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.

Tuesday, September 11, 1990

Roger Green "completes his task"

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends member Roger Green "completed his task" on September 11, 1990. This is Robert Burton's way of saying he died. (According to Burton, our lives are scripted by "C Influence," "Higher Forces," also known as the gods. A member's role is scripted to benefit both their personal evolution and that of the Fellowship.) Roger was a member of the Fellowship's London center for five years. It is reported (see below) that his final bequest to the Fellowship, a substantial sum of money, was misappropriated by Burton and squandered for his own pleasure.]

"Lust for Life" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 17, 2007:
Kiran, your story about the FOF wanting you to sign your business over to them while you were at death’s door reminds me of a student in London called Roger. He was an older gentleman, who was dying and signed a lot of money over to the FOF on his passing for the purpose of building a hostel for students who were unable to afford a visit to Renaissance (as it was then). Plans were drawn up and he was convinced that it would be built but it never was and who knows what happened to the money? That left a very nasty taste in my mouth, he was such a generous man, and this betrayal was one of the factors that helped me to see that RB has no conscience.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 22, 2007:
Fat boy,

I’m just going to study your first paragraph. You said,
my feeling and verification is that FOF is managed very efficiently and cautiously with monies and if there is any mishandling it is minor (nobody or no organization is perfect.
No one is seeking perfection…but let’s have a look at “verification”.

If you indeed went to the Ouspensky Office and asked to look at the books, and if indeed you were shown them, and if indeed you have at least done Accounting 101 at college and know what double entry book-keeping means, and were given and took the time to sit down with a calculator and check the arithmetic—I’d be very surprised.

If you then took the next step and looked at all the bank records, income statements, cash flow reports, credit card expenses of both the FoF and the vineyard/winery, and did your own trial balances to check, I’d be even more surprised.

If you did all this with a forensic accountant at your side, someone with the knowledge and authority to look at true copies of wage stubs, interview the FoF accountants and recipients of those wages separately, look at the bank account, credit card accounts, tax returns and financial activities of those receiving wages (including Burton) from both organizations, and then look through all the hard drives, backups through the years, searching specifically for evidence of a second set of books, then I’d agree you are on the road to verification.

If you continued and explored the financial connections of the companies that are “privatized” spin-offs from the two entities, such as Hans–Michael H’s marketing operation and the various others, with all their financial records (including loans and startup costs), reports and tax returns, together with the all relationships to Burton’s financial records including all bank accounts domestic and foreign—still under the guidance of the forensic accountant—then I would agree, you have verified the finances of the FoF.

If after all this, you could now look at the setup, both generally and specifically, of the FoF as a non–profit organization, at the FoF canons, and can tell me how Burton lives the lifestyle he does, spends as he does, and can still say with a straight face that the FoF is managed very efficiently, using standard financial terms such as “Rate of return on investment”, then we are indeed living in quite different realities here on the planet. I mean, $85 million or so input, assets $5 million at the most… But, I’m prepared to be surprised.

Look, here’s just one example. We know about Roger Greene’s estate, how he carefully and intentionally and in full generosity liquidated all his assets as his death approached in London. How he got together the quarter million dollars in cash. How he planned his gift, so the FoF could build a decent place to stay for visiting students. How he was led on, making plans for the building, playing “what ifs”, taking joy in the expectation that he was solving a practical problem, how he could express his love for his fellow students. How he made his farewells, how his son helped turn his wishes into reality at his death. How the cash was smuggled into the States against the law and brought to Renaissance—and how Burton spent most of it at the Toyota dealership on cars for the boys within two weeks, and the rest within the month. Do you know all this? Did you find out sleuthing through the books? Did the FoF CFO or Treasurer tell you? [Bolds added]

So, Fat boy, surprise me!

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