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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, October 31, 1976

October 1976 Notes

The Vine newsletter [summarized]
October 25: Beaux Arts Trio concert at Skyline Church:
Beethoven: Trio in C-Minor
Ravel: Trio in A-Minor
Brahms: Trio in C-Major
August 25: "Kairos II" [Fellowship literary publication] was introduced at the Blake Cottage
September 25: “Magic Flute Room” inaugurated, featuring Rosenthal porcelain, Georg Jensen “Acorn Pattern” silverware, Knoll International chairs, and Baccarat stemware

Construction of “The Franklin Village”  is to begin mid-October and (hopefully) be finished in January [site of the "Lower House," formerly the "Children's House"]

Other Notes

October 18:
While Robert was teaching on the East Coast, he purchased a "pre-owned" Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine. It was being driven back across country by members of his entourage when, somewhere out in the middle of Nevada, it caught fire. (Apparently a rear wheel bearing self-destructed and led to a grease fire.) The car was abandoned at a remote gas station, with plans to retrieve it later.

Monday, October 18, 1976

A note about the Teacher's car

From Car and Driver:
The 1963–1981 Mercedes-Benz 600 is the only cost-no-object production Mercedes ever built; MSRP when new was around $20,000, but current values start at three or four times that. Routine maintenance can cost as much as a new Toyota Corolla, and a full restoration generally runs well into six (or even seven) figures. It’s complicated, artful, and glorious.
It was purchased by a bunch of dictatorial sociopaths who didn’t mind killing other people. And Jack Nicholson.
Because for many years the 600 was the most luxurious and obnoxiously refined vehicle on the planet, the rich and famous swarmed to it. Most everyone knows this. Everyone knows, too, that der Grosser was a favorite of heads of state—the 600’s massive, imposing bodywork says nothing so much as I Am Coming to Rule Your Face, Peons, and I Will Drive Over Your Brain if You Don’t Agree.

What isn’t widely known is the extent of the car’s ownership roster. On a 2009 episode of the British television show Top Gear, co-host James May rattled off the following list of confirmed 600 owners: Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel Castro, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Idi Amin Dada, Enver Hoxha, Hirohito, Saddam Hussein, Mao Tse Tung, and Marshal Josip Broz Tito. Other owners reportedly included Irish leader Éamon de Valera, Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Korean dingbats Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, Ferdinand Marcos, Deng Xiaoping, and Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk. Time magazine says King Hussein of Jordan ordered one when new, as did Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus and Indonesian president Suharto.

But wait! There’s more! Confirmed celebrity owners include Elvis Presley, George Harrison, John Lennon, Hugh Hefner, Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay (he bought Coco Chanel’s old car), and Jack Nicholson, who purchased his after driving it in The Witches of Eastwick. Harrison even bought Lennon’s old car when the latter moved to the United States from Britain, so he had two. Fancy, eh?
[ed. - When the 1974 Rolls Royce was purchased, the Mercedes 600 fetched $20,000 ($82,000 in 2013 Dollars) in trade-in value.]