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 most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

According to Burton, Armageddon still looms in our future and when it finally arrives, non-believers shall perish while, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci), Burton and his followers shall be spared, founding a new and more perfect civilization. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A warning from Jedi Master

Cassiopaea Forum masthead
From Cassiopaea Forum Discussion: Imitation Fourth Way Groups Started by Gurdjieff Rejects

"Jedi Master" wrote on the Cassiopaea Forum July 26, 2009:
At this point, I would like to post the following information on this thread.
Laura also linked in her post before, which was a surprise for me.

I was in Fellowship of Friends (I will use FOF as the abbreviation in later texts) for about 15 years as I 'believed' to be the Fourth Way School.

I thought I 'verified' it was the Fourth Way School because of the clear experiences of the 3rd and the 4th state of Consciousness I had especially in the beginning. No other places showed me in such clarity before and other students seemed to have similar 'verifications'.

The teacher, Robert Burton is also a man I never saw before. Many students experienced his 'transcendency' in many ways. My current understanding of him is a case of 'incorrect crystallization' as G [Gurdjieff] described in ISOTM [In Search of the Miraculous]. Or it can be said he is a 4D STS candidate. He was not "clean" when he crystallized.

Some active ex-students summarized FOF history and important points on: [No longer live. This link leads to an archived copy.]

One of the remarkable event in FOF history is when officially "Move away from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky" was announced on 2005.

There is an on going FOF blog started on 2006:

Here is a Wikipedia page for FOF [archived copy].
[ed. - This Wikipedia page shows the deletion of the Fellowship of Friends article above. Here is the new (2022) Wikipedia page for Fellowship of Friends.]

It is interesting to see the page became empty after the long discussions.

See this discussion page for what happened:

I know the person who is responsible for editing this page in FOF [Mario Fantoni] and I felt shame because it was obvious to me that he was trying to cover up some facts.

Interesting fact is in this couple years, the amount of members degrees [decrease] from 2200 to 1500 (can be less but FOF does not report it officially anymore). About 700 students left in this couple years!  In the whole history so far, about 15,000 joined FOF and now stayed only 10%. 

I am not sure if you can see from outside but there is ning space for both current and ex-students of FOF and about 1000 are now registered.

I still live in the place where FOF Head Quarter locate in [Oregon House,] CA. Because of the teacher's aim to create Ark, many students from the World move to this place and build a community. Many musicians and painters are produced from this community and some professional businesses are developed and now ex-students still stay among FOF current students. I am one of them and it seems it is like 50% of ex-students and 50% of current students sharing the same community.

["Don't ask, don't tell" YouTube videos:]

are also put out in youtube by ex-students also.

After reading "Big 4",  I start to understand more deeply what was/is going on in FOF and this community.

WARNING: When I wrote this post I am very careful NOT to trigger any legal issues with FOF.
If you are interested in checking FOF (I assume QFS has done that already), the links above can be interesting to read especially the beginning of FOF blog, which were 'eye openers' for many ex-students who left recently.

BUT PLEASE BE AWARE: On the same blog, the main FOF attorney (I know him personally) WARN the bloggers. Please read the following link:

(My intention is for the Forum/QFS not to have any troubles with FOF like it had with Eric Pepin - Higher Balance Institute - Discussion).

Also I know some ex-students and current students of FOF are reading this Forum and SOTT.
In fact, one of such ex-students introduced me the link to this Forum.