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.

Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Another "conscious being" is proclaimed...and promptly departs

[ed. - The date of these events is unknown and this post's location in the timeline is an approximation. In the 1990s, James Rodney Cecil Tyndale-Biscoe, a Fellowship member and former Director with Seagrams Distillers, was appointed President of Renaissance Vineyard and Winery. Robert Burton subsequently declared him a conscious being, "a man number 5." After departing the Fellowship together, Tyndale-Biscoe and former Fellowship of Friends President Kristina Nielsen would go on to become (respectively) President and Vice President of the World University, in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1998. After establishing a presence in Hawaii, it is reported that Tyndale-Biscoe proposed forming an "alliance" with Robert Burton, but Burton rejected the idea. See also Tyndale-Biscoe and Nielsen's alleged statements regarding the Ming Furniture Battle.]

"Wondering Who's Watching" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 6, 2013:
[Quoting] swhite44 – October 5, 2013:
There was another guy who was something like a director for Seagrams, the alcohol company, whom Robert proclaimed ‘conscious’. That guy quickly ‘lost the school’.
Yes, the person you describe was appointed president of Renaissance Vineyard & Winery by Robert Earl Burton (REB) and then, shortly thereafter, declared to be a ‘Man Number Five’ by REB. He was English and married one of the longterm and respected members of Fellowship of Friends (FoF) who was then president of FoF. They both encouraged FoF members to think for themselves, which was not the norm in the cult. That got both of them ‘excommunicated.’ This was in the 1990′s, about the same time as the T.B. [Troy Buzbee] incident and lawsuit.

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