Ouspensky and Gurdjieff the rapist

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:20 pm

A lot of ink has been spilled on Ouspensky’s break with Gurdjieff, in fact, whole books have been written, with a lot of backdated kitbitzing about how Ouspensky was some kind of betrayer of the cause, or that he should have persisted in the great teaching to the end, etc, etc…
The reality would seem a bit different. Consider this from James Webb’s The Harmonious Circle, p.384,

Orage’s explanation of the split is therefore of great interest. He always maintained that it was Gurdjieff’s near rape of Mrs. Y in1923-24 that finally decided Ouspensky. The date tallies and the scandal was of such proportions that the explanation is very plausible. If Orage were right this would explain Ouspensky’s obsession with Gurdjieff’s ‘integrity’ in his conversation with Boris Mouravieff after Gurdjieff’s crash, and why–out of loyalty to his teacher as a ‘member of the same family’ he refused to tell Mouravieff why he had decided to work alone.

Ouspensky suffered a great disappointment, and saw that the whole game was going to suffer failure and collapse, and he was right, although the immense proliferation of Gurdjieffianity he did not foresee.
The ‘work’ was a failed enterprise by 1924, and it is no use blaming Ouspensky.


  1. patricio said,

    03.30.10 at 8:29 am

    Hi there,

    any change to get the full book “The Harmonious Circle” on the internet?

  2. nemo said,

    03.30.10 at 4:07 pm

    I am not sure what you mean?
    scan it?
    a big job

  3. Hassan said,

    07.11.11 at 8:17 am


    Gurdjieff tried to rape somebody? This is new to me. Can you tell me more?


  4. nemo said,

    07.11.11 at 12:16 pm

    Check the standard biographies.

  5. Hassan said,

    07.12.11 at 8:05 am

    Hi nemo

    OK. Guess I’ll have to buy some books then. I guess “The Harmonious Circle” is one of the books in which this “attempted rape” is mentioned?


  6. Paul said,

    07.12.11 at 3:23 pm

    Not sure I’d swallow all these claims of ‘rape’…
    I don’t remember James Moore mentioning it in his biography of G.

    Nemo has a profound and understandable dislike of Gurdjieff.

    Some intelligent and sensitive people like Peter Brook and half his theatre group (to give one example) have devoted themselves to the Paris based group…I knew one woman who knew g in Paris during the war – and she was not a gullible fool….
    However, there are obviously disaster groups out there – I have seen one. Candidates for a mental asylum – as G commented on visiting some groups in america!!!

  7. nemo said,

    07.14.11 at 12:37 pm

    I will have to find the reference, where where… The issue came up here in the early phase of this blog: try the search box (and I will too).
    I think that the incident was partly seen in the mind of various beholders and was an instance of aggressive provocation, more than rape.
    So it is not clear.

  8. The Gurdjieff Con » Tracking down the ‘rape charge’ post said,

    07.14.11 at 12:48 pm

    […] if Nazis had wonJay on Gurdjieff ‘not interested’ if Nazis had wonPaul on Ouspensky and Gurdjieff the rapistHassan on Gurdjieff ‘not interested’ if Nazis had […]

  9. Paul said,

    07.15.11 at 1:07 am

    I could imagine rajneesh doing the same riff as G – they’re all fighting in the name of ideals etc……it’s all anecdote now

    the main thing, as nemo says, is it’s worth looking at what’s happening in Poona…what a strange place…

  10. Tristero said,

    02.05.15 at 7:01 pm

    A PDF scan of The Harmonious Circle is available here:


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