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.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Call of the Loon

[ed. - The following are apparently notes from a meeting at Apollo led by Robert Burton and Asaf Braverman. While images are projected, Burton acknowledges the death of one of his earliest followers ("completed her task"). He then speaks about the "incredible" presence-inducing technique, The Sequence. Members (names in brackets) read "angles of thought" upon which Burton (or Braverman) comment. This is reportedly the current meeting format.]

"somebody" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 30, 2008:
Apollo, October 22, 2008

To begin with we would like to show a picture of Clare Bowen, who just completed her task at the age of eighty-one. Clare was in the school for thirty-six years, and she was the sixth oldest student. She was a constant love for thirty-six years. She received what she came for. You can measure time by such a shock. I remember meeting Clare for the first time at the old MacDonald farmhouse in Vacaville.

“What allowed us to understand the system in its esoteric form was not trying to change it.” Once we have the message, we do not try to superimpose our subjective understanding on it. We try to stay as close as we can to the system and not be innovative. Mohammed said, “Blessed is he whom innovation does not seduce.” We want to stay with the sequence and not introduce any innovation.

“Normally one would expect evolution to start from the bottom up that is, that one hears about the sequence and the lower self, and begins to produce presence. In our school, we began from the top down. We knew presence was the answer, and now we use work ‘I’s to strengthen this state.” This was Asaf’s observation. We now have much more precision. The sequence gives us a precision way to induce presence.
“We must not measure health by the condition of the physical body; there can be no health without presence.” John Graham reveals the truth of this. His physical body has no health at all, but his astral body has never been better. His level of work has never been this high. He eats impressions now. His hands are incredibly long and slender, like those shown in Egyptian images. One would think they were exaggerated, until you see John’s fingers.

“Do not waste suffering: it is a doorway to another room, a strange and beautiful flower as yet unopened.” [Robert Taylor, Apollo] An exotic flower. A tibetan tangka depicts a young woman, showing four fingers, and looking out from behind double doors. The mighty double doors represent short Be and long BE, and this is what we want to find there essence in the state of presence. The nine of hearts is controlling the passions, represented by the dots on her robe. She is showing her left side the essence side. This is “as you like it”  the state we are in.

“One of the main tricks of the lower self is that it can appear to be present. One way to detect this is that it has no warmth associated with it.” I said a couple of weeks ago that we must wait and see the extent of the chaos in the stock market. There is a possibility that it will end up in hydrogen warfare. In fact, I think several financial analysts have said that it may spin out of control. On Wednesday we were having dinner before the ballet in Oakland, and we saw this man wearing a t-shirt saying “Nagasaki” the city where the atomic bomb was dropped. He was in the corner of the room - he was “cornered”.

“Whatever I envisioned as a young teacher was far surpassed when we received the sequence.” It is quite interesting. When we began working with the sequence, I said I did not know that it would go this far. It has surpass [sic] anything I ever envisioned. Here are Asaf and I in Florence. We are the young man and the old man. It is a nice picture of Asaf. I was at my previous weight. I am showing four fingers. [ed. - In addition to "presence," weight has been one of Burton's life-long preoccupations.]

“I have no regrets about anything that we had to release in order to get to where we are.” Even our dear friends whom Influence C have released. When people leave Influence C, I lose interest in them. There is no time for it. I just do not think about them. Without that sacrifice we would not have this state so firmly established. Here I am signing one of the books on Ming furniture. Our collection of Ming furniture is one of the things I would definitely retrieve if I were allowed to. [ed. - The collection was reportedly sold to pay debts arising from lawsuits against Burton.]

“The lower self thinks one is not worthy, whereas it is presence that is worthy of our efforts.” [Robert MacIsaac, Apollo] We have been worthy to receive Influence C’s efforts to produce presence.
“What one says in encouragement to a friend today, one may need to hear oneself tomorrow.” [Sarah Evarts, Apollo] Is it not a wonderful angle? If one gives a photograph, it is quite a challenge to back it up and be the words oneself.

“It is often the wordless presence, not the words of others, which inspire us.” [Jo Anna Mortensen, Apollo] It is often not your words, but your being that inspires them. Whitman said, “We convince by our presence.”
“One has transformed suffering if, like a successful sequence, it leads to presence.” [Benjamin Yudin, New, York] A painting by an unknown Flemish artist depicts Christ carrying the cross. The artist has outrageously given Christ six toes to show that the steward has completed his sequence. He is looking directly at the third eye, supporting the four wordless breaths. He is paying attention to presence.

“The sequence has the power to overcome the second state, the ‘black hole’ of the lower self.” [Dionisio Borges, Valencia] Is it not a lovely angle? The sequence has the power to overcome the lower self – the second state. In fact, the purpose of the lower self is to produce its opposed. It is mean-spirited and self-serving, while the state we are in produced a gentle and serene flow of conscious light.

“Higher centers see the hand of Influence C in all things and focus on possibilities, using positive emotions.” [Rowena Taylor, Apollo] The sequence is manna from heaven, given to us from above. It is not my idea; no one could come up with such a good idea. It comes from heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment