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 1, 2014

Despite unprecedented marketing efforts, Fellowship of Friends membership declines

[ed. - The November Fellowship of Friends census reports 1,597 members worldwide.This is somewhat less than the 10,000 Robert Burton predicted would board the Fellowship of Friends ark ahead of Armageddon.

In fact, despite unprecedented worldwide marketing efforts, in recent years Fellowship of Friends membership has shrunk to levels last seen in the early 1980s.

Perhaps one of Robert Burton's predictions did come to pass. For the Fellowship, Armageddon (or "The Last Judgment," as Robert Burton often termed it) may indeed have arrived, as Burton predicted, in 2006, but with a whisper rather than the predicted nuclear detonations. It was in 2006 that the Sheik's blog began with an innocuous review of a Fellowship of Friends prospective student meeting outside of London. Months later, the ensuing discussion led to a flood of damning revelations about the cult, eventually precipitating a mass exodus.

In previous decades, Burton and his lawyers enjoyed some success in suppressing scandal. But who could have predicted the power of the internet? As the blog attracted more readers, the Fellowship's leadership and lawyers tried in vain to paint detractors as "a handful of disgruntled ex-members."

But an estimated 15,000 former members have made their final judgment of Burton and, for many of those, the term "fraud" applies.
Despite Robert Burton's warning that to lose the Fellowship is to lose all hope of evolving, today, only about 10% of those who joined the Fellowship remain.

While the elves of Asaf Braverman's "Ark in Time" workshop busily construct a "virtual ark," to lead chosen ones to salvation at Apollo (where they shall survive Armageddon, now prophesied for 2018 - this time "for reals"), the effort is too little and far too late.

Long before 2006, Robert Burton's "ark" project (camels, llamas, palm trees, and all) had been sinking. The blog was simply another nail (or maybe a dozen of them) in the coffin. Despite Braverman's proliferation of websites with a veneer of mystery and sophistication, his talent for flooding the internet with his stern visage accompanying images of antiquities, and an abundance of rehashed "ancient wisdom" largely contrived by Burton, the attempts to reinvent the Fellowship of Friends appear futile.]