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George I. Gurdjieff
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    (January 13, 1866-October 29, 1949)
    Born in Alexandropol, Armenia
    Philosopher and cult leader
    Of Greek and Armenian descent
    Taught that all people are 'asleep,' that is, not fully aware of reality but can achieve awareness through his Fourth Way
    The first three ways are by improving mind, body, spirit/emotion
    His Fourth Way was allegedly the combination of all three
    Wrote 'The Herald of Coming Good,' the 'All and Everything' trilogy and 'Views from the Real World'
    Created the ennegram
    Naturally, he taught he was the only one who was truly enlightened/awake.
    His teachings were a mishmash of Sufism, Christianity, Buddhism and Yoga.
    He claimed his teachings originated before recorded time.
    He never explained how he came by his knowledge.
    He incorporated special 'sacred' dances and exercises into his training.
    He seduced many of his female followers and had children by some.
    Aleister Crowley was a fan.
    Time magazine described him as 'remarkable blend of P.T. Barnum, Rasputin, Freud, Groucho Marx and everybody's grandfather.'
    His 'Fourth Way' has never been scientifically shown to be any more effective than any other system of self-improvement.
    His teachings/exercises helped with daydreaming and absent-mindedness.
    He wasn't money hungry like many similar cult leaders and was very generous with the poor.
    He was a capable music writer.
    Dozens of books have been written about him and his teachings, including at least five serious biographies and eight books about his music.
    He clearly was a charismatic leader and a capable administrator, and his organization still exists today.
    He was never accused of any type of financial improprieties or violent crimes.
    He had to flee the Russian Revolution or face certain execution at the hands of the communists.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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