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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The guardian of presence

Robert Earl Burton, Fellowship of Friends cult founder and dandy
Photo source

"I'll Never Tell" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 30, 2015:
OMG! Robert Earl Burton (REB) is showing his teeth. Is there not an exercise to not show your teeth, especially when being photographed? Then, again, that is a photograph, LOL. But, REB is exempt from exercises that are imposed on everyone else in the cult, right? Here is an interesting recent story:

Fellowship Of Friends (FoF) is reported to have a role at dinners and/or meetings called ‘the guardian of presence,’ or something similar. That role has the responsibility of photographing persons who are effusing a lack of presence, for instance, when a person is speaking and simultaneously gesticulating with their hands, like some people from certain cultures are more apt to do. The role is a sort of a ‘Sergeant-at-Arms,’ if you will.

Well, there was a certain Mercurial FoF student selected for this role at an event. While REB was speaking, REB was gesticulating with his hands, and the Mercurial ‘guardian of presence’ photographed REB for such behaviour. The result from that was a leave-of-absence from FoF for the transgression.

That is about all I know about it; none of the details beyond. Perhaps the Mercurial will take it as their graduation ceremony?

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