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.")

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. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

"Come Prima Celebration"

Robert Burton is filling the calendar with days to celebrate, mostly focused on his personal "milestones." The February 28th "Come Prima Celebration" is explained by a Fellowship insider:
“Come Prima”  now seems an annual event, celebrated on February 28th to mark the first appearance of Robert Burton's "higher centers.” It turns out that Burton took the name, Come Prima, from a song of the same name popularized by Mario Lanza. (See:

Word from a Galleria insider is that Robert listens to it every morning. It’s also performed live for him before breakfasts and dinners.

Recapping some of the previous Fellowship of Friends “theme songs”:

First there was Pachelbel’s Canon in D, as you all remember.

In the early 2000s, it was Humperdinck’s “Evening Prayer of 14 Angels,” from Hansel and Gretel, which Robert liked so much that it was performed before each meeting and at numerous other occasions.

Then came “Amigos Para Siempre,” performed every Saturday night  prior to a Mexican/Margarita dinner, by a very amateurish mariachi ensemble. That lasted from about 2008 to 2012. (See by Sarah Brightman & Jose Carreras' version:

And now, there is Come Prima!

[ed. - This description of Burton's "higher centers" first appearing comes from Fifty Years with Angels, page 1:]

December 25, 1963:
"I formed my magnetic center at Big Sur on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. Here [referring to a photo] we see a little girl sitting in the same spot in the Nepenthe Restaurant where I once stood, even before I met Alex Horn. I was there by myself on Christmas Day when I was twenty-four." - Robert Earl Burton, Fifty Years with Angels

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Fellowship of Friends global recruiting network

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult logo
[ed. - According to a former Fellowship member, Robert Burton admitted that his name, and that of the Fellowship of Friends, are "radioactive" on the internet. To avoid negative publicity, and at the same time lure seekers from other spiritual traditions, the Fellowship assumes a myriad of disguises, as suggested by the following list.

The websites below are generally grouped according to their primary target market. Fellowship contacts are also located in Beirut, Bogota, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Minsk, Prague, San Salvador, Slovenia, and Zurich. At the bottom of this post are sites critical of Robert Burton and the Fellowship. Updated May 2020.]

Recuerdo de sí (Unofficial) (Spanish) (Inactive)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires (Facebook) (Spanish)
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial) (Inactive)
Fraternidade de Amigos (Portuguese)
Fourth Way School - Toronto (Facebook) (English)
Living Presence Santiago (Facebook) (Spanish)
[ed. - The following Fellowship sites are managed by Walther Sell.]
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (English and Chinese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook) (English)
The Great Way: Journey to the West (English and Chinese)
Journey to the West (Facebook) (English)
The Secret of the Golden Flower (English)
The Taoist I Ching
Ouspensky Gurdjieff (Facebook) (English) (Inactive)
Fellowship of Friends Paris (Facebook) (French and English)
Rappel de Soi - Paris (Facebook) (French) (Inactive)
Der Vierte Weg Deutschland (Facebook) (German)
Fourth Way School - Athens (Facebook) (Greek and English)
The Art of Divine Presence (Greek)
A JELENLÉT MŰVÉSZETE (Hungarian) (Inactive)
Robert Earl Burton: Önemlékezés Út az öröklétbe (Hungarian) (Inactive)
FoF India (Facebook) (English)
FoF - Mumbai India (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way India - Rajkot (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way School India - Ahmedabad (Facebook) (English)
Fourth Way School - Surat (Facebook) (Gujarati and English)
Fellowship of Friends - Tel Aviv (Facebook) | בית ספר של (English and Hebrew)
Jerusalem of the soul (Facebook) (English and Hebrew) (Inactive)
Il ricordo di sé. Pratica e tradizione spirituale. (Facebook - Closed Group) (Italian)
Quarta Via Italia - Florence (Italian)
Questione di Presenza: Il lavoro in una scuola spirituale (YouTube) (Italian)
Scuola di Quarta Via - Gurdjieff Ouspensky (Facebook) (Italian)
Self Remembering | 自己想起 Japan (Facebook) (Japanese)
Symbols of Presence in the Japanese Culture (English and Japanese)
The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions | グルジェフ「第四の道」と「秘教的な伝統」 (Facebook) (Japanese)
Escuela del Cuarto Camino - Monterrey (Facebook) (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends Tijuana-San Diego (Facebook) (Spanish)
Recordandonos (Spanish) (Inactive)
Amsterdam Being Present Meetup (English)
Living Presence - Amsterdam (Dutch) (Inactive)
Levende Tilstedeværelse Oslo - Fjerde Veis Skole (Facebook) (Norwegian)
Fourth Way School - Bucharest (Facebook) (Romanian)
Esoteric School (Russian) (Inactive)
Fourth Way School | Школа Четвертого пути (Russian)
Fourth Way School | Школа Четвертого пути (Facebook) (Russian)
IKIRU a theater of awakening (Facebook) (Russian) (Inactive?)
Онлайн школа четвертого пути: четвертый путь - система, теория, практика (Russian)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Madrid (Facebook) (Spanish)
Dördüncü Yol Okulu - Fourth Way School (Facebook) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Okulu Türkiye (Instagram) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Türkiye (Twitter) (Turkish)
Школа Четвёртого Пути, Киев - Fourth Way School Kiev (Facebook) (Russian)
Онлайн школа четвертого пути: четвертый путь - система, теория, практика (Russian)
Fourth Way London/Living Presence (Twitter) (English)
London Fourth Way Centre (Facebook) (English)
The Prize is Eternity (Facebook) (English)
Apollo Arts (YouTube channel) (English)

ApolloMoments (YouTube channel) (English)

Fellowship of Friends/Blogspot (Google Blogger) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends Videos (YouTube channel) (English) (Inactive)

Fellowship of Friends (Wordpress blog) (English) (Inactive)

Fourth Way School - Northern California (Facebook) (English)

Fourth Way Today (English)

Fourth Way Today (English)

Fourth Way Today Podcasts (English)

Fourth Way Tweets (Twitter) (English)

Gurdjieff Ouspensky Self-observation (Facebook) (English) (William Scholte and David Tuttle, Administrators)

Let's Talk about The Gurdjieff Work (Facebook) (English) (Public group exploited by Fellowship of Friends recruiters)

Living Presence (English)

Living Presence Monthly (English) (Archive)

Living Presence (Facebook) (English)

livingpresence44 (Instagram) (English)

Propylaia (Inner Circle Squared) (The Fellowship of Friends member portal)

Robert Earl Burton - A Fourth Way Teacher for Today (English)

Robert Earl Burton: Thoughts from a Fourth Way Teacher (English)

Robert's TweetHearts (Twitter) (English) (Robert Earl Burton's Twitter page)

The Art of Divine Presence (English) (Inactive)

The Fellowship of Friends Apollo University (English) (Inactive?)

The Fourth Way (Pinterest)  (English) (Julian Branston's site) (Inactive)

The Fourth Way (Google +) (English) (William Page's site) (Closed April 2, 2019)

The Fourth Way and Esoteric Traditions (Facebook)  (English) (Walther Sell, Administrator)

The 4th Way - Gurdjieff - Ouspensky (Facebook) (English) (Public group exploited by Fellowship of Friends recruiters)

The New Age  (English) (Edinburgh)

Fellowship of Friends/Fourth Way/Living Presence cult Ouspensky-Gurdjieff masthead


Spiritualia (Dutch)
Prevensectes Fellowship of Friends Database (French)
Dopo la Fellowship of Friends: Una libera discussione sul lavoro su di sé (Italian)

Il Credino  ("Robert E. Burton e la Fellowship of Friends/La Presenza") (Italian)

Tutto quello che avreste dovuto sapere sulla Fellowship of Friends (Italian)
"Fellowship of Fools" (Russian)

Трезвый взгляд на Fellowship of Friends (Russian) (CAUTION: may be virus-infected)

Сенсационная версия «могущества» Гурджиева, его философия, танцы и эннеаграмма (Russian) (See: 3:51:00)
El Pais - Icon Design (Spanish)
Özgür Zihin (Turkish)
Cult Education Institute (formerly Rick A. Ross Institute)

Cults, Militias, Odd and Dangerous People (The Fellowship is cataloged with dark and sinister groups)

Fellowship of Friends (Wikipedia) (Archived on this blog, the hotly-contested Wikipedia draft, which moderators eventually abandoned.)

Fellowship of Friends (Wikipedia - current article)

Fellowship of Friends (Wikispaces) (Link no longer active, however material from that page is found throughout this blog. In such cases, the Wikispaces source is cited.)

Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog (This series of three blogs contains nearly 100,000 comments about the Fellowship of Friends:)
Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals
Part 1 through Part 10

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through current page (On this Wordpress blog, navigate between pages by typing the desired page number into "search" box.)

Freedom of Mind Center (Steven Hassan's website)

Internet Archive

Parcast EP68 "Fellowship of Friends" - Robert Earl Burton (Podcast)

Parcast EP69 "Fellowship of Friends" Pt. 2 - Robert Earl Burton (Podcast)

"Prezi" presentations (various) (These may be products of school studies concerning cults.)
Cult Project by Mattie R - September 19, 2013

The Fellowship of Friends by Ethan Milsark - December 5, 2016

The Fellowship of Friends by Natalie Kaye and Odelia Forman - December 20, 2016
Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (your current location)

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (Facebook)

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends (YouTube channel) (by "Cult Survivor")

"StrangerInAStrangeLand" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, January 12, 2018:
Just discovered the Fourth Way and was looking for a school and a FB Fourth Way group told me there was a group close to me, I contacted them and had my first meeting …. was taken aback when at the end of the meeting it was announced with great flair that the group was part of FOF. This was after I was sternly told about the “rules” and that they wanted $150/month or 10% of my earnings to “join”. I wasn’t too happy about it. Then I went to the internet and found the “Be” (Asaf Braverman), didn’t know at the time of HIS FOF association, so joined that instead. Then he sent me a note …how did you hear about the Fourth Way …. I wrote back and said I was looking to study, but wanted to avoid any FOF controlled groups … never hear back of course! Looks like I’ve totally dodged a bullet on this one. I got some very distinct flashes of danger and thank everybody for posting this information about FOF on the internet where it can be found and assimilated before any damage has been done. I’ll read Ouspensky on my own. Gurdjieff is a bit hard to follow. Cheers!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Robert Burton's fundraising machine

Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends cult fundraising Apollo Schedule of Events
Apollo Schedule of Events (searchable text below)

[ed. - The use of "vouchers" as an important part of the Fellowship's underground economy has been described for a dozen years. It is unknown to this writer when the practice originated, and whether any of this bartering is reported on Fellowship tax returns. See also: "Apollo Schedule of Events as of February 26, 2019" and "Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status"]

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 2, 2019:
And of course, there will be fundraising, always fundraising. An item that crossed my desk recently [above] shows this is in full swing—but then, when is it not? No doubt the ‘pace of fundraising will quicken’ right along with Burton’s acceleration of students’ evolution as the predicted time nears.

Here is the schedule for just one week! Bear in mind that each of these events costs $$$, one way or another.

Apollo Schedule of Events: As of January 29, 2019

Wednesday, January 30

6:30 PM Voucher Meeting with Robert @ Apollo Festival Hal
7:44 PM Dinner with Robert @ Galleria Goethe Room
7:30 PM Dinner at Small Tables

Thursday, January 31

6:30 PM Voucher Meeting with Robert @ Da Vinci Grand Salon

Friday February 1, 2019

9:30 AM Voucher Breakfast Tea with Robert @Apollo Festival Hall
6:30 PM Voucher Meeting with Robert @ Galleria Goethe Room
7:44 PM Dinner with Robert @ Galleria Goethe Room

Saturday February 2

10:30 AM Voucher Meeting with Robert @ Da Vinci Grand Salon
6:30 PM Dinner with Robert @ Galleria Goethe Room

Sunday February 3

10:30 AM Non-Voucher Meeting with Robert @ Apollo Festival Hall
12 Noon Benefit Lunch with Robert @ Apollo Festival Hall
4:44 PM Dinner with Robert @ Galleria Goethe Room

Tuesday February 5

6:30 PM Accademia Leonardo Fundraising Dinner hosted by Mary Frazer @ Angela and Geoffrey’s

You have to give Burton credit, he has unbelievable stamina when it comes to grabbing cash or dicks. He is probably in training right now for Valentine’s Day, it’s going to be a hectic schedule, and there are records to be broken.

The list ends with a preview of future opportunities, including:

Tuesday March 5

6:30 PM Fundraising Dinner hosted by James Kowalick @ Angela and Geoffrey’s

"Cult Survivor" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 4, 2019:
65. Ames Gilbert [above]

I calculated the funds raised every week at FOF events (assuming the cost and attendance of November 2016 when I left and that the current market value of a voucher is $40 as it was then):

WED Voucher meeting w/RB / 150 x $40 = $6,000
THU Voucher meeting w/RB / 150 x $40 = $6,000
FRI Voucher breakfast w/RB / 50 x $40 = $2,000
FRI Voucher meeting w/RB / 150 x $40 = $6,000
SAT Voucher meeting w/RB / 150 x $40 = $6,000
WED Dinner w/RB / 18 x $150 = $2,700
WED Dinner at small tables / 125 x $25 = $3,125
FRI Dinner w/RB / 18 x $150 = $2,700
SAT Dinner w/RB / 18 x $150 = $2,700
SUN Non Voucher meeting w/RB / 150 x $55 = $8,250
SUN Lunch w/RB / 75 x $25 = $1,875
SUN Dinner w/RB / 18 x $150 = $2,700
TUE Fundraising dinner / 50 x $25 = $1,250
GRAND TOTAL = $51,300 / WEEK

I remember that when Asaf was still the dean of the FOF, he told me once that 80% of the income of Apollo comes from Robert’s events because the members that live at Apollo are even retired or make minimum donations. Considering that people that are not “on salary” ($350-450 monthly salary depending on the position) only work for vouchers now (nobody does “third line” and donates their time and energy like in the good ol’ days) and that Robert is the sole redeemer of the vouchers, it would be interesting to see what happens with the FOF income when Robert “ends his task” or becomes too crazy or weak to host events.

"Cult Survivor" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 4, 2019:
81. brucelevy

...Fortunately I didn’t have to pay any debts to the FOF when I decided to leave (I come from a Mercurial country so that would be unthinkable); on the contrary, I left the cult feeling that they owed me money for of the 4.5 years that I was “on salary” being paid $350-400 per month.

They did send me an email 6 months after I left to tell me that if I wanted to come back they would waive the “reentry fee” ($1,500) and that I could pay only $150 per month for 6 months ($420 was the minimum monthly “donation” at that time). I found that comic.

They must be really desperate for cash, as the absurd number of weekly events with Robert indicates (5 meetings and 6 meals per week, compared with 2 meetings and 3 meals when I left in November of 2016). That’s a meeting with Robert every day of the week except Monday and Tuesday! Since I heard Robert saying several times that when students don’t go to meetings C Influence often gives them a terminal illness “for them to work with it”, it’s not an option for members to attend.

You have to have stomach to pay $55 (or work 4-6 hours for a voucher) and sit quietly for 60 minutes hearing Robert rambling about the Sequence and the predictions 5 times per week, that’s for sure.

"Ames Gilbert" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 5, 2019:
Cult Survivor, thanks for doing the financials (#80) [above].

I had often wondered just how the Fellowship of Friends could keep going if so many followers were paying reduced ‘donations’ as a way to keep them onboard. Now we know. $51k a week! That’s serious moolah.

And having an alternative currency, that is ‘vouchers’, means keeping most of the taxes due on the loot out of the purview of those pesky IRS auditors. It seems hardly likely that this income is declared in full, given past history, does it?

It is amazing how far practicing ‘intentional insincerity’ combined with Burton’s assertion that ‘we are abandoning Judeo–Christian morality and will replace it with our own’, will take one on the road of crime!

Taking my own advice and looking through page 86 reminds me of other wholesale and pervasive criminal activity undertaken by the sheep on Burton’s orders.

Let’s see:

• Stealing valuable books from libraries—check.
• Purchasing fake passports—check.
• The ‘religious visas’ scam—check.
• Smuggling currency from abroad—check.
• Fake prescriptions by Fellowship of Friends doctors—check.
• Avoidance of payments to the state for workman’s compensation—check.
• Avoiding payment of legally mandated minimum wages by forcing return of the “excess”, as stipulated by Burton and the Board —check.

And of course:

• The assembly–line rape factory—check.

This just on one page of this blog!