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.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

"Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends"

Think you might be in a cult? Want to know the signs? Join Sarah Edmondson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames to talk about things that are...a little bit culty. Or in their case: a whole bunch of culty. As whistleblowers documented in the critically-acclaimed HBO series “The Vow,” Sarah and Nippy have a lot to say about their experience, and burning questions to ask people with similar stories. They’re here to help people understand, heal from, and avoid abusive situations one little red flag at a time. Listen in as they share their stories, have frank and unscripted conversations with other survivors and cult experts, and do a deep dive on how devotion can turn to dysfunction.

(Note: The player should start at the 46-minute mark, where the conversation turns to the Fellowship. You may need to press the control button several times for it start at that mark. If you hear, "flying monkeys," you're in the right spot (and some may be reminded of our friend Bruce Levy.)]

The discussion continues here: Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 2).


Friday, May 20, 2022

The Deep End


"Insider" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 20, 2022:

“The Deep End is an upcoming docuseries—based on the Gizmodo podcast The Gateway—that follows Teal Swan, a self-proclaimed spiritual leader, her tantalizing self-help empire, and those who follow it devoutly.

“Teal Swan is an internet guru who rose to fame for her self-help videos on YouTube, which cover topics ranging from shame, spirit plants, and even cryptocurrency. Her soothing tone and spiritual ideology allowed her to capture the attention of 1.25 million subscribers. The Deep End follows Swan’s rise to prominence, the goings-ons at her spiritual retreat center in Costa Rica, her loyal followers, and the private investigator working to determine the truth of Swan’s organization.”

The Gizmodo podcast, The Gateway, referred to above, was hosted by Jennings Brown. Jennings then hosted Revelations, the recent 6-part podcast about the Fellowship, after meeting Teal Swan’s husband, and former FF member [Ale Gicqueau, aka Vaillant Gicqueau], in Costa Rica.

Can we now look forward to a docuseries on the Fellowship of Friends?