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.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Asaf Braverman departs and Robert Burton reveals his petty dictator persona

Robert Earl Burton (R. E. Burton), founder of Fellowship of Friends cult, with Asaf Braverman
Asaf Braverman and Robert Burton in happier times

[ed. - Robert Burton's reaction to Asaf Braverman's departure has been swift and vindictive.]

E-mail submitted by an ex-member living in Oregon House, November 4, 2016:
Details are sketchy, but a picture is emerging that Robert is quite upset with Asaf’s taking leave of Robert and the Fellowship, and is doing all he can to vilify, even destroy, Asaf.

First, and immediately upon Asaf leaving, a message went out for members no longer to visit Asaf’s website. Looking at the site just now, Asaf’s 3 top supporters and commentators [and Fellowship members] ( John Walz, Thomas Neuschatz, Charles Rodkoff) are missing from the list of members of Asaf’s community/school. Only Mario Fantoni (the IT person) remains.

Normally on Wednesdays, someone gives a presentation on some subject or person or where they have travelled. But the past 2 Wednesdays, Robert wanted there to be a “real” meeting to talk about Asaf. The first was led by Dorian [Matei]; the second (2 days ago), by Girard [Haven]. (Note: Girard himself has until now been banned from leading meetings for the past few years, likely because he refused to accept the “sequence” until, literally, forced to do so. He even tried to stop going to meetings back around 2006 to 2008 or so. Then Robert made him an offer he could not refuse, and he began coming again.)

Dorian apparently referred directly to Asaf, but I don’t have more details at this time. The subject of Girard’s meeting was, predictably, the process of crime.

At Robert’s meeting this past Sunday, he showed an image from some cemetery of a cracked headstone with the name of Pierce. It was one of those all-too-convenient “shocks” (more likely, drummed up by one of Robert’s “researchers”) to support the idea that Asaf and the Pierces are broken and finished. Of course, Ansley [Braverman's] maiden name is Pierce, and both Ansley and [her mother] have formally left the Fellowship. [Ansley's father] is still a member for now.

Asaf is being compared with Miles in that both were criminal in their actions towards Robert and the Fellowship. [ed. - see "Damage control following Miles' departure"] Of course, this is the ultimate act of vilification. Becoming “criminal” is as low as a person can sink, and anyone who associates with such a person is equally criminal.

One member suggested it a month or two ago, and now it is perhaps happening, that it would be best for the Fellowship to have a “witch-hunt” and expel all the non-believers. She is correct: There is absolutely no space for anyone who questions or doubts.

To be clear, I am not interested in what Asaf is trying to create with his online “community,” and I don’t think it will survive for long without the monetary and personnel support he was getting from Fellowship. I also reject the “lineage” myth that Asaf perpetuates (or at least did until now), as he tries to legitimize his role as a teacher.

"J. D." wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 20, 2016:
Here is another example of how petty, ignorant, arrogant and disgusting Robert Burton is.

As you all know Asaf started “Be.” with the blessings of Mr. Burton as to lure people in the FoF from the back-door (no pun intended!) using the 4th way: an already obsolete and discarded method for the ever-so-elusive awakening.

Asaf went on his path and gathered a bunch of collaborators and translators along the way. Among others a couple in one of the foreign centers.

They started to have meetings and seminars in the teaching house, sharing the holy space side by side with with the more formal and effective “teaching” of the lullaby: the sequence.

After a while students started to grow more and more annoyed because, as the story goes and correct me if I’m wrong, they started to get charged for such insightful and yet antagonistic practices… As if they have never paid for meetings or events before!

News travel fast in the FoF as well as hypocritical complains… I’m sorry, “photographs”, and crime was the label attached to this one, yes… Crime!
As a result the guy got booted and his wife decided to follow him, leaving the FoF zoo.

Few days later she discovered the she had extensive metastatic cancer. Their lives have been torn apart, considering also that their family already have been battling over a very serious disease for years. (Our love, emotional support and respect of privacy goes to them.)

Believe it or not that sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being, Robert Earl Burton, had the nerve to call her… Yes, he called her to tell her that she got sick because “C influence abandoned her” and that was a “punishment from the gods.”

(Fun fact: cancer in the FoF is a gift and an opportunity; cancer outside the FoF is a punishment!)

Who, in their right mind, with an ounce of compassion, with a pinch of understanding, or simply with a trace of a heart would make a call like that?

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