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, Burton and his followers, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including Burton's divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) 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, December 1, 1978

December 1978 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
December Concerts
Heiichiro Ohyama, viola
Eudice Shapiro, violin
Telluride String Quartet
Diane Gilfether, soprano
James Schoepflin, clarinet
Lazlo Varga, cello
Nancy Allen, harp and Ransom Wilson, flute
As a habit, the Teacher has suggested members join their real family at Renaissance for all major holidays.

Other Notes

December 18:
During the past week, a large quantity of used tuxedos have been brought to Renaissance where they have been being sold at the "Royal Renaissance Formal Wear Shop" [the barn].[This, in preparation for the concert marathon that was about to begin.]
Robert not dining in the Meissen Room. He apparently is on a diet.

At Renaissance, from December 18th through January 1st, there are daily evening concerts. Residents are encouraged to attend each concert.
December 19:
The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today are designated for "good householder." [Renaissance residents are to take care of personal affairs. A rare break in the work schedule.] 
December 28
Though the arts are divine, they are rivaled and surpassed by human kindness. – Robert

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