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.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Empire Strikes Back

"Be Careful" provided this official Fellowship of Friends response on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
Be Careful

Since December, 2006, a variety of cyber tactics by a group of anonymous persons have been used to harass and defame the Fellowship of Friends, it’s individual members, and it’s Founder, Robert Burton. As with everything, actions have consequences, so those who are innocent of the harassment and defamation should be careful.

At some point, this blog became a platform for recent actions, which began sometime in 2006. Matters accelerated in December, 2006, with an email addressed to certain Fellowship members, from a fictitious “Issac Assimov”. This email was harassing, false and scandalous, and contained overt anti-Semitism directed against certain Fellowship members, who would later be abused or misused in further emails and in this blog: Asaf Braverman, Linda (Kaplan) Tulisso, Kevin Brown and others.

Following this December, 2006 email, a series of emails, falsely appropriating the names and identities of Mr. Braverman and Ms. Tulisso, and other Fellowship members, were sent to the Fellowship’s membership, by an unauthorized use of the Fellowship’s private, copyrighted membership list. Those contrived emails, creating the false impression of being sent by friends and respected fellow members, directed the membership to this blog.

The misuse of this blog in these matters greatly escalated on March 1, 2007, with Volume 1, # 294, anonymous “Inner Circle Facts”, describing Mr. Burton as regularly engaging in sex with as many as 6 people simultaneously, and other related remarks. This anonymous, defamatory and harassing post was challenged as false in the blog on several occasions. Post # 294 was never substantiated, the author never identified themselves, and the post was not removed.

Post #294 is false. The incidents in #294, and other extreme, anonymous, unsubstantiated posts, before and after # 294, never occurred. This has been denied by Mr. Burton and others with direct personal knowledge. In addition, Mr. Burton, at age 67, for some years now has not had the health, stamina and physical vigor to walk very far up a moderate incline without assistance. The gymnastics described in post #294, even if possible at all for a young athlete in prime condition, are impossible for Mr. Burton at his age and state of health.

By March 3, 2007, within 2 days of Post Vol. 1, #294, anonymous emailers, using stolen names of current and former Fellowship members, extracted Post #294 and republished it word for word directly to the private, copyrighted membership list, without consent by the members or the Fellowship.

The same anonymous emailers have sent at least two rounds of virus infected emails to members on the membership list.

The blog has at least twice published posts by persons using the false, misappropriated names of Asaf Braverman and Linda Tulisso.

The blog, as recently as March 24, 2007, has repeatedly published copyrighted Fellowship materials, links to copyrighted Fellowship material, and other proprietary Fellowship information.

As of this date, several of the sources of the cyber materials discussed above have been traced. It is also known who stole the identities of several members and former members. There are several likely candidates for the author of the scandalous Post #294.

A second Be Careful post will be sent tomorrow with further details and denials of other anonymous, unsubstantiated and defamatory remarks on the blog.

This is an official reply by Mr. Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

If you have comments or information you would like to privately share, please use the following email address set up for this specific purpose. All communications will kept confidential:

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