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, December 1, 1974

1974 Notes

The Lincoln Lodge circa 1973, by Harold Wirk. Source.

From Harold Wirk's timeline and from ex-member's journal:

January
"Farm week" ("3rd line of work" is emphasized)
Vineyard planning and development begin in 1974
February
Bonita Guido [first student] and Daniel Davis leave the Fellowship. [ed. - It is reported that Daniel Davis was to be one of the seven "conscious beings" the Fellowship would eventually produce.]
October
The Bay Area Meeting, the primary weekly gathering of Fellowship of Friends members, is currently held at the Skyline Church (later, the Skyline United Church of Christ) in Oakland.

Minimum membership donation is currently $40. Additional donations have been requested (required) for the purchase of Herman Miller stacking chairs and a Caterpillar D-8 bulldozer for The Farm.
Airstream trailers are being moved to The Farm
A "Farm Donation," currently $400, is due twelve months after joining.
December
December 10:
At tonight’s Bay Area meeting, Robert said there would probably not be a happier or more thankful group on Earth, than the Fellowship on Christmas.

“Some have come to find a mate, not to awaken,” he said. This was uncomfortable for us to hear.

After intermission, obviously having received some negative feedback, he said “what can one say that is positive about something that keeps one asleep?”
 December 19:
At the Los Angeles Center meeting, we were joined by students from the Farm who were temporarily working at the Callaway Winery in Temecula, learning that trade.
Around this time, the Fellowship has 484 members.

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