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It is not that Henderson is wrong in all his excavations, but he appears to be far from the deep level of understanding that would seem to be requisite to authorship of such a book.
He presents the Work after Gurdjieff's death as a kind of Da Vinci Code-like conspiracy, but with the premise that Gurdjieff foresaw and created it all, and Henderson has "cracked" the code.
The cost is that one of his "wise men," Orage, is in Henderson's opinion wrong and that he is right.
Thus, he puts himself at a "higher" level of understanding than Orage, a very dubious position.
Perhaps Henderson's most confused conclusion is the rejection of the requirement for group work.
His claim is that group work is a relic of past failed "experiments" dating from the Russian period.
Henderson's basic premise is that Gurdjieff's booklet The Herald of the Coming Good (which he fully reprints within his book) is the key to deciphering Gurdjieff's other writings.
He elevates Herald to a high position since it is Gurdjieff's only book that has not been revised. Nott spent time with Gurdjieff at the Prieuré and later with P. Ouspensky, and this book, as well as his Journey Through This World, are well worth reading.
This of course will be immediately refuted but there he/Gurdjieff is.
Henderson's answer will appeal to the many people who have been inspired by the ideas of the Work, but whose self-will and self-delusion keep them from entering the Work or, like Henderson, having had a taste of group work and left or been asked to leave. It is likely, but not known, that Gurdjieff felt this was both a fail-safe for preservation, as well as a means of spreading the teaching and that the books could be a useful adjunct and a clarification for the oral teaching.
They remain, as Gurdjieff said, "poisoned" with the truth of their own self-experiencing and so live in apsychological Work nether world, as we see with so many Internet "Fourth Way" forums and groups. Some 60 years have passed since Gurdjieff's death, and the process of distortion, as well as deviation, of this seminal and esoteric teaching is well under way.
Henderson believes Gurdjieff foresaw that all his other writings would be tampered with and so he disowned it and withdrew Herald from publication. The problem is not the books but that Henderson anoints Nott as a "Patriarch of the Work." Two others A. Orage and Frank Pinderare also so anointed and together they make for Henderson "The Three Wise Men." He believes their writings hold the keys to the key (Herald) to the unlocking of Gurdjieff's All and Everything.
There is general agreement that Gurdjieff, with his deep understanding of man's psychology, by telling people not to read Herald, likely intended it to be read. He holds an unwavering conviction that another book is the key to the understanding of Herald. This rather fantastic belief is supported not by facts but by Henderson's infatuation with his own "discovery." Gurdjieff's other direct students Henderson essentially consigns to varying degrees of ineptitude, with some accused of engaging in nefarious conduct (revisionism).
That is, they were not "that truly great society of ordinary three-brained beingsa society which in its time was throughout the whole universe called 'envied for imitation.'" The process by which Henderson gleefully comes to his misconstrued, not very relevant conclusions is illustrative of his methodology. " This partial quotation is the start of a long process of proving that the A-Khaldans, as he calls them, are men without an internal moon, without essence.