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.

Thursday, July 31, 1975

July 1975 Notes

July 5:
4th anniversary of the purchase of The Farm (roughly 1,000 acres, supposedly purchased at a price of $50 - about $284 in 2012 Dollars -  per acre.) A celebration was held under the great “Franklin Oak” (a valley oak) in the “Shakespeare Meadow.” The celebration continued at the new “Blake Cottage," and as we all strolled in that direction, the sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon wafted over the late afternoon scene. For participants, it was an enormously emotional experience.
July 6:
Tonight, the first dinner was hosted on the Lincoln Lodge “Mozart Deck.” And dining on the “Beethoven Deck” below, the rest of us. What a contrast to the experience of dining casually on the front patio. [This was the beginning of formal dining for all members. Previously, "fine dining" was essentially confined to meals hosted by Burton (or an alternate host) in the "Meissen Room."]
July 22:
Robert asked that “’playing the fool’ [an exercise  for promoting "presence"] be terminated for two to four weeks, to see if we wish to retain the tool.”