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.

Monday, December 31, 1973

1973 Notes

Los Angeles Center, 1973 (Robert Burton, right rear)

[ed. - Photo from Internet Archive. Timelines provided by Harold Wirk, here and here.]
Whitman House vacated (1/1/73)
David [David Guido?] moves to Carmel
Nadia [Nadia Mattle] quit
Hawaii open meetings
Robert writes to Alex Horn
Meetings at Stella's [Stella Wirk] and James Vincent's [James Vincent Randazzo]
Magazine set up at Stella's
Whitman painting finished
Meeting at Rosie's [Rosemary MacDonald]
In Second "Play of Crime," [James Vincent Randazzo is asked to leave the Fellowship of Friends. Apparently, he stole funds. James will go on to found the "Spiral of Friends" and establish a criminal record.]
Robert: "School of Literature"
Santa Barbara group [formed?]
(Paper moves to Santa Barbara)
 Sacramento group [formed?]
Sold airplane
"Second Farm Octave [project]" begins
San Diego [group formed?]
Paper octave ends
2nd Farm Octave begins
Lake Tahoe trip
Seattle Center begins
During this period, Randy Olsen and Drew Kampion are the only two members living on the Fellowship farm.
Payments: $60 per month
Robert moves out of Carmel
2nd Mercedes-Benz purchased
Robert trades in diamond ring
Carmel Center tape records "The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution" [by P.D. Ouspensky]
Farm party
Look for 2nd ranch ($24,000 saved for ranch)
Many car problems

"silentpurr" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 19, 2011:
Robert, sitting in my grandmother’s rocking chair, asked me the title of the music we were listening to. It was Pachebel’s canon. 1973. [ed. - That would become the Fellowship's "theme song."]

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