International Review

Summer 1998 Issue, Vol. I No. 4

Special Issue on Le Prieuré


Having migrated for four years after escaping the Russian revolution with dozens of followers and family members, Gurdjieff settled in France and established his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at the Château Le Prieuré at Fontainebleau-Avon in October of 1922. This issue presents reminiscences which describe activities at the Prieuré from different points of view—some with great understanding and some with critical reserve or journalistic disdain.

The Forest Philosophers

Journalist Carl Eric Bechhofer Roberts first met Gurdjieff in Tiflis in 1919. This account of life at Fontainebleau was first published in Century Magazine (New York) in May 1924 and in The World Today (London) in June 1924. His In Denikin's Russia and the Caucasus, 1919-1920, contains the first description of Gurdjieff published in English.

New Cult: Forest Temple of Hard Work and Rough Food
New Life Cult: For "Harmonious Development"
The New Cult: Aesthetic Aids to Meditation
New Life Cult: "The Master" on His Forest School

Daily News, London, February 1923. A series of four articles written by journalist E. C. Bowyer during his visit to Gurdjieff's Institute which had opened five months earlier. These articles ran as front page headlines beside coverage of the excavations of Tutankhamon's tomb.

A VISIT to Gourdyev

The Living Age, January 1934. Denis Saurat visited the Prieuré for a weekend in February 1923; the same weekend as E. C. Bowyer, author of the previous series of articles. Saurat describes their exchange in the Study Hall. This skeptical article became raw material for subsequent skepticism about Gurdjieff among French intellectuals and journalists.

An Experiment at Fontainebleau:
A Personal Reminiscence

The New Adelphi, September 1927. Like his colleagues Dr. Mary Bell and Dr. Maurice Nicoll, Dr. James Carruthers Young abandoned the practice of Jungian therapy to work at Fontainebleau. The ideas of Ouspensky are presented and their application at the Prieuré. He sketches Gurdjieff and concludes by depicting the state of mind that led to his departure from the Institute.

Taking the Life Cure in Gurdjieff's School

The New York Times, February 1924. Maud Hoffman, author of the Theosophical classic Light on the Path, friend of Maurice Nicoll and James C. Young, shares her enthusiastic and vividly observed glimpse of daily conditions at the Prieuré.

Some Memories of the Prieuré

First published here, this invaluable first hand sketch of life at the Prieuré in 1923 by Dr. Mary C. Bell was written in September of 1949 and gives a warm, lively glimpse of the way Gurdjieff guided his pupils.

The "Forest Philosophers"

New Statesman, March 1923. Clifford Sharpe responds to misleading published reports about the Prieuré. Modest and scholarly in tone, this account stands out for its informed insight into the workings of Gurdjieff's Institute. The title of this piece became a journalistic catch phrase of the day.

— Other New Features —

Gurdjieff Heads the Newest Cult,
Which Harks Back to Ancient Days

New York Evening Post, January 1924. Raymond Carroll provides a journalist's jaunty account of "Gurdjieffers," the "weird and fantastic Gurdjieff cult" which had just arrived in the U.S. for the first time.

On Man's Place in the Scheme of Things
Between the Planets and the Moon

This review of P. D. Ouspensky's, In Search of the Miraculous, by Bernard Metz was first published in The Christian Register in January of 1950. Bernard Metz was one of Gurdjieff's translators and personal secretaries at the Prieuré for about a decade.

Commentary on Exchanges Within

A review of John Pentland’s Exchanges Within. A long-time student of John Pentland, Dennis Lewis points out Pentland’s “remarkable ability to translate Gurdjieff’s teachings into the exact language needed to help each seeker experience herself or himself as a living question in the face of the unknown.”

Good and Evil: Nov 12

The second installment of a three-part round-table discussion of Gurdjieff's ideas and themes from Beelzebub's Tales led by Orage in November of 1927.

About This Publication

The Gurdjieff International Review is published by Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing. Any information or opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or editors.
Gurdjieff, circa 1924

"If we do what we like doing, we are immediately rewarded by the pleasure of doing it. If we do what we don't like doing, the reward must come later. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematics."

G. I. Gurdjieff

Copyright © 1998
Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing

July 1, 1998