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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ames on the blog

"Ames Gilbert" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
To 2b (#352)[blog poster, with post number]

My observation is that the FOF is like any institution. An analogy: it has a body. It has it’s own independent form, energy, laws, body and cells. It is governed by its DNA, its belief system and concept about the world. The analogy even extends to the “leucocytes” which leap to defend the self-concept of the FOF; witness Daniel, sorry, Howard Carter, and Hava Nagillah [Fellowship blog posters]. The self-concept (DNA/belief system) is reinforced at meetings, one of the main ways that members are shaped into recognizable commonality of form (the shaping therefore induces sleep and encourages self–delusion). Deviations from the DNA, in the form of new ideas or fresh intelligence, particularly from the outside, are seen the same way as our bodies see a virus, and evoke the antibody/antigen reaction so often seen on the blog. Such reactions confirm the mutual agreement to sleep. Poor old Girard, poor old Linda, poor old Hava, poor old LOL, poor old @#$%^&* [all Fellowship members posting on blog and/or directing countermeasures], helplessly turning out to defend the indefensible…
My feeling is that far from supporting an open discussion, the “leucocytes” would much, much rather the blog somehow went away—which of course it will, but in its own good time. The FOF has already tried their version of a blog or discussion board. It was soon abandoned because the heady winds of freedom were too much for the management of the empire. They literally did not know what to do with the new information—so out went the order, “close it down”. They could not trust the members to faithfully regurgitate the party line (transmission of order), or to see or choose for themselves. Little did they know, that like this blog, it had the potential to give them everything they needed to know to ensure the health and longevity of the organization—if only they had ears to hear. So ironic.
Even in the ‘old days’ when there was a journal (a kind of record of meetings, beautifully printed on a letterpress and sent out to individuals in all the centers, for those who can’t remember), the ‘angles’ and viewpoints were heavily censored and often entirely re-written or invented by Burton and Linda T; control right down to the last period (“full stop”, in the rest of the English–speaking world). I’d guess the brief attempt to create a discussion board was an aberration by someone who didn’t understand the probable consequences, or who exceeded their authority.
One aspect of this blog may be that it is an expression of what Gurdjieff called, “aieioiuioa”, the sacred cry from below towards the unbecoming manifestations from above (see Ch. 17, “The Arch Absurd” of Beelzebub’s Tales). This infers that if one channel, like the blog, were somehow to be closed down before its time, another channel would appear using another form.
For another possible explanation more suitable to those in charge of the Fellowship of Friends, I’ll have to call on the experts. Hey, Siddiq [Fellowship blog poster] or anyone else close to Burton, is it true that he is saying something approximating, “The blog and the recent meetings between ex-students constitute the Greatest Crime so far against the Greatest School the world has ever known”? If so, it would be pretty much in line with previous pronouncements I have personally heard from his lips, right down to the tone of grandiose self–pity. So, Siddiq, keep us updated on our level of criminality, would you?
Love to all,

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