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Master of the East
An Excerpt from The Century of the Magicians by Jack Heart & Orage
The men entered through Kuyumcular Kapısı or the Jeweler’s Gate on the east side of Constantinople’s Grand Bazaar. They were led by a tall man; Mahmed Sheyket Pasha, over fifty but still lean and muscular as a greyhound. He was the most powerful man in the military and right then, the most powerful man in the fading Ottoman Empire. As commander of the third army, and with his own hand selected reactionary force called the Army of Action, Sheyket Pasha was the de facto head of the Young Turks. He was followed closely by a slightly shorter and much younger man with a barrel chest, dressed all in black. Captain Kemal Atatürk was the toughest man in the army and anyone who had ever met him knew it. Sheyket Pasha trailed his bejeweled sword on his belt, supplemented with a German Luger pistol. Concealed beneath his long black coat Atatürk also carried a Luger along with a couple of daggers, supplemented by his fists said to be as hard as steel. Behind them trailed four men, the fiercest in the Army of Action. They also wore all black. Sheyket Pasha did not talk to Atatürk like a subordinate but more like a beloved son, “keep your eyes open Kemal, one can never trust a Russian, even if he is Sebottendorff's or Glauer or whatever he is calling himself this week oldest friend. Why would the Russians want to help us? CUP [Committee of Union and Progress] is financially strapped or I wouldn’t even be meeting with him I don’t care who he knows. Abdülhamid, Allah curse that pig and all his progeny, knows we need money. He will not settle for a constitutional monarchy; he wants the absolute power he had as Sultan back and he is already using the royale treasury to incite the Imams and these ignorant wretches to counter revolution. They want Sharia back, fortunately Allah has chosen us to drag them kicking and screaming from the Dark Ages and we will not let Allah down. It may take a hundred years, but the Ottoman Empire will rise again. Much of it is going to fall on you and your generation Kemal.”
Atatürk said nothing as they passed through the crowd beneath the great overhead archway. Merchants stalls lined each side of the cobblestone walkway, no wider than a few men walking abreast. People meandered from stall to stall, women covered from head to toe and men in the traditional garb of the sixteenth century. Benches were set up at intervals where men reclined and talked. Up ahead there was a crowd gathered around a man who was shouting from the top of a bench he was using as a makeshift pulpit. When they got closer, they could hear the Imam denouncing Sheyket Pasha and the military as godless brigands and calling for the people to tear up their blasphemous constitution, violently overthrow them by Jihad and reinstate Abdülhamid as supreme sultan answerable only to Sharia Law. The Iman did not see Sheyket Pasha who came up from behind him, grabbing him by his long white beard and yanking him face first down to the pavement. Sheyket Pasha then drew his jeweled sword and proceeded to beat him to a bloody pulp with the flat side as Atatürk and his men menacingly stared down the crowd. The Iman lay crumpled on the ground whimpering as his audience sullenly dispersed. Atatürk said, “your excellency, the pig will bleed all over your boots, please leave the disciplining of these dogs to me, that is why we are escorting you.” Sheyket Pasha sheathed his sword answering, “nonsense, I am Chechen. No Chechen man lets another man fight his battles.”
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Ahead of them was Sebottendorff, drawn to the commotion with his two companions; Gurdjieff and Karl Haushofer. The nine came together under the great archway of the Grand Bazaar as the bloody imam was carried off by his followers. Sebottendorff and Gurdjieff wore the metaphorical garb of Sufi’s with the long black overcoat covering their fine linin undergarments of the purest white, symbolizing going from dark to light when they shed their coats to dance. Haushofer, about ten years older than Sebottendorff and Gurdjieff, wore western dress and beyond nodding his head in acknowledgement of the Young Turks was stone faced and silent throughout the rest of the meeting. Sebottendorff began by addressing Sheyket Pasha who was still a bit winded from beating the imam, “these are White men, but they are initiates of the Green Dragon and they speak for every brotherhood of every race.” Gurdjieff who was fluent in Turkish as he was with seventeen other languages took over from there, “not only do we speak for all mankind, but I speak for the hidden masters whom I have visited in Shambhala, they have been watching and they sympathize with your struggle to drag your people from the mire of poverty, ignorance and despair. But the entrenched aristocracy of this world have given themselves over to evil decadence and they have summoned Allah’s judgement down upon all of us. An ancient evil has been loosed upon this world and indeed all the worlds. A reckoning that has been inevitable since time itself began. What happens above must also happen below and when heaven burns so shall earth. A time of great tribulation is upon us and if anything is to survive alliances must be forged for strength only comes from unity. I do not ask you to believe what I am saying, future circumstances will bear me out. The sultan has the treasure of the empire at his disposal, but you men have only your weapons and your hearts. In the Orient we have treasures untold. The sultan is an unclean pig and there are none among us who would share a room with him let alone work with him.”
With that Gurdjieff produced a twenty-pound sack from under his garment and handed it to Sheyket Pasha who reached in it and pulled out a handful of rubies, emeralds and diamonds cut to perfection and of weights unheard of. Gurdjieff continued as Sheyket Pasha handed the sack to Atatürk, “use that to recruit more men for your Army of Action you’re going to need them. The Ottoman Empire will be fragmented along with all the rest of the empires in the coming century. You must hang on like a bulldog to your own piece and from that in the following century will grow the new Ottoman Empire. One that serves its people and not incorporeal devils. I’ve arranged for our brotherhood to release some of the vast gold supply we have hoarded in the East to you. It will be shipped by train to Berlin.” Gurdjieff reached again beneath his long black coat and produced some paperwork and handed it to Sheyket Pasha. He continued, “you can keep it there which I would not suggest because Germany is about to become the hottest part of the fire. Or you can have you’re agents make arrangements with Karl’s agents delivering the gold to stash it anywhere in the world you wish. You men have been chosen to bear the torch of Islam into the coming world.” Gurdjieff then looked at Atatürk and said, “and you my friend have a great destiny, may Allah always be standing by your side to guide you. You will have many enemies. Always remember “Strike and you will not be struck. But if you do not strike they will beat you to death like Sidor’s goat.” (14) With that Gurdjieff released them from the hypnotic spell he had cast upon them, and the Young Turks were dumbfounded. There was no one there, the three men were gone, but Sheyket Pasha still held the instructions for receiving a train load of gold and Atatürk the sack of jewels.
Concealed beneath her Hajib from a stall off to the side, Gertrude Bell had been watching the whole thing. She had seen the three men vanish right before her eyes, but she had seen such things before. Having once hung from the side of a cliff for two days suspended by the flimsiest of ropes and conquered La Meije and Mont Blanc along with numerous other Alpine peaks she was recognized as the greatest female mountaineer in the world. She knew Crowley well, he liked to think of himself the greatest mountaineer in the world. Bell was the acknowledged expert on the Middle East for the Round Table, and she would be celebrated in history as perhaps the most efficient spy ever produced by the British Empire. She knew who the two Sufis were, and she suspected the man in western clothes was a very well-connected German. She immediately sent word to her young lover Colonel Doughty-Wylie, acting British vice consul to the Ottoman Empire at Konieh and Mersina. He in turn dashed off telegrams to both Stead and Milner; Gurdjieff was back, and he was maneuvering the Young Turks, perhaps in concert with the Germans.
Later at the Black Rose, a Russian café in Constantinople, Gurdjieff and Sebottendorff discussed the day’s proceedings over copious rounds of vodka. They had known each other since their late teens when Ioseb Jughashvili, at the insistence of his Jesuit handlers, had skipped out of the house they were renting from Gurdjieff’s uncle in Tbilisi without paying the rent. Jughashvelli had robbed a bank and broke into the estate of Grigory Potemkin, the lineal descendant of an ancient and venerable Boyar family. Jughashvelli who had taken to calling himself Koba, after a legendary Georgian bandit, with his gang recruited from the more radical elements of Mesame Dasi Georgia’s socialist party, slaughtered the whole family with knives and swords. Jughashvelli had personally killed Potemkin, cutting off his head and placing it at the front door as his macabre calling card. After that, Jughashvelli with the Jesuits help reestablished himself in Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city, as a leader of the revolution and its most violent proponent. Although he was never charged with the murders everyone knew he did it. School was out for both of them, and Gurdjieff fled to Constantinople where he became an initiate of the Sarmoung brotherhood, an ancient Sufi order that traced its roots back to Babylon. It was there he met Sebottendorff. Gurdjieff due to yogic breathing techniques he mastered as a child was able to hold his breath for close to ten minutes. He was a curiosity among the upper echelons of Constantinople society and was commissioned by one of the most prominent families in Constantinople to find a priceless amber tasbīḥ or prayer beads that had been dropped overboard from the ferry across the Bosphorus. It took him weeks of diving, sometimes to depths a hundred feet and more weighted by blacksmiths sledgehammers but Gurdjieff found the tasbīḥ. The praeterhuman effort had made him deathly ill, and he was bedridden for months. Sebottendorff, who was the son of the man who had commissioned him was in Germany attending Prussian military school. He had been summoned back to Constantinople by his father to personally oversee Gurdjieff’s medical treatment as he convalesced in their estate. The two young men found they shared not only an overriding interest in mysticism but a talent for magick. They became inseparable friends, with Gurdjieff eventually sponsoring Sebottendorff’s initiation into the Sarmoung brotherhood and upon his return from Shamballa; the Green Dragons to be their agent in the West.
Gurdjieff laughed as he said, “Ekim you are Muslim, alcohol is forbidden, that is why I stay a Christian. There is too much French wine in the world to give that one to Allah.” Ekim, which was Sebottendorff’s Islamic name, laughed even harder than Gurdjieff as he said, “you forget Georgi my mother is German, the great and magnanimous Allah makes allowances for such things. How did we get outside the Grand Bazaar? One second we were with the Young Turks and the next second we were outside in the garden. We both studied under the greatest Sufi in Persia, not even he could do such things. Did the hyperboreans teach you that? Can you teach it to me?” Suddenly growing sullen Gurdjieff answered, “the hyperboreans taught me nothing Ekim, they just helped me remember. Without the jewels of the Djinn no man can perform such a feat. There should only be six others born of woman who can. But they say a seventh has been born in England and he will destroy the world. He has already lit the fire that shall burn every living thing. We cannot stop him. Nothing can. He comes by the judgement of Allah, but we can mitigate Allah’s judgment. We are walking a tightrope Ekim and if we fall this world will fall with us.” Sebottendorff looked introspective when he said, “why are we helping the Young Turks they will surely bring war to the Ottoman Empire? You know they are going to use that money to kill every Armenian they can. Wasn’t your father Armenian? The Sultan was an idiot but at least he was a happy idiot. He would have kept things as they were, peaceful. The Young Turks are fanatics, and that Atatürk is like a vicious dog of the pit.” Gurdjieff answered, “my father was Kievan Rus he immigrated to Armenia. No one can really tell the future. Perhaps Thomas Hobbs was right when he wrote Leviathan, man is just a biological machine. It follows suite that everything is preordained, like the ticking of a clock. But we as participants in this game called life know that is not the way it works. There walk in this world those who can dictate what time it is. Seers come and seers go, some are right some are wrong. But there are a very few among the children of men that can change both the future and the past by their actions here and now. That is why it never works out according to calculations. Regardless, the hyperboreans are better at soothsaying than mortal men or women. They say Atatürk is the seed of Islam in the world to come. They say there is another who shall save the Christian world born in Germany; one Alois Heidler. Haushofer has located him, and the Thule Society is sending him to England to study under this dark master, the one they call Aleister Crowley. We are playing a game of chess my friend and we are moving the pieces at the hyperboreans direction.”
Sebottendorff was troubled when he said, “how do we know the hyperboreans are on the side of man? Why send the German to learn from the very wrath of Allah?” Gurdjieff answered him solemnly, “do not underestimate me my friend, there are things I could show the hyperboreans. A century plus years of warfare has come to the human race, and evil walks among us as surely as the House of Windsor. Evil can only be met and overcome with greater evil. You need a monster to kill a monster. That is why Allah, in his infinite wisdom, has sanctioned the birth of this Englishman. That is why the man closest to me, even closer than you my brother, is Ioseb Jughashvili, the devil himself. The Englishman will teach us, and we will learn from him because he does not care, he is not here for this world but for its soul, what the Jews call the Shekinah. It makes no difference to him whether the human race survives or not. It’s my job to insure it does. Let’s play out my hand.”
A waiter approached their table and tentatively handed Gurdjieff a note which Gurdjieff read, pulled out his pen and hastily scribbled on. He handed it back to the waiter saying, “see this gets to Comrade Gleb Bokii.” The waiter nodded and scurried off. Gurdjieff looked at Sebottendorff gravely saying, “that is the problem with being a friend of the devil I speak his name and there he is, perhaps for now on I will just call him Stalin, he prefers it anyway. The czar has had him locked up in Baku which served no other purpose than to make Baku the seat of Bolshevik power in Transcaucasia. He doesn’t even allow guards on the prison grounds where he has been living like a czar himself while organizing party meetings and directing assassinations. Apparently this has greatly troubled the czar because he knows he is at the top of Stalin’s list. He has dispatched the Okhrana with a contingent of soldiers to move him by train. Stalin is to be brought to Solvychegodsk where he will be under twenty-four-hour guard and held in solitary. The message is from Brother Rasputin who has insinuated himself into the royal family. We must leave at daybreak for Cappadocia. I will intercept the train.” Sebottendorff was incredulous, saying, “but Georgi we will be travelling in the wrong direction, we must cross the Black Sea by boat to Odessa. Even when we get to Odessa Solvychegodsk will still be over a thousand miles to the northeast. It’s part of Archangelsk providence on the shore of Lake Solyonoye. We will never get there in time to intercept the train and even if we did, we could not commandeer a train load of armed soldiers with Jughashvelli’s entire Outfit.” Gurdjieff was amused when he said, “Ekim please don’t call him Jughashvelli, he will hear you and the waiter will be back with another message to bring a bottle of some impossible to find Vodka. I told you I could show the hyperboreans a trick or two, I’ll show them to you...”
After an arduous three-day journey west, some by railway, some by foot they reached the ancient citadel of Cappadocia where they rented two fine Cappadocian steeds. Mounted they travelled southwest toward the Tartar mountains, gleaming white in the setting sun. They paused on a ridge above to admire the city carved into volcanic rock, pink hued in the twilight. Gurdjieff pointed to clusters of rock formations that looked like twenty- and thirty-meter-tall penises, some with windows carved into them, and remarked, “they were originally built by the hyperboreans as a phallic display in honor of Marduk, but he turned on them and hunted them down like a beast of prey, slaughtering all of them he could find. Some escaped into the caves at the foot of the mountains. That is where we are going.” Sebottendorff objected, “but surely Georgi Marduk is just a story told by our ancestors, either that or he was Iblīs and the hyperboreans are no better than Yezidi devil worshipers and got just what they had coming. There is only one god and that is the great and magnanimous Allah, the God of the Quran.”
Darkness was now upon them as they made their way by moonlight through the marshy reeds surrounding Yay Gölü, a shallow salt lake legendary for the pink salt it produces. Gurdjieff said with great resignation, “Allah did not write the Quran, it was dictated to Mohammad by lesser gods, of which there are nine. That is why the narrator of the Quran always says we. Allah means all and nothing, Allah exists yet does not exist because Allah does not have to exist to be. Allah is everything, you, I, the mountains, the sea and the grass, the nine lesser gods, their nine worlds, and indeed even the light and the darkness. The Hindus believe the supreme being is dreaming and unaware of the goings on in this world where we are forced to live like animals. If he was to ever awaken and see the injustice he would annihilate everything. This they call Opening the Eye of Shiva; it’s an end of the world scenario and the Englishman intends to make it happen.”
Still skeptical Sebottendorff questioned him, “how do you know all this Georgi? Did the hyperboreans tell you? How could they escape Iblīs merely by hiding in a cave?” Gurdjieff did not answer and for hours they rode through the night in silence. At daybreak when they reached a horseshoe shaped valley at the foot of Bozdag Peak Gurdjieff dismounted and removed his pack. He slapped the horse hard on the ass, shouting some Armenian curses. It took off running back toward Yay Gölü and Gurdjieff instructed Sebottendorff to do the same with his horse saying, “they will find their way back and if they don’t your father will have to find the man we rented them from and pay him the difference.” When Sebottendorff had set his horse to flight Gurdjieff looked at him and said, “Ekim, are you familiar with the Christian story of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus? In order to escape the persecution of Christians by Emperor Decius seven youths and their dog hid in a cave where they were transported through sleep hundreds of years into the future.” A look of surprise came to Sebottendorff’s face as he exclaimed, “the same story is in the Quran. Surah eighteen I think. Except in the Quran it says only Allah knows the number of sleepers, but they also have a dog.” Gurdjieff smiled and said, “yes Akim. Its allegorical. After God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot lived in a cave with his two daughters. In fact, a cave is mentioned thirty-nine times in the bibles Old Testament, in almost every instance as a place of refuge or escape. Mohammad first made contact with Gabriel in a cave. Qabalists claim that Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai and his son wrote the second book of the Sēp̄er Yəṣīrā or Book of Formation in a cave. The Hebrew word for cave is mearah. Mearah’s gematric value is three hundred and fifteen the same as Yəṣīrā or the World of Formation making the words interchangeable according to the rules of the Qabalah. In Abrahamic scripture cave is used as a euphemism for portal Akim, doorways to anywhere in this world and to many others, even as far as Sirius the Dog Star. That’s why there is a dog in the Christian and Muslim version.” His voice now filled with awe, Sebottendorff interrupted, “in the fifty third Sura; An-Najm, Allah promises, as the Lord of Sirius, to raise the dead and bring about a Second Kingdom.” Gurdjieff put his hand on Sebottendorff’s shoulder and confided, “there are an infinite number of parallel universes Akim. They’re all connected by these portals and only Allah knows what can come through them. The Jews have known about them since time out of mind. Jewish merchants have used them since the days of the Radhanites to crisscross the world, trading in the Americas, Africa and Asia. The German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher wrote about them hundreds of years ago, but it’s never penetrated the wall of sleep that keeps man almost as dumb as the beasts he eats. In Shamballa, a day lasts a thousand years and during my time there I became intimately acquainted with these highways and byways through space and time. The doorways open according to the phases of the moon, and one will open here during the full moon tonight that will take us in the blink of an eye to the coordinates I sent to Bokii. Archangelsk is riddled with these doorways; it is where the Goths crossed over from the great artic landmass of Scandza.”
They walked about a mile along the foot of a craggy bluff and Gurdjieff pointed to what looked to be no more than a shallow hole in its base just big enough for two men to fit in saying, “it will open about three hours after midnight.” He then placed his pack on a rock and sat in the snow about the length of a man away from the hole, facing it in a Lotus Position. Sebottendorff thought he would freeze to death that night, he had even tried unsuccessfully to light a fire. Gurdjieff sat like that for the better half of the day and into the night, never moving and never talking. Just when Sebottendorff thought he could bear it no more the hole suddenly grew pitch black even in the light of the full moon. It was as if the world they were in ended where the hole began. Gurdjieff stood up and said, “let’s go it won’t stay open long.” They stepped into the seemingly impenetrable blackness together and Sebottendorff had the sensation of falling at incredible speed, he could glimpse spiraling walls flashing by too fast to be clearly seen and Gurdjieff unmoved by his side as they hurtled forward. Abruptly they were standing on a freezing wind-swept hill. Bokii was there with a contingent of men and horses from Stalin’s Outfit. They were dressed as Cossacks and Bokii was holding an extra coat. He nodded to Gurdjieff and said in Russian, “it’s been a while my old friend.” Gurdjieff smiled for the first time in days and answered, “not as long as it’s been for me. Did you bring me Kobas favorite pistol?” Gurdjieff looked at Sebottendorff and deadpanned in Persian, “other people have a favorite turban or blanket.” Bokii dismounted and produced a Russian Nagant revolver from his coat handing it to Gurdjieff. Below them were the train tracks leading into a tunnel through the hill they were standing on. A train was rapidly approaching blowing its whistle. Gurdjieff stepped forward and holding the pistol in one hand he produced a small blue marble from his cloak with the other. Stretching out his arms he seemed to call up the wind. It began howling at a gale force as the steaming locomotive entered the tunnel beneath them. The marble began glowing with the brilliance of a tiny sun and it was humming louder than the wind and the train when Gurdjieff suddenly hurled it down at the last car as it entered the tunnel. Some of the men raced their horses to the other side of the hill as the train disappeared into the tunnel but nothing came out on the other side. Not wanting to go in the tunnel fearing it was a trap they waited outside for what seemed like hours but was in fact only minutes. Stalin finally emerged shuffling and looking a bit dazed. Boki raced down to him shouting, “Koba you are safe now. Take this coat, it’s freezing cold out here.”
As Stalin collected himself Gurdjieff strode down the hill purposefully and handed him his pistol remarking, “only you Josef would be psychically tethered to a pistol.” They embraced warmly and Stalin said, “This is the pistol you gave me back in seminary school when you read the stars and told me I was destined to rule Russia as the man of steel. (15) I have killed many people with this pistol Georgi. I love it more than I will ever love any woman, or any man except you. You’ve used up your wish Georgi, haven’t you? I knew you would but do not worry I still have this for both of us.” Stalin produced a lapis lazuli marble from his trousers showed it to Gurdjieff then quickly shoved it back into his pants. Gurdjieff smiled and said, “it was your wish not mine Josef, that is why I needed your pistol. I will ask Asherah for nothing, you did.” Stalin gave him a leering grin and said, “fuck that whore you will rule the darkness with me in eternity.” At this point Bokii, the vampire, interjected and said, “Georgi what did happen to that train?” Gurdjieff sighed and said, “it’s in a parallel world almost exactly like the one it left. The men on the train will probably never even notice except Josef will be gone when they exit the tunnel. Here their families and loved ones will never see them again though. And the czar is out a train.” Gurdjieff turned to Sebottendorff and said in German, “take five of Kobas men and cross Poland into Prussia. Tell the Thule Society what you’ve seen here today.” He then turned to Stalin and in Russian said, “you will be going back to Georgia I suppose. I will escort you; we have much to talk about Josef.”
Excerpted From The Century of the Magicians by Jack Heart & Orage
14 - Gurdjieff, G. (2013, June 21). Michael Garland. Meetings With Remarkable Men 2 My Father (40:00). Retrieved from
15 – "Shocking Secrets of Comrade Stalin." Searching for the Truth. YouTube , 9 Oct 2022. Web.
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