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 an ominous, yet unspecified new threat late in 2018.) While non-believers shall perish, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers will 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
on official Fellowship publications and websites,
news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the (former) Fellowship Wikipedia page, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wiki project, 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, December 31, 1972

1972 Notes

Fellowship of Friends members at "The Farm" in Oregon House, CA. Contributor's note:
Outside the [Lincoln] Lodge, Spring 1972. This photograph appeared on the cover of the
Via del Sol Journal, May 9, 1972. It is in the public domain. From the Internet Archive.

[ed. - Timelines provided by Harold Wirk, here and here.]

January
[Note: Robert will continue his 16-month period of silence throughout 1972.]
Fellowship consists of 82 members plus Robert (1/2/72)
Moved to Carmel [assumed to be Robert and some of his followers]
Paper printed in Vacaville
The Fellowship purchases a Cessna airplane
Whitman House [name of the Carmel "teaching house"?]
February
Robert's "not saving anyone" speech
April
Tree planting at The Farm (The Ranch)
May
Robert is presented a gold coin for his birthday [at Whitman House?]
Paper - magazine form
Lake Tahoe Center begins
June
Wedding of Miles and Helga (Guinevere Ruth)
July
Ended giving notebooks
First Mercedes-Benz purchased
Robert travels to Europe
August
Robert said that Miles Barth and another member will be Men #5 in a year, and announces that the "fourth conscious being  has arrived" in the Fellowship of Friends. [ed. - "another member" is possibly Donald McDonald, who joined in 1970. Fourth conscious being is not clear. Yorgo(s) Savides and Daniel Davis are possibilities.]
A baby is born on the Ranch
September
Plane octave ends [airplane to be sold]
Party at Robert's in Carmel
October
Los Angeles Center begins
Payments are $30 per month
November
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]
 Hawaii Center begins
December
Robert ends his 16-month period of silence (see "Silence")
Party at Whitman House

[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:
...in 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.

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