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 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, August 10, 2007

Disillusionment

"Another Name" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2007:
I am so tired, so tired of all the efforts I made so many years.

The skirts I bought and wore because Robert saw a woman in the Rose garden and thought it was a boy. Within days the skirt exercise was installed. I am so tired of all the paid events I went to after Ka- ren John—–n [Karen Johnston]told Robert that he could not have any money after a new loan and dear Robert decided to start teaching events to increase his funds.

I am so tired of the contradiction of people who can hardly afford to pay their medical bills and Robert spends easy 20.000 dollars a day on shopping [for] expensive presents and clothes for god may know who. (Not for ladies BTW)

I am so tired of the people who are depressed in the fellowship, the people who asked Robert for help and for addiction on many levels (alcohol, power, sex) and Robert gives them pills or for the gravely sick he tells them this is how they will create a permanent tendency to awaken. The Viagra distributions. The amount of sex he needs a day...breath smelling like sperm...

Dear Just me [blog poster]. I do not know what to say...there is so much evidence...we sacrificed so much, so many years. Some of us a lot more then others...the pain is sometimes unbearable...

Especially now I do not see Robert so much and when I see him, no smile, no eye contact. He ignores me...the Love I thought he had for years is so conditional…

Read Anna’s letter, aaah I have to give up. This breaks my heart and leads to nowhere. I can and do not want to convince you...wisdom can not be given through simple words…if you do not get it now...you have to go through the motions... yourself, Question yourself...let go of world 12 states search the 6 and 3 and the non states.

My best advise for you is to sit still, listen to you heart at least 15 minutes a day and listen to your conscience. Just be still and breath...the answers will come.

And when you are seeing things in a different light, there will be help and friends who went through the same.

It is all a matter of time...


"Red Rain" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 16, 2007:
Folks

About 250 people left between December and now. (This number may be off by 10% in either direction). Of particular note is that an ever-greater percentage of the leavers are over 10 years as members, many over 20. The month of May saw a large spike in the normal monthly average of leavers.
You’d be surprised at the impact of seeing the disappearance of hundred famliar, respected names. As one long-term member ruefully stated to a ex-member ‘my school is leaving the school’. No wonder fomenting talk about ‘who’ and ‘how many’ is considered an undesirable ‘deviation’ of student’s energy.

[ed. - Fellowship apologist "Daily Cardiac" endeavors to explain the current exodus.]

"Daily Cardiac"wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2008:
To Ames, RVW, Paul, Richard:

To clarify things a little you are correct; Robert has taken all the predictions very seriously. That does not mean he knows the outcome or claimed to. I’m surprised no one among you has not thought this out with more reason. No man can foretell the future.There has never been such a person walking the earth.

Some men have been given accurate information about future events; some through their consciousness, others in other ways; dream states, trances, etc. Some through plain common sense.

But all men are at the mercy of Higher Forces with regard to the accuracy of their predictions. All Robert ever claimed to my knowledge is that he was passing on the information they gave him accurately. It’s obvious that he believed these events could happen as they were indicated to him. On the other hand I’m sure he was aware of the possibility they may not happen.

None of us know the plans of Higher Forces, nor the reasons they do things the way they do them.

Getting back to the point that no one can know the future, just think about it. If there was such a person inhabiting the earth, many would be aware of it. If he or she was good they would have eliminated much of the suffering in the world. If they were evil they would own the world. What would you have done or would be doing now if you knew the future?

Robert has always qualified the predictions by specifically saying he was giving us information that Influence C wanted us to work with. He played the part of a reporter more than a prophet.

But “failed” predictions are another wonderful tool to justify one’s leaving, if one is going in that direction. And in that case I can see how they served a purpose in the school.

"wakeuplittlesuzywakeup" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2008:
[Quoting above] Daily Cardiac:
‘But “failed” predictions are another wonderful tool to justify one’s leaving, if one is going in that direction. And in that case I can see how they served a purpose in the school.’
I wonder if you really know how arrogant you sound. Most people leave the FOF after many years of struggling with their choice to leave. A decision not made lightly and certainly for most not made over a few failed predictions. ‘A wonderful tool to justfiy ones leaving’. MEOW how cold that sounds. Where did your heart go cardiac?

"Daily Cardiac" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 11, 2008:
[Quoting above] WULSWU:

“I wonder if you really know how arrogant you sound. Most people leave the FOF after many years of struggling with their choice to leave. A decision not made lightly and certainly for most not made over a few failed predictions.”

I can see how this statement seems cold and arrogant and I will try harder not to sound that way; it’s not part of my aim for being here.

On the other hand if cold and arrogant remarks bother you you’ve missed a lot of opportunties to inform any number of bloggers.

Do you think there is a double standard going on?

Regarding “a few failed predictions” not factoring into people leaving; I beg to differ. There’s been a spike in leaving after all the major predictions – 1984, 1998/99. In 2007/2008 there was a big spike coincidentally after the biggest prediction of all failed to happen in 2006.

"Opus 111" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 11, 2008:
#36 Daily Cardiac [above]
“Regarding “a few failed predictions” not factoring into people leaving; I beg to differ. There’s been a spike in leaving after all the major predictions – 1984, 1998/99. In 2007/2008 there was a big spike coincidentally after the biggest prediction of all failed to happen in 2006.”
I think you failed to account for a few confounders in your conclusions. 1984 was also the year of the Saunders trial and Miles leaving, two events which, in my humble opinion, had much more of an impact on people decision to leave than did that little “failed prediction”.

You did not mention 1994 (Troy trial). I do not know the stats but I would venture to say that as many people (and more old timers) left in 1994-95 that did in 98-99. Again no mention of that little spike. Yes the failed prediction of 98 had a big impact on people’s psychology, revealing that REB had no clue when it came to predictions, despite his repeated and failed attempts at reloading on the California fall prophecy (3-4 at least in the ensuing 5 years). 2006 was a non-event as far as I am concerned. No preparation whatsoever. No big emphasis on it from our shaken, “C-influence-humiliated” prophet.

The exodus of 2007-2008 has little, if anything to do with that latest of notable failed predictions. You know what it has to do with: light, more light, much light shined on REB, his abhorrent practices, his total lack of a conscience, non-existent love for his students and compassion for his fellow humans. Scales are slowly falling off eyes of members and 1 by 1, they leave and learn to breathe anew.

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