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) Fellowship 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.

Thursday, October 31, 1991

"Trick or treat. My mother's dead. Her name is Shock."

Guinevere Ruth Mueller (right), among Burton's first followers, joins him in a meeting at the Festival Hall, March 19, 2019.

[ed. - On page 47 of Fifty Years with Angels, Robert Burton is compelled to share an example of how he overcame "feminine dominance." Receiving news of his mother's (Velma E. Burton's) death, and after failing to attend her funeral, he recounts making a "difficult decision" to go to the ocean with his companion rather than to his mother's grave. Claiming the act was a demonstration of "will," some would call it a pathetic excuse or, in Fellowship terms, a "buffer."]
On Halloween, in 1991, I answered the phone and said "trick or treat" to my life brother, He said, "Our mother died today." I told him, "I have to handle this in my own way. I am not going to the service, but I will visit her gravesite afterwards. "We must always take Influence C on their own conscious terms. I did not attend my mother's funeral in San Francisco. Even so, I was going to visit her grave after the ceremony, but, when I reached Vacaville, Influence C put a license plate in front of me saying CASTR8 (castrate). So I did not go to her grave, but instead went with Michael Goodwin to the Pacific Ocean to watch the sun set.

I experienced a mystical moment because I had done something difficult that Influence C had asked. At a certain point, Michael asked, "Were you having a mystical moment?" I said, "Yes." I shuddered, because I knew that I had been obedient. It was not easy but I just did what Influence C had asked. Without that difficult decision I made, Michael could not have survived his own death. I had no thought of opposing Influence C and no concern that people might not understand me, because I was obeying a higher power. I was quite accepting of it all.