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.

Monday, April 30, 1979

April 1979 Notes

Fellowship of Friends Lincoln Lodge and Renaissance Vineyard March 1979
The Lincoln Lodge viewed from the Winery Knoll, March 1979 (Photo: T. Campion)

April 7:
1974 Rolls Royce "Silver Shadow" is purchased for $49,000. The Mercedes 600 was taken in trade, fetching $20,000.
April 11:
The D-4 and D-8 are removing brush, manzanita and tree stumps around "The Court of the Caravans."
The Equipment Room is being framed at the Town Hall.
April 19:
The D-8 is clearing above the Zinfandel slope.
April 20:
The Butler Building (Shop 1, carpentry shop) is delivered.
Oak lumber arrives for the KOPA manufacturing project.
April 26:
During tonight's cinema, Robert started asking members to resume playing musical instruments, or learn to play one if they never have. See: Apollo Orchestra Octave
April 27(?):
Tonight's concert features sisters Zara Nelsova and Anna Gold.

Saturday, April 7, 1979

The Teacher's next car

Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Earl Burton traveled in a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver like this
Fellowship of Friends leader Robert Earl Burton was chauffeured in a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow,
costing $49,000 (over $157,000 in 2013 Dollars.) The Fellowship received $20,000 ($80,000 in 2013 dollars)
trade-in credit for the Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine. Burton requested the personalized license plate, "Oracle."

From the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centers (Fellowship of Friends) website:
How is the donation income spent?

The donation income is spent on the costs associated with supporting the worldwide centers, maintaining the Fellowship’s headquarters at Apollo, and administrative costs. It does not accrue to any one person.