Introduction


Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

But according to Burton, Armageddon still looms in our future and when it finally arrives, non-believers shall perish, while through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers shall be spared, founding a new, and more perfect civilization.

Many regard Robert Earl Burton a narcissist and sociopath, surrounded by a largely greed- and power-driven inner circle. The following pages offer abundant evidence supporting that conclusion.

This archive draws from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship. Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

"Take It From a Former Moonie: Trump Is a Cult Leader"

[ed. - Steve Hassan operates the Freedom of Mind Resource Center and has included The Fellowship of Friends among the many cults he has profiled.]
By Steven Hassan

The Daily Beast
Updated 10.13.19 7:18PM ET / Published 10.13.19 5:11AM ET

[Excerpt]

"When I was in the Moonies, I was so indoctrinated that I was prepared to take up arms and die for the cause. I wasn’t alone. My fear is that Trump might order his followers to take their weapons to the streets if he is not re-elected. In a recent tweet, he quoted his Christian Right ally, Robert Jeffress, that his removal from office 'will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.' Worse still is the possibility that, if feeling sufficiently threatened, Trump might, like Jones, try to take others everyone with him, using his access to the nuclear codes. It’s a dark scenario, but not entirely outlandish.

"The good news is, I woke up and got out of a cult, as have millions of people. What I have learned in working with cult members, as I describe in my book, is that attacking their beliefs is doomed to fail. To help them recover their critical faculties, it is essential to develop a warm and positive relationship before teaching them about how mind control works. I often do that by showing how it operates in other groups, like the Jonestown cult or Scientology. We might use the same approach to heal the 'us versus them' mindset of Trump’s followers—and also of some of their more rabid opponents. Ultimately, the goal is to educate and inspire people to regain their capacity for critical thinking, and to free their own minds.

"I have seen people throw off the mental and emotional shackles of many years—even a lifetime—of destructive conditioning. I believe that love is stronger than fear and that truth is stronger than mind control. But I also believe that the dangers of mind control are greater now than ever due to the digital world we are so plugged into. We ignore the lessons of history—of Jonestown and other destructive groups—at our own peril."
Read more at Daily Beast

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Recruiting in Ahmedabad

[ed. - An ad from the October 5, 2019 online version of the Ahmedabad Mirror. The meeting is led by David Tuttle, contributor to the Fellowship's Fourth Way Today website. David began following Robert Burton 45 years ago, when he was just 19.]

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Fellowship of Friends now offers an "Online Introductory Membership"

[ed. - Following a recent makeover, the Fellowship of Friends "Living Presence" website (below) now offers an "Online Introductory Membership." The new recruiting campaign may be an attempt to mimic and compete with Asaf Braverman's BePeriod online faux Fourth Way group (see video below). With the help of many Fellowship members, Braverman developed his platform prior to involuntarily parting ways with Burton in 2016. While the Fellowship has steadily drifted from it's Fourth Way roots and into the realm of faith, the Fourth Way Today "online magazine" (below) continues to recycle the old Gurdjieff and Ouspensky talking points ("the hook") while, at Apollo, Burton takes followers into a fantasy world all his own.]


Text of offer:
We offer a six-month introductory online membership for those who live far from our network of  worldwide centers. We strongly recommend face to face contact as the way of meeting us and participating in our school. Actual attendance in activities with other students can accelerate one’s work on awakening relative to efforts done alone. These shared activities increase the opportunities to be reminded of presence and to observe one’s mechanicality. Nevertheless, we hope online membership will provide an opportunity for those for whom this contact is not possible or possible only periodically.

Online membership offers a weekly online meeting in English with Fellowship students, entry in a private discussion group where personal observations can be shared and questions about our teaching can be asked, as well as the possibility to visit our spiritual headquarters, Apollo. We ask a small monthly donation for this membership.

Full membership offers additional benefits. For more information about full membership, contact the one of our centers that is closest to you or send us an inquiry.

For more information about online membership, click here.

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 18, 2019:
In their obvious desperation for money, sex partners for Burton, and even more money and sex partners, a new hook is being cast by the Fellowship: an online membership. No mention upfront of the cost; but since the “face to face” membership fee is now only about $50 a month for the first couple of years, the online fee is probably no more than half that. No doubt the pressure will be intense (especially for the males) to become a “real” member once the online membership has expired.

["Introductory online membership" offer above quoted here]

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Robert Burton's Inner Circle revealed?

"Ocean Tiger" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 23, 2019:
Please enjoy these 47 previously unreleased photos of Robert Burton and his associates:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/abthx19b8eioq8z/AAA1VSNeJlwpusDsN3JJgyN7a?dl=0

Robert Earl Burton reading to a member of his Inner Circle? Photo: Apollo Cavalier

Saturday, July 20, 2019

"Horn-Burton-Braverman - The Pseudo Holy Trinity"

[ed. - It should be noted that William Patrick Patterson, founder and editor of The Gurdjieff Journal, has been an outspoken critic of Alex Horn, Robert Burton, and The Fellowship of Friends since the 1990s. A short excerpt about Robert Burton from William Patrick Patterson's 1998 book, Taking With the Left Hand, and another anecdote about close encounters with Patterson's group can be found here.]

"Wouldnt You Like To Know" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 20, 2019:

The Gurdjieff Journal - 79 Volume 20 No. 3

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 22, 2019:
Here is the link to Issue #79 of The Gurdjieff Journal:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yh9qe35tc0lcfgo/TheGurdjieffJournal79.pdf?dl=0

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Is there a warrant for Robert Earl Burton's arrest in the EU?

Robert Earl Burton
[ed. - For years it has been rumored that a warrant exists for Robert Earl Burton's arrest within the European Union. Due to their inconsistencies (e.g. "Czechoslovakian" versus "Italian" passports, "two" versus "3" Russians), it is not clear if the comments below refer to the same case. Having no confirming evidence, I must consider this gossip (a misdemeanor in the Fellowship!) Meanwhile, "Golden Veil" nobly struggles to uncover the truth.]

"Intercontinentia Buttocks" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 21, 2007:
Forgive my anonymity, but what I am about to write concerns my friends, to whom I don’t wish any troubles with the authorities.
Some 4 years ago two of Robert’s boyfriends, both Russians, were rejected visas to the US. Robert then came to the aid of students (then in Rome) to acquire forged Czechoslovakian passports through Italian mafia with which they tried to enter the country.
Immigration officers discovered the forgery and the two boys spent some time with police at the airport.
Decision was made to send them back to the country from which they came from, i.e. France. They spent about 3 months in prison there, after which time they were sent back to Russia.
Being in the prison did some good to one of them, as he had time to ‘come to his senses’ and finally decided to leave Robert and the school.
The other, however, is still ‘serving’ Robert, although hating it, but such is the price of staying in the country of his choice.
The one who was leaving told Robert about his decision, to which he said that if he does leave him, his wife is going to leave him and he’s going to loose some attractive things offered to him by his teacher. Still, he left and after a while his wife left him.
After a while, he decided to blackmail Robert by writing an article about his experiences with him in American papers. I told him to get a good lawyer if he were to do so, but he went ahead alone and had to deal with Mr. Lawyer A.G., who blackmailed him back, using his knowledge of certain circumstances of the boy’s life. The whole thing was settled for a pitiful $3.000 in exchange for a signature on a paper stating that the information about Robert should not be disclosed to anyone.

"Secret keeper" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 22, 2007:
I. Buttocks [above] – this story is true. I heard it too from the guys themselves and from many other students. I’ll never mention any names here for the same reason – I don’t wish any trouble for the guys, both of whom I like very much and wish them well.

Funny how an illegal thing could be almost glorified in the Fellowship of Friends because Robert went against feminine dominance. So many things that are immoral and simply wrong or criminal can be justified and glorified based on a belief that the teacher can do no wrong.

I only wonder if Department of Homeland Security thinks that crossing US or European border under fake name using a forged passport is OK and is no wrong doing… Especially in post-2001 era.

What shocking is that RB went to such risky extreme only with a purpose to get personal sexual pleasure out of these 2 young males. He would have never done a similar thing for a female student or an older male student from a different country.

Many students knew about this story, news spread quickly in Isis. Friends would secretly tell each other: Robert got him a fake passport so he can come here to be with him uder different name, but – psst! – don’t tell anybody it’s a secret…

I guess as long as Robert goes against feminine dominance, doesn’t inner consider and uses intentional insencerity [sic] he can do whatever he wants. He can even bend the US law if he wishes and students will have to faithfully keep his secrets.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

"My mother's name was Shock"

[ed.- Over the course of 49 years, Robert Burton's followers have heard countless versions of this "prophetic" statement. In 1989, John Harmer recorded the audio for the "they have a heavy hand" video below. (See also, "John Harmer posts 'Exit Interview' with Robert Earl Burton".)]



"John Harmer" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2019:
#31.

The context was that after 11 years in the school I had done some thinking about Burton’s claim to get messages from Influence C, and had concluded that the most likely thing that was happening is that he was subject to delusional thinking often described as “ideas of reference”. I wished to confront him with the possibility that he was deluding himself. His answer certainly shows he had spent no time wondering whether the simplest explanation, ie that these were spurious connections he was making in his own mind, best fitted the facts of the case.

[ed. - Burton later preferred the more macabre version, as shown in these two clips from March 2019 Apollo Festival Hall meetings.] 



[ed. - See also "Trick or treat, my mother's dead. Her name is shock."]

Finally, a reminder from "Tempus Fugit". (And again from "Tempus Fugit". Encore!)


Velma and Robert, from
Fifty Years with Angels

Thursday, July 4, 2019

"A true artist is a conscious being."

[ed. - From ApolloMoments, Dorian Matei makes bread in a promotional video for the "Ancient Crafts Festival" at Apollo, July 27th. I guess what Dorian is conceding, contrary to Robert Burton's teaching, is that there are conscious beings everywhere. Because there are true artists everywhere. For those who have eyes to see...]
"Where I begin is with Robert's visions, which are really on the scale of a few thousand years. I believe they're 100% true. I believe these have happened, actually, these visions have happened already and that's why he has them. I feel it's almost an element of danger in only looking at them as spectators."

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fellowship of Friends editor censors Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki

[ed. - Last December, "Taylor R" (Fellowship of Friends director Rowena Taylor?) attempted to whitewash the Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki Fellowship of Friends page. ("LocalWiki is a grassroots effort to collect, share and open the world’s local knowledge.") As shown below, Taylor wiped all critical content, regardless how valid, from this community resource. On March 4th, Gayle Madwin, the creator of this LocalWiki, reverted many of Taylor's edits, commenting, "Restoring links. Please do not delete working links to outside sources," (Those sources include the Sacramento Bee and Marysville-Yuba City Appeal-Democrat.)

Taking things a step further, on May 21st, "Marco Corolli" edited the restored LocalWiki page, and added further detail and many new links, including links to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion, to a new Robert Earl Burton entry, to "Cult Survivor's" recreated Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, and to this blog.]

Fellowship of Friends cult in Oregon House/Apollo censors LocalWiki article
"Taylor R's" reputation management effort. Source: Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends page on the Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki reflecting edits made by "Marco Corolli":]

Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki page for Fellowship of Friends Oregon House Fourth Way cult
Current page reflecting "Marco Corolli's" full disclosure effort. Source: Yuba-Sutter LocalWiki