Bowen – directors of Fellowship of Friends, Inc. The lawsuit brought by Troy Buzbee and filed on April 29, 1996 in the County of Yuba.


Complaint for Damages is in Case #060209


1. Fraud
2. Intentional infliction of emotional distress
3. Negligent infliction of emotional distress
4. Breach of fiduciary duty
5. Negligent supervision
6. Sexual misconduct with a minor
7. Sexual harassment
8. Wrongful discharge
9. Negligence
10. Failure to pay minimum wage
11. Battery


Fellowship Of Friends Cult – By Michelle M. Milligan


“Within the pages of the case are facts and details concerning sexual and perverted acts practiced by Burton, his philosophies and ideologies expected of the members.”

According to the case, Robert Burton, “The Teacher”, as referred to by members, began the corporation Fellowship of Friends in 1971.

The “Fourth Way philosophy" is taught and practiced by the Fellowship of Friends. The location of The Fellowship of Friends herein referred to as the F.O.F. is in Oregon House, however the F.O.F. refers to their location rather as “The Renaissance”.

Troy Buzbee’s father became a member of the F.O.F. in 1976. Richard Buzbee’s son Troy was only seven years of age. Richard Buzbee was told that if he paid his teaching payments each month and followed the tasks and suggestions of the teacher, Robert Burton, that he would enter “the way”, become “conscious” and “immortal”. He was told that Burton was a “conscious being” and that he was “celibate". He was told that he could trust Burton completely with his body and soul.

From 1976 through May 1994, Troy’s father was a member of the Fellowship of Friends. As Plaintiff Troy Buzbee grew up, he regarded Robert Burton as a God. According to the case, distinction between Burton and Troy’s father was not clear to him at times. Troy Buzbee became a member on October 10, 1986 when he was 17 years of age, virgin.

After Defendant Burton and Defendant corporation Fellowship of Friends, Inc’s factual representations and undue influence caused Troy Buzbee to lose his ability to think independently, he became increasingly subject to the domination, control and undue influence practiced, implemented, and used by said Defendants.

In direct consequence of such deception, coercive persuasion, brainwashing and undue influence, Defendant Burton used Troy Buzbee, among hundreds of other young men, for the partial gratification of his satyriasis, an uncontrollable compulsion to engage in sexual conduct with scores, if not hundreds, of men. In addition thereof, Defendant Burton exploited Troy Buzbee for the provision of cheap labor, well under the minimum wage.

Said exploitation continued off and on until the time when Troy Buzbee terminated his membership with Fellowship of Friends, Inc., in August 1994.

Commencing in December 1986, Burton would have “teaching dinners” during which he would ply Troy with alcoholic beverages. After one particular such meal in December 1986, Burton instructed Troy to come to Burton’s room and to shut and lock the door. Burton told Troy that Burton was “an angel in a man’s body”, and the gods wished for Troy to be close to Burton. Defendant Burton then held him in an embrace.

Defendant Burton said, “Influence C wishes you to be close with me." He repeatedly assured Troy that his “soul was not (his) body, and that the angels wished for (Troy) to be with (Burton).”  Burton explicitly told Troy that the “angels” wanted Troy to disrobe, and the “angels” wanted Troy to submit to Burton’s sexual advances because Burton himself was an “angel” and "a goddess in a man’s body".

Burton said to Troy, “I promise you I am an angel in a man’s body.” “You have to remember that I did not write the play about Robert Burton.” Burton would kiss Troy on the forehead which he said represented the seat of the soul and then instruct Troy to “separate” from his body and just “let go”.  Burton reminded Troy that Troy’s body would soon decay while his soul was immortal.

Burton told Troy that he would talk to him after he died using the same soft voice he used at the time. Burton explained that for him the interaction with Troy went beyond conventional sex and into “super-sex”, which was a method of characterological evolution.

Defendant Burton stated, “My sexuality is on the level of Super-Sex.” From December ‘86–April ‘94, Troy submitted to Burton’s demands, which were: Drop out of college, provide Burton with sexual favors and provide hour long massages after Burton had been sexually serviced.

Burton used money from the corporation to pay other members for performing specific sexual acts. In denominations of $50 or $100.

The case mentions one case of “specific sexual acts” performed on Burton by Karl Feldman, Troy Buzbee’s best friend. Burton spoke openly about his sexuality in the form of jokes at the all-male dinners that he would often lavishly host at all-male, all-you-can-drink “symposiums”.  He would boast that “one hundred boys would not be enough (for his sexual appetite)".

Troy worked at the gatehouse on F.O.F. property. Burton directed certain members who are “guards” to arm themselves with firearm-type weapons. Burton then had him become his “personal” guard. During the next four years Troy observed numerous men in Burton’s room in a single night. Troy was asked to massage Burton after his lovers left.

According to the case, Burton suffers from sexually transmitted diseases. He made no effort to tell Troy. As a consequence, Troy acquired viral herpes. In addition, Troy suffered from stomach ulcers.

Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc. was built as a bomb-shelter in obeisance to Defendant Burton’s prophecies regarding massive and wide-spread disaster and chaos in the near future.

Defendant Burton uses Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc. as his alter ego in the same way he uses Defendant Fellowship Of Friends, Inc.

According to the case. . .
At all times mentioned herein, Defendants Girard Haven, Abraham Goldman (also an attorney), Helga Ruth Mueller, and Clair Bowen were members of the board of directors of the Defendant corporation, Fellowship Of Friends, Inc.

At all times mentioned herein, all of the Defendants were acting as the agents and servants of each other and in doing the acts complained of acted within the scope of their agency and employment, at the direction and with the knowledge and ratification of the other Defendants.

The Defendant Burton at all times mentioned herein, dominated, influenced and controlled, and does now dominate, influence and control the Defendant corporations and the directors and officers thereof, as well as the business, property and affairs of the Defendant corporations.

At all times mentioned herein, there existed and does now exist, a unity of interest and ownership between the Defendant Burton and the Defendant corporations; the individuality and separateness of said Defendant and Defendant corporations has ceased; and despite knowledge of these facts, Defendant corporations and its officers and directors have had notice of, acquiesced in and agreed, consented to, and ratified the conduct of Defendant Burton as herein alleged.

At all times since its corporation to the present time, the Defendant corporations have been and are now a mere shell and naked framework which the Defendant Burton has used and does now use as a conduit for the conduct of his personal business, property and affairs.

Defendant corporations are subject to a unity of control, and its corporate structure was created as an attempt to avoid payment of taxes and civil judgments and to confuse courts and those seeking redress for these Defendant’s acts. Due to the unity of personnel, commingling of assets, and commonality of business objectives, these Defendant’s attempts at separation of Defendant corporations and Defendant Burton should be disregarded.

Defendant Robert Burton directs, controls and operates Defendant corporations and uses them to enforce his orders and carry out his attacks on groups, agencies or individuals, including the acts against Troy alleged herein, to the extent there is no separate identity between Burton and said Defendant corporations, and any claim of such separate identity should be disregarded.

The Defendant corporations were created and are being continued and maintained pursuant to a fraudulent plan, scheme and device, created and operated by the Defendant Burton, whereby the benefits and products of the income and revenue of the Defendant corporations are diverted for the use and enjoyment of the Defendant Burton through the Defendant corporations to himself, while concealing the truth of his financial relationship with Defendant corporations.

Prior to the formation of F.O.F. and Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Burton formed a conspiracy in concert between the corporations for the express purpose and intent of developing and implementing a plan and scheme which would permit Burton and co-conspirators to:

a. use, abuse and exploit the fiduciary relationship between the Defendant Burton and the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., on the one hand, and the members of and contributors to the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., on the other hand, for their own personal unlawful gain; and

b. to use, abuse and exploit the fiduciary relationship between the Defendant Burton, as ‘founding minister’, and selective members of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., for the express purpose and intent of performing unlawful and perverted sexual acts upon the persons of said members, including Troy, and by causing certain of the members, including Troy, to work for Defendant corporation Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc., and Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc.

That all times pertinent hereto, the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., and the Defendant Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, Inc., were formed and operated by Burton and said other Defendants for their sole and exclusive aggrandizement and to create an ambiance of neo-religious import which was and is currently being used by Burton and the other Defendants to manipulate, unduly influence and control the minds, bodies, and the assets of the members of the Defendant corporations for the sole and exclusive purpose of 1) satisfying Burton’s satyriasis – his voracious appetite for perverted sexual pleasure and elegant life-style; and

2) diverting the contributions and donations of the membership to their own use and purposes.

Members of the Fellowship are required to donate ever-increasing sums of money as they become further and further vested as members of the Fellowship with the caveat, that when donations required of them are not timely and completely made, their membership is either revoked or they become indentured servants of the Defendant corporation in residence at its principal place of business for nominal compensation and are required to perform degrading menial tasks on a full-time basis at the whim and caprice of the Defendant Burton and other authorized representatives of the corporate Defendant Fellowship Of Friends, Inc. and Defendant Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc.

All donations made by members of the Fellowship are devoted either to the continuing worldwide recruitment of new and replacement members with fresh money to contribute to “the cause” or the acquisition of assets, including but not limited to, Defendant Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc., which are ostensibly being acquired for the use and benefit of the membership but which are, in reality, being acquired for the personal benefit and aggrandizement of Defendant Burton and some or all of the other individual Defendants named herein.

Meanwhile, Defendant Burton annexes free and unfettered use and enjoyment in and to the assets of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., Defendant corporation Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc., and the benefits to be derived there from, including, but not limited to, the provision money for bribes to young male members to prostitute themselves in an intensification of Defendant Burton’s compulsion and demand for sexual servicing of his long-standing state of satyriasis.

The entire purpose, scope and extent of the aforesaid plan and scheme, as implemented by said Defendants, is to effectively deny the members of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, Inc., not only the right to participate in its rituals and teachings on an ongoing basis but also, and of equal importance, to deny members of said Defendant corporation, including Plaintiff, of their just right to participate as beneficiaries entitled to use and enjoy the property of said Defendant corporation.

Troy suffered from fright, horror, grief, shame, anger, humiliation, embarrassment, chagrin, disappointment, worry, self-loathing, self-betrayal and self-distrust.

Haven, Goldman, Mueller, and Bowen knew of all these afore-mentioned practices of Burton. They have aided and abetted Burton in his efforts. They knew of Burton’s diseases and said nothing.


At all times pertinent hereto, Defendant Burton, and the other Defendants, caused Troy’s mental and emotional centers to become deceptively and coercively inculcated with the following tenets:

a. Defendant Burton communicated with “C-influence” which was provided by “44 angels” which were each individually named including, but not limited to, "Jesus" and “Benjamin Franklin”, “Lincoln” and “Bach”, and that Burton was the Fellowship’s only connection with said “angels”.

b. Defendant was and is the most important person on the planet since Christ.

Defendant Burton claims a numerology of consciousness where he has already advanced to a man number 7.3, with Christ being a man number 8.

Burton is above man-made laws, a moral law unto himself.

c. “C-influence” brought Troy to the Fellowship and Defendant Burton, and that Troy’s interactions with Defendant Burton would be the most important relationship that Troy could ever have.

d. Defendant Burton is assisted by “C-influence” to guide the spiritual evolution of the member “students” with “shocks” designed to help them “awaken”.

e. The members of the Fellowship are special and set apart by higher forces for survival. Members of Defendant Burton’s “inner circle” must associate only with Fellowship members, must disregard non-members and demonize ex-members, who are critical of Burton, whom “the gods” will “destroy”.

Such ex-members’ opportunities for growth and development are terminated, failing to submit to Burton.

f. Defendant Burton possesses gift of prophecy that is infallible.

g. In 1998 California will “fall” in huge earthquake whereupon people will die in massive numbers.

h. In 2006 there will be an Armageddon, where all humans everywhere, except for members of the Fellowship, will be expunged by higher forces.

i. Members of the Fellowship will inherit the world’s material goods and act as the “Ark” for a new civilization based on that of the Greeks of about 450 B.C., and are thus presently preparing themselves to bear the torch of civilization now and in the future.

j. By following Defendant Burton’s directives so as to gain “being” (depth of character) through separating from suffering and immersing themselves in culture, mostly Western art, classical music, opera and ballet, Fellowship members, including Troy, are preparing themselves for being the “Ark”.

k. Everything the members of the Fellowship, including Troy, had learned since birth was “false” and caused him to exist in a kind of “waking sleep”.

The Defendant Burton informed Troy that in order to “awaken”, he had to replace what was “false” with what was “true”, which was defined as the system of ideas as The Fourth Way, including all the “new” knowledge that Burton had added to that system.

l. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that without “C-influence” Troy could not “awaken”.

m. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that to “awaken” was the only way to avoid having the purpose of his life be to provide “food for the moon”.

n. Defendant Burton stated, and states, that Troy’s people outside the group as “life-people,” he said were “tragedies.” Burton said Troy’s own mother was such a “life-person” and that the Fellowship was Troy’s “real” family and Burton was his “Father.”


o. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that any challenge to the extent of Burton’s excesses of greed and satyriasis to be a lack of understanding of his practice of "crazy wisdom”, which he asserts that he must force himself to perform, is forcing himself to live that way for the good of the members as a “lesson”.

_______________________End Quote



unoanimo July 29, 2007 at 2:41 am | Reply

   Misdiscription and Willfull Misconduct (among others)

Why was it essential for FOF-style evolution that Isis/Apollo/Renaissance be preserved as the seat of squalid, deeply entrenched poverty over decades? How can anyone in their right mind think Isis lifestyle is or ever was actually good for their children, YOUR children? How much more time out of your brief lifetime are you willing to throw away, your precious time bleeding away like good money after bad, because waking up from the FOF dream is just too unthinkable? When do the wives realize that their hubbies didn’t just have a few isolated experiences of sex with RB, but still do it every time they go to a wine cellar dinner? When does the young newlywed realize how at-risk she is of a nasty sexual disease from that gorgeous RB-boy import she snagged? When do we stop being mad and just become sad, because it is all too sad and pathetic and soul-sucking? Maybe that’s the whole question: RB sucked a lot of cocks, but what about the souls, your souls, that he continues to suck and suck…and suck?

16/152/Joseph G



unoanimo  –  July 29, 2007 at 3:24 am | Reply


    Outrageous Conduct, Emotional Distress


From the ‘fact’ of multiple lifetimes, to the ‘fact’ that people who leave the Fellowship of conditional “Friends” are ‘food for the moon’, to the ‘fact’ that Burton is at a ‘higher level’ than anyone else on the planet, to the ‘fact’ that Beloved Teacher is the necessary intermediary between a student and higher forces, only able to ‘progress’ through Burton’s intervention, to the ‘fact’ that Burton is a goddess trapped in a man’s body (!), to the ‘fact’ that the Sequence represents the highest product of ‘higher schools’ stretching back to prehistoric times…


and on and on and on…


All designed to put one in the classic bind. No way out but to take and swallow a big gulp of “faith” and watch one’s conscience shrivel away, a sacrifice to Burton, the gift he demands so one can stay safe in his shadow, nestling like chicks under his wings. But unlike real chicks, which must grow and fledge, choosing to stay chicks forever.

16/201/Ames Gilbert



unoanimoJuly 29, 2007 at 8:08 am | Reply


   Recklessness, Prenatal Tort


I knew of a visit from Fran, an older woman, who was sent to escort a happily married woman to a hospital for a late term abortion of healthy twins. Why was this married student in a happy relationship guided to go to the hospital to abort two healthy fetuses?  Robert loved the beautiful, handsome husband, and it was during the mid/late '70s when the 'School' could not afford to have students be distracted by the emotional or expensive aspects of children.


This potential mother and father were in pain but followed Robert’s directives – it was not a pretty situation. Years later Robert got his guy back, and the wife was left to earn money outside of Renaissance while her husband was on salary.


16/284/A Former female student from long ago



unoanimoJuly 29, 2007 at 3:41 am | Reply


    False Impersonation, Material Misrepresentation


His first conversations with Bonita, by her testimony, were composed of many lectures and some observations Robert Burton had gleaned from his studies. But even here, with her, were always the implicit lies. The first was that he had more 'being' than she, just because he ‘knew’ more 4th Way theory, and could convincingly regurgitate it. The second was that his method of teaching, a one–way authoritarian transmission from the ‘more knowledgeable’ to the ‘less knowledgeable’ was valid; in other words, that Bonita had nothing to teach him. His “teaching being” was exactly what he in turn had been taught, both by Horn, and by the educational system we have in our society; it was unmodified by actual experience.





unoanimoJuly 29, 2007 at 3:44 am | Reply


    Breach of Duty, Heedlessness, Recklessness


Maintaining the First Lies for so many years, not going back over his life (in the Ouspenskian sense) to ‘repair the damage’ (tell the unvarnished truth, apologize, explain without self-justification, heal), clinging to his lie and building on it (squashing rumors, attacking whistleblowers as liars in public, pronouncing his ‘celibacy’ anew), all this clearly shows his being, and that is very very low, lower than any ‘student’.





unoanimoJuly 29, 2007 at 4:04 am | Reply


   Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Predator, Sexual Harassment, Enticement,  Breach of Trust, Willful Tort, Negligent Tort


Worse, and this is important, living these lies dishonored the efforts of his students, made a mockery of their truths. Then on, ever downwards, the web of deceit was woven thread by thread. Countless times, Burton told the lie of celibacy in the morning and that same evening raped one of his students (fucked them against their will), used blackmail and further lies to complete the deed, used the Work language to serve his own base purposes. Used their shame as a weapon to ensure their silence. Bruce has told it, how isolated each of the ‘boys’ in the Blake Cottage were, each thinking they were the only one. This poison contaminated every aspect of the Fellowship. What do the grandiose dreams of good declared by Burton mean in the face of this? In the balance, far less than nothing, a negative amount. The horror outweighs any possibility of good.





unoanimo –  July 29, 2007 at 4:12 am | Reply


  Emotional Distress, Personal Indignity, Fault Liability


For me the last two years before leaving were extremely oppressive, and the weird thing is I was blaming myself for about 80% of this negative feeling, then blaming myself for not blaming myself for the other 20%. And if my soul was being sucked, who other than RB could have been the biggest soul-sucker, and how many others was he sucking – is he still sucking – all thinking (like me and Bruce?) that they were “the only one”?


16/230/Joseph G.



See all comments collected, assembled and posted by UnoAnimo here.



407. Joe Average Says:


I am forwarding an old letter from an ex-student, as valid now as then. Be warned – I have trimmed it a bit where you see …, but it is still long.


Dear Friends,


Of late, my friends and I have been labelled “dissidents”, and worse, by FOF’s leadership. While reading this letter it would be helpful if you could simply consider me an old friend.

… Please permit yourself the clear space to receive these thoughts and feelings in order to work with them as completely as possible. Given the current situation, I understand that this will not be easy for you. It certainly has been a disturbing process for me as well. However, I have been overwhelmed by the weight of my observations and feel duty bound to share them with you.

This letter is not intended to serve as the last word on REB or the FOF. Nor is it written to prove or establish a particular point of view. Instead, I hope that it will create a balance to the information you have received from FOF, and act as a springboard from which you may begin a long overdue reappraisal of your own feelings and presumptions. Many of you are mired in a way of life which, for myself and many other ex-members, was neither happy nor enlightening, but instead offered little more than tedium, suppression, exclusivity and debilitating dependency.

Of late, FOF has required all of you to believe that certain ex-members, as “dissidents”, are “bad” simply because criticism of REB and FOF is not now and never has been permitted. These people have been described as “vindictive”, “crazy”, or “liars” … Apparently it is unthinkable to FOF that anyone could sincerely believe (or know) that the allegations directed at REB are true. But given a history of intense involvement with REB, do you really believe that ex-members would turn around and speak this way unless they really felt that something was wrong? From FOF’s narrow point of view, one would have to be fallen, dark, and just plain wrong to criticize their “guru”. I implore you to remain open to the possibility that your old friends are none of the above.

The author of this letter has over the past year spoken with approximately 40 ex-members who have uniquely personal and varied perceptions of REB and FOF. Among these people are a number of former high-ranking FOF officials and board of directors members, as well as personal and sexual intimates of REB. …

They are all united in the belief that accurate information, dialogue, real consideration and anything remotely like discrimination have never been offered or encouraged by REB or FOF. Therefore, they would like to see a free, full, and honest discussion occur. Such a discussion would benefit everyone, except for those who desire only the maintenance of their status and claim. Everyone, especially the “rank and file” FOF membership, must be set free in order to find their own true way through this controversy.

It is obvious however that as long as ex-member “dissidents” are seen as negative, dark, angry, unspiritual “others”–and “you” in FOF remain the righteous, holy lovers of god, unjustly criticized, god’s army fighting off the heathen masses and demonic media–as long as this contrived dichotomy persists there can be no clarity. …Do not permit the FOF leadership to call you to a false, childish, and simplistic understanding of this controversy. It is a complex, personal and deeply emotional matter that cannot be resolved or dismissed through name-calling and character assassination. … This matter cannot be reduced to a battle between good and evil…

Instead of encouraging an open discussion, FOF has used the same tactics that any political organization would use. They have created a “cause” for you to rally around and feel emotionally committed to and identified with, so that you won’t stare the accusations against REB straight in the eye. They would rather hook you into a fight to protect “the right to freely practice religion”, a right which they claim ex-members have tried to deprive you of. But in what way has anyone actually done this?


Let’s take a little closer look at the constitutional protections afforded to “religions” such as the FOF. The right to believe whatever you want is protected absolutely. However, the right to do whatever you want is not afforded the same absolute protection at all. Many of the things which REB has been accused of do not fall into the category of actions which are protected. Additionally, is it not reasonable as a common citizen to ask why people who have been involved in illegal activities should be granted the privilege of tax-exempt religious status, as claimed by FOF? And if, in fact, abuses of people have occurred (through actions which are commonly recognized as abuses in our society) shouldn’t the victims have a right to address them in all the forums available? How then does this amount to an attack on religious freedom?


…The difficulty for many of you is that it has been so long since you entered into an examination other than one created for you by REB and FOF that to do so on your own and to examine “the authorities themselves” is a very difficult task indeed. And yet it must be done if there is to be any clarity or passage through this controversy.


All I ask then is that this process of unfettered examination be permitted and actually encouraged by FOF. Ask yourself how it is that you are now “advocates”, burdened by belief and fixed presumptions. Why hasn’t REB and FOF welcomed and seen the necessity for an open airing of issues? Why have you all been programmed and “educated” by the FOF propagandists on their way to whitewashing the so-called “FOF sacred history”? How does spiritual practice properly lead to all this manipulation and defense? Who and what is requiring that you become politicized rather than clear? And how well do you really understand that which you are being called upon to defend?

I invite you to regain the discrimination and inquisitiveness many of you have unconsciously chosen to relinquish in order to associate with REB and the myth he has drawn you into (both as to who he is and the necessity of turning to him for your liberation). If we assume for the moment that REB began his “teaching work” by speaking to our desire for liberation, apart from excess dogmatic baggage and entanglements, it is evident that he has now “moved on” and is at work merely cultivating in his students a yearning for salvation in a system where only he can do the saving.

… And if we accept that REB’s writings carry a credible message, they do so only insofar as they release the reader into his or her own inherent sense of “being” and “truth”, free of the game of “the search”. It appears impossible for this to occur in the midst of all the medieval, dogmatic, exclusive, ritualized form beneath which direct, unmediated truth has been buried by REB and FOF. After all these years, where is the real evidence that any type of “spiritual process” is uniquely occurring within your community? People are just growing older. The greatness of god has been subordinated to the glory, of REB and his hierarchical empire. Needing to be nurtured and fathered, and being naive as to true spiritual culture and to the game of spiritual authority, most of us never even noticed the light go out.

This is a large part of what ex-members are trying to address. You are part of a highly ambitious and politicized “machine of seeking” where you no longer own your own perceptions. Ideological dogma coupled with the edited information of the group dominates and molds your life. You are required to adapt to a complex, sophisticated technology of mind and emotion, through which you understand yourself and upon which you view the world; it is a hierarchical scheme with REB as the head, reigning above and beyond the world of man, as external savior or father. We have all been too much in need of an external mediator to serve the participation in and awareness of our own true condition. We must grow beyond the childish and incapacitating dependency bonds which are everywhere propagated by REB and FOF.


In many ex-members’ experience, the first doubts and questions about their lives as devotees centered around the observations they had regarding the “community” and “institution” of FOF. But they found it much harder to take the obvious next step and look directly at REB, the source and creator of every aspect of the “culture”, institutional structure, and spiritual life of those in FOF. These ex-members, like many of you, dared not break the great taboo of seriously questioning or doubting REB; either their comparative lack of in-depth or prolonged personal experience with him or their incapacity to break through the indoctrination prevented them from seeing him clearly. But finally, in the face of what is now obvious, their relationship to the mythology and imagery which is REB has broken down. These people have “discovered” the man Bubbles Burton, and now know that “the emperor wears no clothes.”

At this point it would be good to examine the specific activities of REB that many people are concerned about. Some of the information recently brought to light will be recounted here for those who are unfamiliar with what has been said, or for those who have been confused and distracted by FOF…

To begin with, REB has historically had control over the finances, properties, and other assets of FOF as if he personally and solely “owned” FOF, in stark contrast to the purposes and laws governing non-profit religious organizations. He has personally made all key decisions and has gratified his every whim, caring not for the financial strains he has placed on others. There are serious questions regarding whether REB has over the years abused the tax-exempt status of the FOF corporation for his own personal gain. Perhaps this is why FOF officials in the past few years have strategically destroyed documents that tended to reveal that REB was actually “running the show.”

REB has always demanded that people “go beyond themselves” to give him more money than they could afford, and then has spent the money on whatever he wanted to create or consume in that moment. Like a child, he has demanded the immediate gratification of his material desires, and then has often abandoned what he has been given in search of a new and more expensive “toy”. … In private, REB has laughed at those who have shown any concern about his financial exploitation of others. This is purportedly an example of the fact that REB is “free of conventional morality.”

…REB has participated in and required others to perform in sexual and related acts of a highly degrading and demeaning nature which have caused psychological and/or physical damage to those participating. FOF has recently admitted to examples of these types of activity, which many people believe are a reflection of the perversion of REB, rather than anything like enlightened “spiritual instruction.” … These sexual excesses of REB are not a thing of the distant past….. And it is the firm belief of many people that the inordinate amount of time and attention REB spends on sexuality reflects nothing more than his own obsession and desires.

The vast discrepancy between what REB claims and says, versus what he does and intends must be thoroughly examined and understood before one can make an informed response to the man. What should be clear to everyone is that no one in FOF is given the opportunity to “cast the light” directly on REB. Why is he so estranged and hidden from you, really? Apart from your child-like fantasies and subtle beliefs about “who he is” and “how he works”, how much and how privately have you observed him and then tested your observations? The fact is, apart from what you have read and are told, intermixed with a variety of contacts with REB years ago, most of you know very little about your teacher. You have therefore been called to relate to only the most superficial imagery about who REB is, and at the same time you have become steeped in an officially prescribed method for relating to him which permits only subservience and fawning devotion. And those of you who have been close to him should ask yourselves to what degree your own hopes, needs, and self-generated projections and expectations, coupled with the mythology about how REB’s “unconventional behavior” has been designed to teach you, has colored your perceptions of him. Ex-members know from their own experience that many of you are paying a heavy price in terms of emotional suppression, confusion, and self-delusion in order to maintain the false conclusion that you have actually been served by this “crazy-wise” madness.

Another disturbing matter regarding REB is the ritual of secrecy and deception surrounding him. Some of the things described about REB’s life would not in themselves be worthy of any real concern if they did not stand in complete contradiction to an idealized image which has been used to exploit the people who have supported the whole affair. … It was on the basis of this lie that so many accepted the notion that his past behavior was in fact a “teaching demonstration”, and went on to give their lives, minds, hearts, and money to this man. However, upon discovering this deception, many were understandably outraged. …

You may ask yourself why those who know all of these secrets have always withheld them from you. But we already know the answer. How glamorous to be associated with the ultimate matter and the ultimate master! But what a conceit and what a foundation for the pursuit of power. Through the screening mechanisms of the so-called “culture”, only the few “mature” or “committed” members are given access to REB based upon a paranoid and patriarchal mentality of obedience. The demonstrated signs of your “maturity” (i.e. submission and obedience) gauge the level of your “status” and regulated, controlled access to events, places and people on the political (not spiritual but political) pecking order… REB’s behavior is a reflection of his own character and motivations, just like everyone else’s, and he should rightfully take responsibility for the problems his shortcomings have created in his own life and the lives of others. He is anything but free of ego. He has his own strengths and weaknesses. Yet through the process of indoctrination and manipulation, coupled with the weaknesses of those around him, he has been successful at keeping himself invulnerable and unquestioned. In so doing, he has become afflicted in all the ways that any man would be corrupted and deluded by excessive power and isolation from critical feedback. He has also thus imprisoned himself within the expectations he created in others and the torment of pretending to be something he is not. …


…Nor is it any longer accepted that “the world” is a terrible place full of terrible people, and that spiritual life ends when one leaves FOF. People now know better than to become ensnared in the tentacles of this argument. And where there was only “one” worthy of love and respect, all others became unworthy and worthless. This is what happened in FOF, for as we were all divested of our own selfworth and simultaneously invested in REB, we were rendered nothing rather than “no-thing.” Can you feel this?


We have all (current and ex-members), along with REB, cooperated in constructing this insane empire. It is a classic and perverted play on what might have been. And it is nothing like what most of us signed up for or thought we were choosing. But so long as you are exposed to the “system” which life in FOF represents, there is no space within which to understand this and be set free.

…those who serve critical functions in your “culture” adapt to a profoundly dependent form of relating to REB and a resulting righteous, exclusive, self-glorifying, self-protective and politically charged “life of service.” You are all aware of the institutional mentality of those who lead you at FOF. They are part of a machine and priesthood of aberrated spiritual seeking and corruption, an exclusive club, reigning in association with the “enlightened” source or “goodie” who is offered as a reward to those giving over their center, discrimination, and direct unmediated ability to live the truth of their own condition. In this process many of you have lost yourselves, your power and your way. And for REB to hide behind a claim of “blamelessness and divinity” while placing all the blame on the immaturity of his devotees, those very people who depend on him for their spiritual guidance, is not only irresponsible and cowardly, but the perfect vision of a perfectly narcissistic megalomaniac. Surely there was a time before you came to FOF where you could have simply recognized this to be so.

But can you now? It is so hard from where you are. I know, for it has taken many people years, even after leaving FOF, to wake up from the sleep which had settled into every corner of their mind’s eye. Although discrimination is spoken about in the teaching, it is nowhere present in the lives of devotees. Many of you have, through non-use, lost your own personal, instinctual feeling for life, having been conditioned to believe that it represents recoil from the divine. You have become good at obeying without reflection. Your blank agreement is applauded as “equanimity” and the transcendence of reactivity.

Those who are in the FOF hierarchy have the most to lose. And they are among the most corrupt and in need of help. These people are relieved of the ordinary responsibilities of life and live instead a bizarre fantasy life. To do the bidding of their teacher they have become proficient at selectively withholding and releasing edited information, and have made the poor choice of abandoning their native sense of human decency in exchange for power and prestige.

Many of these same people are the most seriously ambitious in their “search.” It is as if they have not yet adapted to the rudiments of the practice as it relates to the “search” and yet are influential simply because they are “submitted.” Having made such a heavy investment of time and energy in gaining their status and position, they are now banking on their “personal” relationship with REB to save them. In this way there is a tremendous amount of manipulation around the poles of hope and fear. You spin and turn but rarely find a seat from which to observe the play. … The shocking news that thousands of people see this “master” of yours as a tyrannical and deluded power broker never quite reaches your ears or cannot penetrate your rehearsed belief.

When finally pressed up against this blunt observation from “the world” outside, you hold up “the teaching” like a crucifix to stave off the heathen hordes. You retreat into the “certainty” that nothing like “the teaching” could ever have been written by a charlatan. But many believe that REB’s, or anyone else’s ability to artfully synthesize, categorize, and recapitulate ideas and insights does not bear any necessary relation to spiritual realization and maturity. Aside from his particular style of presentation and arrangement of things, there is nothing uniquely described in REB’s literature that does not appear elsewhere. … he has borrowed from or been heavily influenced by numerous others to whom he has given no credit at all. The fact that he has been able to articulate the free and transcendent relationship to life that we all instinctively feel in moments, coupled with the fact that he writes and speaks about many things which are beyond the realm of your personal experience, is offered as “proof” that he is spiritually superior to you.

Many of you have apparently forgotten the simple truth that actions speak louder than words, and that insights which are not practiced are meaningless, if not dangerous. Your distraction with a complexity of abstractions and a sophisticated, “pre-packaged” context within which to interpret everything has left you “incapable of seeing the forest for the trees.” “By their fruits shall ye know them”, said one spiritual teacher nearly 2,000 years ago. And it is on this basis that each one of us must draw our own conclusions regarding the spiritual status of Robert Burton.

I am so glad to no longer be where many of you are, and I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you why. In many respects it would have been far easier to write this entire matter off as just another set of experiences. But I have felt too much passion and serious caring to have made that choice.


Should any of you meander out beyond the fences and psychological barriers of FOF, you will find that there is “unavoidably” only god outside your temple walls. Your spiritual life may change in form, but it will continue. And there are many people who have been through what you have experienced and can thus offer help. Many have needed and received support in order to make the critical transition back to a measure of self-respectability.

…It would have been preferable for all of you to have done the work of provoking this discussion. But I understand why this could not be so and trust that you will soon recognize the benefits which will ultimately come from what has been started. If in the end there is a bit more openness and honesty in FOF, a degree of self-critical inspection, or a drop less arrogance and exclusivity on the part of Robert Burton, we will have all been served…

Mark D. Miller Sausalito, California USA
Now, before you dig too deep in your memories trying to remember that name, I should let you know that I needed to make a few small changes to the letter. Do the following substitutions, and you have the original letter:
Bubbles Burton = Franklin Jones
Robert Burton = Da Free John
FOF = JDC (Johannine Daist Communion)

The idea is obvious, hopefully. Just change the names and the rest of the text, despite its length, complexity and level of detail, is a near perfect fit – word for word, point for point. Would Margaret Singer just smile and nod knowingly at this point Joel?


Nothing unique in REB’s approach, nor in its results in his students.




8. Just an Average Joe too Says:


#407 To Joe Average


Thank you, thank you, thank you! This letter is so complete and penetrating, I will send it on to a few ‘committed FoFers' that I particularly care about, with the vague hope that they recognize their situation. Perhaps others would consider doing the same.


After this letter, all words pale, all thoughts that continue to defend the FOF and REB are just that.


Good Luck to us all!



wakeuplittlesuzywakeup January 20, 2008


In case somebody just started reading the blog, here’s a little history that bares reposting:

After Richard Buzbee (school name, Richard Laurel) distributed his letter telling of his sexual encounter with Robert Burton and how he discovered his son Troy had been having a sexual relationship with Robert Burton (beginning when Troy was underage), Robert Burton called quite a few students to ‘try to quell the flames’. Here is one of those conversations, verbatim.


Phone call from Robert Burton to James Battaglia, October 23, 1994


Robert Burton.  Hello James, how’s your liver? Are you feeling well?


J.  I’m fine, Robert, and it was a kidney transplant that I had.


Robert Burton. Yes, that’s right. Are you disturbed by this Richard Buzbee incident? I understand you left the meeting in protest.


J.  Let me explain the scenario. I had been standing for an hour and you know my physical condition. It was two minutes to eight o’clock and there were about a hundred cars at the Town Hall. Why do you think I left?


Robert Burton.  To beat the traffic!


J.  That’s right. If I was protesting this meeting, I’d do it verbally.


Robert Burton.  I didn't want the meeting to be an arena to discuss my sexual life and I allowed it to happen. C Influence wants me to be a homosexual and have sex with my students so that I may have humility. It’s a beautiful experience for myself and my students. I’m very loving and careful with them. The morality of the Ark will not be based on Judeo-Christian principles.


J.  What will it be based on?


Robert Burton. I don’t know yet.


J.  I’d like to ask you some questions concerning this matter about Richard. Are you open to that?


Robert Burton: Yes.


J.  Did Richard consent to having sex with you?


Robert Burton. I’m over fifty and not a strong man. Richard lifted his buttocks up so that I could remove his pants. After we were through, he said that it was beautiful.


J.  Had you had sex with him previously?


Robert Burton. We had laid naked together in the other (Ethan’s) house and I fondled him. My students willingly have sex with me, I don’t force anyone.


J.  I’ve talked with Richard myself, and I feel that I have a good understanding of his experience.


Robert Burton.  Just remember, I am a conscious being and Richard is an unconscious being. Richard is lying through his teeth and he set me up. Richard is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I fell for the setup.


J.  I’m not conscious, and I can’t verify if you are conscious. The system tells me that the lower cannot see the higher.


Robert Burton. I am the brightest light in two thousand years.


J.  I can’t verify that.


Robert Burton.  Have you verified C Influence?


J.  Yes.


Robert Burton.  Well, the reason you’re able to do that is because I am a conscious being. Do you remember when I sent the car for you?


J.  What do you mean?


Robert Burton.  I have to make about five hundred decisions a week. That I was able to send a car for you, to pick you up at the hospital, was an act of a conscious being. It’s the little things that matter.


J.  Robert, I don’t see how that allows me to verify that you are conscious. Are acts of kindness an indicator of consciousness?


Robert Burton. You don’t sound like you are coming from the king of hearts, more from your king of clubs.


J.  I’m glad you brought up the king of clubs. It seems like you have a big identification with things pertaining to the king of clubs. What do you think is the right work of the king of clubs?


Robert Burton.  Gurdjieff says the king of clubs is the beast of the jungle, it protects the machine from harm. It lives in the jungle.


J.  Then it seems to me a necessary part to recognize and understand. Yet you have an aversion to the king of clubs and things like holistic healing, hands-on healing, etcetera.


Robert Burton. (vague response)


J.  Robert, the only thing important to me is to keep my ears and eyes open and try to be in the moment. This moment. Talking to you is the most important thing happening. It helps me see the truth. That’s why I came to this school; I felt it was a bastion of truth. In time, though, I’ve found that most students don’t want to face the truth. Whenever I make an observation, the general response is that I’m being negative or that I’m losing the school. I see fear and feminine dominance as tools to keep students in control. I don’t have any fear of losing the school. I just need to be in the moment and if C Influence takes me out, so be it. Being in the moment is all that’s important to me.


Robert Burton.  That’s not enough.


J.  What do you mean, not enough? That’s what you’ve been preaching all these years, self-remembering. What more is there?


Robert Burton.  You have to be concerned with your future.


J.  What?!


Robert Burton. You have to be concerned with YOUR future.


J.  I’m concerned with the moment.


Robert Burton.  Remember when you were thrown out of the raft?


J.  Yes.


Robert Burton.  C Influence can shake you out of the school just the same.


J.  Robert, again let me say, all I can do is keep my eyes and ears open and stay in the moment. That’s all that’s important to me. I don’t fear losing the school if I’m bounced out of it.


Robert Burton.  You have to be concerned about your future.


J.  I’m only concerned with my present.


Robert Burton. You have to be concerned about YOUR future (very strong emotional energy coming from Robert). Well, I’m glad that you’re o.k. about this incident. It’s fine to share this conversation with other students.


J.  I won’t do that, Robert, because it would influence their thinking on this matter. I would encourage them to speak with Richard and you to form their own opinions. Are you open to them calling you?


Robert Burton:. Yes. Well, there’s a wedding here today and I have things to do.


J.  Let’s keep the channels of communication open, Robert, and thanks for calling.


Robert Burton.  Goodbye, dear.


James followed up this conversation with a letter a few days later…


Dear Robert Burton,


I appreciate you calling me and have taken time to digest the experience and I’d like to offer you my perceptions.


My emotional center registered from your tone that you were very concerned with how I was dealing with what I’ll call the Richard Laurel incident. My action at the meeting of questioning Wayne’s angle and then leaving soon after was the catalyst for your call. I find it interesting that this was reported to you and that you acted so quickly on it. It verifies to me that you are quite active in the process of damage control over this incident with Richard, and it makes me question why.


I made thorough notes of our conversation and thought about the emotional content of your voice during it. I feel that you put a lot of energy out to convince me that you are a conscious being, bordering on divinity. “The brightest light in two thousand years”, as you put it. The examples you gave to me for verification, such as my having verified C Influence because you are a conscious being and your sending a car to pick me up at the hospital, did not penetrate as valid verifications of consciousness.


I had verified C Influence before and after being in the Fellowship of Friends and I don’t see any connection with your theoretical consciousness. As to you sending a car for me and supplying rides to my doctor’s appointments at my request, I appreciate it greatly and that shows me that you were very considerate of my situation, yet I don’t know they constitute acts of consciousness. Yet I have a pretty good idea of what is not consciousness through self-observation and observing others.


As to our discussion of your sexual preferences and that C Influence wants you to be a homosexual and have sex with your students, this is unverifiable to me. Your sexuality is your business and is not a real issue with me. The issue with me and other students I’ve confided in is the possibility of you using your position as a means to gratify what appears to be a large sexual appetite. I’ve talked with students who have been your partner and their experiences have been as diverse as the individual.


Some have said they were pursued quite vigorously until they succumbed, others felt it was a beautiful experience from which they gained tremendously, and others felt they were treated as an instinctive object for pleasure, then discarded. You said that your students willingly are with you and you do not influence them and this may be true. You do hold a very influential position over many and I’m sure that you realize this does affect a person’s process in responding to you. Years of observation about the type of men you have in your entourage have shown me that they are predominantly very similar in their psychologies and appear to be particularly malleable.


My final concern is that over the years, it appears you have many sexual partners and that precautions for sexually transmitted diseases are not taken. I feel this is not responsible action by all parties involved and can lead to dire consequences for you and many others. Have you ever had an AIDS test and have any of your consistent partners been tested? What do you feel is your responsibility and how do you deal with this issue?


My responses and statements to you appeared to make you more defensive of your position until you photographed me as being in the king of clubs rather than the king of hearts. This appears to be a standard response by you that one is becoming instinctive if your authority is questioned. The Fourth Way, as I understand it, is a process of questioning, observing, and verification. One that does not question is asleep, in my opinion. My questioning is a step in the process to find the truth, it does not come from disrespect or judgment.


At the start of our conversation, you mentioned that you had just returned from staying at a hotel, I believe it was named after Muir, and that the address was 1998 and you made a reference to the numerical significance. At the teaching dinner I attended in September, you spent a considerable amount of time talking about interpreting license plates, place names and the like.


Robert Burton, what relevance does that have towards evolution and why is it such a common topic by you to students? I searched books by Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Collin and Bennet and have not found any references to predictions. What does this information have to do with the Fourth Way and awakening? To me it appears to feed imagination. I may be wrong, so could you clarify your intent on speaking of these matters? I’d appreciate some relativity.


Robert Burton, I feel the intention of your call was to assure me that everything is fine and as you put it, Richard was lying through his teeth, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as you stated and you fell for his set up. I don’t know why you made a particularly strong effort to convince me. I’ve been told that one of your roles is to keep students asleep as well as awaken. If this was said by you I feel that you were trying to assure me that all is well and that it’s business as usual.


And you realized that I wasn’t buying it. Thus your example of being knocked out of the school felt like a strong warning to me. As I said to you, I’ve never felt as committed to my work and to supporting students as I do now. All I can do is to try to be present to the moment, keep my eyes looking and my ears listening. Trust my conscience and I’ll be shown the truth. The future will unfold as it will and I will accept it as it happens, without fear.


Robert Burton, I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve been given to self-observe and try to develop will. For our efforts and all the efforts of all students who have built and are building Renaissance/Apollo, I am forever grateful. I know of no other community where I have 1901 teachers and it is something I value highly. My observations to you come from a place of caring, support and concern for what we are building and I know that you can understand and appreciate that. Let’s keep the communications open.


Thank you.


With love and friendship,
(signed) James Battaglia



On the 13th November, 1994, James received his reply. He was told to leave the Fellowship, along with five others, including myself.


Historical note: “Wayne” is Wayne Mott, at one time Robert Burton’s personal secretary (can’t remember if he was so at the time). The meeting referred to was led by Steven Dambeck, with Wayne Mott, Gunter Weninger and a couple of others (can’t find my notes right now!) up on the podium. What was notable about this ‘public’ meeting is that these folks started by freely admitting having sexual relations with Robert Burton, and each testified that the experience was helpful for their inner work. Steven then continued the meeting on the lines of morality (with special emphasis on the inapplicability of ‘life’ morality), and steered away from any concerns about abuse of power and so on (refused to accept such questions by asking for others that suited his agenda better). A couple of days later, I responded with a letter to him that photographed him for the sleight of hand and misdirection, which I may post later.


With love to all,



166. ton2u – August 27, 2015

Re:  'Having sex with one’s disciples, whether secretly or openly, is a betrayal of trust because the guru is putting his own needs and pleasures first, which is exploitation. “Honoring” a disciple with sex is a form of unabashed dominance—how can a disciple refuse who is committed to serve and obey?


'Gurus who preach celibacy while secretly engaging in sexuality present the latter as an esoteric initiation ritual or advanced spiritual exercise that must be kept hidden. This makes the disciple feel special while colluding in an enormous lie and manipulation that has severe emotional repercussions…. The lie indicates the guru’s entire persona is a lie, that his image as selfless and being beyond ego is a core deception…. Lying here as elsewhere is done to cover up self-interest.'





Mick DangerFebruary 20, 2008 at 9:14 pm 


I wonder what the karmic consequences are these days for sincerely aiding and abetting a delusional deviant?



NutheadFebruary 21, 2008 at 12:22 am 


@ Mick Danger


At the very least, considerable psychological damage occurs – loss of the ability to think for oneself or to distinguish right from wrong, or to function normally in “life”, a general weakening of one’s being and life force, an increasing tendency to negate the reality of anything that disagrees with FOF dogma (even when excruciatingly obvious), deferral to a future lifetime of the possibility of spiritual awakening, schizoid separation from one’s true nature (“lower self”), increased tension and anxiety caused by suppression of negative emotions, acquisition of phony “good student” act, decreased ability to recognise or feel genuine emotions (both positive and negative), etc., etc.


That’s just for the average dupe. I suspect the effects are considerably more severe for those who know about RB’s corruption and try to cover it up, especially if they’re involved in recruiting new members, and even more so if they’re actively pimping.



Life PersonJuly 28, 2007


After months of periodically reading and contributing to the blog, what most amazes me is the enormity of the disconnect between what is observed and what some people choose to believe.


Once the emotional charge created by the resurgence of memories that had drifted around for decades dissipated somewhat, and I had for some weeks left off reading the blog, which seemed to perpetuate that charge, and then came back to it, I find myself stunned and incredulous.


Taking away those things that he has said about himself, and those things that others have said about him, and looking only at the evidence before us, we see a man who, before he announced himself as a Teacher, was most easily described as a loser. Fired from his modest teaching position, kicked out of his brief stint in an abusive cult for the most pedestrian reason – being unable to keep his hands off the other guys – living with his mommy or in his van long past the age when we’d expect a man to have a halfway decent job. A man with modest formal education from a white trash background, with the middle name of Earl. Had never accomplished anything of note. Cannot write, paint, dance, or sing. Oh yes – he could play tennis, at the level of the average high school varsity player.


A man who has since lived an entirely parasitic existence, having declined to lift a finger on his own behalf since he was thirty, beyond walking, sitting, lifting fork and glass, talking, and having sex; a man whose muscles have atrophied from disuse. A man who cannot be bothered to pay his own bills, or drive his own car, or fix his own faucet. Can you imagine your father, or your neighbor, let alone Socrates, telling people to do manual labor, including labor that benefits only himself, year after year, decade after decade, while he simply shuffles around in thousand-dollar slacks and five hundred-dollar shoes, without ever contributing anything? Jesus was a carpenter. Dante wrote fantastic works of literature. Leonardo painted masterpieces. Others make shoes, grow food. Here’s a man who jots down notes and sayings at the level of a precocious junior high schooler, and gives others instructions in between efforts to satisfy his physical urges. We find the model for this in, say, Henry VIII, or more accurately, a pinheaded, inbred pharaoh.


Here is a man who has not, in at least 37 years, and most likely in his entire life, had an intimate emotional relationship with another man, woman, cat or turtle that would be recognized by anyone as normal, let alone mature. Whose “teachings” are almost entirely unoriginal, having been cobbled together, first from the works of Gurdjieff and his disciples, a little later from quotes copied like a lazy freshman from the Harvard Classics, and now from a hodgepodge of sources that does not rise to the level of solid “B Influence” – stuff that, thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have picked out of the trash, like Chariots of the Gods and Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. He even tried his hand at National Enquirer-style prophecy, and was so spectacularly unsuccessful that he now claims he never meant any of it.


A man who fancies himself an aesthete, of impeccable taste, yet whose taste is classic nouveau riche, reflecting once again the lack of any originality, let alone artistic flair. Everything is copied, taken from others, like the pile of statues in the basement of Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu. Who considers a Greek temple plopped down in the Sierra foothills very classy, and cannot see that it is pathetic kitsch, like Las Vegas casinos featuring recreations of pyramids and Venice.


In any other circumstance, this man would be considered ridiculous. A buffoon. Laughed at.


And this, of course, does not address a level of greed and financial manipulation that would seem eye-rollingly incredible in a made-for-TV-movie about a New Age Guru. Who would believe a character who did all the running after cufflinks, the wine-guzzling, the pouring of rich food down his gullet, the endless supply of suits, shirts, shoes, Rolls Royces and Mercedes, watches, paintings, furniture, and on and on and on, while continually demanding more money from his followers, some of whom make extraordinary sacrifices, destroy themselves financially, to keep the man in silk, cashmere, and the umpteenth performance of Giselle. We’d turn it off in disgust, exclaiming that the movie showed an obvious intent to slander all nontraditional religious organizations and make their adherents seem imbecilic.


And then there’s the fellow’s peculiar sexual habits, which also are no laughing matter. His need to have his various orifices continually filled, not by people with whom he shares a deep emotional bond, but by desperate or naive people he has cajoled with pathetic fairy tales, who hide their faces in shame as he grunts and pants before showing them the door and calling in the next one. People who carry the diseases he has passed on to them, and perhaps their partners, for the rest of their lives, along with the burning resentment and humiliation of having allowed themselves to be so callously and pitifully used by someone they trusted. This sort of behavior is generally accepted everywhere as demonstrating a profound emotional disturbance.


And none of this even touches on the man’s treatment of others when they’re not coming in his mouth, his disregard of what would be considered decent, principled behavior in any culture, under any ethical or religious creed. His complete lack of genuine interest in the well-being of anyone who does not give him, or procure for him, money or sex, his willingness to act, without regret, as though a person he has known for twenty years or more, a person who has given him everything they have, has never existed the moment the individual stops giving him money or sex.


But, I suppose, none of this precludes his being the Light of the World, the Greatest Being Since Christ, and worthy of the highest lifelong devotion. And why? Because he says he is “conscious.” So that’s what being “conscious” means, does it? How could I have missed it. But some say they have “verified” that he is “conscious.” Oh, that changes everything.


For quite a while everyone on earth was convinced the world was flat.


“But he teaches people to be present.” Indeed. Being present to eating too much, drinking too much, having sex with people who don’t want to have sex with you. Present to enjoying the fruits of others’ labors. Present to the sycophantic bowing and scraping of people without any self-respect or discernment. He teaches, by example, how to be present to treating others like shit.


How to account for his success? If a person without any useful abilities of his own sat down and decided to develop a way to allow himself to have all the money, sex, food, travel, power, fancy clothes, adulation, and sheer self-indulgent luxury an adolescent could possibly imagine – if a man embarrassed by his own sexuality and humble social status wanted to be treated like a god – what might he come up with?


And why is it that so many people whose wisdom is so much more easily observed, who are truly kind and compassionate, who genuinely value others simply for their inherent humanity, who find delight in simple pleasures and do not need to be continually praised, obeyed, fucked, fed, entertained, clothed, and carted about, who enjoy being useful, who serve others instead of claiming to serve disembodied spirits while leaving a trail of pain in their wake – why is it that such people do not have as many people trying to learn from them?


Might it be that some people actually want what they see this man has, rather than true wisdom, true compassion?


Might it be that some people cannot bear the thought that what is so obvious might actually be the simple truth, which would make them gullible fools?



150. Thot Plickens May 14, 2010


One of the ideas that I’m noticing on this page — somewhat unexpectedly — is that some of the realizations we have about the FOF don’t come into focus until someone describes it in words: “This [thing] exists. This [thing] is happening.” And then I become more aware that it exists and that it’s happening.


When someone says it or describes it, we think we knew about it all along, and we nod and say, “Yes, that’s obvious.” But it’s the act of saying it, writing it, reading it, and sharing it in words that brings a new dimension to it.


A good example of this is the “staging” of the “first prospective student meetings.” First of all, it’s a sales job. Unwittingly or wittingly in some cases, we helped sell a concept — every time we arranged some flowers, placed an image of one of the “44” on the wall, vacuumed the house, and arranged the throw rug under the coffee table just right.


Does this remind anyone of something? That’s right; it’s just like selling a house. The termites may be chewing away at the foundation, the roof may be ready to fall in, and the windows may leak when it rains — but a good “stager” makes sure the house for sale looks like a mansion in the Hamptons — with beautiful this and beautiful that everywhere.


I mean, I know the FOF idea of “it” being a “play” — but it never occurred to me that the entire thing was staged very carefully. We tend to be reluctant to give Burton any credit with regard to his manipulative skills, but I sense this is something he gave a lot of thought to: How to prepare the house just right for sale, knowing full well that it’s a piece of junk.


Burton is like a realtor. Many of us have acted as his employees — preparing the home for sale…the structure is weak and even dangerous to reside in, but if the facade is looking very pretty and well arranged, that’s all that matters to him.


So sure, all of this is obvious. My advice to people is this: If it seems obvious, say it anyway.



159. The BoxMay 14, 2010


I wanted to address the issue of Robert, as a homosexual, having sex with male students. I think this blurs the issue somewhat. The questions that get asked are: are the students bisexual? Is it appropriate for them to have sex with Robert when it’s not their sexual orientation and the like.


Let’s look at what the situation would be if Robert was heterosexual and behaving in the same way with women. This would mean that he always travels with women, has women-only cellar dinners every week and prefers female company to that of men. It would mean that he has unprotected sex regularly with dozens of female partners. That he has regular sex with married women. That he makes extensive use of FOF resources to shower women with gifts. That he lives with a harem of women, and young women at that. That he has multiple-partner orgies with women. That he uses prescription medication and shows them porn to increase or affect their arousal. That traveling FOF students send him photos of young female students that they come across in their travels and that he chooses the ones he finds most attractive and offers them visas and green cards to stay in Oregon House.


It would be utterly unacceptable, and of course he wouldn’t be able to do this. He has taken advantage of the social acceptability of men spending time with men and the moral ambiguity of homosexual and bisexual relationships, plus the dynamics of male-female relationships to feed his satyriasis.



225. James MclemoreMay 16, 2010


As for us wondering where some people’s empathy and sincerity may have disappeared to. . .


Two more little quotes from “A Collective of Women” and titled “Sex, Lies, and Grand Schemes of Thought in Closed Groups”:


"Discovering how they were finally 'broken' may be the most difficult piece of the puzzle for former members of closed groups who are attempting to reconstruct their lives. According to Herman’s studies, in the final stages of establishing covert control, the perpetrator has the victims violate the codes of conduct by which they formerly defined themselves. In so doing, he removes the last vestiges of individual conscience."


"In closed groups where covert control is exercised, strange, trance-like dynamics operate that prevent those participating from seeing the most obvious things."



241. Jomo PiñataMay 17, 2010


236. William


I cannot claim that I was in a trance. I wish I could.


Respectfully, what makes you think that you would know whether or not you were in a trance?


Suppose a person simply doesn’t know how to make that determination? Why would that person’s lack of awareness of what comprises a trance be the main criterion to which one would look in determining whether that person was in a trance?


I take responsibility for what I said and did during those years. It was my own poor decision-making. My own misunderstanding about the nature of spirituality.


Have you considered that you may be taking responsibility not only for things for which you are responsible, but things for which you are not?


People who trust can be deceived by those whom they trust. People who are deceived make decisions based on false information provided to them in order to deceive or manipulate them. Then they develop other rationalizations for their decisions based on the false information. Later, when they discover that the information on which they based their decisions was false, and that they were being deceived, they still have that scaffolding of later-developed rationalizations which support their earlier decision. This process happens automatically and it happens to everyone.


So it is not really meaningful, I suggest, to “take responsibility” for decisions you made based on false information provided to you deceptively, which you then rationalized automatically. You are not at fault for trusting or being naive. You are not at fault for being a victim of intentional deception. Rationalizing your decisions retrospectively happens automatically to everyone.


That is not to say you bear NO responsibility for your decisions. But it IS to say most people are quite ready to own up to things for which they’re not responsible. And, in my opinion, it’s harder to get an unflinching look at what happened in one’s own case if the outcome is pre-determined, i.e., if the end result must be that “I take responsibility.” Examine what actually happened and only then let the responsibility be allocated.



160. Thot Plickens May 14, 2010


Was reading some of the previous pages, taking my own advice…



1. What You Should Know About Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends January 18, 2010


• It’s a doomsday cult.

• The predicted doomsday never came.

• Burton predicted major catastrophes for 1984 and 1998, and then nuclear war for 2006. For decades, he predicted the Fellowship of Friends would become the beginning of a new civilization in 2006.  Burton said, “Our task is to establish a new civilization.”

• Through cognitive dissonance, followers try to forget the above predictions, or downplay them.

• Like other cults, followers object to the word “cult.” But there’s no better one-word description for this organization in the English language.

• Burton has coerced and seduced several hundred young followers — and perhaps thousands — into having sex with him, using promises of spiritual salvation, expensive gifts, vacations abroad, as well as playing on their fears of being outcast from their circle of friends. As a result, many former and current followers have suffered lasting psychological scars and emotional trauma, and a few have committed suicide. (Read the numerous personal accounts within this blog.)

• In doing the above, Burton has violated the trust of thousands of his followers who were unaware of the extent of his sexual activities within the cult, and unaware of the extent of his deception.

• Burton is a sociopath and malignant narcissist who shows no concern for the welfare of his followers unless they are useful to him in some way. When they cease to be useful to him, he discards them.

• Burton’s “public” persona is one of a gentle guru who speaks with a soft voice. This personality helps him deceive his followers into believing they have found the one true path to enlightenment, salvation, and heaven.

• Burton tells his followers that 44 angels, or gods, guide the Fellowship of Friends — and that they guide only the Fellowship of Friends. Angels, he says, do not guide anyone else on earth.

• Burton advances a world view that Hell exists, and that there’s only one way to avoid going to Hell when one dies: Join the Fellowship of Friends, and stay in the Fellowship of Friends until your death. All people on earth who do not join the Fellowship of Friends will go to Hell when they die. Likewise, followers are warned that they will go to Hell if they leave the cult.

• Followers are discouraged or forbidden from communicating with former members. Those who leave the cult will lose contact with their closest friends within the cult.

• Followers are forbidden to discuss any of the above. If they do discuss these facts with their friends, or question anyone about these facts, they will be expelled. This in turn fosters secrecy and lack of transparency within the cult.

• Burton charges exorbitant membership fees – anywhere from 20% to 40% of income, depending on a person’s salary. The full amount of these fees is never discussed when representatives try to sell people on joining the cult.

• The fees have helped pay for Burton’s extravagant lifestyle, which includes expensive clothing, frequent expensive vacations, and a lavish home at the cult’s compound in Oregon House, California (between Grass Valley and Yuba City).

• Burton and the Fellowship of Friends have been sued by former members on multiple occasions. Most of these suits have been settled out of court, with insurance companies paying the settlement on behalf of the Fellowship of Friends.

• Burton founded the cult in 1970. For more than three decades, he characterized the cult as a so-called “Fourth Way school.” In recent years, the cult has virtually abandoned any discussions about the Fourth Way.

• Because the Fellowship of Friends (also referred to as Pathway to Presence) has been granted religious status, American taxpayers help pay for this cult.


• In the last four years, several hundred followers have left the Fellowship of Friends, and many followers continue to leave. It’s believed that slightly over 1,000 members remain worldwide, but reliable statistics are not publicly available.



522. Veronicapoe Says:


The family of emotions which includes shame and humiliation is innate and integral to the human affect system. Shame occurs naturally whenever something impedes the experience of positive affect. Humiliation is a species of shame, varying only in degree.


Understanding the experience of shame is necessary to understand narcissism. The most narcissistic persons are completely governed by the need to avoid the experience of shame. It leads them to invent grandiose delusions about themselves, to limit their social contacts to those who tend to reinforce their grandiosity and to devalue those who do not, and to rage when those delusions are threatened.


Elena quotes Girard as having written,


“The pain that one feels when one is humiliated is that of false personality being diminished.”


This really is a central tenet of Fellowship doctrine and it is fallacious. What makes it insidious, as with so much of Fellowship doctrine, is its grain of truth. It *does* take a certain strength to experience and acknowledge shame and humiliation. It represents an improvement over the degree of narcissistic impairment that refuses to acknowledge such emotions and flees the experience of them into grandiose delusions about oneself. The essence of the *innate* negative affect called “shame-humiliation” is a *physiological* response that occurs when something interferes with the experience or expression of positive affect. Being present to shame-humiliation is being present to what’s actually going on in one’s individual affect system at a given moment.


Where the idea goes wrong, as Girard has expressed it, is that it tends to make the experience of humiliation a means of eradicating the ineradicable.


The logic of the thing goes like this: Some event or experience is causing me to feel humiliated.


(Jim has shot randomly into the herd of elk with an Uzi and taken off, leaving the hunters humiliated to deal with the angry farmers and repair the broken fence.)


(Robert has deliberately dropped a glass onto the floor in the Coffee Tree and the wait staff have to come clean it up.)


(The new student fails at the word exercise and is photographed for it so often that she finds herself unable to put together a coherent thought.)


(Joseph is glowered at for daring to eat while Asaf talks.)


Because the Fellowship ideology provides that when humiliation happens, “false personality” is being reduced, this humiliation experience is viewed as spiritually salutary. I am humiliated, therefore I must be evolving.


The logical conclusion of this position is to exalt the experience of shame and humiliation, to make it sought after and central, and to subject people to increasingly humiliating experiences for their own spiritual good. The notion seems to be, somehow, that through this trial of fire, one eradicates the part of oneself that is “less real,” the so-called “false personality.”


The problem is that the shame-humiliation family of emotions belong to us and are no more or less real than joy, excitement, interest, sadness, anger, and disgust. They are ineradicable and innate. We can no more rid ourselves of them than we can stand on our own shoulders, and all attempts to do so must end in humiliation.



alice in wonder Says:


Hi All,


Here’s some snipped googled info on those who have no conscience: is the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath

The Guru

From washington times review of book THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR: THE RUTHLESS VERSUS THE REST OF US by Martha Stout


“The trouble," Ms. Stout says, is that "sociopaths are nearly always invisible to us.” We get to know them for what they are in retrospect, in looking back at our dealings or associations with them. Otherwise, she says, for the most part “we remain effectively oblivious” to them. This is mainly because on the surface they appear normal, and manage in many ways and most times to fake those emotions normal people ordinarily feel, such as love, regret and sympathy.


And fake it they must do, in order to get along in society. But underneath the front they put on, sociopaths just don’t give a hoot for other people or other creatures. Regardless of what they do, sociopaths don’t at all care about the effects of their actions on society, family, associates and persons who consider them their friends. They are, Ms. Stout says, hollow people, unable to feel love, compassion, a desire to help or even feel the need to return a smile.


In spite of the surface advantages a lack of conscience may give sociopaths, Ms. Stout fervently believes a person is better off with a conscience. It is conscience, she explains, that blesses our lives with meaning, that allows us to feel such emotions as love and grief and joy. Without it we would be emotionally hollow and bored and “would spend our days pursuing repetitive games of our own misguided creation.”

From personal experience (being) I know that sociopaths/psychopaths are truly invisible in many ways. They are different and attractive. They seem to have something we don’t. There have been several posts expressing a sense of failure, but I think we are not failures, especially if we come to value our conscience. Leaving the fof is like pumping iron for the conscience. I like the last paragraph quoted above about meaning. I prefer meaning in my life to be brought by patterns and simple things and interests and connections with friends, family and community. Prefer those poetic, deep, subtle meanings to grandiose ones….like, oh, just about anything RB says.


When I moved to another state and started over, I still had remnants of the snobbish attitudes about life people – and I moved to a really ‘normal’ neighborhood. But I discovered that those attitudes were very young ones – as in immature, and they had just frozen in me. I joined fof young and just had not matured in many ways. So there I was, and it was painful to have to grow up, alone. But the rewards were absolutely wonderful.


I wish I could comment directly on the wonderful recent posts – but don’t have time – so, simply: Thank you all.

Howard Carter, why are you posting? Are you breaking the rules from curiosity? Why do you care what a bunch of ex fofers say?? What difference does it make to you or your evolution? Go and be in peace.

Siddiq says:
Good luck to all on this 10th page!





Chapter 3:  Commitment & Consistency


Hobgoblins of the Mind


"It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end." ~Leonardo Da Vinci


According to Cialdini, the only effective defense is awareness and although consistency is generally good, even vital, there is a foolish, rigid variety to be avoided. The task to become consciously aware rests with each individual. Automatic consistency has its use and place. The way out is to recognize the personal signs that can lead the way out of poor choices. Cialdini offers three signals: stomach signs, heart-of-heart signs and special vulnerabilities.


Stomach signs occur with uneasiness in the pit of the stomach that we are about to behave or comply in ways that we might later regret.


Heart-of-heart signs occur less so obviously than the “pit in the stomach” but rather a feeling or sense that often precedes thought or action. While subtler, it’s the heart of the truth in each individual, and can become a rich source of information.


Special vulnerabilities include age and individual strong cultural and personal factors.


Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and Practice (5th edition). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.



From  Influence and The New American Wing




Robert Cialdini's book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, describes many of the ways in which people influence each other. At first glance, I thought the book was about marketing, and about the techniques used by sales professionals to cause people to buy their products. However, a friend of mine repeatedly praised the book as a great tool for understanding some of the dynamics within cults, and so I finally broke down and read it. I was not disappointed – the book is excellent, and it illuminated many different aspects of my own cult experience.


From 1991 to 1994, I was an active member of The New American Wing (NAW), a consciousness cult based on the ideas of G.Gurdjieff and P.D.Ouspensky. After having been a fan of Ouspensky's "Fourth Way" books for a couple years, I was excited when I first discovered this group, and began by attending meetings twice a week. After about a year of increasing involvement, I moved into a house with other "students". After another year, I moved to the NAW's headquarters: a small farm outside Lexington, Kentucky. My responsibilities within the group had steadily increased with time, and by this point I was spending all my available time (outside my day job) with this group. I lived with them, paid them a great deal of money, believed in much of their dogma, and participated in various recruiting activities. My mental and physical life was consumed with their ideas and practices. . .


In the end…


Even now, years after leaving the NAW, I still wonder whether the teachers actually understood what they were doing. With so many adoring students, it is very possible that they came to believe in their own facade of authority, and actually acted with a clean (although buried) conscience. Judging from my own experience, I was certainly unconscious of my own role in influencing new recruits until long after I'd left.


In all likelihood, the teachers (Jim and Carolyn Kuziak) were probably not aware enough to have devised these rules intentionally. Evidence supports the idea that they learned how to run their organization from their teacher (James Randazzo), who, in turn, learned from his teacher (Robert Burton), and so on. This makes good sense from the perspective of the theory of natural selection: the groups that survive are the ones that make the best use of persuasion techniques and produce the most true believers, regardless of whether they are aware of these techniques or not.


As Cialdini's book demonstrates, these practices pervade society already. We do not need to join a cult to experience them, they are already all around us. But the first step in regaining control over these pressures is to become aware of them, and Influence provides an excellent starting point.


It is my sincerest wish that the existing and ex-members of the New American Wing begin to look at their experience from the new vantage points made possible by this book. For them, I want to pass on this advice, once given to me by a friend – the true learning in "school" does not begin until you leave!



130. invictus maneoNovember 21, 2015

I was traveling in Europe with the REB entourage. One morning REB told me he would be busy with other things, so I should spend some time with BF, a student living in that city. BF struck me as a very nice, gentle soul. We had some interesting discussions. BF mentioned he couldn’t go for a coffee because he had no money. I asked how he paid his rent. He replied he didn’t know; he had no money for anything, and wouldn’t have any coming in for some weeks. I asked why not. BF told me every time REB came to town, REB told BF to give all the cash BF could scrape up to REB, and BF did so. I asked whether REB knew BF had no money for food, no money for rent, and no money for anything else. BF replied yes, REB definitely knew this. I asked why BF did this. He replied one must do whatever the teacher requires.

Is this how a student would be treated by a loving teacher, or by a blood sucking parasite?



Veronicapoe – June 14, 2007 at 2:13 pm

“In particular, if he [Robert Earl Burton] knows what he is doing and we don’t, we have no basis for judging or doubting him. Instead, we simply have to trust him, as a child trusts his parents, or dog trusts its master. If he asks us to do things which seem to have no connection to awakening–or even to be ‘wrong’–we have no choice but to do them anyway.”


    Girard Haven, Page 576, Creating A “Soul”


“Loyalty not only in deed, but in character is demanded of you. Loyalty of character often demands no less heroic virtue than does loyalty in deed. Loyalty in character is unbreakable loyalty, a loyalty that knows no ifs or buts, that knows no weakening.  Loyalty in character means absolute obedience that does not question the results of the order nor its reasons, but rather obeys for the sake of obedience itself. Such obedience is an expression of heroic character when following the order leads to personal disadvantage or seems even to contradict one’s personal convictions."


   Rudolf Hess, The Oath to Adolf Hitler – 2/25/34



273. Ollie May 22, 2010


Robert Burton in a recent meeting, May 16, 2010:


“We read an article saying, ‘Could the Mayan Apocalypse Island be the Juan Fernandez Islands, which are four hundred miles out to sea into the Pacific Ocean from Chile?’ The last sentence of the article caught our attention: ‘But who believes that the world will end in 2012?’ The various nations of the world possess an enormous number of nuclear weapons. They are even becoming obsolete and falling apart. There has been a tremendous gap between World War II and World War III. People cannot conceive that they are the victims of the Last Judgment. No age was able to see itself; but every other age could see that this is the age of the external Last Judgment. The other schools spoke about it symbolically. We saw a license plate saying ‘US SAFE.’ Theoretically, we will survive it, unharmed.”


(Scared yet? Mind you, it’s “us” – not “U.S.” – who is safe, “us” being of course the few remaining Fellowshippers, not all you wretched billions of other people on planet Earth…)



On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit


Gordon Pennycook*   James Allan Cheyne#   Nathaniel Barr$   Derek J. Koehler$  Jonathan A. Fugelsang$


Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 10, No. 6

November 2015, pp. 549-563

Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation. Here we focus on pseudo-profound bullshit, which consists of seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous. We presented participants with bullshit statements consisting of buzzwords randomly organized into statements with syntactic structure but no discernible meaning (e.g., “Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena”). Across multiple studies, the propensity to judge bullshit statements as profound was associated with a variety of conceptually relevant variables (e.g., intuitive cognitive style, supernatural belief). Parallel associations were less evident among profundity judgments for more conventionally profound (e.g., “A wet person does not fear the rain”) or mundane (e.g., “Newborn babies require constant attention”) statements. These results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bullshit and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims. Our results also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.


Keywords: bullshit, bullshit detection, dual-process theories, analytic thinking, supernatural beliefs, religiosity, conspiratorial ideation, complementary and alternative medicine.


1  Introduction


“It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.” – Harry Frankfurt


In On Bullshit, the philosopher Frankfurt (2005) defines bullshit as something that is designed to impress but that was constructed absent direct concern for the truth. This distinguishes bullshit from lying, which entails a deliberate manipulation and subversion of truth (as understood by the liar). There is little question that bullshit is a real and consequential phenomenon. Indeed, given the rise of communication technology and the associated increase in the availability of information from a variety of sources, both expert and otherwise, bullshit may be more pervasive than ever before. Despite these seemingly commonplace observations, we know of no psychological research on bullshit. Are people able to detect blatant bullshit? Who is most likely to fall prey to bullshit and why?


2  Pseudo-profound bullshit


The Oxford English Dictionary defines bullshit as, simply, “rubbish” and “nonsense”, which unfortunately does not get to the core of bullshit. Consider the following statement:


    "Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty."


Although this statement may seem to convey some sort of potentially profound meaning, it is merely a collection of buzzwords put together randomly in a sentence that retains syntactic structure . . .



by Gurdjieff/Ouspensky Fourth Way Author
Robert Earl Burton


“Almost no one realizes the enormity of what can be gained or lost during his lifetime. One gains immortality or suffers oblivion, or worse. Every second you remember yourself you pierce eternity.”


"I do not imagine that there has ever been a way or path to the truth that was not strange, because one is taking a mechanical man at a physical level and transforming him into an astral body. I would not teach or use my energy unless I felt that immortality was probable and that death was an illusion for those who enter the way."


"Immortality is within our reach. Books educate us, but only self-remembering makes us immortal."


"Each person who enters the way will become immortal—that is why the way exists. The life of each person who enters the way is an epic, yet how many lives we live in this one lifetime! Sometimes one remembers with relief that higher forces are monitoring the school. We have the great privilege of understanding that higher forces do exist, and that life after death is a reality. Where does the way lead to? Immortality."


"Rainer Maria Rilke said, “All angels bring terror”—terrible shocks to awaken one. To create an astral body they use unsavory methods. Influence C frequently plays the role of villain in our lives. With them, one just absorbs continually; it is the highest path. One tries to endure without self-pity. It is curious, but Influence C crushes us into immortality."


"Human nature generally does not see the obvious, which is why esoteric truths have frequently been presented in the form of fairy tales. Fairy tales often begin with the statement, “Once upon a time,” indicating that the stories are unfolding in time, and end with a prince and a princess (World 6 and World 12) living “happily ever after,” that is, in eternity—immortality."


"Awakening is an emotional process and friction must be emotional. The suffering we experience must be real because the states we create are real. It isn’t pleasant to verify this, and yet it is a blessing. Friction can seem like a curse until we begin to realize the great idea behind it. What is that great idea? Immortality. Can anything compare with that?"


"Remember that you seek immortality, and one can hardly pay enough."


"My dear friends. You are in a critical situation. We live in a brutal universe where souls are endlessly driven from vessel to vessel. The gods have entered your life to enable you to escape this vicious cycle. Immortality is within your grasp. Firmly grip your aim to awaken and do not be distracted by anything. You are not alone; remember I love you, now and forever."


Robert Earl Burton



20. OscarJune 23, 2016


From the 2015 documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies


“Once you lie, you’re more likely to lie again, and probably the second lie will be bigger than the first. What we find in the brain is that, at the beginning, if you lie a little bit, there’s a huge response in regions involved with emotion such as the amygdala and the insula. The 10th time you lie, the response is not that high. After a while, the negative feeling is not there as much. You lie more and more and more.”



12. Tempus FugitJune 5, 2012


From the “Backstage” section of Braverman’s website on Gurdjieff:


“I encountered the Fourth Way in 1995, joining Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, and am still a member of that organization. I moved to the California headquarters in 2000 and began working closely with Burton on his teaching. In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom that I had been previously studying in theory.”




Could this have something to do with allegations of bigamy noted by Wondering Who’s Watching in Post 6, Page 121 (current page)?




This site, and the content herein except where noted, was created by Asaf Braverman. The posts are written by Asaf and several guest contributors. Asaf takes responsibility for any points of view expressed on this site, originating as they do, from his own experience with the Fourth Way and his own study of ancient wisdom.


Gurdjieff’s Ark of Ancient Wisdom Sails On . . .

J.G. Bennet | William Nyland | Lord Pentland


After the deaths of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, students in Washington and New York continue, as best as they can, experimenting with Fourth Way principles. America now enters the post World War II era, characterized by the breaking down of form and the emergence of the Hippie movement. It is a decade ripe for esotericism and spirituality. Gurdjieff’s student William Nyland connects with the young generation of people reacting to the increasingly materialist values of the postwar world.


“The old image of teacher infallibility and the “best of all schools” has worn thin. It does not correspond to the modes of thought in a society where uncertainty and hazard are seen to be the price of existence itself. The school must be seen as a community that has undertaken an almost impossible task of producing a new type of man that will be needed to cope with the predicted world crises for the next hundred years. The image of the Temple of Wisdom must be replaced by that of Noah’s Ark riding the flood. Unless awareness of social needs and the awakening of social conscience are recognized respectively as the beginning and end of the educational process, there is little hope for the future.” – J G Bennett


Alexander Francis Horn


William Nyland’s circle includes Alexander Francis Horn, a teacher of theatre, dramatist, and playwright. Horn learns more about the Fourth Way from J.G. Bennet’s New York groups, from the Gurdjieff Foundation, as well as from Rodney Collin himself, whom he visits in Mexico. Upon Collin’s death, Horn is dissatisfied with the condition in which he finds the Gurdjieff Foundation (now institutionalized without its founder). He recommends that Lord Pentland disband it.


Horn establishes the Theatre of All Possibilities and incorporates Fourth Way principles into his theatrical work. Horn’s methods are severe, forcing his students to work on themselves by subjecting them to pressure and charging them with large demands. His plays In Search for a Solar Hero and Ponderings of a Citizen of the Milky Way sum the ideals of the sixties, ideals which that decade never fully attains. Yet in so doing, Horn translates and transports Gurdjieff’s work to a new generation.


Horn moves his group to San Francisco, where he meets and marries actress Sharon Ganz. The Theatre of All Possibilities is eventually taken over by Sharon, forcing Horn to return to New York. As the ‘flower children’ turn into the increasingly materially prosperous baby-boomers, the spirit of the sixties is extinguished. Alexander Horn’s teaching splits, his wife taking the more active role with the groups, while he continues working with a smaller circle of students until his death in 2007.


“Esotericism inevitably flounders and degenerates in the course of time, giving rise to the need for the esoteric impulse to be constantly revivified and redefined.” 

– Alexander Francis Horn



Lateral Drift  October 11, 2007 at 9:46 pm


@361. Still Trying


‘The Sequence’ is a relatively recent – and very practical – Burton contribution to the 4th Way school of thought. It involves using the 30 work ‘I’s to practice being present or self-remembering in daily life. Students are encouraged to start out doing 20 or so sequences per day in groups of 3. Each step lasts about one breath (3 seconds) for a total time of about 30 seconds.


During Robert’s travels in Egypt, following practical observation, there was a refinement to the sequence of six work I’s which bring presence.


The current format for the sequence is:


1. Be— 2. Hold— 3. Theme— 4. Back— 5. Theme again— 6. long BE – followed by the four wordless breaths (steps 7-10).


Theme is the appropriate work ‘I’ in the moment.

It makes the sequence more effective as there is one less work ‘I’ to remember and draw our attention away. For example during a concert the sequence would be: Be—Hold—Hear—Back —Hear—long BE.


The work ‘I’ – ‘Back’ – called the middle coming – is an invitation for the steward to come forward and a command to the lower self to go ‘back’ to its rightful place.


Another way to look at it, is that the fourth work ‘I’ in the sequence, actually reaffirms the short ‘Be’ and prepares for the Long BE. ‘Back’, therefore, represents another form of ‘Be’.



The Thirty Work ‘I’s


1. Be (Be present)
2. Hold (Hold the sequence with Presence)
3. Pray (Choose the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear)
4. Back (Watch the lower self)
5. Turn (Return to the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear)
6. Long BE (Prolong Presence)
7. Act (Engage Presence)
8. Peace [Pax] (Avoid the entire spectrum of negative emotions)
9. Leave (Avoid identification)
10. Kneel (Do not resent friction)
11. Drop (Do not judge or keep accounts)
12. Use (Use voluntary suffering)
13. Wit (Avoid wit)
14. Now (Think neither of the past nor of the future)
15. Look (Look with presence)
16. Move (Move with presence)
17. Taste (Taste with presence)
18. Hear (Listen with presence)
19. Feel (Feel with presence)
20. Smell (Smell with presence)
21. Talk (Speak with presence)
22. Think (Think with presence)
23. Read (Read with presence)
24. Write (Write with presence)
25. Child (Remain in essence; avoid false personality revolving around chief feature)
26. Serve (Do not inner consider, externally consider)
27. Scale (Use scale and relativity)
28. Aim (Keep aim and complete octaves; be aware of third forces)
29. Time (Remember the brevity of life)
30. Gods (Remember the gods)



29. ryanopooOctober 17, 2015


The true story behind the miraculous appearance of the Sequence.


Braverman was given the book, A Lasting Freedom by Francis Roles – a close student of Ouspensky’s – and within a few months, the prototype versions of the sequence began to emerge. By 2011, as the quote below demonstrates, the sequence had become folklore.


Here’s Dr. Roles quoting Ouspensky from A Lasting Freedom:


…. “Something was missing in the system. If man is meant to remember himself there must have been some simple method. But it has been lost. I could never find it. Once in India, I heard an echo of such a method. If you find the method you may find the Source.”


and here’s Conscious Bob on 09/21/2011:


“Here is a photo of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn. Of all of them, we learned the most from Ouspensky. Before the sequence Ouspensky was the most quoted figure by far, but now we rarely mention his name. Why? At the end of his life he said, ‘If man was made to remember himself there must be some simple method. I’ve been looking all of my life but it was never given to me’ – by Influence C.”


Ouspensky and his close associates, including Roles and Rodney Collin, were convinced by the latter part of O’s life that “The system” didn’t work; Ouspensky said it needed to be recreated from scratch. Collin took a stab at re-creation with his book, Celestial Influence, and Roles went off in search of the method and the source. They understood that dividing attention and Gurdjieff’s third state, was not self-remembering, (nor could it ever lead to it), in the deepest sense of unity consciousness – Turiya, the fourth state – in which it is meant.


Collin came up with three forces in self-remembering and Roles came back from India with a method of meditation using Mantra. Roles understood about the 4th state, unity consciousness in which the Self with a capital “S” is remembered and the sense of being a separate someone is absorbed within it. It very definitely is NOT the so called third state; and the third state is not, and never will be, the means to it.


Bob found in Ouspensky’s quote a simple method to amplify his own glory, while Assup found a reason to wear that stupid Bow Tie, very often indeed. Also Bob needed something to distract the sheep in between failed predictions. So Ouspensky was demoted to “D list” conscious being, while the cosmic cowboys, Braverman and Burton went about inventing the lost method.


Before long, they are unearthing it everywhere – paintings, poems, Rhino shit – it was there all along, now we are blessed to see it, hallelujah.


Now just a bit of jiggling with the quotes here and there, to make them a bit of a closer fit to the truth – as Laurel and Hardy now see it – and voila, Conscious Bob’s your uncle. Horseshit, 120 bucks a plate, for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner until humanity is finally, once and for all, expunged. Amen.


Bob heralded his invention as the newly revealed gift of C-influence, proof of his being way more important than Ouspensky and very obvious proof that the now 43 angels like him much more than the Russian guy.


What the dynamic duo came up with, and then endlessly pumped down the throats of good people, is a guaranteed method for never entering the fourth state, 6 canine commands to bark at oneself. The poverty of Bob’s being is revealed here, in all its delusional, manipulative, desperate, lying glory.


And if you’re open enough to look, and if it doesn’t make you wince too much, you may get a glimmer of a shocking but definitely dawning realization: Conscious Bob doesn’t really understand about Self-remembering, his speciality, does he – I mean how could he, right?


Don’t worry though comrades. I bet within a few months you’ll be hearing all about the 4th state at a breakfast near you and how Bob was always in it all along.



Veronicapoe –  June 16, 2007 at 1:46 am


For those interested, “Overview of Fellowship Exercises, July 26, 1980” is now online:



Purchasing awakening –  September 30, 2007


Aren’t students sick already of Bob’s compulsive counting and keying madness?  He seems to be totally obsessed with counting everything. He turns simple objects into sequence, Be’s and nine of hearts in his sick mind. This is imagination at its worst – when simple reality cannot be seen for what it is anymore and instead is substituted with contrived and distorted subjective concepts and meanings…

Don’t you see that the guy has really lost his mind?

Does anyone still take his progressing insanity as “sacred teaching”?


Please. Open your eyes.

This is from the recent meeting:

'The Madonna represents the nine of hearts. …Mary holds the Christ child with four fingers on each side, representing the four wordless breaths. They are looking into each other’s eyes, which signifies that the nine of hearts and the sequence are remaining in touch.  …Mary’s blue “garment of virtue” extends beyond the frame of the composition, which means that the sequence has passed outside of time with the inhalation and exhalation of the four wordless breaths. The Christ child is in white because he has completed a sequence.'

‘The two figures blowing trumpets at the top represent long BE and short Be. Starting from right to left, the six figures beneath them to the left of the groom represent Be, Hold, Look, and then the furthest figure to the back, Back, followed by long BE in blue on the end, with his ten fingers representing the Ten Commandments. The groom represents the steward, the bride represents the nine of hearts, while in the middle stands God the Father. Together they form the Holy Trinity. At the top, the three Italian stone pines represent the three Be’s. There are four windows on the right, below which are four maidens, representing the four wordless breaths. The two pots beneath the trees represent short Be and long BE. Fra Angelico is very organized. In schools we must count the numbers because the artists counted them before they painted their works.'

Yes, keep counting, dears… In schools we must count.



Bares Reposting  –  October 13, 2007 at 11:12 pm


Daily Card:
Saturday, October 13, 2007:


It is difficult to reach the four wordless breaths, and equally difficult to remain there. When I am by myself and I reach long BE, I sometimes put my hands up on the wall, like a child, in order to remain present during the four wordless breaths.


Love, Robert



Purchasing awakeningOctober 11, 2007 at 2:03 am


Lateral Drift – 205. (on joining FOF):


“Tell me how to get the most out of it, without getting used and abused.”


Assuming it’s a genuine question, here’s my advice:

Don’t join.


You will get used and abused, and brainwashed. There is nothing to get and a lot to loose. It takes years to heal. It has happened to too many sincere seekers, so – learn!

The leader is lustful, selfish and tremendously greedy, and he has nothing beautiful to teach you. He promotes fear, judgment, fake behavior and delusion in his followers. Unable himself to simply love and care for others, he brings up coldness and cruelty in his followers.

There are better places and much better teachers out there, keep looking if you must. Good luck.

FOF is a trap, and a bad one.

Look, here’s some very recent “thoughts” from insane Teacher “decoding” old renaissance paintings. This is exactly what you’ll read out loud and study at every single meeting and pay for it too. At Isis each weekly meeting costs $50-$100, so forget your “reasonable” $150 a month…


The Teacher has no doubt – he is so absolutely sure in his mad interpretations. Any normal thinking human being will tell you this is totally insane – except for his poor brainwashed followers.


Does it sound like 4th Way teaching to you? Ask yourself this.




“The Christ child is in white because he has completed a sequence.”


“The child opens the garment at Mary’s breast, signifying that the sequence is acting – it is 'going in'. The garment itself is red, symbolizing combustion. The hair of the Christ child is also red. The image depicts the nine of hearts and the sequence engaging the four wordless breaths by controlling the passions, represented by the thirty-six white lilies.”


“Woman has laid aside a blue vase, signifying that the nine of hearts has completed its sequence. The gold rim on the bottom of the vase represents short Be, while the gold rim at the top represents long BE. The vase itself is lapis lazuli, representing prolonged presence. The woman above the vase shows five toes on one foot and three toes on the other. Renaissance artists often did this rather than show four toes on each foot. It signifies the nine of hearts engaging the inhalation and exhalation of the four wordless breaths.”


“A fresco by Giotto in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi depicts the Crucifixion (1310). Here Giotto uses the four angels on either side of the cross to convey the inhalation and exhalation of the four wordless breaths. Although there are several figures below the cross, only eight of them have halos, again referring to the inhalation and exhalation of the four wordless breaths. The two standing figures to the right of the cross are shown together as one. They represent the nine of hearts on the left and the steward on the right, and indicate that the nine of hearts and the sequence share the same body. As is often the case for the nine of hearts, the woman on the left wears a red dress. Although they should have four hands, only two hands with five fingers each are pictured, representing the Ten Commandments. Mary wears a red robe, symbolizing combustion, and kisses Christ’s small toe without touching his four other toes, representing the four wordless breaths. Together with the five fingers on her right hand, these nine digits symbolize the four wordless breaths controlling the passions. It is merely the nine of hearts, the sequence, and the four wordless breaths. Interestingly, the middle kneeling figure on the right is a duplicate machine of one of our students.“



Graduates – September 30, 2007 at 7:58 pm  


Purchasing awakening


Re: "He was counting poops, cocks and breasts, and now he’s into feet."


The woman above the vase shows five toes on one foot and three toes on the other. Renaissance artists often did this rather than show four toes on each foot. It signifies the nine of hearts engaging the inhalation and exhalation of the four wordless breaths.


The five toes of the man’s inner right foot are facing us, while the big toe on his left foot, representing long BE, is outside of time.


"Washing the feet" means purifying the nine of hearts of imagination.




Burton is hardly more delusional now than he was right from the beginning, the nutty crap he is “teaching” now is consistently symptomatic of someone exhibiting psychosis. From one of his first meetings in 1970:


Burton: This group will produce three angels, and they will be burned on the cross and will survive.


Q. The others are the chaff?


Burton: They move to another role, if we take Jesus’ words, "Every hair is counted".  Remember, those three I spoke of will be literally and worse burned on the cross.


All of us at one time paid money for it, and those still there in the FoF are now paying for the delusional obsessions of a creature with a broken brain. If it weren’t for the uncomprehendingly destructive effects of Burton’s criminal sexual predation it would be pathetically comical that so many otherwise intelligent people belonged to this “conscious teaching” owned and operated by what almost anyone in *life* would recognize as a compete lunatic. I remember conspiratorially informing a close *life* friend of the impending “worldwide depression” that was about to befall humanity back in about 1982; my friend listened to the entire stupid tale and casually informed me that I was in a cult run by a nut. I remember the feeling I had of a knowing superiority and experiencing a little sadness that my friend was not going to “get it”.  I went on “remembering myself” with the expectation that the grand scheme of C influence was going to play out just as “The Teacher” predicted. Now you have 1500 people counting toes on old paintings and imagining that they are “present” in short and long BE. People are sleeping machines, so much so that they will believe the delusions of a madman and feel certain that they are hearing the truth.



VeronicapoeOctober 1, 2007 at 1:21 am




Your quote is correct, but it is not from 1970. It appeared in the Via Del Sol Journal on February 29, 1972, Vol. I, Issue No. 24, page 1.





The Esoteric History Archive – Via del Sol Journals. Miscellaneous. 1972-1973



In The Mask of SanityAn attempt to clarify some issues about the so-called psychopathic personality – by Hervey Cleckley, MD (p. 244)

   Fanatics and false prophets who show real but not so obvious signs of classic psychosis, as everyone must by now have learned, sometimes attract hundreds or thousands of followers who contribute large funds to projects founded on delusion. If news reports by many observers can be relied upon, even those showing plain evidence of very serious disorder, persons as fully psychotic as many on the wards of the state hospitals, also succeed in appearing to large groups not only as sage leaders or men with supernatural powers but also as God.



Origin of a Prophecy


In 1971, Teacher and a student were riding in a relatively new Dodge Dart along Hiway 1 near Carmel. Teacher was 32 years old at the time. They were listening to a baseball game on the car radio. As the odometer of the car hit the mileage number "1954", they passed a mailbox which had the name Thompson on it. Teacher indicated that this was a shock, as in 1954, Bobby Thompson of the New York Giants had hit a famous home run in a playoff game (which Teacher had apparently heard on the radio). 44 miles later as the odometer hit 1998, the mailbox on the side of the road showed the number 41211. Teacher indicated that THIS was also a shock which meant that California was going to fall into the Pacific Ocean in 1998 on April 12th at 11 am.



Tim Campion June 13, 2007 at 9:54 pm 


“I was only three days off in the prediction of my crystallization, which over a period of ten years is quite good, and I consider that prediction accurate. If a depression occurs in 1984, if California falls in 1998, if Armageddon occurs in 2006, then I was correct. All of which means, I am correct regarding the other information I have been speaking about.”


“Actually, most of what I speak about is facts.”


Robert Burton – June 11, 1979


By the same logic, if those predictions don’t come to pass?



Crystallization  (page 1 of 5):


Mr. Gurdjieff said, “All work on oneself consists in choosing the influence to which you wish to subject yourself.” By placing ourselves under the influence of the school we ensure correct crystallization, for we are less subject to the Law of Accident and are able to keep Influences A and B in perspective.


We promote correct crystallization by making the effort to observe our mechanicality impartially. We benefit most from our experiences when we do not buffer what they reveal to us about our weaknesses.


It is a rule of evolution that the more one does, the more is expected of one. If one was once actively involved in school activities and is now less involved because of other commitments, one’s work may be on a descending octave.


Harboring negative attitudes towards the school, the demands of the work, or other students consumes whatever profitable efforts one has made in the past and may lead to incorrect crystallization.


When one crystallizes correctly, one enters the Way, as one values the school above life. Yet, it is possible for a man number four to lose the Way at any time by thinking that what he has gained in the work is now a permanent part of his being.


A man number four must sustain the results of his past efforts with further efforts because awakening cannot proceed mechanically. It is only at the level of a man number six that higher centers are permanent. For a man number four, crystallization is a gradual process that secures his commitment to awakening through the recognition of his dependence upon the will and guidance of Influence C.


The only permanent aspect of the being of a man number four is change. Anything that becomes fixed at this level has incorrectly crystallized and means the end of evolutionary possibilities. To prevent this from occurring, we must continually try not to identify with any new change we witness in ourselves, in others, and in the school.


If we fail to release the residue of our magnetic centers, we may crystallize incorrectly, for retaining our magnetic center after it has led us to a school prevents us from acknowledging the difference between Influences B and Influences C.


One aspect of correct crystallization is being able to transform one’s real suffering and separate from one’s unnecessary suffering.


One needs to develop good habits that reinforce one’s aim to awaken and eliminate poor habits that promote mechanical behavior.



a former student August 15, 2007 at 2:30 am 


on 14 Aug 2007 at 9:02 pm #346 Skeptical Optimist
#344 Dick (I’m not a) Moron


“I remember the 'crystallization party' pretty well. I was living at the 'farm'. Burton had gone to Arizona so he could 'crystallize' at the Arizona Biltmore (tells you a lot right there).”


I was in Phoenix with Robert at the Arizona Biltmore the evening he was to crystalize. I spent the bulk of the day with him. I met him at the Airport with Mildred Smith and Vincent Bell, the center directors. We spent the day at the Biltmore and in Scottsdale. I think he had been attracted by the opportunity to buy a very large set of Meissen in the Red Dragon pattern at a good price. After a long day, I was with him and other students in the evening and I can recall having a drink in the lounge after dinner of Johnny Walker black label scotch, something rare for me, and accompanying him to his cottage where he proceeded to talk me into letting him have oral sex. He used the “externally consider your teacher” line and negotiated a deal or bribe by offering to transfer me from Phoenix to another center.


I travelled to Renaissance with Mildred Smith and other Phoenix students for the crystallization party. I had mixed feelings about seeing Robert after my experience at the Biltmore. Even today the evening at the Biltmore is a very blurry memory. It is oddly disjointed as I can recall things like what shoes and socks I had on, burgandy Guccis with cashmere socks, both gifts from Robert; my suit, a cream colored Italian silk, I got for myself and a floral silk tie I still have. I can remember the decorations on the furniture and carpets of his room, all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but only the vaguest dark image of Robert having oral sex. The image in my head is always like a dark angel or demon.


I seriously have questioned whether this was not a moment of choice for Robert, in that instead of crystallizing he chose to indulge himself and continue his lying sexual behavior. This experience stunned me. It was an ultimate betrayal. I did not speak to anyone about it until I disclosed it to my phychiatrist last week. I had buried the memory.


It took several years before I left the Fellowship. This shows the deep conflict between what I hoped was true, imagined was true, and had to accept as a reality. A certain fog was lifted and I was able to begin to see that Robert was as mechanical as he appeared. Self indulgent, selfish, dominating and given to micro-management, which was often grossly incompetent, that was justified as being for “our evolution”. This was part of the developing myth of needing to accept the teacher's will to free us from the law of accident.


The other evening I was musing after reading a post from Ames and a thought came that Robert was taken over by a demon. In Milton’s paradise lost it is the “fallen Angels” who resist the will of God that become the demons. Another idea is that a “demon” refers to the “lower self” or "King of Clubs”. So the thought is, what if Robert did “awaken” and experience the “truth” that we as creations are “the angels” and what we need remember is that we partake of the divine nature.


What if this is a test on the “way”. One of the conditions that all must meet to become man #5. Perhaps the si-do interval. The nature of which is to see without buffering the different contradictory sides of one's being. This is not about higher states but of being honest with oneself. You cannot become one and continue to lie to [your]self about contradictions.


This seems to be what Robert did. He lied about his sexuality. He developed a criminal inner circle of those who knew and perpetuated his lies. He, as Elena has stated, became two.


I have heard some demons refered to as “eaters of souls”. This very clearly describes what Robert has become. His “school” attracts magnetic centers and cultivates them for his food. Instead of nurturing and feeding his spiritual children, he is feeding off of their finer energies. He is a spiritual vampire.


This also explains why many who have left seem to have lost their desire to awaken. It also explains the apparant contradiction between the experience of higher states and apparant results, and the existance of a criminal center to the “school”. It is necessary for “the school” to cultivate higher energies and essence in order for Robert to feed apon it.



Part 2b