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.

Monday, August 20, 2007

unoanimo's story

"unoanimo" posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
A boy (young man) gets a call from Dorian; Dorian says “Robert would like to get to know you better. Would you like to meet with the Teacher tomorrow after the meeting?”

The boy says ~ “Sure, thank you for the invitation.”

(Thinking that “get to know you better” somehow refers to knowledge and the partaking thereof, maybe some hug, hug, coffee table talk, casual stuff, you know… nothing graphic, nothing nude.)

So, Sunday meeting is over, boy is shown to the study where he is seated by Dorian, (similar to how a detective on duty might seat a man wondering where his kidnapped wife was to be found); the boy is wondering a little, ‘being present’…
Robert Burton walks through the library/study, passes the boy, saying nothing as he makes fleeting eye contact with him as he’s walking and darts (Bee line) straight into his bedroom and disappears from sight, so far as the library couch-view from the left is concerned.

The boy sits, stays right where he was seated by Dorian, waits for the “Get to know you better” to start…

Maybe some shared reading, a little walk in the garden, perhaps a good (one) glass of wine together discussing this or that casual student-teacher thingy, whatever that is or is to be…

Robert Burton appears in the bedroom doorway and says ~ “Dear… (blah, blah, something about a recollection he had of the boy, yet, the boy, has not a chance to say anything to this, when, right after the blah, blah, ‘The TEACHER’ says to the boy ~

“Come in here dear”.

So the boy shyly walks into the bedroom and the TEACHER immediately closes the door, locks the door with a key, puts the key in his left pocket and (as cold and routine as a pair of surgical “scrotum scissors’) says to the shy, a bit confused boy ~

“Dear, take off all your clothes and hang them there on the back of the door, on those hangers.”

The boy is dumbfounded, so quick, so little words, yet plenty of presence, right? (No, not right, though presence, yes.)

Robert Burton quickly proceeds to his bathroom and begins to wash his hands.
The boy is standing stunned, cold, nervous, mind is racing about 117 mph, heart somewhere near the tonsils he never had taken out as a child, then something snaps, all the being of a fairy tale demi-god raises up inside him and he looks at THE TEACHER, looks with a sort of knowing clarity that precludes the marriage of the Sperm and Egg… sees where the winterly clamminess atmosphere is getting its fuel…

He goes to the teacher, takes him by the hand and looks him straight into the eyes and says ~

“I cannot do this Robert; I do not want to hurt your feeling, but, I did not know it would be THIS, like this, involving getting naked with you, etc., etc.”

Robert starts to say things like ~

“You don’t have to do me.”

“You don’t have to do anything for me.”

“I just want to lay with you.”

The boy says to Robert ~ “Robert, this is much more than just getting to know me…”
The boy is interrupted, Robert says “You know my lifestyle, etc, etc”.

The boy begins to walk to the locked door, Robert moves in front of the door and says ~

“What is it?”

The boy says ~ “Robert, But I am in a relationship…”

He gets interrupted again, Robert says ~ “What? Is it a woman? (with a very negative, spiteful stress on the word ‘woman’)

The boy admits (and is made to feel like it’s a religious confession in a Catholic confession box)
“Yes, it is a woman.”

Robert swirls his eyes and starts pontificating and saying such things like ~
“There’s six billion sleeping heterosexuals on the planet, these are mechanical relationships, they are not conscious, not conscious love, these are asleep, I am a conscious being, I am your teacher.”

The boy is still with his state of being so sure of the connection between consciousness and conscience he senses that he is truly slicing time with a butter knife, so easy, so smooth, as Robert Burton’s impression simply begins to peel off, like a billboard sign during an oncoming hurricane…

The boy says ~ “Robert, I am not going to play the justification game with you, but what about my feelings, the feeling of ‘her’?”

He is interrupted again (the door is still locked and THE TEACHER is less than thirteen inches away the whole time) ~

Robert Burton says ~ “You said ‘But’, (But) is inner considering… Feelings? Hafiz said ‘Get out of the way Hafiz, you’re standing in my way’.”

This the boy takes as meaning that ‘feelings’ are mechanical, worthless, an obstacle to awakening; yet, everything is crystal clear that Robert is speaking to himself, a reflection in the mirror, not the one, the boy now standing behind the reflection; the boy starts to feel a bit odd, in that he’s being seen as a mirror, a thing, and not his standing behind the mirror-ness. After all, this guy is supposed to be an angel in a man’s body and he can’t see another swan (?)

The boy repeats, “Robert, I cannot do this…”

He is interrupted again, yet this time THE TEACHER is a bit more desperate, irritable, slightly panicky in his tone of voice, Robert Burton says ~
“You do not know what you are saying, you are missing an opportunity to have a relationship with a conscious being, this may be your one and only chance to have this opportunity.”

The boy feels for a duration of time in the moment, smallness, threat, a sort of ‘your going to be out if you don’t’ implication, a sort of ‘I don’t want Dorian to see my failure in this, I don’t want to fail at having had you’ sort of moody static in his tone of voice, his body language, etc.

The boy says ~ “Robert, would things be different if we get together?” (The boy says this because he’s wondering what all this is really about, where’s it leading, if his answer will reflect some consequence in his saying ‘No’?)

Robert says ~ “More meetings, going places with me, more times like this, etc., etc.”

The boy replies, “Robert, No, I cannot.”

Robert gives the ‘pretty pissed off behind the scenes’ look and says ~

“That's alright dear, I’ll transform it… maybe we’ll get together in some more spontaneous way later. Don’t worry, I’ll transform it. You may go now.”
Robert unlocks the door and says ~ “Alright dear, you can go.”

The boy walks through the library and goes to sit down in the Galleria main room. The door to the library is closed, 1 minute passes and the door to the library opens, it’s Robert, he asks the boy to go downstairs and get Dorian (the responsible party?)

So the boy does ‘fetch Dorian’…

As the downstairs bedroom door opens Dorian looks a bit stunned to see the boy he had not so long ago lead into the library (back before the usual time?)

Dorian does not follow the boy upstairs right away, but closes the door and begins talking to Mehia (spelling?) the boy goes back upstairs and sits back where he was prior to the ‘go fetch order'.
Dorian appears, then disappears into the library alongside/with the TEACHER and the door closes… end of story (in more ways than one).

The ‘role’ the boy had for nearly two years abruptly ended in a very ‘subtle’ way; certain people simply stopped calling him for ‘regular third line duty’ and he was ostracized, not exiled by just the TEACHER, ostracized with the fullest meaning and depth of the word from the Fellowship of Friends, nothing would ever be the same, for on this day BELIEF was annihilated by love and LOVE replaced ‘mind-games’.

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