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.

Tuesday, July 31, 1979

July 1979 Notes

Fellowship of Friends Renaissance Winery construction June 1979
A scraper, pushed by the Fellowship's D-8 Caterpillar, cuts ground for Renaissance Winery's barrel cellar, June 1979
 (Photo: T. Campion)

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
It is now okay to purchase Oriental carpets (!)

August 11 and 12 concerts: Menahem Pressler, piano

1,244 members

Photos: scraper working on the Winery Knoll, the Teacher’s antique writing desk (Louis XIV?)

Other Notes

July 1:
The word exercise, to avoid "so" is discontinued.
July 5:
A new word exercise begins: avoid "nice."
July 6:
Slab is poured  for the Butler Building (future carpentry shop.)
July 10:
Scrapers have completed work on the winery knoll.
July 13:
Recent events:
An old bus has been purchased for Renaissance.

On-site concrete production has begun.

Robert posed for photographs and portraits (a change in policy.)
July 24:
Renaissance meeting. Robert suggested Miles divide the attendees into small groups for the second half (a practice from an earlier time, that now had largely been abandoned.)