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.

Saturday, January 31, 1976

Silence of the Lambs

[ed. - Bruce speaks about Robert Burton's preying upon young heterosexual males in his membership.]

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, Decemebr 3, 2007:
492 Just Another Voice Out Here

Back in the mid 70′s the people who knew about it were the people that it was happening to, and the people who aided and abetted it. That’s pretty much it. Of the people who it was happening to, we didn’t even acknowledge it to each other, even though most of us were frequently in each other’s proximity. People didn’t know what to say, nor to whom. And we were pretty much walking around shell shocked.

January 1976 Notes

January 1:
Afternoon “High Tea” is served at the "Lincoln Lodge," featuring plum pudding.
January 2:
There is a mass exodus from California underway, as many members have been assigned to open new centers (Hawaii, New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and others.)
January 15:
The entrance sign to the Fellowship property was vandalized, leading to nighttime “stakeouts” in hopes of identifying the culprits.
During January, “Mount Carmel Motors” – housed in the barn – was formally disbanded. It seems accountability and quality of workmanship may have been issues.

Robert Burton travels to Phoenix.

Regular membership payments ("donations") are now $100 per month.

On Sunday evenings, following dinner at the "Lincoln Lodge," a three-hour recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" (BWV244) is often played.

Thursday, January 1, 1976

Fellowship of Friends centers are established across the U.S.

[ed. - In January, 1976, a wave of Fellowship members left Mt. Carmel (Renaissance, Isis, Apollo) and the San Francisco Bay Area to open new centers across the United States. Robert Burton described this as a "breathing out" phase in the Fellowship's history. The Detroit, New Orleans, and Boston centers, cited in the non-profit registration filings below, were among them. See "Wouldn't you like to know's" Brief History of The Fellowship of Friends.]
The Fellowship Of Friends, Inc. is a Michigan Foreign Non-Profit Corporation filed on February 4, 1977. The company's filing status is listed as Automatic Withdrawal and its File Number is 900308.

The Registered Agent on file for this company is Thomas Kloumann and is located at 1940 Wellesler Detroit, MI 48203. The company's mailing address is P.O. Box 4583 Carmel, CA 93921.
The Fellowship Of Friends, Inc. is a Louisiana Non-Profit Corporation Or Co-Op (Non-Louisiana) filed on March 3, 1977. The company's filing status is listed as Inactive and its File Number is 04702980X.

The Registered Agent on file for this company is Katie Ralston and is located at 1331 Philip Street New Orleans, LA 70130. The company's principal address is P.O. Box 4583 Carmel, CA 93921 and its mailing address is P.O. Box 4583 Carmel, CA 93921.

The company has 3 principals on record. The principals are Barbara Haven from Pacific Palisades CA, Donald Birrell from Vacaville CA, and Stella M. Wirk from Carmel CA.

Fellowship Of Friends, Inc. is a Massachusetts Foreign Corporation filed on March 25, 1977. The company's File Number is listed as 237233321. The company's principal address is P.O.box 4583 Carmel, CA 93921.