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.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

From the Italian blog "Il Credino"

"J.D." wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog today:
Robert Earl Burton (R. E. Burton) Fellowship of Friends cult leader and dandy
Robert Burton, from "Il Credino"
A friend of mine sent me this revised translation of the post on Robert Burton and the FoF from "Il Credino".
“Il credino” is a play on words, a cross between a cretin and his creed: a “creedin”.
“In September 1967, through his first spiritual teacher, Robert Earl Burton met Influence C, the direct influence of divine aware beings, without physical body, which later would have worked exclusively with paying members of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) to ensure their awakening.
After being expelled from the group for sexual harassment in regards to other members, the Angels began to speak openly and directly with Robert Earl Burton and this event marked the beginning of a long and profitable dialogue between him and the gods. Sometime later another event would mark the bright future of such spiritual master: his crystallization (the process by which psychological characteristics become stable and permanent).
Based on those fateful, sudden and accidental revelations, Robert E. Burton established the basis for exercising his official authority, from crystallizing a man number 5 to evolving into a man number 7.8. For the record a man number 7 is a person who has achieved everything possible for a human being (Jesus Christ is a man number 8!) Men number 7 are completely united and have the will and knowledge that are independent from all their functions and, as demonstrated by Robert E. Burton, still slaves to their uncontrollable sexual voracity toward the members of his members, and subdued to gluttony for total sovereignty and riches.
Incessantly pouring into the ears of his own members sermons based on his certified experiences, leaving out the superfluous practical example, for years Robert E. Burton has created around him a true “Spiritual Militia.” His teaching started with his own version of the Fourth Way of G. I. Gurdjieff ending in the creation of his own personal gem: the sequence, a nursery rhyme composed of English monosyllables that should evoke presence. According to the testimony of the first Neanderthal murals appeared on the planet, this practice it’s truly ancient.
The center of his operations is in California, in a hole lost in the mountains, but the FoF boasts centers all over the world where believers helplessly still take the bait of awakening. There are also centers in Italy with creedin-members throughout the territory.
Curiously, the crystallization of Robert Earl Burton outlined above represented, among all the improbable predictions made by him, incidentally the only one to come true. In fact, he predicted the fall of California in 1998 as a result of a cataclysm in which the only survivors would be him and his member-servants. He also predicted the end of the world in 2006 due to hydrogen warfare. The next end of the world will come in December 2012, according to the Mayan calendar, and possibly another one in 2018.
Among Robert Burton’s boldest statements: he had been visited by the Vice-God (or “number two” as he casually calls him; he took a shower with Jesus Christ and the fact that he is constantly prodded by Leonardo da Vinci, responsible, among others, for his awakening.
All of Robert Burton’s charisma, wisdom, knowledge derived from these milestones of his direct and recognized experience, lived first-hand, mind you, not without responsibility. His commitment is dedicated to helping his creedin-servant-members to keep him as the true and only divinity. By his own admission, Robert E. Burton is a “goddess trapped in a man’s body” (a favorite phrase to justify administering fellatio to his members, and it will be his onerous responsibilities to welcome the aforementioned creedin-members in Paradise.
Robert E. Burton maintains his kingdom under strict control by giving “exercises” and assigning roles to his creedin-servant-members:
There are members who participate in nightly orgies set-up by Robert E. Burton (six members, each with a task, or rather a very specific duty: positions and functions are practiced and rehearsed to perfection).
There are members who urinate and defecate on to their teacher Robert Burton. (One of the most unique justifications is that there is a tribe in India where it is considered a spiritual practice. Even Hitler had lovers defecate on him, he also suffered from the same morbid and incurable dissatisfaction, and dementia)
There are members who in the morning go to clean Robert Burton’s bedroom/den, washing the towels impregnated with any kind of bodily fluid, and replace the various toys bought with donations from the rest of the members, leaving the room spotless for the admiration of visitors.
There are doctor-members who write prescriptions for the medications needed by Robert Burton. (When he is seen wandering around his property looking humble and submissive, is just fucked up by psycho-drugs)
There are doctor-members who write prescriptions for Viagra pills to increase the performance of the members. (Not easy to get an erection in front of a flabby old body)
There are members shopping for those pills.
There are members who administer those pills to the other unfortunate members who are due up.
There are members with drug problems to whom Robert Burton gives permission to use but only with their pants down and in his presence.
There are professional-musician-members to whom the pack leader has asked to play their instrument while he was playing their ‘instrument’.
There are members-explorers employed to recruit new members at home and abroad, taking photographs and compiling catalogs where Robert Burton can pick and choose who to order for an exotic spiritual interview.
There are members who bought fake passports in order to deliver the above mentioned items to Robert Burton. (Not without pride we announce that these passports are made in Italy, purchased in Naples)
There are garbage-collector-members in charge of hiding and laundering the money put at Robert Burton’s disposal.
There are members who donate their identities, providing a front for the illegal actions of master Burton (as a Church, and a Pope himself, he cannot legally receive or use money for personal purposes).
There are lawyer-members who continually take care of Robert Burton’s dirty laundry.
There are members that on their deathbed were convinced by Robert Burton and his lawyer-members to donate their properties and with them their dream of preserving their heritage.
There are members who in their youth the leader of the pack had forbidden the pleasure of a companion. Now in their old age they find themselves alone, but they will die full of the love that their teacher Burton once shared with them.
Within the herd of the Fellowship of Friends there are members there are more or less close to Robert Burton, who are more or less aware of most of what has been described above. For various reasons, they do not say, nor do anything.
These are the different reasons:
Some members have no specific reasons other than their own stupidity.
Some members do not know what is really happening. They may have vaguely heard of, but they stuffed their ears with ham. As the worst deaf, they prefer not to hear. As good-students-members they obey the rules of Robert Burton and do not read blogs.
Some members do not feel judging Robert Burton’s private actions, for he is a superior being. As good-students-members, they do not read blogs.
Some members are aware of most that has been listed above, but have built a niche in which they live undisturbed, and which they have no intention of leaving. They have flipped through blogs and have received information, but talking would mean the destruction of the niche and expulsion from the cult.
Some members live the delusion that they have reached a pure friendship with Robert Burton, their mission is submission, and serve at any cost. As good-students-members they do not read blogs.
Some members are trapped, with a resident visa issued by the FoF. Talking would mean not only expulsion from the cult FOF but also from the country. Their only entertainment is to participate in blogs.
Some members even managed to escape from the cage of the FOF. They are self-proclaimed “feather in the wind,” or even “beautiful butterflies”. These former-members-but-still-creedins are unable to escape from the psychology of the cult FoF; they mind their own business and do not care about those left behind.
It’s certainly not enough to get out of a cult in order to cease being a creedin.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A look back at Lady B's story

[ed. - This sounds like such a typical Fellowship of Friends story.]

"Lady B" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 29, 2007 at 10:57 p.m.:
I am still in the school but I am not a student anymore.
I joined the school 20 years ago with all my heart.
I survived several of the school’s big intervals, when Influence C was “shaking the tree.”
When other students left, I never wanted to know the reason. Each time, some “good student” or center director would act as a filter, saying that the student left because their instinctive center didn’t want to pay any more or because their American puritanical morality made Robert’s sex life into an excuse for leaving.
After a year in the school, a friend of mine left, and before she did she told me that her friend had a relationship with Robert. It was a bad experience, and he left in shock. I was actually relieved to hear that Robert was gay. I’d already been in a group where the teacher was gay. In a second group, where the teacher was straight, and very interested in women, his “wife” had me kicked out because she imagined I was having an affair with him.
In the FOF, I lost a husband, a house, and a lot of money that I didn’t have and don’t have, but none of that bothered me enough to make me leave. Robert has never spoken to me directly — I don’t have money, I’m not rich, I’m a woman. I’m not an artist or actor. I don’t have blue blood or a name of noble origin. So, my role in the school — according to other students — is to pay. That’s my role and for many years I’ve been paying my teaching payment.
I began reading this blog and the letters sent to me by ex-students. I told myself that I’ve been in the school so long that I wouldn’t hear anything bad enough to change my mind, my desire, or my love for Robert.
It didn’t take long to realize that I hadn’t been aware of the level of suffering that many students endured. When Elena wrote, it was as if she read my heart. Now I understand why friends who became Robert’s lovers are so depressed and unable to have a full emotional life. I’ve seen mothers who are happy that their sons were chosen to be Robert’s lovers, and encouraged them not to lose the opportunity to experience higher levels with an angel.
At Isis [Apollo, Renaissance, etc.], children are the last concern. In fact, a friend who doesn’t have children told me, “I think that Isis needs an orphanage.” I was shocked and offended.
I believed that I was helping to build a new civilization, not supporting and paying for all this suffering. I can’t be an accomplice any more. This isn’t the school I was looking for. I’ve learned a lot, but at a very high price. I have a conscience — someone might call it feminine dominance, but I don’t care. All those years I’ve pushed down that inner screaming voice, and had — as many others have — health consequences.
I want to leave the school without a fuss, the way I came, but I want to give a warning to potential students so they have an idea of what they’re getting into. If this blog was available to me 20 years ago, I probably would have made a different decision.
Someone said — I wish I could remember who — that you can see the level of civilization in a country by looking at the way they treat children and old people. Elena, you’re right: I don’t recognize the same Ark that I boarded 20 years old.
During these 20 years, I’ve met some wonderful people, and leaving those friends is going to be a much bigger payment than I’ve ever made. I’m sorry, and I love you.

[ed. - Siddiq, a sincere Fellowship supporter, responds. The more you read this blog, the more you will see Siddiq's protestations ring hollow.]

"Siddiq" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 30, 2007 at 12:27 a.m.:
To Lady B who wrote:
So, my role in the school — according to other students — is to pay. That’s my role and for many years I’ve been paying my teaching payment.
I am very sorry for you (no doubt many on this blog will applaud your decision to leave but not me) as you have apparently for many years accepted what you believed your fate should be–I hope for you that your experience included more than just being somebody who pays.
You see, I do not know any mothers who applaud their sons being Robert’s lovers (there are very few mothers in the Fellowship whose sons are Robert’s lovers–this cannot possibly be more than a handful, at most as there are few such families in the School).
I also do not see the depressed students and people unable to have an emotional life (I assume you do, so there must be more than just paying money in your life) any more so than anywhere else outside of Isis or the Fellowship.
I also do not know of anyone of nobility, blue blood, or artistic talent here that gets special treatment. The artists here pay, in many ways, as all do, and as the universe exacts from us, whether we are in or out of the School.
Finally, children appear to me healthy and well adjusted, not mistreated, not in any danger. There are hundreds and their parents (of which I am one and I assume you are too, which makes me wonder why we have never connected or if we did why you never spoke out against the abuse you perceived). Do you believe they are worse off here than let’s say in some big city with all its problems?
Good luck to you.
Siddiq