I have an affection for Gurdjieff out of proportion with my estimation of him or his work. Maybe it is just that I first read about him and his work when I was young and impressionable and, well, it left an impression. If bother to move past vague affection to examine him, I am usually discomfited.
There is something decidedly cult-ish to him and at least some of that has to do with the intense loathing he directed toward the way our circumstances determine us. Gurdjieff thought that, to the extent we were determined, we were basically machines. Melodramatically, he would suggest that we were nothing more than machines unless we manage to complete the spiritual work of liberation.