Time to Read Letters of Discontent - Page 3-a

Un-retouched nor edited, except to add paragraph separations for easier reading, copy of email msg received to the list maintained for former members of the Fellowship of Friends.

Stella & Harold,

Don't know if you'll remember me--I was in the FOF from '74 to '84. Lived at Oregon House. Used to come over to your place for late coffee and talk on occasion. I was married to Helen Drake for a few years. The article about the FOF and Robert last, Sunday in the SF Chron., has stirred up many feelings both happy & sad. In 1980 Robert asked me to move in to the Blake cottage. Being the uninformed naive "type" that I am, I was elated to be "selected" to live with Robert.

Four days after moving in Robert came to my room one night and asked me to come with him to his bedroom. What followed still seems like a dream. He asked me to take my clothes off and lie on his bed. With a growing sense of deepening confusion but still with total trust I complied. When he said he wanted to kiss my penis I felt my world was being torn apart at the seams. I told him I felt very uncomfortable about doing this.

Remarkably, he did not press the issue and sent me back to my room. He asked me not to talk about what had transpired as other students "might not understand". Another four days later he called me into his bedroom, one afternoon, and said " Goodness, I think it would be best if you moved out of the Blake cottage". I moved out in a state of complete numbness. I was working in the kitchen at the Lincoln Lodge at the time.

I remember that other students made comments to the effect that I was not able to "take the heat" of being so close to the center of the Teaching. I said nothing. But inside I felt as though I had been raped. My, up 'till then, unquestionable trust in Robert had been stripped away and I remember feeling very lost and alone with my "Terrible Secret". I began to drink. Often quite heavily. In my twisted effort to make some sense of what had happened and to continue with my life at the vineyard I remember having feelings of being 'unworthy' and 'less than'. During all of this I had been courting Helen. We married later that year. And for the first four years of our marriage I said nothing about what had happened.--Its just incredible the depth that denial can go !!

It wasn't until the shit hit the fan with S. Saunder's letter that I finally told Helen. I finally left shortly after that. Life now is clearer and good. I still live in Marin. Work as a R.N. And loosely follow a contemplative/psuedo Buddhist lifestyle. Not unsurprisingly I have trouble trusting anyone that is in a spiritual teacher role and groups of people. But I find I can more and more look at myself and the whole bowl of soup that's "me" and gently--quitely laugh. I have fond memories of you, Harold and your dogs.-------with Affection, wishing you Well--------------Richard Buckley

ps: just felt I needed to tell the above story again. thanks for listening


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Stella Wirk passed away on December 29, 2001. This site is being maintained by her friends in the hope that it will continue to provide the guidance that it has in the past. There is a Stella Wirk memorial site here: http://web.archive.org/web/20021129030627/http://stella.wirk.org/.

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