Robert Sylvester de Ropp was at first a well-known English biochemist and academic in that field, who published several studies in cancer research. Early in his career he met P. D. Ouspensky— a student of G. I. Gurdjieff, whom he also met— with whom he studied for many years. Eventually he found himself in the center of the burgeoning human potential movement.
After retiring to a ranch on Sonoma Mountain in 1961 he began writing several seminal books on consciousness, including the very influential Master Game. De Ropp established a learning community on his land in 1967, with a focus upon learning at the levels of body, mind and spirit. He died in a kayaking accident in the Pacific Ocean in 1987, at the age of 74. Many residents of the valley studied with him, or with teachers who studied with him; many of his ideas still resonate in our community.