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.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Collins - Oregon House - Dobbins Community Plan" submitted

[ed. - Collins - Oregon House - Dobbins Community Plan PDF. The proposed foothill development outlined in this plan will take center stage in the 2014 Yuba County elections, as the expansions are opposed by incumbent 5th District Supervisor Hal Stocker, but supported by Randy Fletcher (who will go on to defeat Stocker.) Fletcher is a business associate of Fellowship members Charles Sharp and Steven Dambeck.)]



"The COHD Community Plan was prepared on the specific recommendation by the Board of Supervisors to the Yuba County Community Development Department (CDD - the functioning body charged with completion of the GPU on behalf of the Board of Supervisors) that CDD should work with the Collins-Oregon House-Dobbins Planning Committee and with our community as a whole to establish a process of coordinated planning. Two proposals stating our community’s wishes for limited growth and a boundary expansion (see under Section 1.5) were then submitted to CDD, who requested that such proposals should be re-submitted in the form of a Community Plan, adding that they would like to see more such community plans prepared throughout the Yuba County foothills region. Thus, our submission of this Community Plan fulfills the next step requested by the County."
Committee members from the Fellowship of Friends include Greg Holman, President of the Fellowship and of Renaissance Vineyard and Winery (the affiliation is conveniently omitted from his profile), Peter Morrow, Franca Cavallaro, and Katja Kreher. Additionally, Fellowship members Nick Spaulding, Charles Sharp, and Steven Dambeck have been actively involved lobbying county officials on behalf of the project.

The proposed expansion (dark pink area) includes large tracts owned by The Fellowship of Friends and its members

Critics argue that within in this "Trojan horse" are Fellowship-backed plans to expand Oregon House-Dobbins community boundaries (under the guise of fire protection) to promote development, reduce minimum parcel size to 5 acres within these boundaries, implement new road construction, and create high-density subdivisions, all in the interest of major landholders (including the Fellowship and member landholders, Soper-Wheeler, and Tom Richards, owner of the 7,000-acre Richards Ranch adjacent to Fellowship lands.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bruce Arvon's story

The following is excerpted from Bruce Arvon's website, 4th Way Path:
Early in my search I joined a group called the Fellowship of Friends in northern California. The leader of this group is a very charismatic man, Robert Burton, who is the most wonderful pied piper. At that time he told us he was a man number 6 , a conscious man! I was really impressed that he was so high and knew so much more than I did and could lead me to a higher plain.

I believed everything he said, he was (according to him) talking directly with the angels! Wow! I was sure lucky to be in his group. He told us that the Fellowship was an arc [sic] that was going to carry civilization through the coming Armageddon! There were 44 angels working directly with the school and he even knew their names and who they were. Past great men of history, such as Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Marcus Aurelius and 41 others who had completed their tasks on the earth and, I guess, became conscious and risen to angel status.

Robert also claimed to be a profit [sic] and made predictions about things that would happen in the future, such as California falling into the sea in 1996 [ed. - actually, 1998], and a great depression worse than the 1930s happening in 1984 and the atomic war, Armageddon in 2006. None of these events took place and I can not tell you how he coped with the misinformation the angels gave him. The Fellowship is still around and prosperous all these years later and so is the pied piper Mr. Burton. Still sending innocent, soul searching people down a path in the opposite direction of where they hope to go!

Don't believe!

The important thing is that I believed him. I believed without doubts everything he said. I believed I was one of the special, chosen ones that was on the way to consciousness. I was one of those destined to survive and help bring civilisation through Armageddon. I believed that I was superior to the rest of humanity which was asleep and not interested in awakening! I was a player who had a part in a great play being orchestrated by higher influences.  
It was many years after I left the Fellowship that I began to know that I had been duped and unfortunately I had a psychology that was easily dupable. I of course only saw myself as strong and not easily swayed by others. 
Rather than being unique and better than others, always thinking I knew the truth and they were mislead and gullible I painfully discovered that I was exactly the same as all those whom I judged.
[ed. - Also published on the blog, The Fourth Way Path.]