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 now the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.") 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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boldly breaching Burton's boy barrier

Robert Burton is perpetually surrounded by a detail of young men which serves, among many other things, as protection.

"aarrgh me buckos" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 2, 2015:
The following is an excerpt from a letter and is Not My Story:
Now, on a lighter note, I recently had an encounter with Robert Burton at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I was sitting on a bench at the far end of one of the big rooms, waiting for [name omitted] to return from one of the heads. I saw a small person turning the corner into another room, caught a part of his profile, but thought he was way too small. Then I noticed that three young men were following him with their hands in the “protect your gonads” position. Finally I decided to check it out. So, I walked through one room, not there, walked in the next room, and there they were, but the little man still had his back to me. I walked on, turned around and came back and he was facing more towards me so I could definitely see it was him. So somehow the whole thing tickled me. I started stalking him, moving towards him, and when he would turn, I would go sideways and get closer, and when he would turn again, I would keep going sideways and keep getting closer. I became aware that his three companions were aware of my movements, and were watching me closely. They were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, with their hands in position, and they looked like soccer defenders waiting for a free kick. That tickled me even more. Finally I got within about three feet of the little fellow, and he was finally alerted to my presence and looked at me. He was pale and gaunt, and his eyes looked confused and slightly maniacal. He said, “My age and my memory…”

And I said, “I’m [name omitted].”

And he said, “Yes, of course.”

I put out my arms and we had a hug. I stood back and he went into the same act that I remember from 40 years ago. He bowed his head slightly, squinted, looked off into middle-distance and said, “Conscious influence is still working with us and there’s more to be revealed.” This tickled me even more. And when he finally looked back at me, I was starting to laugh. So I put my arms out again, we had another hug, this one a little longer than comfortable, so I stepped back, turned, and walked away. He said, “Say ‘hello’ to your brother,” and without turning, I waved my hand back at him.

I went back and sat down; at about the same time that [name omitted] rejoined, and I said, “Robert Burton is in the second room there. Do you want to say, ‘Hi’?” And she said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Again, the amazing thing was how small he was, maybe 135 – 140 pounds, and I swear, I was looking down at him. End of story.

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