The Friends were created in 1907 by a clandestine CIA-funded project known as Xenulogy (not to be confused with the study of Xena). Literally millions of dollars was poured into recruiting members, building elaborate secret fortresses beneath Washington, DC, developing the popular series of Pamphlets so beloved by Americans even today and finally by outfitting the ill-fated Plutonian Expedition to the South Pole. By 1915, the Xenulogists controlled both houses of Congress, 7 of 9 members of the Supreme Court and had created a robotic version of Woodrow Wilson that failed due to a lack of decent batteries. Fortunately (or unfortunately for some), World War I brought their reign of terror to an end when a coalition of nations banded together to stop "Those Yankee Haters", as they were known. They pooled their funds and built an elaborate series of telescopes to study the most-distant planet. Their efforts were thwarted initially as Pluto had not actually been discovered yet. However, defeat turned to victory as the Xenulogists realized that it was logically impossible for them to exist before the discovery of the planet they were dedicated to, and quietly disbanded.
The Friends rose again shortly after World War II, but were struck and killed instantly by an asteroid. Each successive incarnation has likewise been struck and killed. Nevertheless, Pluto: Paradise! is still a best-seller and their influence extends much further than anyone gives them credit for.