Ledi Sayadaw, a teacher within my own tradition, says something similar in his work Manual of the Excellent Man
Taking refuge is of two kinds: by hearsay and by direct knowledge. Taking refuge through blind faith in the noble attributes of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, but without right view, is by hearsay. It is so called because the act of taking refuge is not complete in so far as the worshipper has not actually “seen” the Buddha, the Dhamma, or the Saṅgha; he has not perceived the teaching; he has not been in contact with the teaching. In common parlance, he has not got the message.
Consider the Buddha’s admonition to Vakkali, the devoted bhikkhu who spent all his time in worshipful admiration of the Buddha, “Vakkali, he who does not see the Dhamma does not see me.” That is why taking refuge in the Three Gems without empirical knowledge of the Dhamma, i.e. insight into the arising and passing away of phenomena, relies on hearsay only. It is not taking refuge with direct knowledge.
Taking refuge with direct knowledge means imbibing the Buddha’s teaching with right view by perceiving the aggregates, the sense bases, and the elements, and their arising and cessation, which alone will destroy the delusion about a “self” and doubts about the Four Noble Truths. This kind of going for refuge is the real refuge, for the worshipper is actually in contact with the Three Gems.
“One understands suffering, its origin, its cessation and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the end of suffering. This, indeed, is a secure refuge, this is the supreme refuge. Taking refuge in this, one gains release from the cycle of existences.” (Dhp. vv.191-192.)
For more: http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/Uttam ... efuge.html