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 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 from 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 wikispace 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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Moscow Officials Help Citizens Avoid the 'Moonies,' Other Cults

[ed. - This story may be relevant to The Fellowship of Friends since, over the past 25 years, Russia (and other former Soviet Bloc nations) supplied the majority of the Fellowship's new recruits worldwide. The young and naive are drawn not only by the Fellowship's (falsely-claimed) connection to the Russian Gurdjieff and Ouspensky teachings, but also by the promise of American religious visas and the prospect of "being close" to their teacher, Robert Burton. A particularly handsome young man stands a very good chance of becoming intimately involved with Burton, and joining his inner circle of "spiritual prostitutes." I don't know if the Fellowship is among the 80 cults to be listed.]

From The Moscow Times, September 28, 2015:
The Moscow city legislature plans to release a booklet warning Muscovites against unorthodox religious "cults" operating in Russia, and providing instructions on how to report such organizations to the authorities, the capital's M24 news website reported Monday.

Russia has classified about 80 organizations as "cults," the report said. Those range from domestic movements to transplants from international groups, including the Unification Church, or Moonies, Russia's "God Kuzya" movement, whose leader has been detained on swindling charges, and the Grigory Grabovsky group — whose founder proclaimed himself the second coming of Christ and offered to resuscitate the dead, but was sentenced to prison for swindling.

"Today many people are searching for spiritual calmness, while charlatans, such as the 'God Kuzya' and his likes, are exploiting that," a member of the Moscow City Council committee for public and religious organizations, Renat Laishev, was quoted by M24 as saying.

The booklets will instruct readers on how to recognize a cult, stressing that "cults do not necessarily take a traditional form, many of them are posing as lectures, personal development courses, or even yoga classes," and will provide instructions on "where to turn to, if a citizen discovers a cult," Laishev was quoted as saying.

The Moscow City Duma may discuss a draft booklet during a session this week, the report said.

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