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.

Saturday, March 31, 1979

Paul Shabram, on his departure from the Fellowship

"paulshabram" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 29, 2008:
RB was manipulative, persistent but patient with me in trying to get me to have sex with him. He finally gave up saying something like “some people’s instinctive center won’t allow certain things” to which I replied “No, it won’t”, but I was thinking “neither will any other of my centers.” He knew he wouldn’t get anywhere with me. He never attempted to punish me nor did he pitch a fit for my non-compliance.

At the time he was implying to the membership that he was heterosexual and was celibate. But he had confirmed what other older (female) members had warned me about… he was homosexual and “he likes boys you know”.

I have never been ‘homophobic’, that is other peoples sexual preference do not matter to me, but that tolerance was occasional misunderstood. I thought this was just another case of that. The lie, however, indicated problems with Robert being conscious and I concentrated on dealing with that conundrum for a couple of years. The “final straw” for me was that after making such a big deal out of “casting out a soul” (making somebody leave the FOF) for only the worst “criminal” activity, Robert kicked a male student out for no other reason other than being gay. He seem to regard gay relationships as criminal. Taking together all I had seen and experienced along with this episode, there simply was no way that RB was the real thing. I had verified. So I left (it felt like escaping). I guess I was lucky to leave with mostly good memories.

I realize now that RB was probably getting results with other young heterosexual males (I don’t think he liked gay men, but maybe that changed). It is clear that his behavior has degraded and degraded. Once you recognize a person as sociopathic, it’s hard to have any compassion for that individual. I am utterly mortified by what I’ve read in this blog.

I personally witnessed critical moments when the FOF could have gone the way of Jonestown or Waco. I was there when a member came to the Blake Cottage suggesting that he do violence on somebody troublesome. Robert said no as part of the non-violence stance, but nobody should underestimate the potential. It’s a very dangerous situation. With complete moral corruption coupled with the “everybody will die but us” doomsday belief, that danger increases.

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