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

Tuesday, August 31, 1976

August 1976 Notes

"The Vine" newsletter [Summarized]
August 2 concert: Brenda Quilling, mezzo-soprano 
On June 1st, The Fellowship of Friends opened centers in Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New York, Pasadena, and Philadelphia 
It has been an unusually dry summer at [Renaissance]

Other Notes

August 9:
I answered the telephone in the Shakespeare Study with the usual “Mt. Carmel Monastery!”

“Monastery??? Good grief!” the horrified woman spoke in a thick New York Jewish accent.

After conveying her message, she added “so if you’re not in psychic contact, do you think you could write it down?”
August 11:
A fire at the Richard’s Ranch tonight destroyed a barn. Fellowship members provided firefighting assistance. [ed. - The Richards property is a roughly 7,000-acre ranch adjoining to the south the Fellowship property.]

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