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, Burton and his followers, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including Burton's divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) 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.

Wednesday, March 31, 1976

March 1976 Notes

March 1:
At the Bay Area Meeting this evening, Robert related his personal struggle: the accident in which his Volkswagen was slammed into by another vehicle. ("I heard a horn, but didn’t think it was for me," he said.)
He spoke of his former school (Alex Horn’s school), which was a school of denial (physically abusive, including subjecting members to beatings.) He spoke about the astral body and his coming “crystallization.”
He quoted Shakespeare: “tired with all these, from these would I be gone, save that to die, I leave my love(s) alone” and he held out his hands to indicate we gathered students (“his loves”.)
March 8:
Preparations continue for the Robert's crystallization celebration. Around the Lincoln Lodge, paper lanterns are hung, the metal clothing and boot sheds removed, decorated arches erected, walls whitewashed.
March 19:
During the early morning hours, it was reported "Robert crystallized," the event we were all awaiting. This meant he had become a completely "conscious being." The first one produced by this school.
March 26:
“Meissen Picnic” in the Shakespeare Meadow, under the great "Franklin Oak."

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