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.

Wednesday, August 31, 1994

Fellowship of Friends members publish With Walt Whitman in Camden

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends members edited and published the works of Horace Traubel.]


February 11, 1891-September 30, 1891


Edited by Jeanne Chapman
Robert MacIsaac
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[Electronic edition published with the kind permission of the Fellowship of Friends and W.L. Bentley Publishing.]
Copyright 1996 by the Fellowship of Friends, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America
Published by
W L Bentley - PO Box 887 - Oregon House, CA 95962
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      In 1888, Horace L. Traubel, a young political radical and aspiring writer in Camden, New Jersey, began systematically recording his daily conversations with his friend, Walt Whitman. He continued for four years, until Whitman's death in 1892, amassing a lovingly detailed record whose accuracy, fidelity, and immediacy remain unsurpassed in the history of biography. Traubel published the first three volumes before his death in 1919; the remaining volumes have appeared, one by one, at widely separated intervals. This is the penultimate volume in the series.
      Once again, we must offer our deepest gratitude to the Fellowship of Friends, Inc., and its director, Robert Earl Burton, for so generously funding the preparation and publication of this volume. It is solely Mr. Burton's recognition of the value of this neglected manuscript that has made possible the publication of the final volumes.
      We are also grateful to the many people who participated in the preparation of this manuscript. Judith Grace Bassat, Peter Bishop, Cynthia Hill, Kevin Kelleher, Leigh Morfit, Peter and Paula Ingle, Rosaline Mearns, and Alla Waite gave generously of their time and knowledge. We also thank once again the staff of the Manuscript Room at the Library of Congress and Professor Ed Folsom, editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review.

Apollo, California
August 1994



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