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.

Monday, April 30, 1984

April 1984 Notes

Lao Tzu Library at the Lincoln Lodge, April 1984 (Photo: James Kline)

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [Summarized]
Photographs: pneumatic pruning shear, trellising, grafted vines.

This year, about 11,000 vines were grafted over to Cabernet Sauvignon, White Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Joanne Hudson "completed her role" [ed. - Fellowship euphemism for dying] on March 20, 1984.

Sunday, April 1, 1984

Fellowship of Friends "Payment Guidelines"

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors issue this on April Fools Day! Clearly, in this church, "donations" are not optional. The letter also provides an example of a liberty the Fellowship took. The artwork for the gold-stamped Fellowship of Friends logo was an exact copy of the City of Oakland, California logo.]