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 most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

But 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.

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 from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, 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, November 30, 1982

November 1982 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
Many persons are being moved into construction at the winery, and there have been cutbacks in other areas

Other Notes

November 5:
New Herman Miller dining tables arrive for the Lincoln Lodge.
November 8:
Riesling harvest in the rain. Much of the crop moldy and had to be left on the ground.
November 12:
Fellowship member Neal O’Brien dies in an automobile crash on Marysville Road in Brown’s Valley. [An on-coming pick-up truck carrying three teens apparently left the pavement and drove into the right shoulder. The driver over-corrected, swerving into Neal’s path, and colliding head-on with Neal’s Mercedes.] In the 12 years since its founding, there have been few member deaths. The organization is still youthful, with an average age probably still in the early-30s.
November 19:
Robert Burton returns from travels in Europe

Sunday, November 14, 1982

Robert Burton speaks about Armageddon

[ed. - I've taken the liberty to insert this in the time line where these events occurred.]

"Graduates" posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 13, 2007 at 5:32 p.m.:
Burton on Armageddon (from a circulated memo):
“Revelations: “…the seventh angel…” After the seventh conscious being appears, Armageddon will come.” - Florence, Italy, Nov. 2, 1982 (Burton believes that his teaching will produce seven conscious men.)
“C-Influence will ensure that all that is left of culture will be taken to Renaissance [the Fellowship compound] for posterity.” - Nov. 3, 1982
“Florence, Venice, Siena will probably not be bombed. C-Influence has indicated to me that Naples (home of NATO), Rome, and Milan will be bombed. Neutron bombs may be used. (Neutron bombs destroy only humans.) ”- Nov. 3, 1982
“We are founding a new civilization.” - Nov. 4, 1982
“Armageddon has wrung a school out of the gods.”- Nov. 4, 1982
“The only error in Christ’s teaching was the statement “my yoke is mild.”- Nov. 4, 1982
“My role is to predict the fall of California and Armageddon.” - Nov. 9, 1982
“People must come to us for souls.”- Nov. 9, 1982
“Don’t put money into banks after Dec. 1983.” - Nov. 9, 1982
“The depression will work to our advantage, we will go through it unscathed." - Nov. 9, 1982
"We are very well prepared for the coming depression in 1984.” - Nov. 9, 1982
“California is the artichoke capitol of the world…It means it will choke in 1998.” - Nov. 9, 1982
“Haley’s Comet is going to ruin it all, this whole decade is not a good decade.” - Nov. 9, 1982
“We are a very high school on earth, Rembrandt and Goethe are in a higher school. There are angels at this table right now.” - Nov. 11, 1982
“The 44th president of the US will be in office at the occurrence of Armageddon, 2006.” - Nov. 11, 1982
“After the year 2006, Genoa may be the port where art is taken by ship to the East Coast – from there by existing highways to Renaissance [now called Apollo].” - Nov. 14, 1982
“We are the greatest school since Christ’s.” - Nov. 12, 1982
From Burton (recorded from early “teachings”):
“The formation that a human’s scale of vision sees as coral may be in reality the earth’s set of teeth. Coral is found near shorelines and what we see as waves is, alarmingly, the earth’s tongue rolling upon the shoreline. The shoreline, then, would somehow be the earth’s lips. As one observes this phenomenon one can easily visualize the waves as a tongue licking the earth’s shorey lips. Storms, which are a strong negative force, are created out of hunger by the earth. The variety of organic death they leave in their wake is washed back into the earth’s main bloodstream, the ocean.”
“As one awakens one sees the earth, humans and organic life on earth objectively, and finds one’s visual properties are of the scale of an electron microscope. What we take for trees and rivers are, surprisingly, the earth’s hair and blood veins. What appears to us as a cloud formation is most probably the earth perspiring. On hot summer days clouds form over mountains, and fog sometimes rolls onto the land masses. Similarly, on hot days beads of moisture emerge from our body or cosmos. We call this noteworthy event perspiration.”