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, July 31, 1984

July 1984 Notes

"Renaissance Vine" newsletter [summarized]
June 16, 1984 celebration for the completion of the bottle-storage (first) level of the winery.

Under the dome, erected in July 1978, concrete pads have been poured for the stainless steel fermentation tanks. To date, 64,500 gallons of wine holding capacity has been installed, that is, 40 per cent of the total planned. About 75 per cent of the mechanical equipment for the winery has already been pruchased and installed and is now operating...Facilities are nearly ready to bottle the vintages of recent years.

[Discussion of concrete batching, pouring, construction]
At the present rate of construction, the barrel-storage (second) level walls, already begun, and ceiling should be completed by September, 1985. With the finishing of the barrel-storage level, work can proceed then on the completion of the upper (third level) of Renaissance Winery.

[Discussion of grape growing season]

Meeting and Performance Schedule
August 3: Renaissance Meeting
August 18: California Meeting
August 25: Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, by the Troupe de Amis


"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 19, 2012:
97. Fee fi fo fum

‘Can you say more about Bengt’s possible suicide? I knew he had died, but not the circumstances.’
From the Greater Fellowship site, In Memoriam:
Bengt Lungren
Died: Summer of 1984.
Cause of death: Gunshot, suicide.
Posted by J. M. G., September 2, 2009:
‘Bengt was a wonderful friend in the brief time I knew him. We met at Renaissance and hit it off immediately in conversation. Later we both had left the Fellowship and he and his wife had moved to SF and joined the G. Foundation, working with Jacob Needleman as group leader at the old meeting place, St Elmo. I moved to SF to join the Foundation and just before I left Seattle (Summer of 1984) I got a call that Bengt had shot himself with a revolver in his home. This death still shocks me because he had so much I wanted to know more about. Bengt, thank you for your kindness to me and the encouragement to my soul. I hope you have peace.

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