Gurdjieff was just a clever, abusive old street hustler
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To get an angle on Ouspensky, read Gary Lachman’s book, The Search for PD Ouspensky. Lachman makes a convincing case that Ouspenky had a solid following in Russia as a lecturer and writer whose lectures on spirituality were very well attended, and its likely that Gurdjieff deliberately sought to seduce and recruit O. Gurdjieff was just a clever, abusive old street hustler. People willing to tolerate abuse were the ones who made the mistake of hanging around them.