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.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Greater Fellowship social network formed

[ed. - The Greater Fellowship social network grew out of a series of reunions of mostly ex-Fellowship members. Larger organized reunions occurred in 1990, 1995 and 2007. Immediately following the 2007 reunion, this network came into being. (As of December 2014, there are 1,145 members.)]

"Janna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 10, 2007:
Hello friends,

There have been few thoughts expressed recently to put together something like a Contact list for ex-members and soon-to-be-ex-members.

Few possible reasons: to stay connected, to be able to reach each other, to announce jobs or career opportunities, ask for help, to offer/ask for a place to stay while visiting other cities/countries, to be able to invite friends for dinners, concerts, various events etc.

I heard that one of the fears of current members that there will be no connection to like-minded people, loss of friends, no possibility to travel and visit friends and no support in other areas of life in case they leave FOF. Although it may not be so (as many of us already know), but certainly a Contact list, or some sort of Directory may be helpful and supporting.

All of this is on the levels of thoughts now, may be it will materialize may be not.

I know that we have something like such list on East Coast, and few friends have something like this on West Coast. Shall we put it all together?

Please share your thoughts about this. It would be nice to hear pros and cons.

I am willing to start putting it together if there will be an expressed need for it, but I may eventually need some help.

If you wish to be included in the list please send your info (whichever info you want to include) to [E-mail address deleted].

For now it will be put in a simple file and can be e-mailed to listed participants.

In friendship,

Janna Makaeva
FOF member 1996-2007

"Michael" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 11, 2007:
[Quoting above] 376 Janna
‘There have been few thoughts expressed recently to put together something like a Contact list for ex-members and soon-to-be-ex-members.’
One of the greatest benefits of being in the fellowship of friends was the network of friends throughout the world. I agree with Jana, some form of contacting old friends would greatly improve our community.

Most of you are probably familiar with some form of social networking. In the US business world its LinkedIn, a network you cannot join, you have to be invited. After joining, people can ask you to connect or you can ask your friends to connect you to someone they have a connection to.

This does create a trusted space to stay in touch with colleagues etc without publishing your contact info to anybody but your chosen friends.

What would we require of a social network for this group?

– a private ‘greater fellowship’ network
– you can only join if invited
– my email, address and such is only available to friends I approved
– you can use your blog name to sign up so others will be able to send you a request to connect.

From my conversations at the North San Juan Party [reunion], I believe several people are looking into options of how to connect with each other. I created a test network and looking for some guinea pigs to test it out and validate the above features.

Send me a note if you have ideas along these lines or send a note if you want to test it out, [e-mail address deleted]

Jana, I’ll send you an invite to test it.

All the best,


"Exit Right" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 10, 2007:

[Responding to above] 376 Janna

Thanks for your effort to establish a line of communications among members of ‘the Greater Fellowship community.’
Regarding ‘support in other areas of life in case they leave FOF,’ Joseph G. offered his help (see the following part of his post 9/159):
“… If you are a business owner or manager who may be able to offer gainful employment somewhere on the planet, or if you are an FOF member who wants to explore his/her alternative career options, write to me at [e-mail address deleted] and I will try to discreetly mediate a connection. No promises but what the heck, if it even helps one or two souls it’s worth a try.”

"steve lang" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 10, 2007:

Janna [above] -

Your idea for a listing of former members sounds like a good one. It will be interesting to see what develops out of this blog. It certainly has allowed for a forum that I never got to experience while in the FOF.

"Tornado" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 10, 2007:

Janna [above]:

I like the idea of supporting those that are leaving and I am sending you my info. (By the way I have the sense that MOST OF FOF students are going to be former students sooner or later, like you and me and many others thousands).
Although, I feel very uncomfortable when I think of rescuing them. I don’t want to rescue them. Rescuing is one of the most disempowering things we can do to each other.

For those that don’t know what it is, between others things, rescuing implies:

1- Doing for others what they can do for themselves.

(I always clean the mess after you made yourself a sandwich, because you don’t do it)

2- Doing for others when they didn’t ask for any help.

(I just apologized for you to our neighbor dear)

3- Doing something for other person because we think we can do it better than they can it.

(“Go do something else, I will do the laundry for you”)

For example;

Doing a “C section” when the baby is able to go through the channel by himself is unnecessary and is rescuing him from having the powerful experience of going through the channel by his own means.

Rescuing creates resentment at the end. There is a rescuer and a rescued one that are not meeting at the same level. One is higher, more powerful, knows more, does it better, has more money, etc.

The person that is being rescued may resent the other one because “you can do it and I can’t” and the person that is rescuing may resent the other one because “see how you pay me all the things I did for you!”

In rescuing there is a sense of owing in the relationship. There is also usually a hidden agenda. Guilt trips, expectations, shame, etc.

Rescuing is s recipe for conflict, pain and separation. And has been the main cause in tragedy in my relationships of the past.

A question to myself is:

How to find the balance of contributing to the life of all this students in need and letting them have their own experience that at the end will empower them?

It’s a fine line, isn’t it?

"Janna" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 13, 2007:

Hi guys, just a reminder:

If you wish to be included in ex-members Contact List – please send the info you wish to list to
[e-mail address deleted].

I have received lots of e-mails already, and list is getting big. I am making it in a simple Excel file, and will soon e-mail it to all who are listed.

The intentions behind creating such a list: to help like-minded people stay connected, to locate friends, to arrange for a possible place to stay while traveling, to announce jobs, to ask for help, to invite people for dinners, concerts and other events, etc. Friendship and connections don’t have to disappear once you quit FOF!

Most people include their name and e-mail address, also: phone, address, years in FOF, website – whatever you feel like listing.

In friendship,


[ed. - Some of the discussion that led to the formation of the Greater Fellowship:]

"Possible Solution" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 25, 2007:
Perhaps those who are really keen to get back in touch might consider creating an ex-FOF directory on a separate Web space i.e. a neutral zone where just a name and e-mail address appear (possibly a photo or two for the really daring – one during, the other post FOF, just in case you’ve become unrecognisable!)

You can’t get roasted in hell for doing that can you?

"Rita Penfold" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 27, 2007:
It’s great to discover you all, my friends on this site. For me it’s hugely beneficial to reflect on my time in the school and after.

I wonder if we could create something similar to the late FOF discussion list, I think the email format would be easier to use. Especially with the quantity of messages written every day.

Does anybody know how to create such a thing?

"The Master of Bullshit" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 28, 2007:
To #245 [above].

The [official] FOF ‘discusssion forum’ was disbanded because its low and pathetic level was not worthy of the Fellowship. Let the dead bury their dead.
[ed. - Robert Burton was fond of quoting Jesus, "Let the dead bury the dead." Burton was referring to "sleeping life people," that is, everyone not a Fellowship member.]

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