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.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Presence requires endless fundraising

"Lust for Life" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 18, 2007:
Hello again from Lust for Life,

I could hardly believe this but if you are in the FOF, you can have the privilige of having Robert Burton in your house for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it will only cost you $4,400…that is over £2,000! How mad is that?!?!?!

From the fof [Fellowship of Friends] website (if you do not read all of it make sure you get the first line of the last paragraph…it cracks me up!):

“Hosting Events with Robert

Are you interested in helping Robert raise $4,400 for the building projects and creating a wonderfully memorable occasion in your home?

If you have been thinking about purchasing an event with Robert in your home, but were wondering what this would involve, let us explain.

You can choose to host a breakfast, tea or reception in your home and once you sign up, you will have the full support of Isis specialist octave teams to help design and run the event. Your role will be to recruit your friends to attend the event and help you cover your commitment for the cost.

Our aim is to allow you to enjoy the wonderful states created by hosting Robert in your home, without the burden of worrying about the details of the event. We will provide flowers, food prepared by Galleria chefs, servers, tableware, a photographer and cameraman. The event planning team will meet with you and plan the event in detail, covering:

• Placement of furniture
• Suggestions of which of your own vases or sculptures can be used and where
• Designating a parking area
• Deciding where guests will enter from
• Deciding where Robert will sit
• Deciding how servers will enter and whether kitchen screening is required
• Deciding the location of the camera
• Deciding the location for photographs with Robert
• Recommending extra lighting if necessary

The event planning team makes every effort to realize your wishes, whilst also considering Robert. They work very hard to make the event run smoothly so that you can relax and reap many glorious moments of presence from your special event.

As a beautiful reminder of the occasion, you will receive a photo album of pictures from the event and other offerings that recognize you for your generous support.
If you would like to sign up to host an event at your home with Robert, please call the Auction Team at xxxx or e-mail us at xxxx for enquiries.

Payment Details:

Here are some considerations when choosing which type of event you would like to host:

• Breakfast ($4,400) – usually scheduled for Thursday morning ->

Robert is quite open to accommodate your needs in terms of the number of guests to share the costs. You can divide the total amount according to the number of seated guests (from 14 total to 28 total) and the standing guests (around 15). It depends more on the size of your dining room. It is also not impossible to turn the living room into the dining area. Many people respond well with smaller events as it has become quite rare in the Galleria.

Breakfast at x’s

• Tea ($4,400) – usually scheduled for Friday afternoon ->

the number of seated guests is often around 20 or 22 including Robert and Asaf. The standing guests vary according to the size of your living room.

Tea at Pyramid Press

• Reception ($4,400) – usually scheduled for Sunday early evening ->
the number of guests is often between 44 and 50.

(no Dinner Events available at the present moment)

In order not to put our teacher under financial pressure, we encourage you to gather your friends’ support prior to your commitment at the Auction. The Auction Team is here to help you with this pre-purchasing planning. In terms of the actual money collection from your friends, if you provide the guest list with the price to be charged, the Auction office can help you collect the money at the entrance of the event. In any case, the payment is considered due at the Auction or the event.
In a general sense, to commit for an event means that the hosts are willing to cover eventual monetary differences or advance payments for guests that may need time payments. It is mostly quite manageable with a little planning and help from a few close friends. You can also organize as many raffles as needed.”

I earn about £2,000 a month, and people are paying him that to have a meal in their house?! MADNESS!

Love from Lust. x

"Email" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2007:
From: Linda T [Linda Kaplan]

To: students@beingpresent.org

Sent: Monday, March 6, 2006

Subject: [Students] Message from the Teacher: Thirty Imperishable Stars

Dear Friends,

Robert is asking students to keep making efforts to support the fine press publications of the “Thirty Imperishable Stars”. These publications will continue to come out quarterly, and are the best nourishment we can partake of in literature. They are publications that have a lasting value.

They are more significant than we realize. It is difficult for us to value what is happening in our times, and it will be easier for posterity to recognize their true value, in that they serve as milestones in our teaching. We will always be known for this: combining school knowledge with images from all the traditions that preceded us. Thus, these publications are a reflection of what we do.

Robert feels these publications are the true beginning of the School, and considers them far superior to his book “Self-Remembering”. Once these are printed and are sold out, they will not be reprinted. Volume I has been sold out. There are 100 copies of Volume II still available. Volume III is being printed these days by the Golden Pyramid Press for Robert’s Crystallization Celebration. Copies can be purchased through the Auction link on Propylaia.

In presence,

Linda T, Isis

"Email" wrote on the Fellowhsip of Friends Discussion blog, August 10, 2007:
From: L.M.

To: All Fellowship Students

Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Subject: [Students] Robert’s Crystallisation Anniversary

Dear Friends,

Robert will be hosting two dinners to celebrate the anniversary of his Crystallisation. The first one is on Saturday, March 18th, and reservations can be made through _______. Seats at the Saturday dinner are $350. for one person, $300. each for two people, and $250. each for four people.

Robert is also hosting an Auction dinner on Sunday, March 19th, and reservations for this dinner can be made through _________. Seats at the Sunday dinner are $500. for seats in the Goethe Room with Robert, and $600. for a table of six people in the Salon.

Thank you,

L

"Email" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 11, 2007:

From March 14th, 2006
“Galleria Crystallisation Anniversary Dinner 7:00 p.m-$350./$300./$250.”

“Students may use time payments, raffles (on voucher events), cash, and credit cards to pay for events. We accept VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.”

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