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.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

One can never be asked to give too much

[ed. - The above is a paraphrase of Robert Burton's words to a former Ranch Manager, when he asked his "teacher" whether he was too demanding of his workers. This post is slotted in the timeline when the original message was sent out. Memo author Karen Johnston is regarded by some as one of Robert Burton's chief enablers.]

"Traveler" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 5, 2007:
A search on my old email called this up. This is exactly how it was posted to members. Read it and weep.
K_r_n J_hnst_n
To: students@apollo.org
Date: 8.12.2004 19:45
Subject: [Students] A Dedicated Amount?
Dear Friends,
This email is to all of us, but in this case, let us separate ourselves in terms of the amount of income the Gods currently allow us to earn or that we are simply given each month to put to use at this time in our lives. For this division amoung the groups of us, there is no “life” connotation of what this means; only that for now, the Gods arranged our plays such that we have this current income.
Let us also surmise that Robert wishes us gradually to take over the building of our city (although he would continue to direct it), so that he would not have to have fund-raising events in order to “pay” for the building of Apollo, but he would be able to use the funds that he raises exactly as he wished because we had taken over the responsibility of paying for the building of our city ourselves.
For this to happen and slowly, slowly, through the auctions, it is already in the process of happening, we would need some of those with the higher levels of income at this time, to commit to themselves to spend a certain greater amount on each auction in order for us to make our goals. For example, if our total auction goal for this holiday is $188,000, how much would I as an individual need to commit? How much could I personally pay of that total amount?
If, going down in income, we each commit to that amount, even those on salary (a prize drawing ticket and one “give a gift, buy a gift”, for example), we could perhaps take over this responsibility from Robert. I am certain that we can do it if we realize we are helping him meet his task to build our city. It is even becoming very enjoyable as the beauty begins to surround us.
Can more of us come to the auctions with this in mind? I say, more of us, because many of you are already doing this.
Thank you for reading this and for thinking on what more personally each can contribute if we set our minds to it?
See you this Sunday, December 12th after the meeting for our Holiday Auction. We invite you all to come, even if you have failed to bid a hundred times. Come again, come!
Best in presence,
K_r_n J_hnst_n for the auction team
“May the glory of the two worlds stay with you” - Rumi

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