In the process of gathering what Mr. Gurdjieff wrote about journalism and journalists, I’ve put together some brief notes from Meetings with Remarkable Men p. 18-28 on just what he wrote on the subject:
- Journalism is a fundamental evil that exerts a poisonous influence on mutual relations among people today and offers nothing whatsoever to the development of the mind.
- Accelerates the atrophy of people’s last possibilities for acquiring data to remember oneself.
- Journalism is the cause for contemporary man’s thinking further separation from individuality and thereby conscience, weakening the mind until it is open without resistance to deceit, delusion, without well-founded thinking or sane judgement, and instead, incredulity, indignation, fear, false shame, hypocrisy, pride, etc.
- Several examples are given:
- Family died from eating spoiled sausages through the influence of false advertising.
- False advertising about an actress.
- False advertising about an artist.
- False report of an unprincipled employer led to suicide.
- Critics who know nothing of what they criticize; music, for example.
- Journalism develops our intellect like an Edison phonograph and our feelings to the fineness of a cow.
- The leaders of contemporary civilization are incapable of knowing the significance of the effect of journalism on man.
- Leaders of former civilizations would never have allowed journalism to exist.
- Met with society of literati and journalists, and they were young, weak, effeminate, and their parents were drunkards or suffered from other passions through will-lessness; or had their own hidden bad habits.
- Journalists and writers strongly support each other and praise each other highly but are nullities. Their readers do not see they are nullities.
- Astonishing that governments do not recognize and destroy journalism as the cause of many crimes and misunderstandings.
Prior to addressing the subject of journalism and journalists, Mr. Gurdjieff had raised the topic of the difference between ancient and contemporary literature, which will be detailed in a subsequent post.