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.

Friday, April 30, 1976

April 1976 Notes

April 4 – 5:
A crew of Fellowship members is at Callaway Winery in Temecula (where Karl Werner has been winemaster) taking vineyard cuttings that will help expand our vineyards.

At a meeting, Robert quotes Bob Dylan, “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose,” then added that he did not like to quote such “ignoble sources.”
April 11:
Work is beginning on a vineyard nursery
April 30 – May 1:
A 120-piece, $3,000 “Vermilion Dragon” set of Meissen porcelain was brought to The Farm and displayed in the Meissen Room. Also on display, a sterling silver soup tureen produced by Paul Storr in 1811 and valued at $16,000. Robert called it “the most important antique yet brought to the Farm.”

Also arriving, a large wooden wall-mount vitrine to house our Meissen figurine collection. Several of us struggled to carry the heavy piece around as Robert searched for the most “endearing” location (which ended up next to the spiral staircase.)