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 (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and 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 2007) Fellowship of Friends 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.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fellowship of Friends member may have taken his own life

[ed. - It is reported that 30-year Fellowship of Friends member, and Renaissance Vineyard and Winery official, Ronald Payton took his own life, by asphyxiation at his home in Oregon House. Note: "completed his task" is a euphemism for death, reserved only for Fellowship members in good standing.]

From the Fellowship's Elysian Society website:
Dear Friends Around the World,

Ronald Payton, a beloved member of the Fellowship, completed his task on October 30, 2005. On November 1 he would have celebrated his 30th anniversary in our school.

Ronald was a member of the Isis center. His 59th birthday was Saturday.

On behalf of all who knew you, we thank thee.

In Presence,

Linda Tulisso [Linda Kaplan], Isis

From Omar Khayyam:

Ah, fill the Cup:–what boots it to repeat How Time is slipping underneath our Feet: Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY, Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

[ed. - PDF link mistakenly leads to Roger Cavanna Memorial Service. The Appeal-Democrat offered the following brief statement.]
Ronald Abbott Payton, 59, of Oregon House died Oct. 30, 2005, at his residence.