The six-part series tells the story of the Fellowship of Friends, which was founded by Robert Earl Burton, an East Bay schoolteacher who began preaching out of a van in Berkeley in the 1960s before founding the fellowship in 197- and building it up to around 2,500 members.
The group ran the successful Renaissance Vineyard and Winery between 1982 and 2015.
The series comes from Spotify's Parcast, created in partnership with Blumhouse Television and Vespucci, the company behind Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Killer Book Club audio series and Mamoudou Athie's Chighali . Gilded Audio also produces.
"The echos of NXIVM in Revelations are sadly all too familiar, and make this story Jennings Brown uncovered all the more necessary listening," said Chris McCumber, president Blumhouse Television.
"After three years of meticulous and unflinching reporting from Jennings, we are delighted for this story to finally come to light. Jennings has an uncanny ability to balance the tightrope of hard hitting journalism and intimate portraits of survival," added Vespucci co-founders Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin.
Jennings Brown added, "I'm glad to finally be sharing the story of the Fellowship of Friends, its members, and its survivors—and I hope this series leaves listeners with a better understanding of the dynamics of spiritual abuse. I appreciate that Vespucci and Gilded Audio understood and supported this story from the beginning, and I'm grateful that Blumhouse Television, Parcast, and Spotify are helping us tell it."
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