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 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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Paying for presence

Robert Earl Burton Fellowship of Friends cult Goethe Room dinner, Apollo, Oregon House, CA
Goethe Room Dinner. Source: Living Presence

"My2Bits" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 28, 2011:
Re: Post #139

I went to several of these Galleria ‘teaching dinners’ where, when RB [Robert Burton] was attending, it was not acceptable to eat (i.e. to take a bite or chew one’s food) when someone was talking. If you violated this rule, you ran the risk of being ‘blacklisted’ from future dinners.

Usually, the dinner was an almost continuous dialogue between RB and AB [Asaf Braverman], who would stand in the room with notes in hand. RB would make a comment, AB would comment on his comment, AB would provide a lead-in to RB’s next point on the script, and so on and on. Occasionally, there was a supportive guest comment, but seldom a question.

Many would sit anxiously, course after course, for RB to stop talking and take a bite of his dinner — for that was their signal to quickly chow down a bite of their own before RB and AB resumed their dialogue. The nicely prepared food could hardly be enjoyed, of course, and most of it was taken away in the end, to the benefit of no one.

Eventually, students were coached to dine before these dinners so they wouldn’t be hungry and could be completely attentive. Several “inner circle” members who attended regularly didn’t even try to eat. This bizarre and frustrating experience usually cost $100 to $150.

[ed. - Here is pricing for some 2006 Goethe Room events, provided by "Purchasing Awakening":]
Dining with Robert – Here is Robert’s schedule:
Monday 22:  Goethe Room - Breakfast   8:30 a.m.   $150
Tuesday 23:  Goethe Room - Dinner  7:00 p.m.   $200
Thursday 25:  Thanksgiving Breakfast   8:30 a.m.   $200
Thursday 25:  Thanksgiving Dinner  3:30 p.m.  $350
Friday 26:  Goethe Room - Breakfast   8:30 a.m.   $150
Saturday 27:  Goethe Room - Breakfast   8:30 a.m.   $150
Saturday 27:  Goethe Room-Dinner   7:00 p.m.  $200
Sunday 28:  Goethe Room  12:00 p.m.   $250 at table ($200 with partner, $100 standing)
Monday 29:  Goethe Room - Bon Voyage Breakfast   6:30 a.m.   $150

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