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.

Friday, September 1, 1978

September 1978 Notes

Town Hall (later, Prytaneion and Apollo Festival Hall) Stage (Photo: James Kline)

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
September 22 to 25: Opening concert in the new “Renaissance Book Bindery and Centre for the Performing Arts,” [subsequently known as the Town Hall, Prytaneion, and Apollo Festival Hall] featuring Diane Gilfether, Gene Albin, Ken Cramer, Monroe Kanouse. 
September 5: Thermaldome inflatable dome structure, for temporary winery facility, is delivered

    Other Notes
    September 1: Learned from Miles that Winemaster Karl Werner "is determined that we will crush our first vintage next year, and has a plan to accomplish it." He also speaks of the completion of the press room at the Blake Cottage and that Max Adjarian, the master bookbinder, will move to Renaissance soon.

    September 8: "The Teacher" has amended the conditions for membership and teaching payments. Now, if one is six weeks or more behind in payments, one is considered no longer in the school.

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