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.

Thursday, January 1, 1998

Selfish spritualism

"Bares Reposting" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 5, 2009:
“having one’s own spiritual advancement as the focus of one’s life is totally self-absorbed, and hence self-centered at a more hidden level.”
I remember, back in about [or] just before 1998, there were these crisis meetings at the Fellowship of Friends headquarters in Oregon House, California, because there was a resource shortage and a Ming furniture collection that was not selling, worth tens of millions of dollars, supposedly. Ming rich, cash poor. (Ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming!) Lincoln Lodge/Apollo d’Oro was closed. (How were people going to eat?) And other problems, like lawsuit(s) settled out-of-court for millions of dollars. Apollo Operations Group (AOG) meetings trying to find ways to combat the Olivehurst Gospel Assembly (OGA. Read more here: actions – was one way to look at it. California’s fall was imminent. There were these meetings to get prepared, where people talked about how we would pull through helping each other and being generous, etc. (More of the usual ‘supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions.’ In all honesty, there were some well meaning and acting folks.) We were not a selfish bunch of people that, when really bad times came, it would not be a ‘me-first’ (a play on the mi-fa) interval. So, one truth speaking quiet person got a chance to chime in, as suggestions from all and anyone were sought. Seldom did that person say anything. They said something like: Pretty much everyone in the Fellowship of Friends came there with the primary purpose of getting consciousness for themselves. (Little did they know what that meant!) At least that was the way it was for the speaker (honestly), and in many many years, the way for almost everyone that they had met there. These people did not come to give consciousness from themselves (as if they could) to others. In other words, first line of work [personal work] was paramount, and second and third lines [work for others, and for the "school"] were subject to falling by the WAYside, so to speak. Prime directive: selfish purpose ‘at a more hidden level.’

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