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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crisis? What crisis?

[ed. - It seems the catastrophic meltdown of international financial markets didn't appear on Robert Burton's radar until the crisis was already peaking. For decades, Influence C have warned Burton of impending doom from various disasters (all of which failed to materialize, of course.) You might expect they would have mentioned this very real disaster, so that mankind's savior might better prepare his Ark. They also failed to warn him of the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, based upon 38 years of Fellowship experience, Influence C have proven themselves reliably unreliable.]

"somebody" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 21, 2008:
Apollo, October 15, 2008

THE CALL OF THE LOON [presumably, these are Robert Burton's words that follow]

Good evening, dears. I guess you all know that the stock market is crashing internationally. We are definitely closer to something than we were at last Friday’s meeting. We will see how far Influence C take it, but it has enormous possible complications. The school is making preparations. I guess that we have been preparing for this event for forty years. When our statue of David arrived, our two century plants (cacti) flowered, something which occurs once every thirty-five years. The Mexicans say, “They shoot their heart out to God.” The two emphatic shafts are like short Be and long BE [a reference to The Sequence]. When we installed the statue of David, I wondered if we were about to face a Goliath. What is occurring now may be the beginning of that. Wayne Mott was in the supermarket two days ago and noted that everyone was going about his daily business, as if nothing was happening. A few years ago, in the Swissair flight near Boston, the pilot reported that all the passengers were quite calm; two minutes later they were all dead. People are calm now, but it may begin to disintegrate very quickly. We will take each day as it comes, and each day the school and the homes will make preparations. Sarah McGovern is coordinating some of the farming, and Samantha will be calling students to suggest that they buy extra stores of food. We just purchased quite a few seedlings for winter vegetables, and a community seed bank will be available. If they disappear, we will order more. Two months ago I was having dinner with Candice Goldman, and she said very firmly, “Whatever comes we’ll be ready for it.” Things have changed a lot since last Friday. The market fell 1,874 points this week. In 1929 when the market crashed, it took two years for it to bottom out. Then it lost ninety percent of its value.

"Josiane" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
274. somebody [above]

“Two months ago I was having dinner with Candice Goldman, and she said very firmly, “Whatever comes we’ll be ready for it.”

In 1998, for the preparation of the fall of California, I was a neighborhood coordinator (students’ houses had been divided into neighborhoods–not a bad idea in itself for emergency purposes). We worked very hard to prepare for a major catastrophy [sic]. On one occasion I got to talk to RB and told him almost exactly what Candice told him: “We will be ready.” His reply: “No one is ever ready for anything like that.”

It may seem profound on his part to reply that way, and yet, at the same time, every time I had an opportunity to talk to RB, the end result was that I was left with the feeling that I had somehow failed; that I was unworthy of his attention.

I recall a very intense time when P*t*r B… [Peter Bishop], dear to my heart, was diagnosed with terminal illness. I participated in a $1,000 per person dinner with RB (with P*t*r present) to raise funds for the [Petrarch] press P*t*r had his heart set on before he died. The memories I have of that dinner are many but two will suffice: I asked RB whether the soul remembers its past lives. He replied that his soul didn’t; after that I was ignored for the rest of the dinner. Later, he made a comment (don’t remember what it was) and less than ten minutes later, a student at the table (now an ex-FOFer) repeated Robert’s comment almost word for word. Robert was extatic [sic] and complimented him on his achievements.

That night I started questioning.

"Draco" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
Why would Josiane have asked that question about the soul? Well, Robert has taught for a long time that the soul goes through nine lifetimes. Josiane considered the implications of this and asked him a question about it and he cut her off. It happens all the time. Robert comes out with some wacky, ill-thought-out variations on the theme of life after death and when his students actually try to bring some understanding to bear on the subject, he tells them to go away and be present instead. So FOF students become dependent on Robert. Robert reveals truths from on high. If students show that they agree with what Robert says without adding anything, then he is all smiles. If they disagree or ask an awkward question, he cuts them off.

Well, this is what used to happen, anyway. Robert got tired of the risk that his ego wouldn’t be stroked quite enough at dinners and meetings, and now there isn’t any possibility of asking Robert any questions at all. No one dares to ask Robert anything remotely difficult because of the high chance that they might be banned from events or the property or put on a “leave of absence”.

How is the Celestial City of Paradise doing in Robert’s teaching these days? And Limbo, which resembles the Chateau de la Fit wine cellars? In Paradise, Robert once told us, there is a library which has all the lost works of Sophocles. Is it still there? Is it filled now with the lost grunts of the cavemen doing their sequences? I can never forget the Sunday morning meeting that he gave on the Celestial City of Paradise. He ended by reciting, in a voice beginning to choke with emotion, the lyrics to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

"elena" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 22, 2008:
Draco, Josiane [above],

It is also Robert’s well known technique to undermine whoever is working for him so that they remain vulnerable and never acquire enough confidence. He is a master at it. Thousands of students lovingly labor for him but when they ask for that reassurance that they’ve been working for he drops them confronting them with their own common sense assuring that they see his superiority. It works perfect. He has placed them where they are, used their inspiration to work for him as representing the ideal and then leaves them stray without self confidence, destroying the ideal while he remains, which reinforces the emotional dependence. It happened to all of us in different degrees whether we worked personally close to him or with the Fellowship.

Daily Cardiac [Fellowship blogger] reflects the stereotype of someone who Robert’s been extremely successful in “doing in”. Like Girard [Haven], no matter how Robert hurts them they think it is for their benefit and turn it around because they have already accepted that they are inferior to Robert.

The hierarchic structure of idolatry is perfected in such people. Why would it surprise anyone that they are then willing to line young men up for rape or thousands of people for shearing the wool?

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