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, April 26, 2008

Anna's reminiscences on truthfulness and procedure in the Fellowship

"Anna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
(X and Y are best friends and staying at The Academy [aka The Galleria])
You know says X, “Sometimes Y and I talk about mental illness together, Y is studying Psychology you know, he tries to figure out which mental illnesses describe Robert best.
And then we both pray that Robert will do something to prove that he is conscious. We pray for a small sign, anything…”
There’s a pause, as it enlarges we both divide attention… and change the subject.
X hangs up the phone.
“That was Y. You know that he was going back home next month to finish university, well Robert has told him that he may not, or he will be asked to leave”.
We are quiet. This is big. Y will be deeply bonded through this sacrifice.

Later (X & Y are now Robert’s right hand men)
“We don’t feel that G is really ‘with the program'” says X (he is in his twenties - G is a powerful deeply caring woman who has been with Robert since before he was born.)

“Why?” I ask;
“She questions everything, It takes too long to get anything done, Robert is operating very quickly at the moment… she’s not up to speed, she will be retired” he says dryly; “I have found someone else.”
I feel sorry for G but understand: Robert’s sphere is unformatory. Many things happen which seem unfair or illogical, things that most students could not accept.

Later a scandal breaks in which it is revealed that X & Y have set up their own sex ring. They have convinced a surprisingly large number of amenable females to take part in ‘orgies’, and given them access to Roberts otherwise inordinately expensive events.
X admitted “I would have sex with anyone, any woman, it didn’t matter what she looked like; I was obsessed. Robert asked me if I was using the same techniques to persuade women to have sex with me as I had used in my job of persuading men to have sex with him. When I told him I was, he looked thoughtful and decided to take me off that particular duty.”
Asaf [Asaf Braverman] asks “Would you tell me what you know about Z’s harassment of female students whilst on traveling teacher trips? This is something we take very seriously”
I interject “I know this isn’t really the point, but Z’s behaviour seems oddly similar to Robert’s doesn’t it?"
“Well that’s a totally different conversation” he replies quickly.
“ Yes, yes of course” I stutter knowing that Asaf is very busy; perhaps he will have a chance to explain this later…

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