I wanted to clarify a couple of things:
Gurdjieff's birth date has now generally been accepted as 1866.
His teaching is only 'difficult to get a consistent picture' of because
the 'many schools established in his name' have no direct link to
Gurdjieff himself nor his first generation of students (who, for the
most part, never organized a formal school). Others making the
claim of being a 'center' or a school have nothing in common with
Gurdjieff himself other than exploiting his name and appropriating his
ideas: "people cannot perceive reality in their current state because
they do not possess a unified consciousness, but rather live in a state
of a hypnotic "waking sleep"."
As for Gurdjieff's influence, I believe it is accurate to say that it
has indeed been tremendous, but in regard to 'enlightened successors,'
Gurdjieff's teachings were/are not structured in a way that was meant
to establish a successor. The continuance of Gurdjieff's legacy of
ideas and practical work has primarily been due to efforts made by some
of his closest students. For the most part, the only duly formalized
organization, and the only one Gurdjieff himself initiated shortly
before his death in 1949 is the Gurdjieff Foundation: http://www.iagf.org/
[Sarlo adds: iagf = International Association of the Gurdjieff
Foundations, formed jointly by the four foundations "established on the
direct instructions" of Gurdjieff, in Paris, London, New York and
Those who belong to these groups continue to study and do so quietly. They do
not proselytize nor advertise. They do from time to time conduct
introductory public talks.
As for the question of 'waning influence,' that is very difficult to
objectively ascertain. There are in fact many IAGF study groups spread
across 34 states in the USA, as well as the UK, France, Canada, India