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.

Saturday, June 1, 1985

Fellowship of Friends art collection featured in Apollo Art Magazine

[ed. - This is an Internet Archive capture of the Fellowship of Friends page, featuring Apollo Art Magazine, June 1985. Vol CXXI. N°280.]

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APOLLO Art Magazine 1985
Founded in 1970 by Robert Burton, the Church of the Fellowship of Friends, whose beliefs are based on the teachings of two Russian philosophers, G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky, now has 1,400 members in most of the principal cities of the world from San Francisco and New York to London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Tel Aviv and Tokyo, its central nucleus being established in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, where its beautiful 365-acre terraced vineyard and winery surround the community known as Renaissance. The arts play an important role in its activities through its art collection, orchestra, opera, theatre and ballet, complemented by an extensive art library and literature library which provide facilities for study and research by its members. The Fellowship’s art collection has been formed during the last few years under the guidance of Marco Grassi in New York, whose main consideration has been to acquire paintings of high quality in excellent condition, and we are happy to make known here the Old Master paintings that have so far entered the Collection. All the paintings reproduced in this article are in the Collection of the Fellowship of Friends at the Goethe Academy, Renaissance, California.
Please select from the following sections of this article:
Page 1 of 9

Magazine cover Countess Kagenek as Flora by Elizabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842), signed and dated 1782.
Oil on canvas, 72 x 58.7 cm (oval). Collection of the Fellowship of Friends at the Goethe Academy, Renaissance, California. Referred to and illustrated in “Old Master Paintings in the Collection of the Fellowship of Friends at Renaissance, California” on p.378.

Jacopo del Sellajo   Page 2
Story of Cupid and Psyche
by Jacopo del Sellajo

Bernardino Luini   Page 3
St. Jerome in the Wilderness
by Bernardino Luini

Luis de Morales   Page 4
Ecce Homo
by Luis de Morales

Merisi da Caravagio/Beert the Elder   Page 5
Still Life with Baskets of Fruit and Fish
by Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravagio,
Still Life of Dried Fruits and Delicacies
by Osias Beert the Elder

Bernardo Cavallino   Page 6
The Drunkenness of Noah and Lot and his Daughters
by Bernardo Cavallino

Salvator Rosa   Page 7
Liberation of St. Peter from Prison
by Salvator Rosa

Gerard ter Borch   Page 8
Stable Scene
by Gerard ter Borch

Elizabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun   Page 9
Countess Kagenek as Flora
by Elizabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun



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[ed. - In 1986, the Stable Scene by Ter Borch, would be sold through Marco Grassi of New York to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Fellowship's "Renaissance Journal," an in-house publication for members
, occasionally featured  paintings from the Fellowship's art collection on the cover:
March 15, 1982 – The Tempest by Claude Joseph Vernet
April 1, 1982 – The Calm by Claude Joseph Vernet
January 15, 1984 – Lot and His Daughters by Bernardo Cavallino
January 31, 1984 – The Drunkenness of Noah by Bernardo Cavallino
April 15, 1984 – Stable Scene by Gerard Ter Borch
February 1, 1983 – Breakfast Scene by Osias Beert
See also the controversy about  Il Guercino's "The Toilet of Venus" and a possible Ugolino di Nerio fake in the Fellowship's collection.]

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