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, April 22, 2007

Comfortably numb in the best of times

"butterfly" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 22, 2007:
Hello, my name is butterfly and I am a FOF member.

Many of my years in the school were very rewarding. Some of the most memorable experiences were with other students, some of whom I found to be amazing people. The Sunday morning meetings at Apollo D’Oro, held outside when the winter passed, were some of the best moments.Listening to Jonathan Parks describe the last movie he had seen and draw parallels with some work idea and to Harry Chrisakis who always said something wise and worthwhile. The blue sky, the birds, sitting under the trees. It was springtime for Robert and FoFland.

There was and are a lot of intelligent people and some could speak eloquently, delivering great points. At the Wednesday night meetings there would always be some good angles. I remember Peter Ingle tell us how his hangers in his closet were all ’facing’ the same way, but he could also say things that made great sense.
Then onto Apollo D’Oro. And dinner too. And then home.

These were the times I could best be at peace and self remember. But things changed, for reasons I came to accept, as I accepted many other things.I did not like change but I understood it was good for my development.

There used to be an on-line FOF list/discussion that helped, amongst other things, students in outlaying centres stay connected. It was closed down after a student told Robert of a perceived slight. The freedom to discuss together publicly, were taken away.

This blog gives us that freedom again. Freedom to see what I accepted in the past, from a different perspective. Perhaps Robert did not take away the meetings for my own best development, but just for more money. This blog is giving me the freedom to see how I was comfortably numb.

I am awakening in other ways. Some students are still ignoring Roberts behaviour arguing that it does not affect them personally, and that they can still get the benefits of the system. Self Remembering at any cost.
We believe in 9 lifetimes but make no mention of Karma. Are we not damning the very souls we are trying to make eternal. Conscience is ignored, its Christian feminine dominance. But is not Christ one of the 44, Buddha too? Is everything they said to be ignored.

I can see us now as a school of selfishness, emulating our teacher.

Honour seems like an old fashioned word, but with memories and no honour, how will we be judged?

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