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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Saturday, February 28, 1981

February 1981 Notes

Fellowship of Friends Renaissance Vineyard and Winery vineyard slopes 1 and 23 January 1981
The freshly-terraced "Meadows Knoll," January 1981 (Photo: T. Campion)

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Two Joseph Vernet seascapes purchased
Request that members wear seat belts
March 7 and 8 concert: Lee Luvisi, Piano
1,350 members
Photo: Meadows Knoll with foothills in background

 Other notes

February 27: San Francisco Chronicle correspondent Michael Taylor and photographer Gary Fong visit Renaissance. The report from their visit, "Mystical Cult Prospers – And Stirs Some Fears" would appear in the Chronicle's April 20th edition.