Introduction


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.")

But 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.

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 from official Fellowship publications and websites, news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the Internet Archive, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wikispace project, the (ill-fated 2007) Fellowship of Friends Wikipedia page, 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, February 1, 2010

The 44

[ed. - From the earliest days of the Fellowship, Robert Burton has claimed that 44 angels, or "conscious beings" directly work with his school. He claims to be personally guided by Leonardo da Vinci. According to Burton, these disembodied beings are the "Higher Forces", or "C Influence" directing every aspect of his work. Elizabeth I is the only woman to make the grade, and apparently the Southern Hemisphere has produced no conscious beings. With the death of Alex Horn, there should be 45 conscious beings working with the school. Or maybe Alex isn't actually working with the Fellowship, as Burton still seems obsessed with 44s.

"Wouldn't You Like To Know" provides a list of Burton's angels:]

"Wouldnt You Like To Know" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 1, 2010:
Joseph (son of Jacob), Moses, Solon, Ezekiel, Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Horace, Jesus Christ, Peter, Paul, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Omar Khayyam, Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Hafiz, Geoffrey Chaucer, Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Michel de Montaigne, Elizabeth I, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Rembrandt van Rijn, John Milton, Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benjamin Franklin, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, William Blake, Hans Christian Andersen, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Lewis Carroll, George Gurdjieff, Rainer Maria Rilke, Peter Ouspensky, Meher Baba, Rodney Collin.

"A Hundred Thousand Angels" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
[Responding to blog post and blogger:] ’30. rich – August 12, 2011

I’ve thought on occasion , why did this charlatan choose 44 for his propaganda purposes ?’
Found on the internet:

Where numerology and angelology meet :

‘The 44 sequence when seen repeatedly means that angels are attempting to get the attention of the person seeing it.’

‘The 4444 number sequence when seen repeatedly means that person receiving the message is an angel incarnate.’

‘When 4’s consistently appear it indicates that your angels are all around you and with you. They are offering you support and inner-strength to enable you to get the necessary work done. They understand that you are toiling towards your goal and ask that you call upon them for help, support, guidance and the emotions of love and security.

The 44 sequence indicates that the angels are surrounding you at this time, loving and supporting you. You have a very strong and clear connection with the angelic realm and are asked to use it to your advantage, and for the benefit of others.

The message of the 444 number sequence is that you have nothing to fear … all is as it should be, and all is well. Things that you have been working on or with will be successful. 444 is an indication that you are being surrounded by angels who love and support you and their help is close at hand, always.

When the number sequence 4444 appears repeatedly, it is an indication that you are surrounded by your angels. These angels are at your side to reassure you of their presence, love and help. Your angels are watching out for you and supporting you in your work and day to day life. 4444 is a message from the angels that their help is nearby and all you need to do is ask for their assistance.’

May the fours be with you.

"Guy Grand" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 12, 2011:
I was driving North from LA on interstate 5 last week (Aug. 1) and one of the freeway information signs flashed an Amber Alert for a child abduction in the Bay Area. The license plate of the abductors vehicle was 4WAY944. It turned out the “abducted child” was a 16 year-old punk who had staged his abduction to coverup a robbery he was involved in. It was not revealed if he had a connection to The Fellowship of Friends.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 10, 2015:
Reviewing Ollie’s post of Burton’s words again (#113-135), isn’t it amazing how inefficient, how constrained, how unimaginative these supposed C-Influence characters are? Advertised as angels, mighty and powerful beyond belief, able to bend the laws of physics to make California plunge into the sea on a whim, able to bring on Armageddon, supposedly tasking Burton and the Fellowship of Friends to start a new civilization— they can’t find a better way to communicate with Burton than by arranging various license plates or mailbox numbers or T–shirts or lightning strikes or whatever–the–fuck to appear before him or his followers? And this method, beneath the dignity of an average three–year–old, has been written in the Great Play since the Beginning of Time?

Between them, these angels and Burton keep getting it all wrong anyway, they can’t even settle on a date—for anything, important or not. Plus, they seem to spend the majority of their time working out how to wrong–foot and humiliate him—him, the one–and–only Robert Earl Burton, the self–described brightest light in 2,000 years! Those mortifications have been their only successes so far, but Burton is too obtuse to take a hint.

Judging by their methods and the results to date, these 45 beings collectively don’t have the intelligence of a grasshopper.
[ed. - See also, 44 personal stories of Robert Earl Burton's abuses and Robert Burton officially declared and angel.]