A SKEPITCAL LOOK
The Notorious Doctor Zoom Zoom
GEORGE IVANOVITCH GURDJIEFF (1877-1949)
An Armenian-Greek con man who got involved in many money making scams.
Once he even dyed sparrows in peroxide and sold them as canaries! Even
his biographers had to admit he had a streak of charlatanism about him.
Much of his early life is unknown, outside of Gurdjieff’s unconfirmed
accounts of himself.. Some historians think he may have worked as a
Russian agent who spied on Tibet in his early life.
Gurdjieff founded and closed many esoteric schools during his career.
One of these schools was the "Institute for the Harmonious Development
of Man" at Fontainebleau, near Paris, where he managed to talk artists,
writers, rich widows, aristocrats and common folk who had the money
into working freely for him in exchange for his gobbledygook on every
He created a
system of bunk psychotherapy which is convoluted and not even people
who claim to practice it can clearly explain what is to outsiders. In
other words, it was the forerunner of Scientology. Gurdjieff claimed
that people do not perceive reality, as they are not conscious of
themselves, but live in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep”, which of
course only his system (called by several names, including “the work”
and “the Fourth Way”) can awaken them to a higher consciousness.
His magnum opus is a 1000 page book, All and Everything, that his
followers are expected to live by. Much of his writings are said
to be similar to Blavatsky’s Theosophy. Some of his teachings state
planet Earth is an actual living being itself (it isn’t), vaguely
similar to things Paracelcus wrote.. Gurdgieff also had peculiar
beliefs about movement. He sometimes would make his followers freeze in
a certain position for hours at a time. Critics charge Gurdjieff's
system attaches no value to almost everything that comprises the life
of the average man. According to Gurdjieff, everything an "average man"
possesses, accomplishes, does, and feels is completely accidental and
without any initiative, which would contradict common sense! People who
have made a mark in the world have rarely done so without hard
work. Gurdjieff' also taught morality is unimportant, which
would contradict the teachings of the world religions.
His career could have come to an early end in Germany in the 1930's.
During a parade, Gurdjieff mocked the goose stepping Nazis as they
filed by. The police arrested him, but upon questioning him, decided he
was simply a madman and released him.
Like Crowley and Blavatsky, he seemed to have a cult leader like grip
on his followers. During a demonstration in New York, several of his
followers ran toward the end of the a stage, and people sitting in the
front row figured they would stop at the last second. Instead, they all
plunged off the stage, landing on the people on the front row patrons!
(The Occult: A History by Collin Wilson pgs )The fact no one was
seriously injured is cited by Gurdjieff’s fans as somehow “proof” of
his mystical powers. All it proves his followers were brainwashed to
the point they would run off a stage for him. Fortunately Gurdjieff was
not the violent type and never ordered them to carry out suicide
missions, or they probably would have.
Despite presumably being a more advanced human being than the rest of
us, he was a notoriously bad driver. For some reason he felt compelled
to drive on the wrong side of the road, and at very high speed. One
follower who went on one such white knuckler with Gurdjieff said he
would drive until the car ran out of gas, then insisted a mechanic be
fetched, refusing to believe the car had merely run out of fuel. In
1949 he died in a car wreck, predictably.
There is a dispute as to who Gurdjieff’s successor was. A Javaneese
monk, Pak Mohammed Subuh,(1901-1983) claimed he was, and started a cult
called “Subud” in the late 1950's. It bears little resemblance to
Gurdjieff’s original cult. Subuh was financed by Gurdjieff’s follower
J,G. Bennet. The cult had a following of celebrities, (cults often seem
to, don’t they?) but after 1960, interest faded, and the Subuh went
back to Indonesia. Bennet ditched Gurdjieff’s teachings andconverted to
Roman Catholicism [need ref from Wikipedia]. Another contender to the
throne lives on a ranch in America. It’s said his living quarters are
palatial and he surrounds himself with expensive works of art. His
followers are said to work slavishly to keep up his lifestyle, and
seldom actually get to see him. He’s also said to hint to followers
that he’s Jesus Christ. In other words, it’s just your typical American
Since even Gurdjieff’s followers
say he was more or less a con man, and since he didn’t sound
particularly sane, why does anyone bother taking him seriously today?
Gurdjieff; a cult leader who was a charlatan who sounds like he had mental problems.
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