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) 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, 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. (Click on "Read more.") Updated February 2019.]

ARGENTINA
Recuerdo de sí (Unofficial) (Spanish) (Inactive)
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Buenos Aires (Facebook) (Spanish)
Mystery and Civilizations (Unofficial) (Inactive)
BRAZIL
Fraternidade de Amigos (Portuguese)
CANADA
Fourth Way School - Toronto (Facebook) (English)
CHILE
Living Presence Santiago (Facebook) (Spanish)
CHINA
[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
COLOMBIA
Ouspensky Gurdjieff (Facebook) (English) (Inactive)
FRANCE
Fellowship of Friends Paris (Facebook) (French and English)
Rappel de Soi - Paris (Facebook) (French) (Inactive)
GERMANY
Der Vierte Weg Deutschland (Facebook) (German)
GREECE
Fourth Way School - Athens (Facebook) (Greek and English)
The Art of Divine Presence (Greek)
HUNGARY
A JELENLÉT MŰVÉSZETE (Hungarian) (Inactive)
Robert Earl Burton: Önemlékezés Út az öröklétbe (Hungarian) (Inactive)
INDIA
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)
ISRAEL
Fellowship of friends - Tel Aviv (Facebook) | בית ספר של (English and Hebrew)
Jerusalem of the soul (Facebook) (English and Hebrew) (Inactive)
ITALY
Il ricordo di sé. Pratica e tradizione spirituale. (Facebook - Closed Group) (Italian)
Quarta Via Italia - Florence (Italian)
Scuola di Quarta Via - Gurdjieff Ouspensky (Facebook) (Italian)
JAPAN
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)
MEXICO
Escuela del Cuarto Camino - Monterrey (Facebook) (Spanish)
Fellowship of Friends Tijuana-San Diego (Facebook) (Spanish)
Recordandonos (Spanish) (Inactive)
THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam Being Present Meetup (English)
Living Presence - Amsterdam (Dutch) (Inactive)
NORWAY
Levende Tilstedeværelse Oslo - Fjerde Veis Skole (Facebook) (Norwegian)
ROMANIA
Fourth Way School - Bucharest (Facebook) (Romanian)
RUSSIA
Esoteric School (Russian) (Inactive)

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)
SPAIN
Fellowship of Friends - Centro de Madrid (Facebook) (Spanish)
TURKEY
Dördüncü Yol Okulu - Fourth Way School (Facebook) (Turkish)

Dördüncü Yol Okulu Türkiye (Instagram) (Turkish)

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

ApolloMoments (YouTube channel) (English)

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

Fellowship of Friends (Tumblr) (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 Tweets (Twitter) (English)

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

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

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 +) (William Page's site) (Closing April 2, 2019) (English)

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

The 4th Way - Gurdjieff - Ouspensky (Facebook) (English) (Public discussion, exploited by Fellowship recruiters)

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

CRITICISM OF ROBERT EARL BURTON AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS


BELGIUM
Spiritualia (Dutch)
FRANCE
Prevensectes Fellowship of Friends Database (French)
http://prevensectes.com/fof1.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof2.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof3.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof4.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof5.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof6.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof7.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof8.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof9.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof10.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof11.pdf
http://prevensectes.com/fof12.pdf
ITALY
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)
RUSSIA
"Fellowship of Fools" (Russian)

Трезвый взгляд на Fellowship of Friends (Russian) (CAUTION: may be virus-infected)
TURKEY
Özgür Zihin (Turkish)
UNITED STATES
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 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.)
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.)

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)

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")

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

"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
TOTAL VOUCHER EVENTS = $26,000 / WEEK
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
TOTAL NON VOUCHER EVENTS = $25,300 / WEEK
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!