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Sep 29, 1998 06:02 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

Dear Estrella,

If you are seriously considering getting involved, you will of
course read some introductory material.  So there's little point
in trying to encapsulate the doctrines in a paragraph.  Suffice
it to say that the core belief is that "man is a machine" and
that it is possible to break out of our mechanical state through
"self-observation," "self-remembering," "intentional suffering,"
and a set of practices involving movements.  Also that knowledge
that enables us to become free of mechanical life is preserved by
"schools" and that Gurdjieff studied in these.  Lots of parallels
between Gurdjieff and HPB are explore in my Initiates of
Theosophical Masters.

As for what these people are like, it depends on the branch.  But
in any case they are, as best I can tell, dogmatic and
narrow-minded, forming their own cult with its special language
and superior attitude.  David Kherdian wrote a memoir of his
years in the Fourth Way movement called something like
Beelzebub's Grandson.


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