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.

Wednesday, August 31, 1977

August 1977 Notes


"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
July 4: Brunch at Whitman Glen

June 30: Foundation of Bindery poured [subsequently the "Swan building," and  "Town Hall"] 
July 12: Concrete block work begun on Bindery
50 acres along ridge [Dixon Hill/Mount Carmel/Mount Renaissance] above Lodge were cleared (expanding on the original 79 acres) 
Chandelier with cherubs purchased, now hanging over spiral staircase 
Foyer torcheres purchased  
July 11: exercises introduced. No talking of weight, or the weather. No smoking.

Antique printing presses purchased and are being restored

Other Notes
"Mount Carmel Monastery" has been renamed "Renaissance".

"Mount Carmel Journal," August 8, 1977
You may eventually find my role is to instruct more than any teacher in recorded history, and you will have more words from me than from any conscious teacher in the past. And yet no man said more with fewer words than Jesus Christ. Regardless of how much I give, human nature is insatiable and will wish for more. It is also inherent in a conscious teaching that a teacher must publicly bleed. I speak because I must. The pace of our dear School is quickening, and it will forever do so as long as there is light within it. - The Teacher
[ed. - Effective August 24th, the Mount Carmel Journal became the Renaissance Journal.]
Design ideas are being solicited for the proposed "Leonardo Da Vinci Winery."

Jay and Carol Jones leave the Fellowship
The London Center opens