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 from 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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Excerpt from Strange Truth: A Horror Story

[ed. - As revealed earlier in the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, the work cited below is listed in the Library of Congress: Strange Truth: A Horror Story (1983), by Marlane Dasmann, Library of Congress Registration No. TXu-149-031 (88-page account of author’s ten years in Fellowship and what she observed while acting as the founder’s housemaid)]

"Ames Gilbert" posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
I’ll Never Tell,
you say, “But the real thing worth dwelling on is not this issue of what was the Blake Cottage, but, rather, the circumstances surrounding the activities supposedly secretly going on there that the housekeepers, and others, were aware of.” I agree, that is what is important.
I quoted from “Strange Truth”, an unpublished manuscript by someone who was a housekeeper at the ‘Blake Cottage’, when writing about the unfortunate history of Brian Sisler (#16-438).
Here is another excerpt which encapsulates what went on so often, and still goes on to this day in the Fellowship of Friends: the triangle between Burton, one of Burton’s ‘boys’ and the wife or girlfriend of the ‘boy’. All names were changed in the original manuscript to protect them against retribution or other harm. And I have removed the author’s name below to protect her.
Justin and Daisy, a newly wed couple, had recently moved to the Farm. Daisy was only twenty, a beautiful sweet young woman. She told me she only joined the School to be with Justin. They had been together since childhood and knew no other loves. Daisy graduated from high school, but she was almost totally lacking in education, knowing little except that she loved Justin.
When the Teacher began to court him, Justin started ignoring Daisy. He moved into the Lodge and refused to speak to her, not even letting her stand near him. Daisy went wild with grief, but managed to maintain a certain cool exterior at social gatherings. Many people thought she did not care, the fools.
Daisy was put on salary, and began to help me at the Teacher’s house. Helena now worked at the School’s office, and Daisy replaced her. Frequently, during my four years as his maid, the women asked to help me were the wives of his boyfriends. I assumed the Teacher thought this was some sort of compensation for them, a way of paying them back for having taken their men away. It was considered a great honor to even get invited to the house for a brief visit.
***
“Dearest (name withheld), I have noticed that sawdust gathers on the floor in front of the baseboard behind your desk. Perhaps there are woodworms in the baseboard? Perhaps they will consume your desk next?”
I was writing the Teacher a little note, carefully considering each word. Looking up, I saw Daisy, flushed and shaking, skitter down the hall towards me, socks sliding on the highly polished wooden floor. Nearly barreling into me, she clutched at my arm and began bouncing in place.
“Xxxx, Justin’s clothes are in the closet, the boy’s room closet!” Her hands flew up to cover her pretty little mouth. Her eyes were round with shock. Would she start crying, I wondered. She had already cried so much. But no, she just continued to bounce in place, not knowing whether to be happy or sad.
And me? I was sad. But I couldn’t say so, and I couldn’t tell her why. She probably wouldn’t have believed me anyway. It was so hard to face the reality of the situation.
And when, day after day, we encountered Justin lying in a speechless heap on the boy’s room floor, Daisy still did not understand, and I still protected the Teacher.
My commentary. The author was being magnanimous, IMHO, about Burton’s motives. Putting the wives on salary or giving them a (usually menial) role was not “compensation”, it was calculated cruelty, one aspect of his revenge on womankind. My observations were that this cruelty was specific in the case of the wives, a flaunting of his power over them, and often was both public and as drawn out as long as possible over time. Think of it, what an absolute power trip! He subdues heterosexual males, has them act against their inclinations, reaches into their sex centers and stirs with malicious and random glee, and revenges himself on both them and their wives for having had the effrontery to have shared love and sex with each other before he appeared on the scene, and for having diverted attention and sperm from his insatiable maw.
Rinse and repeat hundreds of times.
Truly, “You shall have no other gods before me”.
BTW, the link to the Brian Sisler post mentioned above is:
http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-16/#comment-4213

"More history needed" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 27, 2007 at 6:17 p.m.:
Does anybody know if we can copy Marlane Dasmann manuscript?
Just finished her manuscript written between 1973 and 1983…so touching, nothing new. Tristan is Brian S, Maxwel is Peter B, Maud is Bonita, Rocky is Linda.
She writes very neutral and clear. Loyal and loving to Robert but her observations were not a beautiful story with palms and tulips and her conscience did not seem to be able to stay in the fof.
Her observations are so clear and her period of silence is well described clear and plain.
Beautiful story with the fact that what has been repeated in 1984, 1995 and now in 2007, is basically all the same. Really C and G and P and W and all of us, it might be a little worse now but I can not see it.
I am happy that it is a beautiful story for some people. For Marlane it was an incredible amount of suffering, hard work, sickness, poor, being raped and trying to transform….
Love, healing and joy to all of you.

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