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, February 22, 2007

The Fellowship? More bang for the buck than paying taxes!

[ed. - "Alexis" enjoyed their time in the Fellowship. And that's all that mattered.]
"Alexis" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 22, 2007:

Personally I had no problems with Burton, I enjoyed being in his company. Sexual intimacy never was an issue, perhaps if he had been a she then maybe, or maybe not. I don’t believe that I would have gone to bed with either for a place at his or her table or a first class ticket around the world, nor would it have been a case of kiss and tell. Besides, I have no regret about every dollar given to the Fellowship and Robert, at least I had a great deal of fun, rather him than the bottomless coffers of the tax man.. People seem to have no qualms about handing over 30% + of their annual income to the government, no questions asked, but become hysterical when asked to give 10% of their income to the FOF.

I have, during my stay in the FOF, which lasted nearly two decades, never heard any Student voice the opinion that they had awakened or were conscious. On the contrary, most began to realize their own level of being. Whether Robert was conscious or not wasn’t an issue for me, he provided a theatre, a possibility for experimentation, and to act in a way unfamiliar and challenging to my own mechanics. There may have been some temporary mental detours in some of us, but we tried to view one another with some sense of humour rather than taking the I’s, some of them outrageous, seriously.

As Webb has written in his ‘Harmonious Circle’, there need not be any spiritual arrogance here, nobody can withstand a concerted assault on ones reality and have it rebuilt differently. What is of import is the ability to free yourself again of this new model of reality, in due time, and not remain stuck in it. And that’s the difficulty, because we cling to the familiar and the known. The question remains ‘Who are you?’

Its easy for the ES ["the Esoteric Sheik," Fellowship Discussion blog moderator] to shoot off his mouth and play private investigator, discovering the terrible truth behind the FOF, but I am not impressed. What’s the actuality? Instead of ogling the pretty young woman in the meeting, why not ask her out for dinner? Yes, all the I’s of why you shouldn’t, and why bother, and and….. at least you would have done something out of pattern, and you would have, perhaps, found out something about ‘you’. Unless, of course, you already know..

As for Student X [ed. - See X Student's post] and long term student [unknown blogger], am I to take you seriously?

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