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, October 14, 2007

Shifting power in The Fellowship of Friends

"Elena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 14, 2007:
Power in the FOF

Thank you Old FOF [blogger] for your clarity.

As Veronicapoe [blogger] pointed out, the fellowship is a dictatorship and the older students have no power. Men have been replaced by women who having already accepted a second hand role, will continue to accept a third and fourth hand role whenever Robert deems it necessary and hopefully they won’t just be allowed to starve or quickly move to an old people’s home in their old age. I doubt so many of them will have Samantha’s luck if they don’t have their own income. Maybe she does.

The men have been replaced by younger men and older women with the attitude that they really have nothing to stand up for or say for themselves. In chorus they must all stand up for Robert and the Fellowship or be pointed out as loosing the work. This was happening to Girard at some point and he quickly stepped up to the sequence when he was photographed various times by students like Allison and Asaf, each playing out their new role like nouveau rich.

If students like Girard, Collin and others in that sphere have lost any ground of their own and have accepted it, these reveals the degree of self deprecation that they have had to indulge in to simply tolerate the ongoing situation without a chance of questioning it.

Robert’s aim is clearly to push all the old students out and give power to the new generation which, as Laura mentioned in her post are full of testosterone without consciousness, like so many of us were.

One of the problems today is that the Fellowship of Friends is not in its beginning but in its middle age, so to speak and many of the older students supporting it for over twenty years will suddenly find themselves without economic support as it has already happened to Collin. If Collin is willing to take this without protesting, he will set an example for all the others who will not be looked at as part of the “club” “Fellowship” “inner circle” if they don’t also accept it willingly, slowly becoming “exceptions”, isolated to the point of madness.

Robert tries with one, then uses him as an example, then makes it a rule. He chooses someone like Collin who after all is a magnificent human being and will do his best to adapt without realizing that in adapting he will set a rule that others less capable than him cannot survive.

This is in fact how he has used Girard for thirty five years and helped him crystallize in his role without developing himself.

The fact that the young men in power today have no consideration (or power to have it) in regards to the older generation simply shows how they too are being used and how their own ambition for power and personal comfort have over taken their own consciousness. Robert has clearly taught them as Bruce also exposed , that they do not have to answer to anyone but Robert. This definitely feeds anybody’s ego in a community in which Robert is treated as a Godlike being.

In separating students from students, Robert guarantees his own power. Younger students in charge against older students being displaced and women in charge to hold students without power, in position.

The horror is that everyone will suffer in the long run. Younger and old as much as anybody else. The younger ones will ask the older ones why they did not stop it and the older ones will ask the younger ones why, since they had the power at the time, they did not help them. None of them can help each other because the beast is the only one in power.

Consciousness is something else. If anyone of these people were to look within him or herself and return to their innate human structures and trust them, they would know that the level of being of any community is marked by the clarity with which it takes care of its participants.

Everybody is neglected in the Fellowship of Friends except Robert Burton who of course is so very neglected that he can get away with being a dictator.

Dictators appear where the rest of us disappear.

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