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, Burton and his followers, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including Burton's divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) 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, December 31, 1980

December 1980 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
The “Milton Pond” [where barn once stood] has six swans
No gum chewing
Live Christmas trees are acceptable
Members should pay debts by December 1, 1983 [in anticipation of predicted Depression]
December 6 and 7: American String Quartet
December 19: Beverly Coyne sings Jenny Lind songs
December 22 and 23: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
December 25: Souvenirs of Florence
December 31: The Messiah by Handel
January 2: Hans Weisshaar [violin restorer, died 1991]
January 3 and 4: Zara Nelsova, cello [died 2002]
January 10 and 12: Eudice Shapiro and Brooks Smith [Smith retired in 1988, died in 2000.]
Photo: “Dawn of Renaissance” [actually a sunset]

1,361 members: 805 men (59%), 556 women (41%), “and 44 angels”, average age: 32 [not including the 44 angels!]

Other Notes
 According to Harold Wirk, growth rate of the Fellowship slowed 90% in1980, making it the slowest growth year of the decade.

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