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.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Holy Hell

[ed. - Premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival was a documentary about the relatively small (in comparison to The Fellowship of Friends) Buddhafield cult. It was filmed and directed by former member Will Allen. Here is an interview with Allen: Holy Hell. (I recommend reading the entire interview.)

This Vanity Fair article reveals a cult of personality, similar to that seen in Robert Burton and the Fellowship (and to which Asaf Braverman appears to aspire.) The cult indoctrination process is virtually identical.

The same confusion, anger, and shame expressed by Buddhafield victims has been echoed by many of Robert Burton's victims over the years. There's a conversation about the film on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion.

One of the more notable similarities is how ex-Buddhafield and ex-Fellowship members perceive their groups as having begun as noble undertakings that only after many years degenerated into something quite the opposite. "jomopinata" describes this as "the dominant myth."]

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