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.

Saturday, March 31, 1990

Renaissance Vineyard and Winery advertisement

[ed. - Below is the text of a Renaissance Vineyard and Winery advertisement published in "The Wine Spectator," March 31, 1990. It was a large-format ad, full page, perhaps.]
 "What a Year!"

"We waited twelve years before releasing our wines. It was worth the wait. Within the first year of release, our California wines were awarded medals in Europe's largest and most esteemed wine competitions:

"VINEXPO: The World Wine and Spirits Fair, 5th International Wine Competition, of Blaiyais-Bordeaux, France, June 1989, 1272 Entries.

"At this, the world's largest wine fair, four American wines competed for medals. Renaissance is proud to have won three.

"International Wine and Spirits Competition, 20th International Competition, Guildhall, London, England, October 1989, 1175 Entries.

"At this major competition, 225 American wines were eligible to earn medals. Renaissance was awarded four. We were the only American winery to win gold medals in both this and VINEXPO.

"In our first year, Europe's acclaimed wine publication, Gault Millau, evaluated 70 late harvest wines. Renaissance was the only American wine to be listed amongst the top ten. During that same year, Wine & Spirits judged three of our first releases as 'highly recommended' or 'exceptional.'"