Table of Contents

Appendix 3

Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
Table of Contents


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Appendix 4: Membership of the Theosophical Society

Table I: World Membership of the Society

          For years prior to 1907 there are no official membership figures available.  However, there are figures for the total number of charters issued for lodges of the Society up to each year after 1878:


          [1]  1895 was the year of the "Judge schism" in the United States of America in which 101 lodges out of the 115 lodges in America left the Society based at Adyar.

          From General Report of the Thirty-sixth Anniversary and Convention of the Theosophical Society Held at Benares December 26th to 31st, 1911, TS, Adyar, 1912.

          It is important to note that not all the lodges for which charters were issued would continue to exist.

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          * No figures published.

          [1] Estimate by Josephine Ransom, "75 Years of Growth, in The Theosophist, November, 1950:111

          [2] No accurate statistics were compiled between 1875 and 1906 - Jinarajadasa, 1925a:264.  But to February 17, 1907, 32,132 people had joined the TS (although not all were then still members) and 913 lodges had been chartered 9although not all were then active.)

          [3] United State Bureau of Census figure for the 1916 census was 5097.

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          [1] For the period 1923 to 1932, see also Table II.

          [2] Between 1908 and 1925, 81,436 people joined the TS, but this produced a net gain of only 25,562 - Henry, 1979:162.

          [3] United States Bureau of Census figure, for the 1926 Census was 7448.

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          * Figures not available due to wartime conditions


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          Derived from annual reports of the Theosophical Society, Jinarajadasa, 1925a:263-4, International Theosophical Year Books, and figures given in reports of sections published in The Theosophist.  There is often some variation in statistics between sources.

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Table 11: Membership 1923 to 1932


          Between 1923 and 1932, 47,800 people entered the TS, and 54,000 people left it.

          Based on General Report of the Theosophical Society for 1932, TS, Adyar, 1932:7-8

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Table III: Theosophists in the Australian Census

          In the first censuses held for the Commonwealth of Australia - 1901, 1911, 1921, 1933 - answers to the question on religion were divided into a number of categories, including "Theosophist" and "Spiritualist".  After the 1933 census the number of divisions into which statistics for the religion question were classified substantially decreased, and Theosophists were not separately identified thereafter.  Those who responded "Theosophist", or "Theosophical Society" in a subsequent census were counted in the "Other non-Christian" category.   The following statistics, taken from the census reports, provide interesting background information for Leadbeater's time in Australia.  The statistics for Spiritualists are given for comparison.

          Some Theosophists would not have responded "Theosophist" in response to a question on religion because they did not regard Theosophy as a religion, or because they were members of a church or other religious body.


        In the 1933 census a detailed breakdown of the statistics is provided.

1933 Census

Theosophists by State






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Table of Contents

Appendix 3

Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
Table of Contents