What is The Emin?

You may have picked up on the name The Emin on this website.

The Emin was initially a group of likeminded people that gathered in the early seventies around father and son Raymond and John Armin. They would meet to share in study and practice of various esoteric teachings, most prominent being the works of Gurdjieff and his successors such as Ouspensky. There were many other sources though, such as neo-Platonic philosophy.

Like many students of the esoteric, Emin members generally adopted a self-chosen name under which to practice their work. Raymond and John were known as Leo and Orman, respectively. The aims of the Emin, at least as it was initially presented to me, was to find the core of what makes us what we are, or what it is to be a human. To further this study the group looked into things too numerous to cover here, but topics included divination, the antiquities (especially Ancient Egypt), the origins of religious thought, atmospheres, the human complex, the awakened self and so on.

The Frown Strong tarot that Abu had passed on to me a few years earlier and from which this project took early influence was designed by Orman and largely based on the Marseille/Waite-Rider tradition, heavily influenced by Ouspensky’s “Symbolism of the Tarot”.

A photo of Leo and Ruth of The Emin.
Copyright unknown.

“Leo” and “Ruth”

By the time I found an Emin group in Newcastle Orman had long since departed the group, and it had in many ways pretty much become a Leo personality cult. The community centre in which we gathered had pictures of Leo, with quotes by people from St Augustine to Descartes attributed to him, and all reference to anyone but their guru redacted. Whether this was the norm for Emin gatherings around the world I have no idea. (The Emin had around 3,500 members worldwide, with groups in Britain, The US, The Netherlands and Israel that I knew of). it certainly was true of my group however.

Anyway, I was aware of this cult-like phenomenon when I joined so wasn’t taken by surprise, but the access to the huge body of work and the innumerable practitioners made it a worthwhile affiliation.

The group in Newcastle quit The Emin en masse in around 1995 (in protest to something we needn’t go into here). We continued for a short time as an independent group before fracturing and disbanding in the months that followed.

The Emin is stll about today, although Leo died at the turn of the century. Orman has continued to work independently since leaving The Emin in the 80s, and for the last decade or so with the Virsel community.