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, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers 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.

Wednesday, July 16, 1986

The Friends of the Goethe Academy

[ed. - The Friends of the Goethe Academy is one of numerous 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations The Fellowship of Friends uses to improve cash flow. Presumably, it was originally intended to promote the Fellowship's private art gallery. In recent years, non-profit was registered as The Friends of the Goethe Academy dba Apollo Arts, and the business mission was restated as, 
"Our mission is to present the finest works of the classical repertoire in opera, music, theatre and dance to audiences in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California."
It is unclear if those audiences are limited to members or include the public as well.]

April 2014 capture from the California Secretary of State website:
Entity Name:THE FRIENDS OF THE GOETHE ACADEMY
Entity Number:C1537303
Date Filed:07/16/1986
Status:ACTIVE
Jurisdiction:CALIFORNIA
Entity Address:PO BOX 998
Entity City, State, Zip:OREGON HOUSE CA 95962
Agent for Service of Process:PAUL M CHARPENTIER
Agent Address:12898 D RICES CROSSING ROAD
Agent City, State, Zip:OREGON HOUSE CA 95962



MARINA N SWALES President 12449 REGENT WAY
PO BOX 606
OREGON HOUSE, CA 95962

07/23/2009 Secretary of State Reviver
07/09/2009 Franchise Tax Board Restoration
07/09/2009 Franchise Tax Board Restoration PROC 7-9-09
07/09/2009 Franchise Tax Board Suspension
07/09/2009 Franchise Tax Board Suspension
07/09/2009 Secretary of State Reviver
07/09/2009 Secretary of State Suspension
07/09/2009 Secretary of State Suspension

See IRS Form 990-EZ filings.

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 943020954
Name of Organization Friends: Of The Goethe Academy
Address: PO BOX 998, Oregon House, CA 95962-0998
Activities: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.
Subsection: Charitable Organization
Ruling Date: 11/1992
Deductibility: Contributions are deductible
Foundation Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public
Organization: Corporation
Exempt Organization Status: Unconditional Exemption
Tax Period: 12/2012
Assets: $100,000 to $499,999
Income: $100,000 to $499,999
Filing Requirement: 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Asset Amount: $101,520
Amount of Income: $103,222
Form 990 Revenue Amount: $103,222

Total revenue: $65,937
Contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts received: $22,519
Program service revenue including government fees and contracts: $42,146
Membership dues and assessments: $0
Investment income: $1,272
Gain from sale of assets other than inventory: $0
Net income from gaming and fundraising events: $0
Gross profit from sales of inventory: $0
Other revenue: $0
Total expenses: $77,811
Total net assets: $114,648
Deficit for the year: $-11,874
Net assets or fund balances at beginning of year: $126,522
Other changes in net assets or fund balances: $0
Balance Sheets (for 2011):
Total assets: $114,648
Total liabilities: $0
Net assets or fund balances: $114,648
Other Information (for 2011)
Did the organization have unrelated business gross income of $1,000 or more during the year from business activities: No
Initiation fees and capital contributions: $0
Gross receipts for public use of club facilities: $0
Reason for Public Charity Status (for 2011):
The organization is not a private foundation because it is: An organization that normally receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or from the general public described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Support Schedule for Organizations Described in Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(iv) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (for 2011)
2007 - 2011 Total
Total Support: $228,759
Gifts, grants, contributions, and membership fees received: $228,759
Tax revenues levied for the organization's benefit and either paid to or expended on its behalf: $0
The value of services or facilities furnished by a governmental unit to the organization without charge: $0
Gross income from interest, dividends, payments received on securities loans, rents, royalties and income from similar sources: $0
Gross receipts from related activities, etc.: $0



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