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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Fellowship of Friends global recruiting network

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult logo
[ed. - According to a former Fellowship member, Robert Burton admitted that his name, and that of the Fellowship of Friends, are "radioactive" on the internet. To avoid negative publicity, and at the same time lure seekers from other spiritual traditions, the Fellowship assumes a myriad of disguises, as suggested by the following list.

The websites below are generally grouped according to their primary target market. Fellowship contacts are also located in Amsterdam, Beirut, Bogota, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Ljubljana, Prague, San Salvador, Sao Paulo, Yerevan, and Zurich. At the bottom of this post are sites critical of Robert Burton and the Fellowship. Updated April 2021.]

ARGENTINA
Recuerdo de sí (Unofficial) (Spanish) (Inactive)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires (Facebook) (Spanish)
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial) (Inactive)
BRAZIL
Fraternidade de Amigos (Portuguese) (Inactive)
CANADA
Fourth Way School - Toronto (Facebook) (English)
CHILE
Living Presence Santiago (Facebook) (Spanish)
CHINA
[ed. - The following Fellowship sites are managed by Walther Sell.]
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (English and Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook) (English)
The Great Way: Journey to the West (English and Chinese)
Journey to the West (Facebook) (English)
The Secret of the Golden Flower (English)
The Taoist I Ching (English)
COLOMBIA
Ouspensky Gurdjieff  (Facebook) (English) (Inactive)
FRANCE
Fellowship of Friends Paris (Facebook) (French and English)
Rappel de Soi - Paris (Facebook) (French) (Inactive)
GERMANY
Der Vierte Weg Deutschland (Facebook) (German)
GREECE
Fourth Way School - Athens (Facebook) (Greek and English)
The Art of Divine Presence (Greek)
HUNGARY
A JELENLÉT MŰVÉSZETE (Hungarian) (Inactive)
Robert Earl Burton: Önemlékezés Út az öröklétbe (Hungarian) (Obsolete)
INDIA
FoF India (Facebook) (English)
Fof - Mumbai India (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way India - Rajkot (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way School India - Ahmedabad (Facebook) (English)
Living Fourthway Presence (Facebook) (Gujarati and English)
ISRAEL
Fellowship of Friends - Tel Aviv (Facebook) | בית ספר של (English and Hebrew)
Jerusalem of the soul (Facebook) (English and Hebrew) (Inactive)
ITALY
Il ricordo di sé. Pratica e tradizione spirituale. (Facebook - Closed Group) (Italian)
Questione di Presenza: Il lavoro in una scuola spirituale (YouTube) (Italian)
Scuola di Quarta Via - Gurdjieff Ouspensky (Facebook) (Italian)
JAPAN
Self Remembering | 自己想起 Japan (Facebook) (Japanese)
Symbols of Presence in the Japanese Culture (English and Japanese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions | グルジェフ「第四の道」と「秘教的な伝統」 (Facebook) (Japanese)
MEXICO
Escuela del Cuarto Camino - Monterrey (Facebook) (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends Tijuana-San Diego (Facebook) (Spanish) (Inactive)
Recordandonos (Spanish) (Inactive)
THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam Being Present Meetup (English) (Inactive)
Living Presence - Amsterdam (Dutch) (Inactive)
NORWAY
Levende Tilstedeværelse Oslo - Fjerde Veis Skole (Facebook) (Norwegian)
ROMANIA
Fourth Way School - Bucharest (Facebook) (Romanian)
RUSSIA
Esoteric School (Russian)
Fourth Way School | Школа Четвертого пути (Russian)
Fourth Way School | Школа Четвертого пути (Facebook) (Russian)
IKIRU a theater of awakening (Facebook) (Russian) (Inactive)
Онлайн школа четвертого пути: четвертый путь - система, теория, практика (Russian)
SPAIN
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de España (Facebook) (Spanish)
TURKEY
Dördüncü Yol Okulu - Fourth Way School (Facebook) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Okulu Türkiye (Instagram) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Türkiye (Twitter) (Turkish) (Inactive)
UKRAINE
Школа Четвёртого Пути, Киев - Fourth Way School Kiev (Facebook) (Russian)
Онлайн школа четвертого пути: четвертый путь - система, теория, практика (Russian)
UNITED KINGDOM
Fourth Way London/Living Presence (Twitter) (English)
Fourth Way School UK (Facebook) (English)
The New Age (Fourth Way Harmony) Meditation Center (Facebook) (English)
The Prize is Eternity (Facebook) (English)
UNITED STATES
Apollo Arts (YouTube channel) (English)

ApolloMoments (YouTube channel) (English)

Fellowship of Friends/Blogspot (Google Blogger) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends Videos (YouTube channel) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends (Wordpress blog) (English) (Inactive)

Fourth Way Today (English)

Fourth Way Today Podcasts (English)

Fourth Way Tweets (Twitter) (English)

Gurdjieff Ouspensky Self-observation (Facebook) (English) (William Scholte and David Tuttle, Administrators)

Let's Talk about The Gurdjieff Work (Facebook) (English) (Public group exploited by Fellowship of Friends recruiters)

Living Presence (English)

Living Presence (Facebook) (English)

Living Presence - North America (Facebook) (English)

livingpresence44 (Instagram) (English)

Propylaia (Inner Circle Squared) (The Fellowship of Friends member portal)

Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today (English)

Robert Earl Burton: Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher (English)

Robert's TweetHearts (Twitter) (English) (Robert Earl Burton's Twitter page)

The Art of Divine Presence (English) (Inactive)

The Fellowship of Friends Apollo University (English) (Inactive)

The Fourth Way (Pinterest)  (English) (Julian Branston's site) (Inactive)

The Fourth Way (Google +) (English) (William Page's site) (Closed April 2, 2019)

The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook)  (English) (Walther Sell, Administrator)

The 4th Way - Gurdjieff - Ouspensky (Facebook) (English) (Public group exploited by Fellowship of Friends recruiters)

Fellowship of Friends/Fourth Way/Living Presence cult Ouspensky-Gurdjieff masthead

CRITICISM OF ROBERT EARL BURTON AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS


BELGIUM
Spiritualia (Dutch)
FRANCE
Prevensectes Fellowship of Friends Database (French)
http://prevensectes.com/fof1.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof2.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof3.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof4.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof5.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof6.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof7.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof8.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof9.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof10.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof11.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof12.pdf
ITALY
Dopo la Fellowship of Friends: Una libera discussione sul lavoro su di sé (Italian)

Il Credino  ("Robert E. Burton e la Fellowship of Friends/La Presenza") (Italian)

Tutto quello che avreste dovuto sapere sulla Fellowship of Friends (Italian)
RUSSIA
"Fellowship of Fools" (Russian)

Трезвый взгляд на Fellowship of Friends (Russian) (CAUTION: may be virus-infected)

Сенсационная версия «могущества» Гурджиева, его философия, танцы и эннеаграмма (Russian) (See: 3:51:00)
SPAIN
El Pais - Icon Design (Spanish)
TURKEY
Özgür Zihin (Turkish)
UNITED STATES
Cult Education Institute (formerly Rick A. Ross Institute)

Cults, Militias, Odd and Dangerous People (The Fellowship is cataloged with dark and sinister groups)

Cult Survivor's Handbook

Fellowship of Friends (Wikipedia) (Archived on this blog, the hotly-contested Wikipedia draft, which moderators eventually abandoned.)

Fellowship of Friends (Wikipedia - current article)

Fellowship of Friends (Wikispaces) (Link no longer active, however material from that page is found throughout this blog. In such cases, the Wikispaces source is cited.)

Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog (This series of three blogs contains nearly 100,000 comments about the Fellowship of Friends:)
Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals
Part 1 through Part 10

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through current page (On this Wordpress blog, navigate between pages by typing the desired page number into "search" box.)

Freedom of Mind Center (Steven Hassan's website)

Internet Archive

Parcast EP68 "Fellowship of Friends" - Robert Earl Burton (Podcast)

Parcast EP69 "Fellowship of Friends" Pt. 2 - Robert Earl Burton (Podcast)

"Prezi" presentations (various) (These may be products of school studies concerning cults.)
Cult Project by Mattie R - September 19, 2013

The Fellowship of Friends by Ethan Milsark - December 5, 2016

The Fellowship of Friends by Natalie Kaye and Odelia Forman - December 20, 2016
Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (your current location)

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (Facebook)

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (YouTube channel) (by "Cult Survivor")

"StrangerInAStrangeLand" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 12, 2018:
Just discovered the Fourth Way and was looking for a school and a FB Fourth Way group told me there was a group close to me, I contacted them and had my first meeting …. was taken aback when at the end of the meeting it was announced with great flair that the group was part of FOF. This was after I was sternly told about the “rules” and that they wanted $150/month or 10% of my earnings to “join”. I wasn’t too happy about it. Then I went to the internet and found the “Be” (Asaf Braverman), didn’t know at the time of HIS FOF association, so joined that instead. Then he sent me a note …how did you hear about the Fourth Way …. I wrote back and said I was looking to study, but wanted to avoid any FOF controlled groups … never hear back of course! Looks like I’ve totally dodged a bullet on this one. I got some very distinct flashes of danger and thank everybody for posting this information about FOF on the internet where it can be found and assimilated before any damage has been done. I’ll read Ouspensky on my own. Gurdjieff is a bit hard to follow. Cheers!

Friday, March 12, 2021

"Cult Vibes: Fellowship of Friends"

[ed. - "Happy Hour Gets Weird" podcast hosts Cassie and Tiffany report on their research into Robert Burton and The Fellowship of Friends.]

[Happy Hour Gets Weird introduction:]

Robert Burton known as “The Teacher” has been abusing his doomsday cult members for decades. Listen in as we take you on the terrifying journey of Fellowship of Friends, a cult still active in the Northern California Sierra foothills.

Thank you for listening, weirdos, drinkers and Meat counter lovers.

Drink Recipe and pictures on our Instagram.

Happyhourgetsweird@gmail.com

Instagram @happyhourgetsweirdpod

Twitter @HHGetsWeird

Thank you for subscribing and don't forget to leave us a review on Apple podcasts.

Sources:

Cult Education Institute: Group Information Archives

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends: The 44

California Cults - Yuba County's "Fellowship of Friends" (thedeviationdiaries.blogspot.com)

The Tradition of Schools – Living Presence

"Cults" from Parcast Network - two parts [ed. - See sidebar]

Saturday, November 21, 2020

In their minds, "The Greatest"

Donald Trump and cult leader Robert Earl Burton of Fellowship of Friends and Apollo pathollogical narcissists

For pathological narcissists such as Donald Trump and Robert Earl Burton, flattery is essential as oxygen. They are humankind's collapsed stars. Black holes. A danger to those who enter their orbits.

[ed. - See also Vanity Fair's interview with cult expert Steven Hassan, “'So Many Great, Educated, Functional People Were Brainwashed': Can Trump’s Cult of Followers Be Deprogrammed?"]

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

How to improve your status in the FOF Harem

Asaf Braverman and Robert Earl Burton "perform" at Fellowship of Friends cult meeting
Asaf Braverman reads a quotation at a Fellowship of Friends meeting (Photo: "mcorolli")

"WhaleRider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 15, 2020:
 
How To Improve Your Status in the FOF Harem
 
Are you a young male follower who thinks he deserves that fresh new pair of Ferragamo shoes and all expense paid trip abroad, so others will be jealous of you instead?

Sick and tired of working those long grueling hours in the rain or hot sun during the day and then having to demean yourself at night for a few fleeting moments of physical pleasure…just to avoid being deported? 

Want to experience what really goes on during those exclusive, all night wine cellar symposiums you’ve heard about?

You too can enjoy the exalted status of a royal FOF consort with all the privileges of the “chosen few” in Burton’s inner circle, if you take these time-tested steps:
 
  • Leave your wife or girlfriend BEFORE Burton gets rid of her for you 
 
Remove any obstacle that might get in Burton’s way or whom might question why you are out so late, or better yet, don’t get involved with women at all no matter how many FOF women offer to have sex with you. Burton views women as competition and the evil source of “feminine dominance”. To him, women are like dolls who are to be adorned with tacky cameos and regarded simply as background “impressions”. Remember this is a guy who wouldn’t even attend his own mother’s funeral. 
 
  • Make known your wish to move to Apollo as soon as possible 
 
Although it may rock your world, one blowjob at an outlying center means nothing to him. Burton has a voracious sexual appetite for “new meat”, so your chances of getting in on the action after hours at Apollo are of course greatly improved by proximity. If you happen to be young and attractive enough, you may be given the opportunity to be trafficked to Apollo for free if you are also destitute and cannot afford the plane ticket, so have your passport up to date and ready. But once there you must be patient and stay put in order to prove your loyalty. Don’t be discouraged when you learn there are quite a number ahead of you. Mark your calendar and make sure you are always available on Valentine’s Day and Burton’s birthday.
 
  • Smile demurely whenever among others, and say yes to everything you are asked to do, no matter how bizarre or inconsistent with your morals 
 
Your reputation for being compliant is crucial! Never show your teeth when smiling, tell jokes, or laugh out loud You will be tested for any inkling of “willfulness” by Burton’ and his sadistic pimps, so be prepared to dispense with your dignity, abandon all critical thinking, shovel camel dung, and max out your credit cards. After all, you can’t put a price on paradise and immense debt makes the heart grow fonder.
 
  • Maintain personal hygiene, decorum, and always adhere to the FOF’s strict dress code 
 
Appearances are everything in the FOF, no matter how shallow. Only wear gold jewelry, even if it’s fake. Make sure your clothes are pressed and spotless, your shoes remain polished even when picking grapes or olives, brush your teeth often, and always chew food with your mouth closed. Never burp, fart, or hiccup in Burton’s presence and always leave at least half or more of the delicious food on your plate at the end of dinner, no matter how hungry you are.
 
  • Volunteer to be a server at his dinners or events 
 
Once Burton has had a few glasses of wine your chances of eventually being on the menu increase exponentially. Keep silent, move slowly, and nod your head with a look of awe at everything Burton says. Hang around afterward and thank him profusely for the opportunity to be so subservient. He probably won’t remember your name, but he will remember that.
 
  • Repeat and practice everything you have been told about what makes a “good student” 
 
It is imperative that you be regarded as a “good student” by others in the FOF hierarchy. Never ever criticize anything, unless you read it on the blog. See the “hand of higher forces” in anything that happens or that Burton does, regardless of how destructive, cruel or meaningless. That also means informing on others who break the rules, and most importantly, always talk about how lucky you feel for having joined. 
 
  • Memorize quotes of conscious beings 
 
The more pithy quotes you can rattle off, the more you will be able to cover for Burton’s dementia, and the more he will want you hovering around him outside his bedroom, especially when he is “teaching”. Never correct Burton if he says something stupid.
 
  • Be on the look out to recruit others 
 
Once you get close to Burton, you will be expected not only to keep him informed of young males who recently joined the group, but actively seek and recruit naive, desperate, young males to whet his sexual appetite. You will be handsomely rewarded the more people you place in the pipeline of his rape factory.
 
Practice these helpful tips, and years later, when you are finally at the top of the heap, you will one day be asking yourself…“OMG, what kind of person have I become??”
 

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 15, 2020:
 
49. WhaleRider [above]
 
Nailed it.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The London Fourth Way Centre and The New Age host Zoom meeting

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends United Kingdom centers turn to hosting Zoom meetings.]

The Fellowship of Friends London Fourth Way Centre and The New Age host Zoom meeting


[ed. - The London Fourth Way Centre is also promoting an e-book, in Italian:]
Dear friends,

'A Matter of Presence: Working in a Spiritual School', is officially available in e-book format on the Amazon Books platform.
Here's the link:

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B08BQ6L46S

A practical text about spirituality in a fourth-way school, dedicated to those who are looking for real change. It was born in this very group, reworking four years of topics, debates and comments that emerged here.

The progression from magnetic center to school work is described; from the first observation exercises, to the meeting with a master and with the C Influence . It represents a complete introduction to school work, both for those who are familiar with fourth street ideas and for those who don't know them, but have an interest in the spiritual world.

317 pages, 47 illustrations and a glossary.

It is divided into six sections:

- The magnetic center
- The man according to the Fourth Way
- The cosmos according to the Fourth Way
- The Work
- Presence
- The Master

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B08BQ6L46S

I prepared a video book presentation on Youtube. Here's the link: https://tinyurl.com/y7yjmuxh