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 (including 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.

Monday, February 12, 2001

Another Fellowship suicide?

[ed. - Reference to yet another Fellowship suicide. This is placed in the timeline approximately where the alleged incident took place.]

"Anonymous" commented on the Religion and Child Abuse News blog, February 10, 2012.
I am a 40 year old woman. I was in the Fellowship for 4 years, and then left about 10 years ago. My father was allready [sic] a member of the FF for 7 years when i joined.
3 years after i joined, my father killed himself.....

I can not stress enough how what is written in this article is accurate-
My experience of the FF was that it IS a cult, that you Are going through a very sophisticated and manipulative brain washing.
Most people coming to the cult are have weaknesses that led them to search for answers. The group gently and shrewdly plays on those weaknesses and gradually creates a state of dependence in the member.
Robert "recommends" that if someone leaves it is better to cut ties with them...Robert "recommends" that you be more and more involved in the group...Robert "Recommends" not to expect happiness, and that happiness has nothing to do with self development.
I see all these recommendations (and many more) at a sophisticated way of developing co dependency.

When i was there, i kept hearing stories about young guys that turned gay after Robert slept with them, or just guys that Robert slept with. This, and the constant demand to contribute more and more money (which had to do with the ruin of my family and my father), led me eventually to my leaving.
I can say allot more, but English is not my native tong [sic].
I'll just tell you this: there are allot of Narcissistic bustards [sic] out there that want to be your spiritual teacher.
Robert Burton is one of them, For sure.

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