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, February 1, 2016

"No hope for man without the Ark..."

[ed. - In his Ark in Time "Fourth Way School," Asaf Braverman adopts Robert Burton's use of the Ark theme, and subtly seeks to instill a sense of dread in his audience. From the start, Burton used this technique, especially through prophecies, to gradually bind the naive and gullible to his Fellowship of Friends, convincing them his "esoteric school," with its direct link to the gods ("Influence C" as Burton calls them) provides mankind's (and thus, the devotee's) only hope for redemption and immortality.

In similar fashion, Braverman assures those fortunate enough to discover his teaching  (the "chosen ones" in Burton's words), "There is room aboard."

On this path, it is only a matter of time before Asaf's Ark assumes the grandiosity that has long characterized Burton's narcissistic and delusional world.]

Asaf Braverman's Ark in Time Fellowship of Friends Fourth Way school
[Text below. Click "Read more."]

Mankind rides the swallowing sea of time and death, rising
and plummeting, flourishing then all but disappearing
from the hollowed horizon. Through it all, ever sheltered
in the heart that mothers the mind, is an ancient wisdom,
transformation’s secrets readying their next expression:

Ascending in Egyptian pyramids from a great science
of immortality, then eroding into dead stone;
rising again as temples of philosophy that then lose
through centuries their reason in arthritic argument;
in Christ’s cathedrals climbing heavenly light, in stupas
to the Enlightened One blessing like stars the landscape’s peace,
then drained and distracted, abandoning shells of glory
to rot in dogma and buy the insurance of belief.

So as mankind transforms his fateful craft, his Ark in time,
so the single human being, on his own scale, transforms
the chaos of his thoughts, the earthbound bargaining of flesh,
and finds in the Ark’s ongoing an artistry of life,
a consciousness of higher being, a deathless purpose.
The Ark abides in Golden Age and in Apocalypse,
and from its deck of willing work to each instructed man
extends eternal possibility – transcendent sight.

No hope for man without the Ark, no Ark without each man
resolving to a soul. So we sail on, remastering
the ocean’s terror and despair, the perils of this age,
with each aware of feeling, breathing, thinking going on
here below observing consciousness. There is room aboard.

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