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.

Thursday, November 30, 1978

November 1978 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
October 2: After nearly nine years, the final Bay Area meeting was held

In October, the wine tanks arrived 
October 14: Renaissance's first harvest and grape crush 
Breakfasts being hosted in the Tea Room 
Send photos to P_tr_ck Tr_cc_lo for inclusion in FOF history 
Use “yes” rather than “yeah” 
November Concerts:
Lazlo Vargas, Eudice Shapiro Telluride String Quartet

Other Notes:

November 11:
Snow at Renaissance today!
November 12:
Snow continued into the afternoon today. Cello concert tonight: Lazlo Varga performed Bach's Suite Number 3 for Cello and Partita Number 2 for Violin (BWV 1004) which he just recently adapted for cello. He seemed proud of his accomplishment - and justifiably so. The chaconne is an amazingly complex and beautiful composition.

"After the concert, I dined in the Meissen Room - Barbara Haven hosted. Arrived home after silver washing, at about 2:30 a.m. and visited with Stella and friends for another two hours." [The famous "Stella's Coffee Shop" ran through the night at "The Epictetus Cottage" while she and Harold resided at Renaissance.]
November 18:
In Jonestown Guyana, "The People's Temple" cult leader Jim Jones leads nearly 1,000 followers in a mass murder-suicide. From the Fellowship of Friends perspective, Jones is a "false prophet," unlike Robert Burton. Burton would later remark confidently "Mr. Jones was close to the gates of hell. We would hope we are close to the gates of heaven.”
November 30:
In the Meissen Room tonight, Robert was unusually talkative. He reiterated the events that lay ahead of us: he said that the country would "squeak by" in 1983, but that a depression of three and a half years' duration would begin in 1984. He speculated that 1988 might be a good year to buy stocks.

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