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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Conscious Evolution Institute

Conscious Evolution Institute Fourth Way school lineage
enneagram with terms and symbols
[ed. - According to their Meetup website, the Conscious Evolution Institute was founded June 17, 2020 at South Lake Tahoe, California. (As of 9/20/20, both the Institute's Meetup page and public Facebook page have been deleted.) It is (or was) among numerous Fourth Way groups whose lineages trace through Robert Earl Burton's Fellowship of Friends. On June 24th, the Institute hosted a meetup titled, "Talks on Conscious Evolution as practiced by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, & Collin." Interestingly, Lake Tahoe was one of the earliest "centers" to appear in Burton's "school." The enneagram pictured to the right features terms and symbols familiar to Fellowship members, past and present. See also the Institute's earlier domain. From their "About" page:]
"Our fundamental idea shall be that man as we know him is not a completed being; that nature develops him only up to a certain point and then leaves him, to develop further, by his own efforts and devices, or to live and die such as he was born, or to degenerate and lose capacity for development." P.D. Ouspensky

"The purpose of our group is to discuss how to use the Fourth Way System in a practical manner to develop oneself in everyday life.

"The focus of our work includes:

"Self-Remembering: How to achieve a state of presence in everyday life (e.g. being present while washing the dishes or while doing one's job)

"The psychology of conscious evolution

"The study of Gurdjieff's enneagram (a) The ray of creation (b) Using the enneagram as a map and guide to higher understanding"

[ed. - See also: Harmonious Developments, a new Fourth Way School and Harmonious Developments - Conscious Evolution.]

Friday, June 5, 2020

The C-Influence Virus

Fellowship of Friends cult Renaissance Winery at Apollo (Oregon House), CA
The SFGate article below featured this Renaissance Winery file photo from July 5, 2018. (Credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez)

[ed. - In the competition for lost souls, Robert Earl Burton referred to other ("unconscious") teachers and schools as a "B-Influence virus." 

Early in 2020, while Burton remained preoccupied with prophecies of Armageddon (in the form of hydrogen warfare) and California's fall into the Pacific Ocean, the rest of planet Earth was confronting a REAL threat in the form of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

How could the all-seeing Burton have missed the warnings? Did Leonardo Da Vinci and the other 79 angels (the "Higher Forces" or "C-Influence" who personally guide him and his flock to life everlasting) intentionally conceal this "silent killer"? Among all the coded license plates, street signs, and coincidences were there no signals from the gods of an impending pandemic, a C-Influence Virus?]

"amesgilbert1" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 31, 2020:

Yes, Burton really did interpret ‘Covid-19’ to mean that the ‘C’ referred to C-Influence, and that ‘ovid’ referred to the poet Ovid, and that this plague was Ovid’s revenge. Of course, I was not there when he made those claims, but the report came from an extremely reliable source.

"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 31, 2020:
1. amesgilbert1 [above]

It looks like Ovid (and maybe Virgil and Horace, too) is also taking revenge on Burton and the Fellowship. The latest news is that a FF [Fellowship of Friends] member & OH [Oregon House] resident tested positive; female; quite involved with working with meetings and other events; close to many people who are/were close to Burton. Other OH residents/FF members are showing symptoms. Remember, Burton stopped live meetings, and closed Apollo D’Oro, only 12 days ago.

"diegoriverassquaretrouserleg" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, April 6, 2020:
Insider @ #2 [above]

Thanks for the news of Covid infection within the FOF. I encourage you and anyone else who knows, to post that information here for the good of the Oregon House, Yuba/Nevada community at large.

The O.H. Fellowship community is a secretive, incestuous cult, run by a delusional predator with a preference for frequent orgiastic homosexual sex with his students. Members are already infected with a shared psychosis, the hallmarks of which include magical thinking and a disregard for, “life people” i.e. anyone not in the cult. They live in a giant Petri dish and as such are all currently, potentially dangerous to humanity at large.

I’m reliably informed of two members currently with Covid and have been told that G—-t has recently tested all of Bob’s [ed. - Burton's] human sex toys. It’s a thoroughly sick place with all the potential of becoming an infectious hot spot.


[ed. - Caught flat-footed (just like the rest of "sleeping" humanity), Robert Burton and his lieutenants were forced to adapt to a real-life crisis, not something conjured in Burton's mind. According to unnamed sources within the Apollo community, beginning in March the following measures were implemented:]

  • Travel to and from countries abroad was stopped
  • A large gathering in Italy scheduled for April (to be led by Dorian Matei) was cancelled.
  • The “Journey Forth” celebration already underway at Apollo would see virtually no visitors from outside of California.
  • Seemingly nonsensical  directives were issued multiple times a day. (e.g. "Those driving from the Bay Area are not to stop at Starbucks in Vacaville.")
  • Many upcoming concerts and other events were cancelled. However, meetings and dinners, continued, likely in violation of Yuba County Public Health order. (Proceeds from such events go directly to Burton.) (And there was no procedure for turning obviously sick people away from meetings.)
  • Many sanitary procedures were instituted, such as hand wipes upon entering the Galleria, staff at Apollo D’Oro (the Fellowship's private on-premise restaurant) frequently wiping surfaces, etc.
  • By late March, Apollo D'Oro was closed to dining, though food was available on a to-go basis.
  • Burton's "meetings" eventually moved to a virtual platform, with no in-person audience. They are currently being broadcast, twice a day, and people can watch on their computer. Dorian and Sasha are with Burton (at least on camera), Dorian doing the prompting, and Sasha holding the tea cup. (Payment is voluntary. $5 or $10 is suggested.)
  • Concerts and other events have been cancelled.
  • Anyone trying to visit or move to Apollo is asked to quarantine for 14 days.
  • The Galleria is off limits, except for residents, cooks, housekeepers, etc.


Additional COVID notes:

In early March, it was reported that a member was infected and being quarantined at Rideout Hospital in Marysville. At the time, there were no officially-declared cases in Yuba County.

An inside Fellowship source subsequently confirmed a member from Italy was being held in quarantine at Rideout. It appears that both the County and the Fellowship were attempting to conceal this information.

An anecdote from early March: after Robert Burton learned someone on the Galleria staff tested positive for COVID, he went to a drive-thru testing location in Yuba City. Two people ahead of him in line had a bad reaction to the swab, and each had to be taken away by ambulance. Burton then decided to skip the test and go home.

It is unlikely there is only one confirmed case of COVID-19 among residents of Apollo, at least among people who frequented the Galleria on a daily basis.  

Still, Burton refused to follow California and Yuba-Sutter County guidelines which prohibit large gatherings (such as the 100+ people in attendance at Apollo meetings), dinners for 30 (as in the small Galleria dining room), Apollo D'Oro remaining open to Fellowship members, etc. He tried to keep everything going, and the money flowing in, but finally gave in on March 19, one of the biggest celebration days, and cancelled all live events going forward. (Some events resumed in May.)

In April, the Fellowship administrators anticipated a dire shortfall of donations and other income. Couriers from abroad were no longer able to carry donations to Oregon House, as was customary. There was talk of not being able to pay Burton's salary (estimated at $30K - $50K per month).

One insider reported that, at a meeting on or around Robert Burton's May 12th birthday, the level of devotion exhibited towards Burton seemed to be at an all-time high. Burton claimed the amount of money sent to him as birthday gifts was the most for any birthday. Fellowship centers also sent many videos of people wishing Robert happy birthday, singing Happy Birthday, etc. He reportedly played several of these at the meeting (making sure everyone knew how much he is beloved.)

By May, in addition to 14 virtual meetings per week, nightly dinners, plus lunch on Saturday and Sunday, had resumed. $100 per seat.