Hoist on his own petard
Engram and enneagram
I think it is worth quoting the passage from
Due to L. Ron Hubbard’s penchant for plagiarism, the C of S is ripe for numerous copyright infringement actions to be brought against it as well as a qui tam action for defrauding the U.S. government as well as the governments of numerous other countries.
If one does a search of the internet for “Fourth Way Enneagram”—looks a lot like “engram,” doesn’t it?—one discovers that many if not all of the principles that the Scientology religion are founded on, and that the C of S claims exclusive intellectual property rights to, actually first appeared in In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky, which was first published in 1947—3 years before L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics.
Ouspensky claimed that the enneagram was part of the teachings originally presented by G.I. Gurdjieff in Russia during the First World War. Gurdjieff is quoted by Ouspensky as claiming that this form of enneagram was an ancient secret and was now being partly revealed for the first time.
In his early lectures G.I. Gurdjieff described his approach to self-development as a Fourth Way. In contrast to the three eastern teachings that emphasize the development of the body, mind, or the emotions separately, Gurdjieff’s exercises worked on all three at the same time to promote comprehensive and balanced inner development.
Ouspensky documented Gurdjieff as saying that “two or three thousand years ago there were yet other ways which no longer exist and the ways now in existence were not so divided, they stood much closer to one another. The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is never a permanent way. It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with it.
In the book, In Search of the Miraculous, it was noted that Gurdjieff taught that once the initial school with the real teacher is finished, all the other schools which try to continue the work presented by the initial school are no longer real…they are fake.
Gurdjieff indicated that there are fake schools where the teacher either:
May be genuinely mistaken and think that he knows something, when in reality he knows nothing.
May believe another man, who in his turn may be mistaken.
May deceive consciously.
Ouspensky quotes Gurdjieff saying that these teachers lead nowhere, except making the students believe that they are going somewhere. He also added that “It is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. This means that it is no use troubling oneself how to recognize a wrong way. One must think of how to find the right way.”
Gurdjieff also noted that there are groups of people who believe they follow his knowledge, but they focus only on one or a few aspects of his teachings, and thus obtain negative or wrong results.
The irony here is that all this applies fairly well to Gurdjieff’s notion of the fourth way. From the way he operated we can see that he was engaged in an eclectic affair in which he had failed to properly document his claims and was pursuing later depictions of something possibly ancient he called ‘the fourth way’. But these claims are just of the type he cautions against, of those exterior to the original, whose name we know not, of whose existence we can’t be sure.
This fact goes a long way toward explaining the difficulties and overall failure of his movement.