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.

Saturday, December 31, 1977

December 1977 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
As of January 1, 1978, the minimum monthly donation will be $100.

The Fellowship is eight years old.

There are 1,055 members. (Adjusted to 1,035 in the January 1981 retrospective.)

Other Notes:
(From the Internet Archive) The Fellowship's growth rate slowed by 80% during the 2nd half of 1977

Thursday, December 15, 1977

The Fellowship of Friends computerizes

[ed. - Around this time, the Fellowship installed an IBM System/34 computer at its "Ouspensky Office" in Oregon House. Primary functions were financial management and database. Once again, the Fellowship's historical roster was "reset," this time with Robert Burton assuming the Member #1 position (replacing Bonita Guido, who had previously occupied the #1 position.)

With a few notable exceptions (such as James Vincent Randazzo and Yorgos Savides), the names of those who left before this time were dropped from the rolls, with only names of current members retained on the roster. Initially, there would have been around 1,055 members listed. But going forward, the names of those subsequently leaving would remain on the roster, with the member being listed as "released" (by Influence C).