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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

...this must be some kind of cult...

[ed. - These antique enthusiasts were in for a few surprises - pleasant and not-so-pleasant. The following is an excerpt from their Antiques Around the World blog.]
Renaissance Winery, Oregon House Ca

On this last day of our trip we wanted to visit the Renaissance Winery in Oregon House. It's about 45 minutes from Nevada City, and is virtually in the middle of nowhere. The reason for the visit, besides having a nice lunch there, was to see the gardens at the winery. There are multiple 18th century sculptures, statues and other old pieces surrounding a beautiful rose and palm tree garden. As antique lovers we were curious as to the items and why this winery went to such lengths to purchase them from Europe and bring them to this small town of Oregon House.

As we arrived at the winery, we had to stop at a gate and announce ourselves. We were told we had to wait for a car to escort us into the property. The pictures on the right show the gate and the road leading into the winery.

We waited for over five minutes and when nobody came to get us, we continued to drive on into the winery. About two minutes later a woman in a small car drove up to us and asked us to follow her. When we got to a parking spot she got out and gave us a tongue lashing. No one from the public gets to drive or walk around unescorted through any part of the property. When we looked at her oddly, she said it was because of the animals they had.

So, we didn't start off the tour on the right foot, but after scolding us, she became friendlier and took us to the wine tasting room. She told us a little bit about the winery; i.e., that it belonged to a non-denominational church, and everyone working on it was part of the church. My antenna went up immediately, thinking this might be some kind of cult. She must have read my mind because she quickly assured us that they weren't a cult, just a group of people that basically worshipped the earth, nature, and serenity. Mmm.

We started the tour with her showing us the animals on the property - - camels !! They raise them and take care of them there. When I asked why, she said because their spiritual leader liked them.