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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Alexander Francis Horn dies

[ed. - According to Robert Burton, Alexander Francis Horn was Burton's "conscious" teacher, and the essential "living link" required of "esoteric schools," in this case a link to the schools of Peter Ouspensky and George Gurdjieff. But we know that link was in fact tenuous, if not completely non-existent, as Horn never studied with a Fourth Way teacher. In 1978, Burton prophesied that Horn would die before the 1998 Fall of California. At the time, he also claimed that Horn stated Burton had surpassed him.]

"Spoonful"  wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 7, 2008:
IN MEMORIAM
ALEXANDER FRANCIS HORN

August 14, 1929 – September 30, 2007

Part of an obituary – including a reference to the “Renaissance guy.”

“Alex was very talented, energetic, and had the psychological condition where HE COULD NOT BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING. I am not bragging. Almost everything Alex learned about the real Gurdjieff Work I told him at his request. But please try to understand that almost everything Alex and Ann and Sharon and the Renaissance guy [Robert Burton] taught was nothing like what was taught by Gurdjieff or Mme de Salzman. I don’t want to hurt your feelings any more than you have been hurt. You people were truly led down a sad path and I hope you recover. What happened to Alex in the 60’s was what happens to many poor orphans: He discovered he loved money.”

Read the rest at: http://www.thealexhornpages.blogspot.com/

[ed. - Here is the full obituary comment mentioned above:]
I knew Alex Horn in College at the U of Chicago from 1949 when I was 16 to 1952 and then until 1969. I was never in a group of Alex and/or Ann's. I was in a group at the Gurdjieff foundation in NYC from 1956 until 1963. I could say many things about the absurd cruelty of some of the teachers there. Lord Pentland only knew Gurdjieff for one week. Jeanne de Salzman answered questions of mine at meetings and she was VERY kind and helpful to me. She was the real thing. Alex was almost always friendly to me. In the 50's we would go to ball games at the polo grounds. We once saw Stan Musial hit a 505 foot line drive to center field. We would have long discussions about Alex's favorite books, Paidea: Ideals of Greek Culture, and Stanislavsky and Tolstoy's What do men live for. He would ask me to attend his play rehearsals and comment. Alex was put in an orphanage in Chicago when his father died when Alex was 11. He loved his father very much. I believe much of his human kindness to me was an attempt to treat me like his father had treated him. Alex was very talented, energetic, and had the psychological condition where HE COULD NOT BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING. I am not bragging. Almost everything Alex learned about the real Gurdjieff Work I told him at his request. But please try to understand that almost everything Alex and Ann and Sharon and the Renaissance guy taught was nothing like what was taught by Gurdjieff or Mme de Salzman. I don't want to hurt your feelings any more than you have been hurt. You people were truly led down a sad path and I hope you recover. What happened to Alex in the 60's was what happens to many poor orphans: He discovered he loved money. We argued sometimes about this. Me - Money is nothing. Alex - Money is everything. I have not seen Alex since 1969-70. As we were jolly friends in our younger days I hope he is OK.

"veronicapoe" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 8, 2008:
From a Social Security Death Index search:
Name: ALEXANDER HORN
Birth: 14 Aug 1929
Death: 30 Sep 2007
Last Residence: 10011 (New York, New York, NY)
SSN: 565-36-0399
Birthplace: California

[ed. - See also, Robert Burton stretches to draw the "conscious link" in the Fellowship's lineage. An account of his death, copy of his memorial program, and photos of Horn's gravesite, are posted on the now-private blog, The Life and Death of Alexander Francis Horn blog, here and here.]

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