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, 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.

Friday, September 30, 1977

September 1977 Notes

Sample page from the heavily-edited Renaissance Journal

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
The "Renaissance Journal" has been inaugurated (Taking the place of the "Mount Carmel Journal". This usually consists of the edited notes from the regular Fellowship Bay Area meetings.)

The purchase of land (at Renaissance) by students is encouraged  
January 1, 1978: Fellowship plans to acquire 60 acres, across Rice’s Crossing Road, west of Blake Cottage 
Shakespeare Study [library] is being converted to the Oriental Dining Room 
Exercise: If one ends a relationship, one must remain celibate for one year

As of October 1st, the re-entry donation will be $2,500

Other Notes
"The Teacher" announces that if one is more than 6 weeks behind in payments, one is no longer in the school.
“Everyone is current in their payments…save four or five people.” – The Teacher
[ed. - Note the use of "payments", not donations. This was before the push to emphasize the Fellowship's status as a "church." Also, the statement is false. In the tiny Dallas Center alone, there were three or four behind in payments.]

The Fellowship of Friends opens a center (centre, that is) in London.
The more one serves, the more one must pay. It is admittedly difficult to accept that the highest retribution we may receive from Influence C is additional friction. Nevertheless, suffering does produce imperishable being. - The Teacher, Renaissance Journal, September 26, 1977.

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