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.

Wednesday, October 31, 1979

October 1979 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Send photos of fine French architecture to Renaissance
Only English and French should be spoken – other languages will die
Phase out soft drinks in favor of wine
October 27 and 28 concerts: Menahem Pressler
1,313 members
October 31: Member Joseph Moreno died
Photo: chandelier over cruciform cabinet

Other Notes

October 25:
From an ex-member's notes, an example of Burton's need to micro-manage:
"Robert sent Edward B. and myself to San Francisco for the Rolls Royce and instructed us to have coffee and a hamburger at the Coffee Tree, dinner at Trader Vic's, attend the opera, and have coffee and "cherry-berry pie" at the Coffee Tree, on the way home. I imagine we will look back and wonder at these strange times."
October 31:
Fellowship member Joseph Moreno is killed in an airplane crash in Mexico City. He was sent to help open the new Mexico City Center.

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