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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Devil's Dictionary

"Traveler" posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
In a dusty attic, filled with cobwebs and things long forgotten, I recently made an amazing discovery – fragments of an unknown work:

Devil’s Dictionary
(by King of Clubs; in cooperation with: Queen of Hearts)

ACCELERATING, THE PACE IS – describes downhill movement

A INFLUENCE – derogatory term for all material pursuits, gains, riches and relations outside of the Fellowship of Friends, perceived as a distraction from pure spirituality

ANGLES OF THOUGHT – (archaic) individual expressions of subjective truth; see ‘quotations’

B INFLUENCE – derogatory term for all spiritual pursuits and teachings outside of the Fellowship of Friends; often perceived as dangerous competition that could misguide you into believing the Fellowship is not the true path and failing to complete your task; see ‘completed his/her task’

COMPLETED HIS/HER TASK – managed to stay a member until death; Cf. ‘lose the school’.

CONSCIOUS BEING – someone whose actions are bizarre and disturbing, but has informed you that they only seem that way because he is in a universe above you, so you can’t understand him

DEAR – subordinate

DINE – to eat while being aware that you are a Fellowship member

DONATIONS – mandatory fees for feeling saved and having friends

EMOTIONAL ENERGY – exhilarating feeling of being backed by numerous people who believe the same things you do

ENGAGE PRESENCE – grab hold of, control presence; get it to do what you want


EUROPEAN STYLE – a method of eating purportedly used in Europe and considered noble, in which you put the food on the back part of your fork and then bring it to your mouth

EXTERNAL CONSIDERING – to drop your pants for your Teacher

FORK WAY – a development of the Fourth Way in which large amounts of gourmet food are beautifully arranged on plates, shuffled around with a fork for a short time and then thrown away

FORTY-FOUR – local timezone; as in: “The concert will start promptly at 6:44 PM.”

FRIENDS – other believers

GOING AGAINST THE MACHINE – doing something stupid just because it’s difficult, to prove to yourself that you’re really evolving

GOSSIP – things you are better off not knowing if you don’t want to ‘lose the school’, see ‘lose the school’

IMPRESSIONS – A influence in the service of spirituality, for spiritual consumption and as building material for one’s immortal soul, particularly when bought by the Teacher; see ‘A influence’

INTENTIONAL INSINCERITY – misrepresenting aspects of your life that embarrass you

INTERNAL WARFARE – see ‘living the contradictions’

INTERVAL – a period of feeling guilty for having your own opinions

I’S – leftovers of reason

KING OF CLUBS – common sense

MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE – period of probation for people perceived as threats to the establishment

LIFE – people who make you feel good about yourself

LIVING THE CONTRADICTIONS – maintaining cognitive dissonance

LOSE THE SCHOOL, TO – to give up membership in the Fellowship of Friends; the implied failure and carelessness applies to all former members

LOVELY EVENT – a gathering where members are told by the Teacher how they feel and what state they are in

LOW ALCHEMY – too normal to be comfortable

LOWER SELF – spontaneity

MAGNETIC CENTER – idealistic sucker who needs to feel special

MECHANICAL – behavior that displeases me

MEETINGS – where people go to reassure each other that they are right

MOON, IT’S A – warning to avoid impending danger of being exposed to gossip, see ‘gossip’

NEW STUDENT – a person still learning which mannerisms are equated with being conscious

OCTAVE – duty

OLDER STUDENT – a person who has developed an ability to sound sure of themselves; other attributes include: sometimes swirls water in their glass, uses words such as ‘inexpensive’ instead of ‘cheap’ and dines in the European style; see ‘dine’, ‘European style’

PLAY, THE – explanation why things are the way they are and should not be otherwise

PLAY OF CRIME – attempts of enabling people universal access to information that could lead directly to your departure from the organization if you found out about it, much worse than gossip, this blog; see ‘gossip’

POSITIVE ATTITUDE, MAINTAINING – suspending all disbelief and critical thinking with a view to prevent manifestations of the king of clubs and to go against the machine; see ‘king of clubs’, ‘going against the machine’

PRESENCE – subject of ultimate appeal, part of a sales technique where it is suggested that purchasing a ticket or event seat is an indicator of your love of presence

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT MEETING – a gathering for assessing the eagerness of interested third parties to be led and told what is right, to appeal to their disappointments, insecurities and feeling out of place, and to offer a safe haven where evolution is guaranteed (for a price)

QUOTATIONS – pre-approved confetti-like shreds of old texts, declaimed by pre-approved speakers at public gatherings, creating the impression of audience participation; supersedes ‘angles’

SALARY, TO BE ON – to work full time for two and a half dollars per hour in exchange for being exempt from paying a membership fee

SCHOOL, OUR SACRED – an emotive way of referring to the Fellowship of Friends intended to help deepen valuation and the feelings of being special and chosen; see ‘valuation’

SEQUENCE – a self-hypnosis technique

SHAKING THE TREE – a process in which ripe fruits fall off the tree while unripe stay

SHOCKS – events of one’s life as seen from an egocentric perspective

STATE WE ARE IN – self-induced brain fog as a way of dealing with cognitive dissonance

STUDENT – member

TEACHER, OUR BELOVED – king of the sandbox; alpha male

TEACHER’S WILL, DEFEATING – making the Teacher feel powerless; frustrating the Teacher

THEY – purported astral beings who used to live as people on Earth but now are deciding everything that happens on Earth and restrict their direct communication to the Teacher; also called C influence

VALUATION – increased investment of personal identity into being a member of the Fellowship of Friends

VERIFICATION – (archaic) see ‘positive attitude’

VERIFYING C INFLUENCE – paying special attention to synchronicity in your life and believing that it happens because you are a paying member of the Fellowship of Friends

WILL OF C-INFLUENCE – wishes of the Teacher, particularly those that might meet with some resistance; see ‘they’

WIT – a threat to awakening as serious business

WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY – where you go to empty your wallet

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