We includ this article to be fair: be wary. People who will give publicity are important to keep fooled: they get special treatment, oblivious to the world of black magicians and dark side sufis.
Idries Shah once said sufism had a globious period early but fell into darkness in the sixteenth century. The modern phenomenon is to be avoided. Commenters like this are external: the internal experience of victims is never given, and if it is they are bvictims of blaming the victim. The gangsters kill people, in ritual sacrifice, and then get praised by groupies oblvious to what is going on.
JASR 27.3 (2014): 346-366 JASR (print) ISSN 1031-2943 doi: 10.1558/jasr.v27i3.24170 JASR (online) ISSN 1744-9014
The Value of E.J. Gold: Unearthing the Real Mr. G.
University of Sydney
In the 1960s, Eugene Jeffrey Gold (b. 1941) fashioned himself as a spiri- tual teacher and established a number of spiritual schools, most notably his Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being (IDHHB), echoing Armenian-Greek spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff’s (c. 1866–1949) Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. Little is known of Gold’s background and career due to his penchant for role-playing, practical jokes, fabricating facts, and mythologising details of his life. What is clear, however, is that Gold’s core teaching and eccentric pedagogic approach are largely modelled on those of Gurdjieff. In fact, in his Autobiography of a Sufi (1977) and Secret Talks with Mr. G (1978), Gold goes so far as to blatantly mimic Gurdjieff: his teaching, mode of expression, idiosyncratic terminology, and the very format of his publications. In Autobiography of a Sufi Gold even describes specific events in Gurdjieff’s life, passing them off as his own autobiographical accounts, while on the cover of Secret Talks with Mr. G. (a book deliberately meant to confuse readers into believing that ‘Mr. G.’ is Gurdjieff) there is a photograph of Gold impersonating Gurdjieff in a false wig and beard. This article aims to shed some much- needed light on the fascinating figure of E.J. Gold, and interrogate the bizarre ways in which he employs, copies, and unashamedly steals core aspects of Gurdjieff’s persona and teaching.
E.J. Gold, G.I. Gurdjieff, New Religious Movements, Crazy Wisdom, IDHHB.
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 347
The highly elusive Eugene Jeffrey Gold (b. 1941) has directed a number of ephemeral spiritual schools, teaching a diversity of principles and tech- niques drawn from a melange of Eastern and Western traditions. The central message that binds Gold’s work is that people need to be shaken up out of their mechanical, sleep-like condition in order to transform spiritually and become conscious. This, and many other aspects of Gold’s teaching, strongly evokes the work of Armenian-Greek spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff (c. 1866–1949). This article examines the work of E.J. Gold with a focus on the ways in which he models himself on Gurdjieff, and imitates Gurdjieff’s teaching and writings. First, Gold and his school will be positioned within the context of the complex network of Gurdjieff- based groups established after Gurdjieff’s death. In this network, Gold belongs to the burgeoning family of ‘fringe’ groups, which are dedicated in some way to Gurdjieff’s teaching, but founded by individuals who never met Gurdjieff. Gold’s mysterious persona and eccentric pedagogic approach will then be assessed, leading to an examination of two of Gold’s texts, Autobiography of a Sufi (1977) and Secret Talks with Mr. G. (1978). These illustrate the unusual and humorous ways in which Gold has drawn on Gurdjieff’s work. Gold’s so-called ‘autobiographical’ accounts in Autobiography of a Sufi are of particular interest, in that they largely consist of a blatant retelling of key events and stories deriving from Gurdjieff’s own dubious autobiographical accounts. Finally, there will be an analysis of Gold’s longest surviving and most noteworthy school, his Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being (IDHHB), echoing Gurdjieff’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. This analysis is largely based on personal accounts given by Gold’s former (now estranged) wife Cybele, which were published in the introduction of Autobiography of a Sufi.
A Background to Gurdjieff Groups
Gurdjieff was an Armenian-Greek teacher of esoteric doctrine, known for his charisma and unconventional, improvisatory methods of teaching. His life and teachings have been explored and critiqued in countless publica- tions. However, the different directions that his teaching travelled after his death, particularly by way of Gurdjieff-centred groups, are only starting to be seriously examined (Petsche 2013a: 50). These groups form a compli- cated set of lineages that are tremendously diverse, geographically as well as in terms of teaching, though they all seem to share Gurdjieff’s core tenet that people need to be awakened from their somnolent, mechanical
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condition, and that this involves self-observation (‘self-remembering’), administering ‘shocks’, and being made uncomfortable. The most notable Gurdjieff-centred groups that arose after Gurdjieff’s death form the net- work of ‘orthodox’ Foundation groups organised by his successor Jeanne de Salzmann. Foundation groups aim to protect the authenticity of Gurd- jieff’s work, teaching Gurdjieffian principles and exercises in a formalised manner. Though, it should be noted, ‘orthodox’ or ‘authentic’ Gurdji- effianism are problematic concepts, considering that Gurdjieff’s system was precisely to have no system; his life and teaching can be viewed as a continual experiment and improvisation. Not all of Gurdjieff’s followers amalgamated into de Salzmann’s network; a colourful assortment of groups emerged outside of it. Where some of these groups are continua- tions of groups founded during Gurdjieff’s lifetime by pupils such as P.D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and J.G. Bennett, new groups were also established by pupils of Gurdjieff or Ouspensky, such as Frank and Olgivana Lloyd Wright, George and Helen Adie, Rodney Collin, and Irmis Popoff. Many still continue today.
There are also a growing number of ‘fringe’ groups, all dedicated in some way to Gurdjieff’s teaching, but founded by individuals who never met Gurdjieff. Noteworthy founders include Leon MacLaren, Oscar Ichazo, Claudio Naranjo, Robert Burton, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (‘Osho’), Paul Henry Beidler, Idries Shah, Raymond John Schertenleib, Gary Chicoine, and E.J. Gold. Fringe groups tend to be less concerned with preserving Gurdjieff’s teachings and methods and more interested in absorbing and integrating Gurdjieffian principles into new religio-spiritual systems. For example, MacLaren’s School of Economic Science, founded in London in 1937, came to integrate Transcendental Meditation techniques and Advaita Vedanta philosophy with concepts and practices of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, and Robert Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, established in California in 1970, uses playing cards to symbolize aspects of Gurdjieff’s concept of the ‘centres’ (Petsche 2013a: 67-72). For Andrew Rawlinson, author of the encyclopedic Enlightened Masters, consistency of form or content is just not relevant to Gurdjieff-based groups, which should be run by leaders who, in the spirit of Gurdjieff himself, are unpredictable and demanding, and who do not quite explain themselves. This leads Rawlinson to designate eccentric American spiritual teacher E.J. Gold as ‘Gurdjieff’s true heir’, not in the sense that he was appointed (he was not and is not recognised by Gurdjieff’s followers), but in the way that he, like Gurdjieff, taught through suggestion, allusion, and masquerade; Gold ‘is in the Gurdjieffian tradition…because he is “doing a Gurdjieff”’ (Rawlinson 1997: 132, 271, 273).
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 349
Reliable information on the background and career of E.J. Gold is difficult to obtain. The only accounts available come from Gold himself. According to Canadian sociologist Susan J. Palmer, who participated in Gold’s group Shakti! The Spiritual Science of DNA in 1973, as well as Gold’s workshops in 1984 and 1985, Gold related the following accounts of his life in a lecture in Montreal in August 1973. Growing up in New York City, Gold is an American Jew whose late father, Horace L. Gold, was the founder and editor of the influential digest-sized science-fiction Galaxy magazine. His father was also involved in an esoteric spiritual group composed of science fiction writers, including Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Philip Jose Farmer, L. Ron Hubbard, and Robert Silverberg. This group apparently met every Sunday in a large water storage tank in Manhattan, which had been converted by one of the writers into a self- regulating tropical forest, with plant, insect and bird life, and waterfalls. Horace Gold brought his son to these meetings, where philosophical and scientific matters were discussed, and where they experimented with techniques in meditation and extra-sensory perception (ESP). E.J. Gold attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles where, in 1970, he helped establish the original Earth Day. Since the early 1960s Gold has been active in the West Coast Consciousness movement and has led various Gestalt therapy groups and spiritual training workshops. He has also made recordings of experimental music and, more recently, has worked as an artist, sculptor, and painter (Palmer 1998).
On Gold’s sleek-looking website he gives some other impressive (though rather less convincing) information about himself, boasting an array of careers and skills: actor, chef, engineer, magician, painter, choco- latier, curator, gamer, jeweller, and puppeteer, as well as cold war spy, gold miner, and Zen gardener among many others (Gold n.d.). In his Autobiography of a Sufi Gold relates more details, this time of the adventurous expeditions, near-death experiences, and various heroic and selfless achievements that apparently featured in his early life (Gold 1977:
25-50, 100-123). One is reminded of L. Ron Hubbard’s (1911–1986) official ‘biography’ rigorously promoted by the Church of Scientology, which credits him with countless travel experiences, a diversity of accom- plishments, and an exhaustive list of vocations: pilot, navigator, sailor and surveyor, nuclear physicist, sci-fi author, photographer, Hollywood script- writer, singer, poet, accomplished rose gardener, and so much more (Reitman 2011: 4). Historian of religions Dorthe Refslund Christensen argues that Hubbard’s ‘biography’ is better understood as an idealised narrative, a ‘hagiographical mythology’, an argument that could be made
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about the colourful ‘biographical’ narratives that surround other figures such as H.P. Blavatsky, Elijah Muhammad, Joseph Smith, and Gurdjieff (Urban 2011: 27-28). Gold is another case in point, as there is little evidence to support most of the claims on his website (which, at the very least, must be exaggerated), while large sections of his autobiographical accounts are fabricated, being blatant spoofs of autobiographical material given by Gurdjieff, which are themselves open to much speculation (Moore 1991: 24-38; Webb 1980: 40-81). Gold is unique though, in that so much of his work and persona are deliberately humorous, satirical, and fake. He cannot simply be aiming to deceive people; his fabrications and disguises are much too obvious to have been intended in that way.
During the 1960s Gold developed a circle of pupils and went on to create, direct, and shut down a number of ephemeral spiritual schools, where he taught techniques as diverse as astronaut training, Sufi storytel- ling, Hassidic dancing, Gurdjieff’s Movements, Ethiopian martial arts, Gestalt training, biofeedback, and Tibetan soul travel (Palmer 1998). Gold’s teaching, then, is a sort of eclectic hotchpotch of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, methods of movement, and pseudo-scientific techniques, in the style of other new religious movements of the time. The chief message that seems to bind all aspects of Gold’s teaching, however, is undeniably Gurdjieffian; Gold taught that people live in a somnambu- listic state, and that if they observe their behaviours and are cast into the present moment, they can ultimately work towards, in Gold’s words, ‘the dissolution of the outer self, the psyche, and the substitution of the inner self, the essence’ (Gold 1977: 136). In Gold’s different texts (he wrote voluminously) he uses a diversity of concepts and terminology to clothe this message; sometimes it is expressed in an explicitly Gurdjieffian manner, as in Secret Talks with Mr. G. (henceforth Secret Talks), Auto- biography of a Sufi (henceforth Autobiography), The Seven Bodies of Man (1989) and The Hidden Work (1991), and other times not, like in Shakti: The Spiritual Science of DNA (1973) and American Book of the Dead (2005 ). But the overarching theme of Gold’s teachings and writings is the distinctively Gurdjieffian notion that one must be shaken (thrown off balance and made uncomfortable) in order to awaken. For example, in the new foreword to American Book of the Dead the editor explains that the book is ‘for all labyrinth voyagers, all those who wake up dead, deep in one kind of sleep or another’ (Lourie 2005 : xviii). The book promises to assist people in attaining a ‘conscious rebirth’, and highlights the importance of administering ‘shocks’ (Gold
2005 : 7, 33-34).
The core of Gold’s teaching, then, derives from Gurdjieff, as does Gold’s penchant for role-playing, practical jokes, fabricating facts, and mythologising details of his life. Gold has taken on an assortment of
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 351
guises over the years, such as ‘Mother Beast’, ‘Pir al-Washi’, ‘Just Jeff’, and ‘Mr. G’, and has promoted himself as a Sufi and Fourth Way teacher (Palmer 1998). Gurdjieff’s teachings in their entirety are sometimes desig- nated the ‘Fourth Way’, which is meant to contrast with ‘ways’ or spiritual paths centring exclusively on either the intellect, body, or emotions (Ouspensky 1977 : 48-50). Themes of chicanery pervade Gold’s work. For example, a poster advertising Gold’s IDHHB blatantly pro- motes, ‘Fake Sufi Dancing/Snake Fufi Dancing’, while his Autobiography and Secret Talks show photographs of Gold in different disguises. His work Shakti even features a photograph of Gold and his wife posing in white robes and turbans at the entrance to a Disneyland cardboard mosque (Palmer 1998). Palmer describes Gold playing the role of ‘char- latan or quick-change artist’ in public appearances. She attended a ‘Sufi dance’ held by Gold, where he was clad in a loose dhoti and a turban decorated with a sequined dollar sign. On another occasion in August
1973, Palmer reports, Gold gave a lecture at the Montreal Shakti center, appearing:
in an orange sari, his eyes ringed with kohl and spoke for several minutes on samadhi with a thick Indian accent. Then he turned around, whipped off the sari, wiped his face clean, and donned a fez and moustache. Suddenly he was Mr. Gurdjiev, talking to the sophisticated Moscovites in his rustic Russian accent. Next, he proceeded to mime a Kentucky farmer humping his mule while declaring in a southern drawl that any activity could become a path to spiritual awakening. He concluded this perfor- mance by asking his audience what criteria they would use to distinguish between a ‘real’ and a ‘fake’ master? (Palmer 1998)
Palmer suggests that, ironically, Gold’s students derived a sense of security through surrendering to the insecurity of their relationship with Gold. A woman who had lived for five years in Gold’s IDHHB commu- nity in Grass Valley stated:
Sometimes he will ask you to do something that is stupid, pointless and then he will yell at you for being stupid enough to obey him. He’ll say,
‘Don’t listen to me! What the Hell makes you think that I know what I’m doing!’ (Palmer 1998)
This is reminiscent of Gurdjieff, who would request pupils to carry out seemingly fruitless tasks in order to test their naivety and devotion, or to make them uncomfortable in order to observe themselves and question the situation (Ouspensky 1977 : 239-40). He once said to a pupil,
‘never believe anything you hear me say. Learn to discriminate between what must be taken literally and what metaphorically’ (Nott 1978: 75).
Gold’s eccentric pedagogical approach, like Gurdjieff’s, is probably best conceptualised as a contemporary form of ‘Crazy Wisdom’, a term originally deriving from the Buddhist lineage of Vajrayana. It refers to the
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unpredictable and unconventional behaviour that some monks exhibited in their role as teachers. In Holy Madness (1991) Georg Feuerstein equates the term with teaching methods and spiritual techniques of other traditions such as Zen, Tantra, Sufism, Taoism, and shamanism. These teaching methods and techniques involve trickery, ordeals of terror, obscenity, and threats, which all aim to shock pupils out of habitual responses and social conditioning. Gold can comfortably be classed as a Crazy Wisdom teacher, as Palmer demonstrates in her study (see Palmer
1998). Gold could also be considered as a successor of the ‘Beat Genera- tion’ of the 1950s, when the ‘Beats’ (chiefly Jack Kerouac, Allen Gins- burg, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs) forged a path for rebellious youth that involved experimentation, drug taking, an attraction to Zen Buddhist philosophy, and an interest in combining Eastern and Western spirituality with aspects of American culture. They embraced humour, irreverence, uncertainty, and the irrational (Cusack
2010: 13-14), qualities that are central to Gold’s work.
There is no evidence that Gold and Gurdjieff ever met, though Gold implies that they did in the chapter ‘The Carousel Story’ of his Auto- biography. Here he reports that as a young boy he met a Russian man at the Hotel Ansonia on Broadway, who was short, bald, and sported a big curled white moustache. This unnamed man cooked exotic food, played a ‘small Indian organ’, and gave Gold and his friend Danny candy from the pocket of his overcoat. He told the boys that later in the evening he had an appointment in his apartment with guests, whom he intended to
‘wake up’. This man, who Gold says he also met later in life in Vancouver in British Columbia, is quite obviously meant to be Gurdjieff. Gold spends most of the chapter recounting a rather bizarre and longwinded story that the Gurdjieff character had apparently told Gold and his friend about a carousel that ate greedy children. The carousel became old and hungry so it travelled to America where it could find plenty of greedy children to eat (Gold 1977: 68-76). The point of this lengthy story (if there is one) is obscure, but perhaps this is unsurprising since Gold once described himself as ‘a master of the anticlimactic punch line’ (Palmer 1998).
Autobiography of a Sufi (1977) and
Secret Talks with Mr. G. (1978)
Gold’s Autobiography and Secret Talks illustrate the unusual ways in which Gold drew on Gurdjieff’s work. In these texts Gold goes so much further than simply integrating Gurdjieff’s teaching into his work, or using it as a model. Instead, Gold blatantly mimics Gurdjieff; his teaching, mode of expression, idiosyncratic terminology, and the very format of his
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 353
publications. Gold even describes specific events in Gurdjieff’s life, passing them off as his own, as will soon be demonstrated. Most comically, these books feature photographs of Gold in various disguises. Those in Autobiography are particularly humorous and exaggerated, and include photographs of Gold in a ludicrously false wig and beard. ‘One might call him a master of disguise’, says Rawlinson, ‘except that some of his disguises wouldn’t fool a baby… [They] may well be a pictorial allusion to Gurdjieff’s use of “transparent disguise”’ (Rawlinson 1997: 271). Gold is obviously making some kind of joke, though the punch line is, as is typical of Gold, entirely unclear.
Autobiography is apparently the result of twenty-five years of Gold’s work (Harkounian 1977: i). It brims with allusive and satirical references to Gurdjieff and his writings and uses, as Rawlinson notes, ‘Gurdjieffian materials in an incongruous way, a bit like putting quotations from Shakespeare into a Punch and Judy show’ (Rawlinson 1997: 271). Gold even employs deliberately awkward syntax and longwinded sentences that mimic Gurdjieff’s characteristic use of language in Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson (1950, henceforth Tales). Autobiography combines travelogue (though it is mostly spoof accounts of Gurdjieff’s journeys in pursuit of esoteric knowledge), apparently autobiographical accounts (but clearly modelled on those of Gurdjieff), existential musings written in a stream of consciousness format (just as in Gurdjieff’s Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’), and seemingly allegorical but mostly nonsensical stories with no obvious point (a technique Gurdjieff employs in Tales). The book is suffused with irony, humour, and the surreal. At one point Gold asserts:
I don’t care whether or not you read this book at all. But on the other hand, if you decide not to buy and read this book, how will it be possible for me to collect the royalties so necessary to support this little habit of mine…to introduce into the life of ordinary humans the data necessary to attain conscious life, and so forth and so on…? …[I]t is possible, with knowledge, to furnish the Inner World with knowledge from this book (Gold 1977: 51-52, original italics).
Fourteen watercolours by Gold, most bearing the date of 1976, are included in Autobiography. Some depict the premises at Gold’s IDHHB at Cosmo St, while others portray fearsome, demon-like faces. There are also twenty-one photographs in the book, some presumably of Gold’s former wife Cybele and friend ‘Saint Mike’ (since these photographs appear next to references to them), but most feature Gold himself in various disguises and poses, usually staring intensely at the camera. In one photograph he is sitting on a sofa dressed in priest’s garb, and looking down at the bright-eyed black cat perched on his lap. Images of
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pentagrams appear on a cushion and on an object behind him. In another photograph he is sitting amongst a group of hippy-looking pupils who stare loyally at him. The last photograph in the book is of Gold sitting cross-legged in yogic position but donning sunglasses and a smug expres- sion. This is the final, confusing impression he leaves with the reader.
Where Autobiography is a compilation of anecdotal stories and ‘auto- biographical’ and confessional accounts, many of which are laughable and seem to have been intended that way, Secret Talks is presented more seriously, as a real collection of transcriptions of talks given by ‘Mr. G.’ to ‘a special group formed in America’, which was ‘unknown to all his other groups’ (Anonymous 1978; back cover of Gold 1978). These talks are interspersed with question and answer sessions between ‘Mr. G.’ and the group. Transcriptions were apparently carried out by a few members of this group who had reconstructed the talks from memory and from notes made after the talks (they were not allowed to make notes during the talks). Secret Talks shares a strong affinity with Gurdjieff’s Views from the Real World (1973), a collection of thematically ordered transcriptions of talks given by Gurdjieff between 1914 and 1930. Like Secret Talks, in Views from the Real World talks are interspersed with question and answer sections, where the latter is given in broken English to mirror Gurdjieff’s speech. Gold’s ‘Note from the Editor’ even mimics the
‘Editor’s Note’ in Views from the Real World, and both books are divided into short sections on different themes, grouped into larger numbered chapters.
One is immediately drawn to believe that Secret Talks is a collection of transcriptions of talks given by Gurdjieff, who must be ‘Mr. G.’ There are no names or authors given, and one finds Gurdjieff’s own distinctive terminology and vocabulary, including neologisms specific to his teaching such as ‘Trogoautoegocrat’, ‘tritacosmos’ and ‘Partkdolg-Duty’. 1 Like Autobiography, Secret Talks is written in a meandering, non-linear narrative style characteristic of Gurdjieff’s writings, and the main themes discussed are key to Gurdjieff’s teaching, such as the three ‘centres’ of the body, the importance of struggle and effort in spiritual work, the symbol of the enneagram, and the crucial matter of developing a soul. There are even blatant references to Gurdjieff’s key pupils P.D. Ouspensky (‘O’) and ‘Madame’ Jeanne de Salzmann (‘Madame’) (Gold 1978: 52, 54, 56,
80). What is most striking about Secret Talks is that the front cover displays what looks very much like a photograph of Gurdjieff, and there are four similar photographs inside the book. These are, of course, Gold
1. Neologisms, assemblages of syllables from a variety of languages, represented for Gurdjieff the special ‘Karatasian’ vocabulary of Beelzebub, the protagonist of Tales (Wellbeloved 2002: 83).
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 355
impersonating Gurdjieff, but unlike the photographs in Autobiography, which are mostly playful, those in Secret Talks are quite admirably exe- cuted and even very slightly blurred to reinforce the illusion. These seem to have been intended to really convince the reader that this is Gurdjieff.
In an interview for Gnosis magazine, Gold said of Secret Talks, ‘I don’t believe that prank hurt anybody. It was just intended to prod some people into doing the right thing’ (Palmer 1998). J. Walter Driscoll, the compiler of Gurdjieff: An Annotated Bibliography (1985), responded in a letter to Gnosis, stating:
Gold’s bogus Secret Talks was used to attract people into his groups and was there proffered as authentic teaching material that superseded Gurd- jieff’s writings. He followed this with a privately circulated second volume of Secret Talks (1979) and an eighteen-volume series of Related Workbooks (1980) that were distributed to his followers; some ‘joke prod’. Please exercise stricter and more responsible discrimination in selecting interview candidates and verifying their claims (cited in Palmer 1998).
The Gnosis editor immediately responded, saying that he was ‘in no position to say how Secret Talks was originally marketed, since I simply don’t know… As for Gold’s authenticity as a teacher, I have no way of evaluating it’ (Palmer 1998).
Autobiographies of Gold and Gurdjieff
As stated earlier, it is difficult to obtain trustworthy, verifiable biographical details of Gold’s life. In Autobiography he gives what are apparently autobiographical accounts (as the title suggests) but these largely consist of a retelling of Gurdjieff’s autobiographical accounts in Meetings with Remarkable Men and Life Is Real Only Then, which is demonstrated below. In these accounts Gold describes events that apparently occurred on his extensive travels as a young spiritual seeker, and relays some of the tribulations he faced when developing his IDHHB, the teachings of which were attributed to knowledge he acquired on his travels. It is typical of spiritual teachers, particularly from the late nineteenth century, to promote the idea that their teaching derived from adventurous expedi- tions to sacred locations, usually in far-flung regions of the world. Take, for example, the wild travel stories of H.P. Blavatsky, L. Ron Hubbard, and G.I. Gurdjieff, who described setting off as young seekers in search of a source of wisdom underlying all religions. They were then able to attri- bute their teachings to experiences and knowledge personally acquired on their travels, and this worked to legitimise their teaching with a sense of authority and authenticity (Petsche 2013b: 160). However, Gold’s travel accounts are so obviously modelled on those of Gurdjieff that it is
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doubtful that they were intended to be taken seriously at all. Even if Gold assumed that readers would never come into contact with Gurdjieff’s writings, he still would have excluded from his accounts the extraneous details that so easily give the connection to Gurdjieff away. Gold’s so- called ‘autobiographical’ accounts appear to be yet another prank.
In Autobiography Gold states that in the mid-1950s (one of the few dates he gives in the book) he became a member of a small group of spiritual seekers who had joined together in Morocco. They aimed ‘to locate the entrance to the Inner World’, and were known as ‘Sneakers After Truth’, as well as ‘The Fellowship of the Ancient Mind’ and ‘The Goon Squad’ (Gold 1977: 25, 154). Each member possessed a special skill, such as hypnosis, knowledge of architecture, manufacturing ritual objects, and martial arts, and, bringing their separate fields of knowledge together, they sought to discover ‘the location of the hidden brotherhoods in which [they] were able to receive the means to crystallize [their] separate knowledge into a unified and coherent whole’ (1977: 154-56). According to Gold, after ‘a long search among the inaccessible commu- nities in hidden areas of the world’ (1977: 59) he eventually found a
‘brotherhood’, though he had to remain with them for two whole years before they imparted knowledge to him.
All of the above and much more in Autobiography bear an incontest-
able likeness to Gurdjieff’s travel accounts. In Meetings with Remarkable Men Gurdjieff described setting out in pursuit of esoteric knowledge with a group, the Seekers of Truth, composed of people with different specialities (Gurdjieff 2002 : 167, 276). In Ani, Turkey, Gurdjieff describes excavating ruins with his friend Sarkis Pogossian, and finding a pile of ancient Armenian parchments that referred to the ‘Sarmoung Brotherhood’, ‘a famous esoteric school which, according to tradition, was founded in Babylon as far back as 2500BC’ (Gurdjieff 2002 :
87-90). The ‘Sarmoung Monastery’ is presented by Gurdjieff as the focal point of his travels, and is popularly considered to be the source of inspi- ration behind his piano music, Movements, and nine-sided enneagram symbol (Moore 1991: 32). Gold’s ‘brotherhood’ is probably meant to be the Sarmoung Brotherhood, which he refers to in Autobiography, stating that in Jerusalem a monk showed him a copper scroll in a jar under the floor of his house, which reminded him of scrolls relating to ‘certain esoteric studies of the Sarmoung Brotherhood’ (Gold 1977: 18). It was at the Sarmoung Monastery that Gurdjieff apparently saw sacred temple dances, where the body postures of the dancers represented an alphabet so that ‘[t]hese dances correspond exactly to our books’ (Gurdjieff 2002 : 162). Similarly, Gold mentions studying temple dances during his travels in Egypt, Thailand, Cambodia and Bali and, when travelling
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through the Ethiopian mountains, he sought a secret method of move- ments training, ‘Wud-Sha-Lo’. This ‘could be used…as a book’ that would reveal ‘specific techniques of separating psyche and essence’ (Gold 1977: 156).
In Autobiography Gold describes being struck by stray bullets on three occasions during his travels (Gold 1977: 103-106), just as Gurdjieff was (Gurdjieff 1999 : 7-9). The third time Gold was shot, a companion placed him on a donkey in order to escape quickly. Shortly afterwards, after pouring cold water over himself, Gold experienced a revelation: his paranormal powers were no longer useful to him.2 This led Gold to decide to create for himself a life of struggle, and to deliberately relinquish his powers, particularly those of telepathy and hypnotism (Gold 1977: 106,
111-12, 115). All of these details can be found in Gurdjieff’s accounts in
Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’ (Gurdjieff 1999 : 10, 25).
Gold’s narrative then launches forward in time (his accounts are chronologically disorganised, probably drawing on Gurdjieff’s technique of deliberately obscuring information). He states that after his travels when he was developing his Institute in Crestline in the San Bernadino mountains of Southern California, he suffered a serious concussion after fracturing his skull during construction work. He apparently entered a semi-coma for four and half months and when he came out of it he realised that his pupils had been disloyal and had taken only certain aspects of the teaching, rather than seeing it as a whole. In response, he proceeded to disband his Institute and work each day only on his music and writing. He vowed to begin a new method of teaching—to ‘reorganize the Institute along completely new lines’—that aimed to stir people up. He likened this to stepping on the corns on people’s feet (Gold 1977:
121). This meant accepting as pupils, from then on, only children under the age of twelve, who had some hope of developing themselves. How- ever, adults were still welcome to take part in certain of Gold’s activities;
‘on the basis that one should never give up hope, even when there is none’ (1977: 119-21, 138, 141-43).
In keeping with his bizarre timeline, Gold then describes having a
breakdown in 1949, when he would have been eight years old. During this time he realised that no one understood his manuscript, The Ameri- can Book of the Dead. During readings, he says, readers would even fall asleep on the floor and remember nothing of it later, and he ‘could not have everyone casually read that material and faint away, perhaps in the middle of traffic or around machinery’ (Gold 1977: 101). Gold decided
2. Of his paranormal powers, Gold revealed that he could ‘cause a cow to drop to the ground at five hundred feet’ (Gold 1977: 109). Similarly, Gurdjieff claimed that he ‘could from a distance of tens of miles kill a yak’ (Gurdjieff 1999 : 20).
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that the manuscript needed to be completely revised and that this would be very time-consuming. This brought on a ‘force’ within him, the same force ‘which nearly destroyed me and my work forever several times during my life’ (1977: 100-102).
This part of Autobiography echoes key events in Gurdjieff’s life from
1924 to 1927. In 1924 Gurdjieff suffered a near fatal car accident that left him concussed and bedridden for months. His focus then shifted dramatically: he disbanded his Institute in Fontainebleau to, as he put it,
‘begin a new work’ (de Hartmann and de Hartmann 1992 : 234). He felt he had failed to achieve his goals for pupils at the Institute and was disenchanted with pupils who had disappointed him, and who had taken only parts of his teaching, rather than recognising its unity (de Hart- mann and de Hartmann 1992 : 234-35; Gurdjieff 1999 : 4,
86-88; 2008 : 42). From then he began composing piano music with pupil Thomas de Hartmann and working on revising Tales. Around this time he also aimed to find out people’s ‘ “most sensitive corn” and “press” it rather hard’ (Gurdjieff 1999 : 44). Unlike Gold, Gurdjieff never planned to admit only children into his Institute, though he did dedicate time to teaching children. A leaflet from 1921 announcing classes at the Institute includes a section for children aged between four and ten. Children were offered classes in music, dance, games, languages, and other subjects (Beekman Taylor 2012). After completing his first draft of Tales in 1927, Gurdjieff stated that he was profoundly disappointed that during public readings of the text listeners who were not pupils could not comprehend its meaning. This led him to contemplate destroying the text and even himself, describing the situation as ‘desperate’, before deciding to completely revise the text (Gurdjieff 1999 : 33-35). It is clear from this short comparative analysis that Gold not only drew closely on Gurdjieff’s autobiographical accounts, but that he also made no attempt to hide it.
Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being
Gold’s longest surviving and most noteworthy school is his Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being (IDHHB), echoing Gurdjieff’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. The IDHHB is described as a Fourth Way Sufi Community in Gold’s 1979 edition of Spiritual Community Guide, while the 1982 edition goes further, designating it ‘a Sufi Community devoted to our Endless Creator through the invocation of His Angels on the Planet Earth’ (Rawlinson
1997: 272). Bizarrely, it also says that the community trains and issues certificates to Terminal Midwives, who use Gold’s New American Book of
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 359
the Dead for ‘terminal counselling’. What this means is unclear (Rawlin- son 1997: 272). The first headquarters for the IDHHB was established in Los Angeles around 1966, and later a more advanced group was developed in Crestline in the San Bernadino mountains, which moved to Grass Valley, California in the early 1980s. In 2001, the IDHHB reported
750 members, 20 centres, and 50 ministers in the United States, and 75 members, three centres, and three ministers in Canada. Other members were located in Australia, Great Britain, West Germany, Norway, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, with centres in Spain, Italy, and Norway (Melton
2009: 735). As the report was issued by the IDHHB, one could imagine that these figures may well be exaggerated. On the basis of Palmer’s participant-observation work in 1973 and 1984 she reports that around
80% of IDHHB members were American, and the rest were Canadian and European, while perhaps 40% were Jewish. Palmer states that most members were between twenty-five and forty years old, though there were a few Jewish couples in their sixties (Palmer 1998).
According to Palmer, membership is composed of four levels. On the first level is Gold, and sometimes colleagues who might share with him a leadership role. The second level consists of the ‘Core Group’, composed of long-term IDHHB members, as well as family and friends. They live on or near Gold’s estate (which at the time of Palmer’s study was in Grass Valley, California; it may still be operating there now). The ‘Core Group’ composes, edits, and prints IDHHB literature, rehearses ‘traveling puppet shows’, and plans ongoing experimental schools. Members of the Core Group sometimes also form small spiritual groups of their own. At the third level are local ‘Study Circle Leaders’ who had originally joined one of Gold’s ‘local schools’ (presumably meaning the small spiritual groups formed by Core Group members) and then were accepted into his IDHHB. They are trained as teachers, which involves experiential exer- cises like being ‘put on the spot’ in awkward situations. Most members of the IDHHB are on the fourth level. These members stay for only a short period of time before dropping out. Palmer states that the attrition rate for these members was very high (Palmer 1998).
A detailed and useful account of the development and practices of the IDHHB, as well as interesting observations about Gold himself, comes from Gold’s former (now estranged) wife Cybele in her book My Life with Mr. Gold, an excerpt of which forms the introduction to Gold’s Autobio- graphy. Cybele states that she first encountered Gold in June 1967. He was working at the bustling ‘Psychedelic Supermarket’, located on a side street off Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. When she entered, Gold was cradling a box filled with vials of essential oils, which he placed into a showcase. When he finished he looked up at her and said, ‘Well, are you
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ready to get to work this lifetime?’ She answered positively and he explained that she could begin work with him in three years from that day; she first needed to develop the background and language necessary to study his ideas, and anyway, he was not then ready to teach her (C. Gold 1977: v). She describes Gold as resembling a ‘mad scientist’; he had frizzy hair on the sides of his head while the crown of his head was bald. He wore torn, faded clothing, smelled of sweat, and was plump, strong, and greasy looking. She began visiting the shop regularly, noticing that he was engaged in conversation with customers for hours (1977: vi- vii). Gold gave her a reading list (she does not give details) and after two years she was invited to attend his classes held on Thursday nights at the Markham building on Cosmo St in Hollywood.3 This must have been the first headquarters of the IDHHB. In the first class she attended, Gold sat cross-legged in a dark, incense-infused room, smoking a cigarette. It is not clear what was said or done during the class, but it lasted two and half hours after which time Gold suddenly left (1977: xi).
Cybele soon progressed to Gold’s Saturday evening classes, which mainly consisted of Gold’s friend ‘Saint Mike’ asking the class over and over again why they were there. Saint Mike explained to them why this question was necessary: ‘You’re only telling the truth as you know it. You don’t know how to tell the truth’ (C. Gold 1977: xv). She attended these classes for two and a half years, where most of the time was spent, she notes, finding out why she was there (1977: ix-xvi). On 13 June 1970, exactly three years after Cybele met Gold, she was invited to move to Crestline in the San Bernardino mountains where Gold and a group of his pupils had recently settled (1977: iii-xix). Gold’s previous group at Cosmo St was terminated on 14 June.4 On her first night at Crestline, Cybele had a vision of a thirty-five foot snake slithering around the bedroom in mid- air. She interpreted this as ‘some kind of higher knowledge’ (1977: xxiv). In a fright she went to Gold’s room where he asked, ‘what’s the matter, serpent got your tongue?’ from which she inferred that Gold could read her mind. He stayed awake with Cybele until morning, telling her about:
techniques for moving through and recognizing different consciousnesses and spaces, and for handling form changes and space changes with certainty and finesse. I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—begin to repeat everything he said that night about these things, but I felt that I was reviewing many past experiences of this life and other lives, and seeing this present lifetime in an entirely new perspective (C. Gold 1977: xxvi).
3. In Autobiography Gold describes the space as a small office that he rented cheaply, see Gold (1977: 117).
4. Little did she know that she would later head this group with Gold between 1974
and 1980. They apparently became known as Babaji al-Washi and Mataji Kalinanda. See
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 361
At Crestline there was a ‘Study House’ where meditation exercises were held. Gurdjieff also had a ‘Study House’ at his Institute in Fontainebleau, which was a large room crafted from an old wooden air force hangar, used for Movements practice and small Movements demonstrations (de Hartmann and de Hartmann 1992 : 184-88, 193-95, 203-207; Nott 1978: 46). The living quarters at Crestline was a building called the
‘Maison Rouge’, which was constructed by Gold and his pupils (Gold
1977: 119). In the Maison Rouge, Cybele reports, there was to be no excessive talking or dawdling, and no radios and televisions,
only a library filled with science fiction and metaphysical books. When you weren’t working, cleaning, doing seated meditations, moving exercises, group readings, and group study periods, you were reading to gather data and background in order to understand what one usually experienced while working with Mr. Gold. Working with him—if he accepted you as a student—was the hardest and most gruelling task that you could take on in this lifetime… He is a determined and ruthless fanatic about the work, and if one can’t handle his manifestations on this level then one has to leave (C. Gold 1977: xxii).
Cybele gives other details about the IDHHB: pupils undertook gardening and ground maintenance work, they were not allowed to take tape recorders or notebooks to classes or discuss classes with anyone, and they were on a gruelling schedule starting at 3am and retiring at 11pm (C. Gold 1977: xvii-xviii, xxvii).
Gurdjieff’s Institute in Fontainebleau operated on very similar lines. Gurdjieff, his pupils, and family also lived communally on the Institute’s estate, where Gurdjieff instructed pupils in ways that involved household chores, gardening, farm and construction work, listening to readings of his texts, dancing, as well as cooking and listening to music. He worked intensively with pupils on writing, editing, and translating his writings, which Gurdjieff made into a pedagogical exercise intended to cultivate in pupils more precise modes of communication (Nott 1978: 115-16; de Hartmann and de Hartmann 1992 : 241). Gurdjieff, like Gold, also forbade pupils from taking notes during his talks. One obvious difference between Gold’s and Gurdjieff’s Institutes is that meditation was advo- cated by Gold but not by Gurdjieff. However, decades after disbanding his Institute, Gurdjieff did suggest to certain individuals and small groups to practice forms of individual sitting, meditation, or ‘centering’. It was from the 1960s, over a decade after Gurdjieff’s death, that his successor Jeanne de Salzmann formally introduced to Foundation groups the prac- tice of ‘sittings’ wherein pupils sit silently, cultivating sensations in the body (Howarth and Howarth 2009: 473). David Kherdian reports of sittings at the New York Foundation, that ‘the important thing was to drop our thoughts and really be in our bodies. Relaxing occurred through
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sensing…we were encouraged to be in our centers… The sittings lasted forty-five minutes’ (Kherdian 1998: 60-61).
In one of the strangest sections of Cybele’s accounts, she describes
participating in Gold’s movement exercises. These must correlate somehow with Gurdjieff’s ‘Movements’, which are dances and exercises characterised by unusual and symbolic gestures of the body that are intended to highlight and challenge the body’s mechanical nature. A series of black and white photographs of Gold’s Movements can be found in his Shakti: The Spiritual Science of DNA (1973), an intriguing book with no page numbers, and which is dedicated to Gold himself:
I humbly dedicate this book to myself, since that is for whom it has been written. I would also like to thank myself, in all my manifestations for the invaluable assistance given to me and towards the teaching of me to remember myself—without whose help this book would not only never have been written, but without whom this book would never have needed to have been written (Gold 1973).
The postures depicted in Gold’s book share an affinity with typical postures of Gurdjieff’s Movements, in that limbs are bent at precise, unaccustomed angles, and wrists and fingers are straight.5
Cybele states that in one class pupils formed a circle, joined hands, and were to look into the eyes of the person opposite. While carrying out various body positions there was:
a deliberate union between the inner exercise he had given us and the outer movement and space around us. Suddenly our hands fused and our arms melted into a pair of tubular arms encircling the group. An aura of yellowish-white light glowed around the circle, and the whole atmosphere took on that color. A heavy smell of something similar to sulphur filled the air…one student broke from the circle and started turning in the center… Then the circle broke as if on command, and everyone began turning. It seemed timeless…no one ever bumped into anyone else, although two students did fly out the window still turning all the way down, and one person landed in the fireplace with the fire going red-hot. The amazing thing to all of us was that they were not hurt, and they got right back into the exercise as if nothing had happened. We seemed indestructible as long as we kept turning (C. Gold 1977: xxviii-xxix).
She then broke down and ran out of the room. When Gold approached her she forgot where she was, telling him that they were near Paris and that it was June 1921. At that moment she felt that Gold was different:
He had the familiar shaven head and the same piercing but kindly eyes— but his body seemed shorter and thinner… No wonder I was so upset. I had confused this experience with another time in which I had left the
5. The author is familiar with Gurdjieff’s Movements, having studied for four years in a
Sydney Movements class with Dutch instructor Dorine Tolley.
Petsche The Value of E.J. Gold 363
school before I could accomplish my work there. That memory had come back for me to look at and to remember where I had left off last time (C. Gold 1977: xxxi-xxxii).
Cybele alludes to the idea that Gold was Gurdjieff, and that in a past life she had been a pupil of Gurdjieff in Fontainebleau. There may be no significance in the date June 1921, since Gurdjieff had not even estab- lished himself at Fontainebleau at that time; he was closing his Institute in Constantinople to retire temporarily to the nearby island of Prinkipo (Moore 1991: 327). One may infer that this hallucinatory episode, and others in Cybele’s account, was induced by drug taking, if this was a part of Gold’s methods. Earlier it was suggested that Gold could be positioned within the lineage of the Beat Generation. The ‘Beats’ were well known for experimenting with drugs like marijuana and morphine, as well as psychedelics such as peyote and LSD, which stimulated creativity and brought them into new states of consciousness that complemented their interests in trance, meditation, and mystical experiences. One could imagine Gold also embracing psychedelics as part of his methods, and he did once work at a ‘Psychedelic Supermarket’. This is where Cybele’s account stops in the introduction to Gold’s Autobiography. It should be noted that although it gives valuable insights into the elusive IDHHB, the reliability of her accounts, and whether or not Gold had any input into them, is unknown.
It is difficult to evaluate E.J. Gold. Although he is known for donning a range of guises and shamelessly plagiarising Gurdjieff, Gold goes so far out of his way to present himself unfavourably and exaggerate his fakery that one gets the impression that simply branding him a charlatan is too predictable a conclusion to make. Perhaps Gold just possessed a wacky sense of humour and a genuine admiration for Gurdjieff, and wanted to continue and revive Gurdjieff’s teaching by presenting it in a new light. This seems to be the view taken by Gold’s colleague Claudio Naranjo, who had studied with Oscar Ichazo in the early 1970s and went on to expand on Ichazo’s enneagram ‘types’, based on Gurdjieff’s enneagram symbol. In the preface to Gold’s American Book of the Dead, Naranjo heralds Gold as ‘a reincarnation of Gurdjieff’s spirit’, and states, ‘his artistry…mocks the orthodox Gurdjieff imitator and manages to say important things along the way… I see an expression of E.J.’s unique way of presenting profound truth in vulgar garb’ (Naranjo 2005: xvii). One does get the sense that Gold genuinely wished to promote Gurd- jieff’s core message—to wake up the slumberous ‘machine’—and that the
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ludicrous forms in which he so often conveyed it were deliberately meant to do just this; shock, ‘wake up’, and confuse. Taken in this way, Gold, following Gurdjieff, can be classed as a teacher of Crazy Wisdom, using techniques of trickery, role-playing, fabrication, and exaggeration to elicit the strong responses in pupils that his teaching promoted as crucial for spiritual transformation.
1978 Note from the Editor. In Secret Talks with Mr. G. by E.J. Gold. IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
Beekman Taylor, Paul
2012 Gurdjieff and Children. Gurdjieff International Review 11(1). No pages.
Online: http://www.gurdjieff.org/taylor4.htm (accessed 9 May 2014). Cusack, Carole M.
2010 Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith. Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey.
de Hartmann, Thomas, and Olga de Hartmann
1992  Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff. Arkana, London. Driscoll, Walter J., and Gurdjieff Foundation of California
1985 Gurdjieff: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Publishing, New York. Feuerstein, Georg
1991 Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise
Adepts, Holy Fools, and Rascal Gurus. Paragon House, New York.
1977 Introduction. In Autobiography of a Sufi by E.J. Gold, iii-xxxii, IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
1973 Shakti: The Spiritual Science of DNA. IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
1977 Autobiography of a Sufi. IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
1978 Secret Talks with Mr. G. IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
1989 The Seven Bodies of Man. Gateways/IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
1991 The Hidden Work. Gateways/IDHHB, Nevada City, CA.
2005  American Book of the Dead. Gateways Books & Tapes, Nevada
n.d. E.J. Gold.com. Online: http://www.ejgold.com (accessed 9 May 2014). Gurdjieff, George Ivanovitch
1964  All and Everything First Series: Beelzebub’s Tales to his
Grandson. E.P. Dutton & Co., New York.
1984  Views from the Real World. Penguin, London.
1999  Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’. Arkana, London.
2008  The Herald of Coming Good. Book Studio, London.
2002  Meetings with Remarkable Men. Penguin Compass, New York.
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1977 Foreword. In Autobiography of a Sufi, by E.J. Gold, i. IDHHB, Nevada
Howarth, Dushka, and Jessmin Howarth
2009 It’s Up to Ourselves: A Mother, a Daughter, and Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff
Heritage Society, New York. Kherdian, David
1998 On a Spaceship with Beelzebub: By a Grandson of Gurdjieff. Inner
Traditions, Rochester, VT.
2005  Editor’s Foreword. In American Book of the Dead by E.J. Gold, xiii. Gateways Books & Tapes, Nevada City, CA.
Melton, J. Gordon
2009 Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale Cengage Learning, Detroit.
1991 Gurdjieff: The Anatomy of a Myth: A Biography. Element, Shaftsbury, Dorset.
2005 Preface. In American Book of the Dead by E.J. Gold, xv-xviii.
Gateways Books & Tapes, Nevada City, CA. Nott, Charles S.
1978 Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Pupil’s Journal: An Account of Some Years with G.I. Gurdjieff and A.R. Orage in New York and at Fontainebleau- Avon. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.
Ouspensky, Piotr D.
1977  In Search of the Miraculous: The Teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff.
Harcourt Inc., San Diego. Palmer, Susan J.
1998 All That Glitters… Crazy Wisdom and Entrepreneurialism in the Spir- itual Schools of E.J. Gold. Telos 5(2). No pages. Online: http://www. gurdjiefflegacy.org/40articles/Full/glitters%20full.htm (accessed 9 May
2014). Petsche, Johanna
2013a A Gurdjieff Genealogy: Tracing the Manifold Ways the Gurdjieff Teaching Has Travelled. International Journal for the Study of New Religions 4(1): 49-79. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/ijsnr.v4i1.49.
2013b Reflexivity and Objectivity in the Study of a Modern Esoteric Teacher: In the Footsteps of G.I. Gurdjieff. In Journeys and Destinations: Studies in Travel, Identity, and Meaning, edited by Alex Norman, 159-76. Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
1997 The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern
Traditions. Open Court, Chicago, IL.
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2011 Inside Scientology. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA. Urban, Hugh
2011 The Church of Scientology. Princeton University Press, Princeton and
1980 The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D.
Ouspensky and their Followers. Thames & Hudson, London. Wellbeloved, Sophia
2002 Gurdjieff, Astrology & Beelzebub’s Tales. Solar Bound Press, New York.