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.

Thursday, January 7, 1982

Dorota Starr and the heavy hand of C Influence

[ed. - "Bares Reposting" apparently transcribed the letter originally posted to the Internet Archive. An internet search shows the letter writer to be connected with the "Christian Answers and Information Corporation", Chico, CA. Dorota Starr left the Fellowship July 18, 1981 and  Thomas Pannell left August 5, 1981.]

"Bares Reposting" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog September 23, 2011:
Letter from Bruce Elliott DilLavou to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat, January 7, 1982 Keywords: Robert Burton; Fellowship of Friends; Dorota Starr; Thomas Pannell

Rendered to plain text:
P. O. Box 3295
Chico, CA 95927
January 7, 1982

Dear Editor:

Some of your readers are aware of the cult known as the Fellowship of Friends in the area of Oregon House, CA near Oroville. Unknown, however, is a recent development involving the F of F and ex-member Dorota Starr.

Since Ms. Starr defected from the Fellowship some six months ago, they recently have written informing her that the hook-up of her well to that of the F of F’s well will be disconnected.

The well hook-up, made to supply Ms. Starr with water, was promised verbally to her for as long as she needed it. On this the Fellowship has reneged. The promise was made initially because the F of F’s system being much stronger, was taking the water “out from underneath” the reach of Ms. Starr’s system. It seems the issue of the well hook-up became a problem for the F of F after Ms. Starr’s departure from the group and her reluctance to move from the area. Ms. Starr believes this could very well be an effort by the F of F to force her to move.

The reports are that the Fellowship of Friends is hoping to buy many properties around the Oregon House, Dobbins and Collins Lake areas, with very handsome prices being offered to local land owners.

With the Oregon House branch of the Fellowship of Friends serving as the World Headquarters, it makes good sense for the group to want as much “insulation” around them as possible. Former members and the parents of former members have given reports that are anything but desirable concerning the inner workings of this cult.

It should also be noted that Ms. Starr was the deciding factor in another member leaving, Mr. Thomas Pannell.

But why should Mr. Pannell’s departure cause much concern? Mr. Pannell was at one time very close to the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, Mr. Robert Burton. It seems the departure of Mr. Pannell struck a discordant note with Mr. Burton as he personally came to Ms. Starr’s door very late one evening to retrieve Mr. Pannell. This indicates to Ms. Starr another possible reason for their wanting her to move.

Mr. Robert Burton, who began the Fellowship of Friends, eleven years ago was a student of Alexander Horn, the leader of the “Theater of All Possibilites[sic]” in San Francisco. Mr. Horn’s group was abruptly closed in 1978, after some news reports on alleged beatings and possible child abuse among the theater’s company.

Though the F of F renounces such practices, they are hoping to open a children’s nursery in the Oregon House area, on property, it is reported, owned by four members of the Fellowship. One wonders what could stem from this. The request for construction has been denied only to be appealed by the F of F members. The hearing will of course be re-scheduled.

January 7, 1982
Page 2

In all of this we should ask ourselves: What are the long range implications of any group desiring such extensive land holdings and isolation? How will this affect our communities? Who will be teaching the children at the proposed nursery and what will they be taught?

There was a sign that hung on the wall in Guyana which read: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Many believe that further investigation into the activities of this group are very much in line. I certainly agree.

Sincerely yours,
Bruce Elliott DilLavou

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, November 5, 2009:
Sorry for long post.

Page 40/#26. Rear View Mirror – July 11, 2008:
The D.S. [Dorota Starr] story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting. And I do wonder how I would have reacted if I had seen her.

But sometimes I think we complicate things. Information about the cult – partly from a growing number of former members in the area, and partly from a number of websites, including this one – is slowly eroding people’s usual certainty about participating in the FOF.

Robert Burton and the FOF have been using one of the oldest known propaganda techniques for the past 38 years – repetition. And more repetition.

Repetition is a tough thing for our brains to battle against. The more we hear something – for example, that Republicans are stronger on foreign policy – the more we begin to believe it as unassailable fact. And we begin looking for arguments to support that assertion even if there are many counter arguments that suggest otherwise.

It’s the same in the FOF. We had the ideas of “higher forces” and “food for the moon” and “higher school” drilled into our brains over and over – many of us for many years – and we began talking about these concepts as though they were facts.

Now the tables are turning.

We have the opportunity, thanks to the internet, and thanks to the proximity of larger numbers of friends who have escaped, to introduce the facts about this cult – again and again and again.

The process may be taking longer than we’d want, but there is a difference now from 10, 20, and 30 years ago when someone expressed dissent. Today, the dissent is slightly closer to the walls of the compound, and quite a bit more persistent. It’s a much different time.
40/27. ton – July 11, 2008:
RVM 26 [responding to above] thanks for the post. there seems to be a trend in today’s thinking that technology will either save us or destroy us. depends entirely on how it’s used, whether we use it as a tool or are used by it…. whatever the outcome, the potential offered by current technologies for open communication, definitely offers advantages not available back when i left the fellowship of friends…. or even as you say 10 years ago. (of course, the converse would be the example of government disinformation/propaganda being distributed via various media/technologies and used as a tool for ‘mind-control’ -(albeit on a larger scale than the case in point)).

you say:

“The D.S. story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting.”

it was a long time ago, but i don’t think i’m making this up… while she still lived in her house, before she moved to marysville, on some mornings when a group of ‘us’ were tending the garden, she would stand in her yard and vocalize her protestations…. i don’t think she ever carried a sign but i could be wrong…. either way, if someone can corroborate or repudiate (?) and does anyone know what happened to ‘D’ ?

and yes, it is an interesting story (whalerider).
40/28. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup – July 11, 2008:
On DS [Dorota Starr]: I remember something about her water being turned off. She shared a well with the FOF. Don’t know any other details though except I remember not having much compassion for her at the time. That certainly sticks in my memory. Not frozen just a little frost bitten.
DS (D*r*t*) [Dorota Starr] Story:

Here is what I know and as seen from my perspective. (Those who know more or otherwise are welcome to post and correct or give other views):

Once upon a time there were these Oregon House people (in Fellowship speak: ‘Life People’), Shirks or Snipes [ed. - Snipes], or something like that, perhaps were their names. (Checking property records would reveal that information. It is public record with Yuba County.) They were older retired folks that were living the ‘Dog Patch U.S.A.’ type of life that existed in many places in Oregon House prior to the Fellowship arriving. They had, likely, limited means. Possibly lived in an old single-wide mobile home. (Mostly that was too early for me to remember; but I remember the story.) The parcel they owned was about 4.7 acres on Rice’s Crossing Road, south of Regent Way and on the east side. This property was entirely surrounded by the Fellowship owned property on all sides except the portion that is along the road itself and provides access to the parcel.
The Fellowship of Friends did not care for the way these people lived as a somewhat unsightly blight on the landscape, so various methods were used to motivate them. Perhaps gentle persuasion was tried first by befriending them or helping them. I am not clear on all of what took place. But eventually FoF began bulldozing FoF property right up to their property lines and doing various things to make them uncomfortable. As I vaguely remember, they became willing to move when a number of incentives came together, like: 1) appropriate price, 2) a willing buyer, 3) assistance to seller in finding new home, etc. So they eventually moved and the buyer was DS [Dorota Starr].

DS was from, I think, the Pacific Northwest, maybe Seattle. She was reluctant and did not have all the resources needed. To sweeten the deal, a 3rd party (to remain unnamed) that had money was asked to finance part of the deal. The property was bought. The old mobile home removed. Some improvement to the land made. A quad wide mobile home bought and assembled on site. And, viola [sic], a student now owned and occupied the nearest residence to the abode of the leader of FoF. It was supposedly a financial stretch for DS and this necessitated various students to live there. It was, I think, 4 bedrooms, one of which was a master bedroom for DS. It was spacious but still a mobile home. Many visitors stayed there, especially on the weekends, as it was so close to ‘the property.’ DS called it ‘The Dew Drop Inn,’ as I may remember. That was a little problematic as it was a time when houses were named after conscious beings, like: Gurdjieff Cottage and Elizabeth Cottage – some of the first houses bought apart from ‘the property.’ Many who lived there were selected by RB, as having his sex partners living nearby was desired – they could respond on short notice or in the middle of the night. One such person [ed. - Thomas Pannell] living there might have been a sibling of someone who is still a long time member of FoF. That sibling might have been in a relationship with DS at one point. Whether they were a sex partner with RB, I do not know or remember. (You know all these relationships and sex partners things is difficult to keep straight (no pun intended) let alone remember – sort of like the incestuous Ozarks; it is Arkansas BoB, after all.)

One of the crises, and there were many with DS, was with her well and water. It was a poor well to begin with. FoF drilled a well very close to her property line and it was very deep, relative to the shallow one on her property. DS claimed that her well was going dry because the new well was drawing down the water table. There was not enough water for all the people living at her place, let alone all the visitors. People had to go to the bath house on ‘the property.’ This is when and how it came to pass that FoF gave DS a water line from that new well. This was fine for awhile.

Years later, DS leaves FoF. The FoF rabble in her home moves out, by necessity. DS becomes enemy of FoF/REB. So, FoF decides to turn off that water supply they agreed to provide in order to get rid of her. She leaves Oregon House. Later, she sublets the place to FoF people and the water gets turned back on. Eventually, REB tells everyone to move out and the place goes vacant for many years leaving DS in difficult financial situation with a deteriorating property. Long term, it becomes a torn [sic] in the side of FoF/REB. DS repeatedly tries to sell but refuses to sell to FoF or any of its members – DS always asking far more than it is worth. Eventually, some investment company buys the property only to find out the mistake they have made. Later, still, ML in FoF was reported to have bought it from the investment company – induced to do so by REB to get the property into FoF hands, so to speak.

This is how the King of Hearts gets things done invisibly behind the scenes; one could say, tongue-in-cheek.

Letter to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat dated January 7, 1982:

[ed. - Here, "Bares Reposting" included the letter shown at the top of this post.]

"jomopinata" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 9, 2017:
About Dorota (Starr) and her late daughter Lorian.

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