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Re: Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 10, 2013 10:44PM

Fellowship of Friends (aka people of the bookmark) have also gone by various names
'Ark' 'Oregon House', Renaissance' 'Apollo'.

This website, apparently set up by persons who do follow Gurdjieff work lists problems that students can fall into. And in passing, mentions Fellowship of Friends.



Living Presence/Renaissance Ark/Apollo Error (subset of false awakening error)

Delusion that my group is the:

`true school'
`conscious school on Earth'
`conscious school since the time of Christ'
`true representatives or heirs of the work'
that we are the:

`chosen people'
led by a `god-man' who is a `law unto himself',
or that only my `school':

will survive a soon-to-come destruction of civilization
has a divine mission to serve as an ark of culture and consciousness for humanity
will survive to establish a new civilisation or renaissance on Earth

Usually such groups are predominantly white middle class with token people from other races; special preparations and efforts are made to recruit wealthy, well-known, powerful, or influential people; young people with little money are recruited for their free labour, especially those from countries that were part of the former Soviet Union.

Buy Your Way to Heaven Error (subset of Living Presence/Renaissance Ark/Apollo Error)
Buying pretty objects to `improve the impressions octave' without corresponding inner work.

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Re: Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 10, 2013 11:35PM

"If people are not told up front that the plums are being distributed nepotistically then they are being defrauded"

For those who want to pursue esoteric or lodge work, some advice.


Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 02:39:26 -080
From: Kevin Langdon


When I was talking with the man who was my first contact with the Gurdjieff Work, I remember asking him whether there were objective tests for "promotion" within the organization, and he assured me that this was in fact the case. Well, of course, I was naive to think that there could be a complete absence of politics in any human endeavor, but his answer was, on the whole, not untruthful.

I think that this is an important consideration in contemplating devoting years of one's life to involvement in any group. If people are not told up front that the plums are being distributed nepotistically then they are being defrauded. It's not just a matter of vanity, wanting to be "important."

This same author warned


But maybe also that he knew them. It is possible to cause a lot of trouble by upsetting the applecart of conventional sexual morality in the context of a spiritual group, as the members of such groups are ready to accept the idea that they are in touch with a higher dispensation. Are you familiar with the sad case of Osel Tendzin?

(Corboy note: Chogyam Trungpa appointed Osel Tendzin his successor. Like Trungpa, Tendzin was sexually promiscuous. Unlike Trungpa, Tendzin contracted HIV. Tendzin believed himself to be at so high a state of realization that he could have sex with students, forgo use of condoms and not infect his partners. Unfortunately, he did. Such are the delusions one has when one believes one has transcended limitations that apply to 'ordinary' people.)


Corboy in no way endorses Fourth Way work. My personal opinion is that it is a dead end, something Gurdjieff himself created. IMO he enjoyed putting people off balance and feeding on their attention.

Better that than becoming one of a myriad of White Russian exiles who had to drive taxi cabs for a living.

Gurdjieff talked a good game about assisting students to become free, but from all that I have read it is my opinion that Gurdjieff talked freedom but instilled dependancy. The persons who did grow and develop freedom and autonomy did so in spite of him, not because of him.

If you still want to get involved with this stuff, here are some things to read beforehand.

You say you dont have time.

It will take a couple of months at most to read these three books. You stand to lose years of your life and a vast amount of money if you lack background information, take someone elses word for it, and land in a toxic group.

Here are a three of books that can give some excellent background.

Start with Madame Blavatsky's Baboon, by Peter Washington. Excellent introduction to the entire context. Gurdjieff was not unique. He came from and benefitted from a particular social context.

The Harmonious Circle by James Webb. Fourth Way people often dislike this book, and will either not mention it at all, or damn it with faint praise. James Webb, who died young in 1980, meticulously traced the sources of Gurdjieff's material, and in effect, demystified him.

Taking With the Left Hand by William Patrick Patterson. Written by an author who follows Gurdjieff work, TWLH gives useful overviews of how the enneagram came to market and the origin of the Fellowship of Friends.

No Religion Higher than Truth: A History of the Theosophical Movement in Russia During the Silver Age (1875-1921) by Maria Carlson

This item will give you detailed background on the context in which Gurdjieff operated. He used many elements from Theosophy. Professor Carlsons book can be obtained by interlibrary loan from your public library. \

A note on James Webb. Peace be to him.

It is a loss to us that Webb died young.

What is sadder is that cruel rumors were spread that Webb brought madness and suicide upon himself because he presumed to research esoteric material in an objective manner. (Webb noted in his introduction that he had an impression that attempts were being made to recruit him into the Fourth Way, which would have made it impossible to maintain an objective, disinterested stance, necessary for the approach he wished to maintain. He wrote with warmth and sympathy for the need people felt that led them to seek guidance and entrust their hearts to a leader and an esoteric course of study.

The sad truth is that Webb suffered from bipolar affective disorder, which is not caused by a curse, but is a medical psychiatric condition that is genetic. In the late 1970s and by 1980, the year of Webb's self inflicted death, few effective treatments for it were available. Even today many who have bipolar go for years before obtaining a diagnosis.

Webb would have had as much trouble with his condition had he been an accountant or a road sweeper.

His research into Gurdjieff's time in India and Tibet (verified by records in British Intelligence files) is most interesting.

For in the 1990s, Nikolai Grozhni, a young man who studied Tibetan Buddhism reported on a belief held by his Tibetan landlady's grandmother:


Ama-la..held, among other things, that the sun shut down at night like a candle and that the moon cycle was the result of hungry ghosts nibbling at the moon's body, which was really the size and consistencyof a pancake, only a glowing one. Every month, the moon was devoured completely and then restored to its original state by a karmic mechanism designed to keep the moon eating ghosts perpetually hungry.

"Presented with photographic evidence of the moon's harsh, unpancake like surface, Ama-la would look thankfully at the small statue of Manjushri (Goddess of Wisdom), standing on the altar, next to her bed, and cry, "Engie kugpa! (Crazy foreigner!)

Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk, page 84)

Am not sure if this is a belief unique to the one person interviewed by Grozhni, or to her particular ethnic group (Tibet has many) or is a fairly widespread superstition in that area.

Still, it is most interesting that Gurdjieff's odd comment that men are food for the moon is an inversion of that statement.

(Note: to research Gurdjieff, take care to exclude 'Osho' which is the name now given to Rajneesh, the tyrannical trance trickster who collected Rolls Royces, and whose followers tried to manipulate an election in Oregon by putting salmonella in a local salad bar. Rajneesh/Osho appreciated Gurdjieff, and that, to more cautious persons, should serve as a warning. Gurdjieff sowed confusion and instilled dependancy. So did Rajneesh/aka Osho.


Here in this larger essay the comment is made that Gurdjieff allegedly said his ideas could be taken 'seven different ways'.

This is a recipe to be trapped for life. And to need some more highly developed guide to explain it all for you.


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Re: Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 10, 2013 11:40PM

Finally, if invited to get involved with a group, always see if information is available about it online, especially from persons who have already spent years of their lives and wish they had known at that outset what they sadly came to know later on.

Put "cult" into the search terms. Other words to use are finances, money, abuse, etc.

The archives on this website are also excellent.

Many are recruited by friends. In some very regrettable cases, psychotherapists may subourn clients.

No matter how much you love and trust a friend, he or she may be completely ignorant of what a group consists of.

You may have to be prepared for much anguish and courage to leave in such circumstances.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2017 07:24PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 10, 2013 11:53PM

Again, Fellowship of Friends book marks are appearing in books and on bulletin boards.

They're out there recruiting.

As noted, the bookmark has two old fashioned cameo portraits in color, of Gurdjieff on the left, and Ouspensky on the right. The words Self Remembering are on the front, and between the portraits there is a (currently) a Yin/Yang symbol in black and white.

In some versions of either the bookmark or posters the two portraits of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are incorporated into the Yin Yang symbol.

Fellowship of Friends have always had conspicuously high quality artwork on their promotional materials.

For background, read here:


Fellowship of Friends visitor comments on Rick Ross site (soon to change name to Cult Education)


Images here from Google.


Former members of Fellowship of Friends have a vigorous discussion on their own blog.

Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion | Discussion ...Aug 2, 2013 ... Discussion about the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence cult and its leader,
Robert Earl Burton. - 39k - Cached - Similar pages

Increased presence of Russian immigrants in Fellowship of Friends



Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends: Robert Burton ...Oct 27, 2012 ... Robert Burton continues to recruit young Russians. Fellowship of Friends
Moscow Russia Open Meeting Advertisement with Gurdjieff and ... - 232k - Cached - Similar pages

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends: October 2012Oct 27, 2012 ... Robert Burton continues to recruit young Russians · Fellowship of Friends
Moscow Russia Open Meeting Advertisement with Gurdjieff and ... - 244k - Cached - Similar pages

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of FriendsJul 28, 2013 ... The history of Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends (aka Living Presence,
Fourth ... Robert Burton continues to recruit young Russians. - 435k - Cached - Similar pages

Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals | Animam RecroApr 16, 2006 ... Hello and welcome to the the Fellowship of Friends discussion. .... not presenting
and two Russians/Arabs in incredibly expensive summer suits ... - 750k - Cached - Similar pages

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Re: Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 24, 2018 10:56AM

The lost civilization of California wine
A California cult unwittingly created one of the country’s great wineries — and then lost it. The haunting story of a vineyard’s rise, collapse and refusal to die.

By Esther Mobley

Aug. 23, 2018


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2023 Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Assault Filed by Former Members FOF
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 14, 2023 01:24AM

December 4, 2023

(310) 341-2086



Cult Education Institute Group Information Archives - Fellowship of Friends


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Fellowship of Friends and a Teal Swan ex husband connection?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 14, 2023 01:35AM

New podcast investigates abuse accusations at the NorCal cult that pioneered natural wine
'Revelations' pulls back the curtain on Fellowship of Friends

By Joseph Bien-Kahn
Updated Oct 27, 2021 8:11 a.m.


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Fellowship of Friends Sex Abuse Lawsuit - Daily Beast
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 18, 2023 03:02PM

Wine-Making Sect Allegedly Enabled Guru’s Abuse ‘Lovefests’
Jennings Brown
Updated Dec. 17, 2023 3:21AM EST Published Dec. 16, 2023 10:22PM EST


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2023 03:04PM by corboy.

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2023 Lawsuit Fellowship of friends, Oregon House California
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 21, 2023 12:39AM

Lawsuit filed against Yuba County ‘cult’
By Robert Summa / Dec 19, 2023 Updated 13 hrs ago



The Fellowship, according to the suit, used different practices to achieve this undue influence.

“These practices subjected, and do subject, a prospective member to techniques of thought reform and undue influence designed and intended to undermine and eliminate their capacity for autonomy and independent thought,” the suit claims.

“Such techniques include, but are not limited to, isolation, sleep deprivation, the creation of inner conflict, positive and negative reinforcement through peer group pressure, informing on peers, monopolization of time and attention, prohibition against dissent and negativity, alteration of punishment and leniency, the clear assertion of authority and dominion, and the inducement of fear, guilt, and emotional dependency.

As a result, prospective members are bombarded by deception and coercive influence with the singular intent of fraudulently forcing a state of blind obedience within that member to Defendant BURTON.”

According to the suit, these practices eventually result in a member who is unable to “think clearly or make decisions” and reduce a person’s self esteem, eventually “regressing to a childlike, dependent state of mind, incapable of resisting DEFENDANTS’ control, exploitation, and abuse.”

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2023 12:43AM by corboy.

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