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.

Sunday, May 31, 1981

May 1981 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Robert’s letter to San Francisco Chronicle (written April 28)
May 15 and 16: Menahem Pressler and Oscar Shumsky
May 17 and 18: Menahem Pressler
June 6 and 7: American String Quartet
1,373 members
Photo: entrance to Renaissance

Other Notes

May 8:
Robert sought to order "4TH WAY" personalized license plates. They were not available.
May 11:
"Maxwell’s Plumb" restaurant opens at Ghirardelli Square, in San Francisco. Fellowship members were involved in the construction. [The flamboyant owner, Warner LeRoy, had something in common with Burton – love of glitz, crystal, stained glass, porcelains, Lalique, Tiffany, etc.]

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