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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Fellowship of Friends now offers an "Online Introductory Membership"

[ed. - Following a recent makeover, the Fellowship of Friends "Living Presence" website (below) now offers an "Online Introductory Membership." The new recruiting campaign may be an attempt to mimic and compete with Asaf Braverman's BePeriod online faux Fourth Way group (see video below). With the help of many Fellowship members, Braverman developed his platform prior to involuntarily parting ways with Burton in 2016. While the Fellowship has steadily drifted from it's Fourth Way roots and into the realm of faith, the Fourth Way Today "online magazine" (below) continues to recycle the old Gurdjieff and Ouspensky talking points ("the hook") while, at Apollo, Burton takes followers into a fantasy world all his own.]


Text of offer:
We offer a six-month introductory online membership for those who live far from our network of  worldwide centers. We strongly recommend face to face contact as the way of meeting us and participating in our school. Actual attendance in activities with other students can accelerate one’s work on awakening relative to efforts done alone. These shared activities increase the opportunities to be reminded of presence and to observe one’s mechanicality. Nevertheless, we hope online membership will provide an opportunity for those for whom this contact is not possible or possible only periodically.

Online membership offers a weekly online meeting in English with Fellowship students, entry in a private discussion group where personal observations can be shared and questions about our teaching can be asked, as well as the possibility to visit our spiritual headquarters, Apollo. We ask a small monthly donation for this membership.

Full membership offers additional benefits. For more information about full membership, contact the one of our centers that is closest to you or send us an inquiry.

For more information about online membership, click here.

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, August 18, 2019:
In their obvious desperation for money, sex partners for Burton, and even more money and sex partners, a new hook is being cast by the Fellowship: an online membership. No mention upfront of the cost; but since the “face to face” membership fee is now only about $50 a month for the first couple of years, the online fee is probably no more than half that. No doubt the pressure will be intense (especially for the males) to become a “real” member once the online membership has expired.

["Introductory online membership" offer above quoted here]