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.

Saturday, July 1, 1978

July 1978 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [Summarized]
    July marks the seventh anniversary of Renaissance

    June 19: After four years at Skyline Church, the Bay Area meeting was held at new location, a Greek Orthodox church 
    The future winery site was dedicated 
    Students are to refrain from buying Oriental carpets for two years [apparently, some issue with Roger C.!]

      Other Notes

      July 1:
      Dedication ceremony on the Winery Knoll
      July 4:
      Stella and Harold Wirk move to Renaissance!
      7th Anniversary of Renaissance
      July 7:
      First concrete pouring at winery site
      Construction work proceeds from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
      July 17:
      New word exercise instituted: avoid the word "so"
      July 19:
      While clearing for future vineyard, huge brush piles are set ablaze atop Mt. Renaissance.