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, November 24, 2007

Fellowship of Friends wiki project commences

[ed. - The Fellowship of Friends wiki project was one of the primary sources of information for this blog. As of November 15, 2014, that site is now shut down.]


Welcome to the Fellowship of Friends wiki project!

This site was created from a desire to gather and make available the collective knowledge and experiences of the many people who have passed through or been affected by an organization called the Fellowship of Friends in the last four decades. The Fellowship is registered in California as a non-profit religious corporation (church), headquartered in Oregon House, though internally it refers to itself as "the School" and its members as "students".

Who are the contributors to this site? If you are a current member of the Fellowship of Friends, we are your former fellow students, center directors, octave helpers, bookkeepers, regional coordinators, vineyard workers, traveling teachers... friends. Many of us have spent substantial parts of our lives devoted to the cause and the teaching. Many of us then suddenly disappeared from your lives, and you never heard what happened. You were told to break any contact with us and that the Gods had taken away our understanding.

Each of us has a portion of the picture, of "what happened". Here are our stories.

If you have never been a member of the Fellowship of Friends, you may be reading this because someone close to you is a member, or because you are thinking of joining yourself. To read all the good things about the Fellowship, check out their website. Then if you want to hear a different aspect of the story, explore these pages.

If you have yourself had experience with the Fellowship of Friends, and have information to share, please write to tell us who you are, what is your connection to the FoF and what you would like to contribute. If you are a visitor and would like to tell us what you think of the site, please sign our Guestbook.

If you are looking for specific information, try the search field in the left margin on this page. Check back often, as the website grows and expands.

Thank you for visiting, and we welcome your feedback.

Road to Fellowship of Friends' Renaissance Winery, Apollo, Oregon House, CA

Disclaimer: This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by Fellowship of Friends, Inc. All opinions expressed are those of their individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the site managers or other editors. The site managers make no warranty as to the accuracy or correctness of any information contained here. Readers are invited to examine the available information and form their own opinions about the organization. Portions of copyrighted works may be made available here under the "fair use" provisions of US copyright law, for research and educational purposes only.

[ed. - Introducing the new site, "Wikifof" wrote the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 7, 2008:]

Happy New Year.

Please come and help us build a website that will serve as an informal center of information on the Fellowship of Friends, from those who have personally experienced it.

The idea is to be more concise and factual than this blog. New arrivals may not want to read 1 year of discussion, but can probably take the time to read what is on this website: [Link no longer active]
It is a work in progress. Sheik, could you please advertise this link on top of your page?

Cheers and good luck to us all.

[ed. - The following apparently provides some background on the project. This at a time when Fellowship members and ex-members were dueling over the creation of Wikipedia pages for The Fellowship of Friends, P. D. Ouspensky, and George Gurdjieff.]
"Jason Cryter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 21, 2007:

I am a former student that wishes to create a wiki that can serve as a repository of FOF history.

The wiki is just in the beginning phases, I would like to find some people, current or former students, who wish to help me get this project started. Once it is at an acceptable level of function, I will open it to be read by the general public.

If you would be interested in helping me, please send an email to

About me: I joined FOF at the age of 21 in Chicago in late 1997, and was a student for eight years. I lived in centers in New York, Moscow, California, and Illinois. My experiences with FOF were almost entirely positive and while I am no longer a member, and have my own conflicts and ambivalences, I respect REB and the organization as a whole. I am creating a wiki because I believe the history of the school is very rich. There are stories that need to be recorded, and time is not on our side.

"Jason Cryter" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 21, 2007:
Regarding WikiPedia and the Wiki that I am organizing:

Several people have contacted me asking what a “wiki” is.

A “wiki” is a website that features “user generated content”. This means that the users of the site can edit and create the content of the site. It is different from a blog in that people can edit what other people have posted and create whole new pages or sections. is a website that is a user created encyclopedia. A user creates an article about a topic, and others edit it. While there can be mistakes or biases, the end result is usually pretty accurate due to the “group editing” feature of the wiki. does feature an article on the Fellowship, and I encourage people to edit and contribute, however, encyclopedias are for getting an overview of a subject, they are not meant to be exhaustive. In this regard, the project I am organizing is meant to be more like a book and less like an article. Such a “book” would not be appropriate on wikipedia.

You do not need to reveal your identity to participate. You may submit material via email anonymously, or even help make the wiki anonymously. If you do decide to tell me who you are, but don’t want me to tell anyone else that you are helping me, I will honor your request.

Please contact me to share history, facts, suggestions of topics to be included, and to find out how you can help create the site. If you are not comfortable using a wiki, and wish to submit content via email, I will work to incorporate your material into the site. If you want to learn to use the wiki directly, I can coach you.

Remember, the aim will be to record things in as factual a manner as possible, free of emotional subjectivity. How this aim plays out is yet to be decided. It is not up to me; a wiki’s content is made by you.



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