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, 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.

Sunday, January 7, 1979

The Fellowship of Friends Articles of Incorporation are amended

The Farm/Mt. Carmel/Renaissance in Winter. Photo; T. Campion


[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends Articles of Incorporation, first executed June 11, 1978, are amended as discussed below. The following Directors signed the amendment: R. Miles Barth, Don Birrell, Ethan G. Harris, Rosemary MacDonald, Linda Lee Rockwood (Kaplan), Neal O'Brien, Pamela O'Brien, Samuel L. Sanders, and Walter Scheer.]

From the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
On January 7, 1979 the Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors voted to amend the Articles of Incorporation to read:

II [excerpt]

The purposes for which this corporation is formed are

a) The specific and primary purpose is as a religion;


VII

The Property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious purposes and no part of the net income or assets of the organization shall ever inure to the benefit, of any director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private persons.

Upon the dissolution or winding up of the corporation, the assets remaining after payment of all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under Section 501(d) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

See also "The Fellowship of Friends Articles of Incorporation."

The Articles of Incorporation may be viewed on the Internet Archive.

"Jomo PiƱata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 25, 2014:
The specific purpose [of The Fellowship of Friends] was as a “church” in the original Articles, but they [the articles] were later amended to provide that the purpose was as a “religion.” Some people equate these, but I see the second purpose as much more grandiose than the first.

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