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) Fellowship 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, October 14, 2012

The Fellowship of Friends pleads ignorance, innocence

Yuba County's Fellowship of Friends decry fed's pot busts

By Ryan McCarthy
2012-10-12 23:16:30

Several Fellowship of Friends members in Yuba County are involved in marijuana trafficking and use proceeds to pay the religious organization, asserts a federal court filing that the Fellowship president says is false.

"It may even border on religious hate crimes," Gregory Holman said of the search warrant affidavit filed last week in US District Court in Sacramento. "In other drug affidavits, do you say someone is a Catholic or a Baptist?

Click here to read the search warrant.

The Fellowship, described in the warrant as "a sect of Mystical 'Fourth-Way' Christianity based upon the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff" and founded by Robert Burton in the 1970s, is based at a 1,250-acre site in Oregon House.

The search warrant states that a confidential source said it was common knowledge in the foothills that several Fellowship members supported themselves, and paid the required tenth of their income or $400 a month, by cultivating marijuana on properties surrounding the religious compound. The payments impose a financial burden on Fellowship members with limited resources in an area with few jobs, adds the warrant by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.

A German resident who moved here to join the Fellowship routinely has more than $100,000 in cash at his home from marijuana sales, according to the confidential source cited in the document.

"People within the Fellowship of Friends, including the leaders of the organization, knew how these people were obtaining the money they were providing," the source told the DEA, but "nobody seemed to care."

Holman responded, "We have no knowledge of any such thing."

"We condone no illegal activity," he said.
Read more at Appeal-Democrat.

Also see this short article on the Fellowship in the ReligionNewsBlog.

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