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.

Tuesday, November 14, 1972

Yorgo Savides founds The School of the New Dawn

[ed. - On November 14th, what Harold Wirk referred to as the "Other situation" occurred. This became known as the Fellowship's "first play of crime."]
November 14: The "Other situation." In the first "Play of Crime," Yorgo Savides [George Ellis Savides] leaves Robert's teaching. "1/4 of school quits". 37 members leave. He invites members to follow him in creating "The School of the New Dawn." [see below]

[ed. - From the internet: Yorgo Wolfe Savides was born in Los Angeles 18 December 1943, got Social Security number 567-60-1267 (indicating California,) and died 23 May 2004. The following comments refer to Savides' "Play of Crime."]

"jomopinata: wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 9, 2012: 1972 Yorgos [sic] Savides mailed out invitations, printed on green paper, inviting recipients to join “The School of the New Dawn.” Even in a pre-internet age, one would think word would have spread pretty quickly of this opportunity in the small group.

"jomopinata" added:
I was not there, but I have been told by someone who was there that Yorgos [sic] made a public announcement at a meeting.

[ed. - Letter from Yorgo Savides announcing The School of the New Dawn. Transcribed from copy of original posted on Greater Fellowship forum by "Veronicapoe":]
to loves[?],

this is written to the many whom i shall never see again, and to those who have been waiting...

to leave a teaching is a dangerous action... lose one's aim of waking up is far worse.

to disobey a teacher from the wrong place in being is an error of consequence... not follow one's Self is an enormous waste. Even to listen to these word now is an act of disobedience, and yet there will be those for whom there is no choice to listen or not to listen, for their pain is too great...

my time is short, "They" have given me a few years on this dusty ball to accomplish much... ...and "They" now take me from the Fellowship in order to begin the necessary acceleration of the Work...

through me "they" shall serve students first, as each in turn shall serve his Self above all...

since the path will be steeper and more treacherous with me, they do not wish you to leave the Fellowship until such a time that beyond all the "I"s there is an undenyable [sic] magnetic pull...

the new school will be small and its standards will be high... ...and it will set itself immediately to the task of building true sanctuary and a community for its students to balance with its involvement with Life

Walt Whitman continues to speak today,
i dreamed in a dream, i saw a city
invincible to the attacks of the whole
of the rest of the earth;
i dreamed that was the new City of Friends
nothing was greater there
than the quality of robust love - it led the rest
it was seen in every hour
in the actions of the men of that city,
and in their looks and words...
The first meeting of the School of the New Dawn will be open to all, including past and present members of the Fellowship of Friends. It will be the last open meeting...

...and henceforth anyone wishing to join the School will do so after private work with the teacher...

Wednesday, November 15, 1972