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 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.

Tuesday, March 9, 1982

The nursery school will have no connection to the Fellowship

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends denials and obfuscation began long ago. Here's a sample from 1982. This later evolved into the Fellowship-connected Lewis Carroll School. "The Lewis Carroll School Association" behind the school was governed by Fellowship members.]

Appeal-Democrat
"Board Deadlocks On Hill Nursery School"
Marysville-Yuba Appeal-Democrat
Tuesday, March 02, 1982
Yuba County Supervisors deadlocked 2-2 today on whether to permit a member of the Fellowship of Friends to operate a nursery school in Oregon House.

The tie vote in effect upheld a Planning Commission decision denying a use permit to operate the school, but the matter will be brought back before the board next week, when all five supervisors are expected to be present.

Supervisors George Deveraux and Charlie Parker voted against a motion of Supervisor John R. Dower to reverse the Planning Commission action and issue a use permit. The motion was supported by Supervisor Charles Center but with the absence of Supervisor Doug Waltz, the board deadlocked 2-2.

Peter Dragovich appealed the Planning denial of a permit to operate the school. Dragovich is a member of the Fellowship of Friends, which has large property holdings in the Oregon House area, but insisted that the school would have no connection with the Fellowship.

County Counsel Dennis Barlow advised the board that could not be considered in assessing his application for a use permit.



"Hill Nursery School to Get Permit"
Marysville-Yuba City Appeal-Democrat
March 9, 1982:
Fellowship of Friends member Peter Dragovich today won his permit to operate a nursery school in Oregon as Yuba County supervisors voted 3-2 to overturn a Planning Commission decision denying him the permit.

Last week, in the absence of Supervisor Doug Waltz, the board deadlocked 2-2 on Dragovich's appeal. Today, Waltz voted to grant the appeal and he was joined by Supervisors John R. Dower and Charles Center. Supervisors George Deveraux and Charlie Parker voted against granting the permit, as they did last week.

Dower made the motion to grant the permit "based on evidence presented pertinent to the appeal" that "the site is an appropriate one for the proposed use."

Most of the controversy about Dragovich 's proposed nursery school on Rice's Crossing Road centers on his membership in the Fellowship of Friends. Several former members appeared before the board in opposition to the project, arguing that the philosophy of the Fellowship is such that children will be harmed by being exposed to it.

Dragovich, however, denied that the nursery will be to connected to the Fellowship.

And County Counsel Dennis Barlow advised the board that had Dragovich's "religion" had no bearing on the question of whether to grant him a permit to operate the nursery school.

Opponents also argued that the school would create traffic problems on Rice's Crossing Road, which they said is already hazardous.

In voting against granting the permit, Parker and Deveraux cited traffic problems on the road.

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