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 18, 2008

"New K-8 Public School Opens in Yuba Foothills"

[ed. - Despite the involvement of many Fellowship of Friends members, the direction appears to be much more grounded in reality than Robert Earl Burton's "esoteric teachings." YESCA rents its building from the Fellowship's Lewis Carroll School Association, paying the Fellowship from $50,000 to $70,000 annually.]
Yuba Environmental Science (YES) Charter Academy Opens

North Yuba Grown partners to provide food for the Academy:

School's food farm-fresh

"CVB" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 26, 2008:
There is talk about the Lewis Carroll School becoming a charter school which would be open to the community at large. Some people think this would be a good thing. I have some serious doubts. Not because a charter school would not benefit the area but because this one will carry the legacy of it’s origin in the Fellowship. The influence from Robert Burton on the existing administration and faculty has a long and perverse history and I can’t see how something new and healthy can arise from this sordid past.

"CVB" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 26, 2008:
Re# 201 (Lewis Carroll School)

That sordid past includes the fact that Robert Burton asked women to have abortions and to give away their children. And this man is revered as a spiritual guide by the current administration and faculty.

"Opus111" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 26, 2008:
CVB [responding to above]

In relation to LCS:

I hear your concerns but do not fully agree with them. There are many youngsters who have been through that school and seem to have done well for themselves (gone on to college and away from OH). One may be horrified by the belief system and allegiance of Faculty and Administration, but I do not think those permeate very far into actual teaching, from what I could see. It is not like pupils were taught or asked to endorse 4th way ideas or count angels in the room (unlike creationism or fear of Shakespeare in other areas of deep America).

In general, teachers care very much for the kids and provide a safe environment for them to learn. Kids learn tolerance through an unusual ethnic diversity, and go through a curriculum which, although far from perfect, seems to prepare them more than adequately for High School and higher education elsewhere.

So, while not perfect and yes, endorsed/supported by FOF, LCS has provided a true service to the OH (FOF) community.

"brucelevy" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 26, 2008:
207 Opus111 [above]

I’d have to agree. I can’t speak about the faculty and administration per se, but my ex-wife is a teacher there. While I have several issues around our years together, and the fact that she “re-joined” I have absolutely no misgivings about her capacity to be an excellent teacher, and I’m confident that she doesn’t inject the ideas that we all fear may be fucking up the children of FOF members. She’s not a dummy, and I’d trust her judgment as to what’s appropriate within a school environment (that’s “school” and not “School”). Actually, in my opinion, they’re fucking lucky to have her.

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