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 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 2007) Fellowship of Friends 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, December 26, 2016

Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog humor

"J.D." posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 26, 2016:
Fellowship of Friends founder Robert Earl Burton (R. E. Burton) models "Self Rembering" vest
"John Harmer" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 28, 2016:
[Robert Burton] Marketing the SR ™ range of casual wear. Once you don this stylish vest,
you will find yourself SelfRemembering with no effort at all. 🙂

"Ill Never Tell" posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 28, 2016:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fellow Ship Of Friends Cult

[ed. - This "Prezi" slide presentation by "Natalie Kaye & Odelia Forman" appears to perhaps be a school project.]



Transcript of Fellow Ship Of Friends Cult
The Fellowship Of Friends
Natalie Kaye & Odelia Forman

When & Where?

What are they notorious for?

The Roles of the Members

Where does the cohesiveness of the group come from?

- Main Commander/Teacher: Robert E.Burton called all the rules of the cult, everything surrounded him.

- He would make predictions like: "the world will be partially destroyed by hydrogen warfare on November 11, 2006"

- Everyone believed him because he was "a goddess in a man's body", and the "brightest light in 2000 years."

*these predictions were told to him by the "44 angels" which include Walt Whitman, Buddha, and Abraham Lincoln to name a few.

- Founded on January 1, 1970 in San Francisco Bay Area

- On July 4, 1971, the fellowship bought property in the Sierra foothills that they named "Apollo."

- Their main center was called the "Oregon house" in Apollo, California.

- This was where the leader ( Robert E. Burton) and the mass amount of followers stayed.

- Separating families : they believed that family is only biological and that they hold no meaning.

- Inappropriate sexual affairs : Robert E. Burton made it almost necessary for all men & young men to perform sexual favors for him and be seduced by him.

- Brutal work conditions/hours: people were given tasks like working in the guard house or working on the winery for 18 hour shifts on average but it could be up to 5 days of work with no sleep.

- If one was to question the morality of the cult, they would be thrown out.

- Instead of having each other refer to themselves as I, they would refer to themselves as it

Robert E.Burton with one of his "favorites" Sasha, a Russian Ballet dancer

Roles

- The FOF board/Council/the "inner circle" of the members: assigned jobs, organized remodeling of buildings, control members of the FOF in nearby centers.

- Young men : their role was to be seduced by the leader and complete sexual favors for him

- Everyone else's role was to work for the leader, the winery, and their center, whether it was making food, cleaning the buildings, guarding the community, or building the community.

The cohesiveness of the group came from fear. Most participants in the cult joined as young adults, being attracted by this new powerful, God-like leader. Once they began living there, they were molded & brain-washed by Robert E. Burton, and once they realized - it was too late. They had lived in that reality & environment for too long that they were fearful of what could happen if they left and went back to humanity and regular society.

- A little over 40 years ago Robert Earl Burton founded the FOF as a school for awakening.
-By mid-1970s the Fellowship had spread, having centers all along the western seaboards, from Seattle to San Diego and even Hawaii.

- In 1976 the Fellowship decided to open centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

- Eventually centers were also placed in Asia, Australia, Central &South America, and Eastern Europe.

The Fellowship of friends is still alive today without about 2,000 members spread between 60 centers in 40 countries worldwide.

History

Mission

The mission of the group, most simply, is to share with others the lifetime pursuit of being present. This is believed to help make one immortal by awakening them spiritually. One can be awakened spiritually by preserving the highest forms of culture, knowledge, and beauty, which the group accomplishes by maintaining their own ballet and theater troupes, among other artistic endeavors.

How Does This Cult Exist as an Example of Group Think?

Members of FOF would go around asking people (especially young men) if they wanted to go to California and join a group which they made out to sound amazing. People were drawn in because of all the energy around the group and how special the teacher was supposed to be. In reality the “special teacher” actually just wanted young men to come to give him sexual favors because he was hiding the fact that he was homosexual.

What Factors Promote Group Think?

Isolation of the group

-The group is located on 1,200 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California.
High group cohesiveness

-They are all taught the same practices, and fear what will happen if they go back into regular society because they have been living in an alternate place for so long.

Directive leadership

-Robert E. Burton meets with members directly to share his beliefs and teachings, and uses young men to satisfy his own sexual pleasures.

Norms of The Cult

Members forced to give the teacher sexual favors.

Overworked-People would spend 18 hours working a day and sometimes during 5 day operations would get no sleep at all.

Everyone was strung out on coffee.

Not allowed to ask lots of questions.

You were expected to refer to yourself as “it.”

Members were asked to give up their children.

What is the Role of Obedience to authority? Why do people in the Cult Obey?

Members stay in the cult because of obedience to authority. In this case, the person of authority is the teacher, Robert E. Burton. People obey him because of the general respect everyone else around them is giving him. Also, if member starts asking too many questions, they get thrown out.

The Bystander Problem

Works Cited

In this situation, the bystander problem was an issue because rarely did people in the FOF speak up and call attention to the corruption of the cult. Additionally, family members of people in the cult did not question the FOF, or what was happening to their loved ones.

"Critics Call the Fellowship of Friends a Cult; Members Say It's a School of Spiritual Development." Critics Call the Fellowship of Friends a Cult; Members Say It's a School of Spiritual Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Cult Education Forum :: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"" Cult Education Forum :: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements" N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion." Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Fellowship Work on Presence - Being Present- The Fellowship of Friends." Fellowship Work on Presence - Being Present- The Fellowship of Friends. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

FormerFOFer. ""Don't Ask Don't Tell"-Part 1." YouTube. YouTube, 16 Apr. 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

FormerFOFer. ""Don't Ask Don't Tell"-Part 2." YouTube. YouTube, 16 Apr. 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends." Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Yuba-Sutter." Fellowship of Friends - Yuba-Sutter - LocalWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alex Horn emerges from the shadows

Alex Horn, abusive cult leader, Robert Earl Burton's teacher, Fellowship of Friends lineage
Alex Horn, Robert Earl Burton's mentor

[ed. - On the Greater Fellowship site, Jim E. points out the new Fourth Way School - Northern California Facebook page. Jim notes that Alex Horn has emerged from the shadows to take his place in the masthead alongside George Gurdjieff, Peter Ouspensky, and Rodney Collin, an apparent promotion for Mr. Horn.

Within this blog are many discussions of Alex Horn, the controversial "45th of 44" angels guiding The Fellowship of Friends. Below, "Linda Jo" offers one insider's look at Horn's "school." See Linda Jo's "A Cult Survivors Handbook".

The first Facebook post on December 1st states, "An esoteric school is an ark in time." This might be a subtle attempt to reclaim the Ark in Time title from Asaf Braverman's collection of websites. Then again, it may be an endorsement of Asaf's new "school"!]

"Linda Jo" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 17, 2019:
Re: Burton’s “teacher”

Among other things, Alexander Francis Horn was a low-life scumbag and greed-ridden, vanity-stricken hypocrite, cocky, coarse and crude, lewd and lascivious, promiscuous and an incestuous tramp and lunatic – demonic male and rogue messiah, petty thief and grand larcenist, actor and manipulator, con man and bullshitter – bombastic and duplicitous, ruthless and unscrupulous, heartless and soulless criminal and sexual psychopath, pervert and predator, stalker and serial rapist, bully and bulldozer, hell-raiser and trouble-maker, scapegoater and gaslighter, cult leader and dictator, slave holder and slave driver, micro-manager and control freak.

On one occasion, Horn punished and fined a newly-wedded couple in his S.F. Everyman Theatre cult: “Since you invited that bitch (so-and-so) to your wedding, that’ll cost you $400.” (Horn’s “fines” had to be paid in cash, of course.)

Since Alex and Sharon were both pretending and purporting to be “teachers of ‘the Work’ and Way of Love,” etc., they were special guests and V.I.P.s at the wedding. The bride’s best friend (“that bitch”) was the Maid of Honor, whom Horn hated with a passion – for his own depraved “reasons”.

On another occasion, Horn punished and fined me $3,000. Why?
  1. for questioning, criticizing and rejecting him
  2. for failing to honor and obey him, without question, worship him like a god and treat him like a king
  3. for failing to “appreciate” his deadly sins and vices, obscenities and depravities, physical, verbal and sexual assaults, cock and bull stories, incest, rape and revenge fantasies, “Real Sex and Real Love with a REAL Man!”
  4. for refusing to get a divorce and
  5. refusing to “participate” in his “sexual experimentations on single females”
  6. for refusing to remain one of his serial rape victims/beck and call girls – so-called “cheap cunts” and “harem girls,” “tramps,” “bitches” and “whores” – “who (allegedly) needed to get fucked by a Real Man and conscious lover” whenever he called . . . and whenever he felt like punishing, assaulting, and murdering some “self-willed, fuckin’ bitch” and “evil witch” who “reminded” him of his “hateful ex-wife” and “vicious, murderous mother.”
Most of Horn’s victims were between the age of 18 and 35 . . . until he got too old and senile to “get it up” and “give you a proper fuck.”

The “great actor” founded and directed “4th way” cults and fascist regimes, high-demand groups, theaters and “schools” – played roles and games, made “rules” and assigned “tasks,” charged “tuition,” “fees” and “fines” – to satisfy his depraved Commanding Self and its fallacious, self-centered, self-serving aims and objectives, whims, demands and desires – e.g., carnal desires and desire for revenge, status, attention, approval and applause, power and control, authority and money, free labor, easy prey and victims, marks, targets and scapegoats, captives, prisoners and slaves, lackeys, patsys, puppets and pawns, recruiters and lieutenants, sidekicks and sycophants, cash cows and care takers.

If ya’ll have any questions about Horn’s dirty cults and horrendous crimes against humanity, I’ll do my best to respond in a timely fashion.