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.

Thursday, May 31, 1984

May 1984 Notes

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult Goethe Academy Library
Goethe Academy Library, April 1984 (Photo: James Kline)

"Paul Gregory" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 5, 2013:

[ed. - Quotes from "The Teacher," Robert Burton from this time period, with apparent index numbers shown:]

California is a magical place, especially since influence C is making its stand here. The state which has always represented home will fulfill its promise. There are more Angels hovering around Renaissance than any place on earth. (051584.613)

"Renaissance Vine" [Summarized]
Two new paintings added to the Fellowship collections: "St. Jerome in the Wilderness" by Bernardino Luini and "Still Life with Baskets of Fruit and Fish" by Luca Forte.

[Details of Fellowship's lending library]

Photographs: Berensen Study, Academy library, jeweled book on loan to the Fellowship, Lao Tzu Library.

The Teacher has suggested that a compilation of work "I"s be made to use for a forthcoming journal. Members are encouraged to send those work "I"s that they have found useful to Renaissance.

The next two journals to be printed will be from the Teacher. They are being edited while the Renaissance Press works on a number of delayed projects.

The Fellowship will reopen centres in Dallas, Texas, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Kansas City, Missouri. Our first South American centre will be opened in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Members who wish to support the Fellowship's efforts to reach magnetic centres in these cities are encouraged to move there.

Meeting and Performance Schedule
May 11: Renaissance Meeting
May  19: Istvan Nadas, piano
May 26: California Meeting
May 27: Reading: Mystical Poetry
Other Notes
At Renaissance, a guard house has been added at the property entrance.