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.

Monday, June 9, 2014

"A Time for Healing"

[ed. - In response to Greg Holman’s Letter to the Editor concerning the Fellowship’s role in the community, former member Lew Neal wrote this Letter to the Editor titled “A Time for Healing.”]
A moral debt has accrued between our foothills community and the Fellowship of Friends (FOF). This present discourse is voiced by a minority of past members and “life people”, and certainly felt by many who remain voiceless.

We are glad the FOF has decided to join in community affairs. What cannot be ignored, though, is the long shadow cast by the FOF behavior for the past 44 years. There were three large lawsuits documenting the reprehensible behavior perpetrated by Robert Earl Burton, the Fellowship of Friends teacher, which is public knowledge that cannot be disputed or denied. The people of this community have a right to sit across from the FOF and discuss what we feel to be a dark aspect of the FOF’s church. It is not enough for the FOF president to pass out sums of money to our poor community groups and believe “all has been forgiven” now.

T.S. Eliot wrote, “The last temptation is the greatest treason – to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

For the FOF to have acted religiously superior toward “life people” in this community for 44 years, and now wanting to inject their commerce among us for their economic benefit without a mention of their past ill treatment, displays one tenet FOF holds near and dear – intentional insincerity.

There are many of us past members living in and around the foothills community. We are neither fearful nor distrustful; rather, we are well informed and stalwart in the face of the FOF president’s self-serving and patronizing editorial position. It is true that for most of the “town’s people’', the FOF has been a very poor community member; and 44 years is enough time to wait for healing. We all, on both sides, have hurt long enough with denial as our guide.

We call upon the FOF to heal this rift by sharing a town hall meeting of discussion, within the bounds of mediation/reconciliation. If the FOF feels unjustly “judged”, come forth and communicate with community members. We beseech thee to be brave, be courageous in knowing: “We heal a system by connecting more of it to itself"; that we all do not have to like each other, but our Christian mandate says we MUST forgive each other. We are all mature enough now to accept responsibility for the past; that’s the process. Let’s be more than the past was able to squeeze from us.

Bless us, Everyone,

Ms. Lew Neal

71 years of age; ex-FOF member;Years With The Fellowship of Friends:
1976 to 1984; retired court reporter of 34 years; et al.

"Tim Campion" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion> blog, July 14, 2014:
Ms. Lew Neal [responding to above],

Welcome to the blog. Greg Holman may be ignoring your open letter, but he’s suddenly eager to speak about “community” (at least the Fellowship’s concept of community.) You probably saw this in the (Marysville-Yuba City) Appeal-Democrat:
Grape expectations: North Yuba County is attracting notice for its burgeoning wine industry
…Greg Holman, president of both Renaissance and winery owner Fellowship of Friends, said the actual goal is to “be a really nice regional winery” that can serve as the hub for area agri-tourism.
“We just want to be part of the community,” said Holman. “We want to be part of that. We are part of the history.”
The Fellowship welcomes the public’s dollars but is not so comfortable with the inevitable exposure (unless a message can be carefully controlled, as through a compliant reporter like the Appeal-Democrat’s Eric Vodden.)
Since the 70s, there has been this dynamic at work in Oregon House. The Fellowship relies on mutually-beneficial relations with locals and visitors, while simultaneously seeking insulation from those they characterize as unsophisticated “life people” and “sleeping machines,” those people who are wasting their time on earth (except, of course, when they are purchasing Fellowship products.)
With the “Dambeck-Holman-Vodden triad” in place, we will certainly see more from the Fellowship P.R. campaign.
[ed. - In a Letter to the Editor, Steven Dambeck chimes in, praising the Appeal-Democrat's reporting.]


  1. Dear Members of FOF. Dear Mr. Burton!

    I came across this website because I was reading the book of R.E.Burton -about 'Selfremembering' What I have got to know here is not shocking me but it is forcing me to state my comment here.

    '' In the name of God,the all mercyfull all compassionate!''

    If some one claimes that his perversions are ordered from what he calles C-influence and doesn't know that this can also mean that it comes from evil Jinns or shaytan himself -it is really questionable if he lost his mind or something else. It's a shame and its quite sure that Gurdjieff himself would kill this person on the spot for doing such a damage to his teaching. Those people involved and serving a persons perverted appetite have to be considered as sheer idiots and their involvement is in no way necessary but criminal.

    Gurdjieff himself has described such people which take one thing out and make it their core of teaching
    ' Candidates for the mentalhouse'!
    Remenber what he said about this.
    I have read the book of Mr. Burton and I was astonished by his insight and now I have come to know that he is far away from being more than a pure fallen angel which was not able to understand that C-influence can also be confused with shaytanic influences and influences from the realm of evil jinns.
    What concerns the nature of sexual behaviour and the fact that it is seen by Mr. Burton as ordered from 'above' to humble him ,it is quite clear that it may well be as he states but its not coming from holy beings ,an angel of even higher,but MUST come from an evil jinn or satan himself to make him fall and with him all others involved.
    But the real aim of this is to discredit the teaching!
    Nothing else!
    The attack is on the teaching and the trust in it and it wants the head of this organisation.
    Pure Mr. Burton. I feel so sorry for you! You have to leave him!
    To humble a person C-influence has no need to order things for which God has destroyed a whole community in biblical times because he doesn't hate anything more than to be engaged in activities as such discussed on this blog, disgusting!
    If Mr. Burton really became a conscious being he would never allow himself being trapped in such a way. What he is teaching is not what he is practicing. He allowes his 'devil ' to rule everything. It is clear that this shool is no more alive and had to be shut down. It simply failed.
    And the damage to the teaching is immense.

    2.part follows

  2. 2.Part:
    Gurdjieff himself would have cursed it. Ouspensky also.
    Mr. Burton in his book has often stated sufis but he should have known that their teaching is grounded on this saying: '' Who has no shaikh ( real teacher )- satan will be his teacher! '' Its also obvious that all this 'glamour stuff ' disguised as -beauty,culture etc. is also from the same dubious influece- because it is very known in every real spiritual movement- that it is nescessary to avoid luxury! avoid luxury! avoid luxury!
    He was ever and is still in need for a spiritual guide. He himself needs a spiritual guide! Does he has one? No! C-Influence? What guidence can this be to this person if he doesn't recognise the real source of his influence when it comes to his sexual life but confuses it with what he calles C-Influence?

    He has to humble himself and repent and try to find a real spiritual guide to help him out of his own desastrous situation.!
    May God help you Mr. Burton.! May God help you find a way out of this.
    Stop teaching!
    You are not allowed anymore!
    You yourself need a real teacher the most!
    And you people stop following him and go and look also for a real spiritual teacher if you are really sincere!!
    The teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff was the real teaching of all ages and mainly came from the Naqshbandi Order. It is a shame in what hands it has fallen. Go and stop this if you are really sincere! The teaching has nothing to do anymore with this organisation or better 'cult' what it became!
    Since what happened happened the workplace is shot down. You have to leave quickly and seach somewhere else. Otherwise it will finally come down on your heads.

    Best wishes!

    a ' nothing' when it comes to 'something'