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.

Saturday, December 29, 2001

Stella Wirk dies

[ed. - Former long-time Fellowship member and leader, Stella Wirk died on December 29, 2001. The following image and remembrance of Stella is from the Fourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School website. See also Stella's "Eliminate Cult Abuse" page, still available on the Internet Archive.]

Former Fellowship of Friends leader Stella Wirk

Stella Wirk was a student of the Work. Her virtual presence on the internet served a twofold purpose. She helped many victims of Fourth Way cults toward recovery. At the same time, her dedication to the application of the principles of the Work to her own life was a true "Light on the Way" for many people.

She was always there with advice, guidance, or just an understanding ear for those troubled by their experiences with the Fourth Way cults so prevalent today.

She was also a wealth of practical information and experience for those actively practicing the Work.

Stella's presence was compelling and her practicality unquestionable. She was always Stella - always the same. One could depend on that.

Most people will remember Stella by her warm heart and most generous nature. She gave her time to anyone who asked - at any time and anywhere either 'virtually' via the internet and email or even better in person (especially if an all-night coffee shop was close by).

Stella was involved in the Work for over 30 years. She was a well-respected figure on usenet. She conducted lively "Stella's Coffee Shops" and "Wirkshops" all over the world for years. She educated people about the dangers involved in degenerate cults, 'wolves in sheep's clothing', masquerading as representatives of the Work. She passed away in 2001. This archive contains her website as designed and written by her. All those who knew her miss her greatly, and will never forget her.

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