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.

Friday, October 31, 1980

October 1980 Notes

Fellowship of Friends cult members harvest Petite Sirah grapes September 1980
Fellowship members harvest Petite Sirah grapes, September 1980 (Photo: T. Campion)

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
September 10: Barn removed and pond construction started on site
Concerts:
October 18 and 19: Scottish Baroque Ensemble
October 25 and 26: Beaux Arts Trio
November 1 and 2: Don Giovanni
November 8 and 9: Philadelphia (?)
November 22 and 23: Istvan Nadas
November 24: Christiane Edinger and Gerhard Puchelt [father/daughter]
September 27: Cabernet harvest – about 11-1/2 tons of reds harvested
1,385 members
Photos: harvest on the Petite Sirah slope, new pond site as seen from the Riesling slope

Other Notes

October 8:
Alice in Wonderland shown at "The Dobbins House"
Robert Burton is traveling in Europe
Sauvignon Blanc harvested yesterday
Karl Werner is enthusiastic about the quality of grapes this year
Tomorrow is the first "public" tasting of a Renaissance wine, the 1979 Zinfandel

Thursday, October 9, 1980

Tasting the first "official" Renaissance wine

At the Lincoln Lodge tonight, Karl Werner hosts the first “public” tasting of a Renaissance wine, the 1979 Zinfandel.

As Karl says, at this point, it tastes like an "exploded pharmacy."