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.

Thursday, July 31, 1980

July 1980 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Let us toast to the 9th anniversary of our beloved Renaissance, which carries a great responsibility for posterity, for it is here the gods have taken their stand to ensure humanity shall survive Armageddon. – Robert Burton, July 4th
Centers closing this year: Minneapolis (June), Baltimore (June), St. Louis (June), Cincinnati (July), Montreal (July), Detroit (August), Hawaii (September).

No athletics (this is a "task")

No more open meetings for prospective students – they were deemed ineffectual

No popular or rock music allowed in "Teaching Houses" (private homes where meetings take place)

Members can now use the address “Renaissance, CA” on mail

"Pantheon Industries" is dedicated

July 3 and 4: Tales of Hoffman

July 19 and 20: Menahem Pressler

July 26 and 27: La Boheme

August 25 and 26: Beaux Arts Trio

September 6 and 7: Zara Nelsova
Current Membership: 1,383
Photo: illumination (artwork)

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