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Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
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Chapter 19: Tensions and Divisions

          Mrs Besant departed for Adyar without resolving the conflict in the TS in Sydney, and Krishna and Nitya sailed for Ojai, a valley in California, about fifty miles north of Los Angeles, where a Theosophical community had being established. [1]  Prior to their departures, Mrs Besant and Krishna had a long private discussion about what Krishna described as "the whole thing, Wedgwood, Initiates, etc.", and which he thought best not to commit to paper. [2]

          Krishna had also received - via CWL, a message from the Master KH:

          "Of you, too, we have the highest hopes.  Steady and widen yourself, and strive more & more to bring the mind & brain into subservience to the true Self within.  Be tolerant of divergences of view & of method, for each had usually a fragment of truth concealed somewhere within it, even though often times it is distorted almost beyond recognition.  Seek for that tiniest gleam of light amid the Stygian darkness of each ignorant mind, for by recognizing & fostering it you may help a baby brother. [3]


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          Krishna commented:

          "It is just what I wanted as I am inclined to be intolerant & not look for the brother." [4]

          This message was to have a profound effect on him, and Mary Lutyens takes it as marking the "Turning Point" in his development.  Indeed, Krishna wrote to Mrs Besant and Leadbeater saying:

          "Ever since I left Australia I have been thinking and deliberating about the message which the Master K.H. gave me while I was there.  I naturally wanted to achieve those orders as soon as I could..." [5].

          Shortly after his arrival at Ojai, Krishna began to experience an extraordinary process of psychological and occult development, which was to prove extremely painful, psychologically and physically.  It involved acute pain in the head and nape of the neck, difficulties in sleeping, and what would be described in non-occult circles as hallucinations and delirium.  Neither he nor those close to him understood what was happening to him.   On September 2nd, 1922, he wrote to Mrs Besant, Leadbeater and Lady Emily.  To Leadbeater he said:


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          "As you well know, I have not been what is called 'happy' for many years;  everything I touched brought me discontentment;  my mental condition as you know, my dearest Brother, has been deplorable... I have changed considerably from what I was in Australia.  Naturally I have been thinking and deliberating about the message Master KH gave me while in Australia." [6]

          He had begun meditating for about half an hour each day since leaving Australia, and felt that he was now able to see where he had gone wrong in the past.  He told Leadbeater:

          "I began consciously and deliberately to destroy the wrong accumulations of the past years since I had the misfortune of leaving you.  Here let me acknowledge with shame that my feelings towards you were not what they should have been.  Now, they are wholly different.  I think I love and respect you as mighty few people do.  My love for you when we first met at Adyar has returned bringing with it the love from the past.   Please don't think that I am writing mere platitudes and worn out phrases.  They are not and you, my dearest brother, know me,


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in fact better than myself.  I wish, with all my heart, that I could see you now. [7]

          He expressed a new spirit of resolution, stating that he had

been "spiritually blind" for the past seven years, "in a dungeon without light", and now felt that he was in the sunlight, again in touch with the Lord Maitreya and the Master.  He knew exactly what he wanted to do:

          " ...nothing but to serve the Masters and the Lord.... My whole life, now, is consciously, on the physical plane, devoted to the work and I am not likely to change." [8]

          Leadbeater was sure that Krishna was undergoing his Third Initiation. [9]  But he was uncertain of the full implications of what was happening.  On October 21st, Leadbeater wrote to Mrs Besant:

          "You will by this time have received copies, of the accounts written by Krishna and Nitya of the wonderful experience which came to the former.  It was indeed marvellous and beautiful, though I wish it had not been accomplished by so much physical sickness and suffering.  I should like very much to hear your comment upon all this.  We have ourselves


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passed through very similar experiences, except that, in my own case at least, there has never been any of these terrible physical symptoms, the body being usually left peacefully resting in a trance condition, or else fully awake and taking part in what was passing, but without any pain or sickness." [10]

          It was a month before Leadbeater replied to Krishna.  On November 14th he wrote from The Manor:

          "My Dear Krishna, I congratulate you with all my heart.  The step you have taken is of extreme importance, and makes it certain (so far as mere human beings can ever be certain!) that you will take the next step also before many years are over.  I understand all the happiness you feel, the certainty, the wonderful increase of love and energy.   For she and I have been through all this - though I did not suffer physically nearly as much as you seem to have done. I think she did so suffer, but she said very little about it.  Compared with the way in which progress goes with most pupils, things have moved wonderfully quickly since that day, now nearly fourteen years ago, when we met for the first time in this incarnation


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at Adyar.   And I am very, very thankful that we have come thus far on the way without serious mishap, for at one time I had a little anxiety, even though I knew all must be well in the end.  You should be absolutely firm and unshakeable now;  yet all occult tradition warns us that there are still dangers and temptations up to the very threshold of Divinity.  May the Lord [Maitreya] grant us to remain ever faithful to Him - to forget ourselves utterly in our love for Him." [11]

          He also confirmed, as Krishna had mentioned in his letter, that Lady Emily had been accepted as a pupil of the Master on August 12th.  There was a temporary healing of the break between Leadbeater and Krishna, but it was not to last for long.

          Krishna's agonizing "process" continued, and he was still unable to understand what was happening to him;  and nor could Leadbeater.  Krishna replied to Leadbeater's letter on December 14th, and wrote immediately to Lady Emily telling her the news of her acceptance, for Leadbeater had not done so.  This was clearly an intentional oversight, for Leadbeater believed that she had incurred the Master's displeasure by following Krishna to Taormina in 1914.   Lady


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Emily had been put on probation nine years previously at Varengeville, and had to wait four months before Leadbeater himself confirmed her advancement. [12]

          In 1923 The Theosophist initiated a series of articles defending Leadbeater and attacking his critics.  Mrs Besant wrote in the February issue:

          "A friend had asked why he [Leadbeater] did not prosecute The Sydney Telegraph [sic] as he would obtain 'swinging damages'.  It is not worthwhile.  There is better work to do than punishing a vulgar and slanderous paper... The contempt of decent people and the failure of the ignoble attack are a more appropriate punishment." [13]

          And in an article entitled "February 17th, 1847", written to celebrate Leadbeater's revised birth date, she referred to the "American attacks" and noted that Leadbeater "resigned from the Society that it might not be involved in his trouble".  In her Presidential Address to celebrate the forty-seventh anniversary of the Society she criticized the "four-fold attack" on Leadbeater and the LCC, deriving, she said, from the anti-LCC groups, the anti-Adyar groups in the USA, a magazine in the USA attacking Leadbeater and the LCC [14], and the "Loyalty League" in Sydney.  Apparently


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forgetting her own criticisms of Leadbeater in 1906, she reinterpreted the events of that year.

          "[Leadbeater] resigned in vain effort to save the Society from being made responsible for protecting boys from a form of evil terribly prevalent, as all teachers know, in our schools, to which his attention had been drawn in his experience as a clergyman of the Church of England, by lads who had fallen by ignorance into evil ways and sought his aid in their efforts to escape from them." [15]

          She claimed that the advice he had actually given to the boys had been "misunderstood" and "perverted", and

          "the advice he gave to rescue was represented as an encouragement to evil, and his frank admission of having given the advice [was] represented to me as his own confession of evil living." [16]

          By May, 1923, she was stating:

          "There is a definite conspiracy being carried out against C.W.L." [17]


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          But she concluded:

          "Bishop Leadbeater is so far above them that all their raging cannot touch his exquisite serenity.  His is the spirit of the Christ, who prayed:  'Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.'" [18]

          However, those doing the "raging" were less complementary.  The May issue of Dawn launched a vitriolic though veiled attack on Leadbeater:

          "His psychopathic tendencies get him into trouble, but the dear, devoted souls rally round him again and again, fighting heroically for a bad cause.... He has a Rasputin-like influence over boys and old women who, even when his vileness is exposed, shout 'Judge not - be tolerant' ...He binds his dupes with the old chain of priestcraft and ceremonial magic." [19]

          The Hobart Lodge of the TS was calling for a full investigation of the charges made against Leadbeater, including the questions of sexual immorality and fraudulence in his claims to clairvoyance.  They also requested Mrs Besant to make a statement regarding conflicting opinions


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about James Wedgwood.  These further "troubles" were a continuing consequence of the "Martyn Letter".

          On March 7th, 1923, T.H. Martyn had replied to Mrs Besant's answer to his famous letter of May, 1922.  He concluded:

          "The root of the trouble is, that if Mr Leadbeater and Mr Wedgwood are immoral, they cannot be what you have represented them to be, i.e. on the threshold of Divinity and inspired prophets whose words and acts are worthy of reverence and esteem and to be blindly accepted.  That is the real issue, and, we take it, always has been." [20]

          Martyn was, of course, a major participant in the conspiracy which Mrs Besant saw operating against Leadbeater, and, by implication, against the Masters.  The June issue of The Theosophist carried more details of this conspiracy and in July it announced that the diploma of the Sydney Lodge had been cancelled on June 8th by Mrs Besant.  Accordingly, the largest Lodge in the world left the TS, and, under Martyn's leadership, formed the Independent Theosophical Society, with its headquarters in the King's Hall, Hunter Street, which property it retained despite legal action by the new lodge established by Mrs Besant.


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          After all the gloomy news of "troubles" in Sydney, The Theosophist could cheer its readers with news of the formation of yet another organization working for the Coming:  The Order of the New Age, of which Leadbeater was Patron, and his pupil, Oscar Kollerstrom, Head. [21]  Like a goodly number of such organizations, it appears to have been still-born, for there is no further mention of it in Theosophical publications.

          As the year progressed, Leadbeater continued to receive details of Krishna's "process", but neither he nor Mrs Besant could provide any explanation for what was happening.  Leadbeater wrote to Mrs Besant on May 12th:

          "It is quite evident that in all higher matters the methods of progress differ for each individual.  I do not understand why such terrible physical suffering should come to our Krishna.  Surely the Brahmin body is exceptionally pure, and should need less in the way of preparation that the average European vehicle.  In my own case I have no recollection of anything commensurate with this when I was passing through the same stage, though there was certainly a great deal of excessive discomfort in the development of the Kundalini.  It


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may be, as you suggest, that this is part of the preparation of that body for its Great Coming.  But it might well be that years must elapse after the completion of this preparation, in order that the body might fully recover from it before having to undergo the strain of the actual occupancy.  The case is so unique that I suppose the truth is that we can only wait and watch." [22]

          There were those, Krishna amongst them, who wondered why Leadbeater did not enquire of the Masters, or of the Lord Maitreya, for an explanation.  Meanwhile, the Vehicle for whose "occupation" all this activity was being undertaken, left the USA.  After an American tour, Krishna and Nitya travelled to England, and then to Vienna via Paris, before moving to Ommen, in Holland.  The "process" continued and intensified.

          On June 23rd, Leadbeater addressed a Star meeting in Sydney on "Why we expect Him".  His conviction that the Lord was coming was absolute.  Five days later he turned the first sod on the site of a Star amphitheatre at Balmoral, a harbourside suburb of Sydney.  The amphitheatre was to be built in Grecian style, overlooking the waters of Sydney Harbour, and some local people declared that it had been built to enable the faithful to observe Krishna enter Sydney


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in triumph by walking across the waters of the Harbour.  The ceremony consisted of prayers and readings, and the invocation of the angels at each of the cardinal points.  Flowers were offered to these supernatural participants, whose presence was visible to Leadbeater and others with psychic gifts.  The Australian Star News reported the event and noted that as Leadbeater turned the soil he "or someone through him thundered":

          "In the Name of all the Buddhas, past and future.  In the Name of the Great Master of the Wisdom, and in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, I turn this sod." [23]

          The service concluded with the singing of an orthodox Christian doxology - "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow" - and Leadbeater's benediction.

          One month later - on the day of the Asala full moon - Leadbeater laid the foundation stone of the amphitheatre "with full Masonic honours".  Specially magnetized jewels of the Seven Rays had been placed inside the stone.  Later in the year Leadbeater consecrated the Masonic Temple in the amphitheatre, and a regular programme of meetings was begun there.  The Liberal Catholic Church held its services in a chapel in the amphitheatre, and both


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the Order of the Star and the Order of the Round Table met there.  Smith's Weekly published a caricature of Leadbeater and announced (rather mixing the facts) that he had "opened the Christian Scientists' [sic] Box Plan for the Second Coming at Balmoral, Sydney". [24]

          The amphitheatre was seen by the believers as a tangible witness to the Coming, and the Star in the East  proudly proclaimed:

          "Since one hundred and twenty was said to have been the number of adherents to the new teachings when the ministry in Palestine came to a close, it is probable that a place which seats two thousand or with chairs in the arena and on the large promenades three thousand or more, is sufficient for our requirements." [25]

          Seats in the amphitheatre were sold to members of the various Theosophical organizations and to the public at prices ranging from five to one hundred pounds depending on proximity to the stage.  The fee provided the purchaser with a twenty-five year lease on the seat, and an engraved plaque bearing his name attached to it.

          Although presenting a facade of triumph at the


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establishment of the amphitheatre, and in being able to proclaim that the Order of the Star in the East had 100,000 members (an obvious exaggeration) in 38 National Sections, The Star in the East revealed an alarming financial situation for the amphitheatre.  Of the 2,000 seats, only 333 had been booked, and of these only 214 had actually been paid for, and the finances were in a precarious state. [26]   Assuring its readers that "Only once in all our 777 lives on earth are we likely to be chosen to prepare the Way of the Lord", the Star appealed to members to buy seats, sell seats to others, give money, and raise money.  Headlines reading "He That Giveth Quickly Giveth Twice", "How to do it: Borrow!", "Why Urgent?" and "How Some Have Helped" suggested more than a little concern, as did suggestions that prospective seat owners could either obtain bank loans for their purchases, use money otherwise intended for birthday or Christmas presents, or else "sell something if necessary".  Attention was drawn to the fact that of the 719 members of the OSE in Sydney, only 157 had taken seats, despite the assurance that anyone who takes part "in ever so remote a way in the building of the Amphitheatre" will receive "great good fortune". [27]

          But the sale of seats continued to be slow and unpredictable.  By the end of 1923, 333 seats had been booked and 214 paid for, but by June, 1924, only 117 were booked


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and 303 paid for.  This meant that within six months only 87 new seat buyers had been found.  Although the majority of seats were purchased by Australians - all but 26 of the 33 seats in 1923 were purchased by Australians, and of those 202 were purchased by people in New South Wales - by mid-1924 purchasers had been found in ten other nations, including England, the USA, India, Java, Canada, South Africa and Spain. [28]  The original costs of the amphitheatre - thirteen and a half thousand pounds - had been met by donations, including a substanial one from Dr Mary Rocke.

          By mid-1923 the "troubles" which had developed in Australia, England and the USA spread to France.  Documents regarding the charges against both Leadbeater and Wedgwood had been translated into French and were circulated.  A forty-six page booklet containing all the relevant documents was also published in Swedish.  As a result, large numbers of members, including whole lodges, resigned in France and Sweden.

          Sydney newspapers continued to find interesting copy in Leadbeater and his activities, including the Coming, and vied with each other for imaginative headlines.  Amongst those published were:  "Black Messiah", "Real Estate, Religion and Karma", and "Training Stable for Messiahs:


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Bishop and his String". [29]

          In October Krishna decided that he and Nitya must return to Ojai, and they did so via New York.  In Ojai, Krishna's suffering was such that Nitya became alarmed and turned to Leadbeater for advice, asking whether Krishna should go to Sydney to be with him.  But Leadbeater did not want him to do so, and was dubious about messages Nitya claimed to have received from the Masters.  The "process" would not fit into Leadbeater's own scheme of spiritual development, and he progressively tired of it.  Krishna's persistent questioning had always annoyed him, especially when it concerned matters for which he did not have a ready explanation.  And he was involved in other interests.

          Leadbeater had written to Mrs Besant on May 25th with details of a new healing service he had introduced in response to considerable demand amongst Liberal Catholics.  The first such service had been attended by more than seventy people.  On the inner planes Leadbeater had made some interesting discoveries.  In response to a prayer

          "there came a colossal and most dignified Angelic figure whom I had never seen before.  Beyond a kindly smile of greeting, he took very little notice of us, but appeared to be pouring out


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streams of force not only upon the patients but upon other members of the congregation.  The power which he brought was tremendous - so much so that two people fainted, and many others were affected in various ways.  I shall endeavour humbly to make his acquaintance, if he will permit me to do so, because I think he could give us much valuable information, and possibly show us how to use his tremendous outpouring of force more effectively and economically." [30]

          Amongst Leadbeater's other new activities was 3 short-lived organization established in connection with Co-Masonry:  The International Society for Masonic Research.  Leadbeater was prominent amongst its officials, and the first issue of its publication, The Blazing Star, included details of his clairvoyant research into Masonic history. [31]

          Leadbeater began 1924 with a letter to Mrs Besant:

          "I have just received a letter from Nitya in which he tells me that all this terrible business of preparation has been resumed.... I am very much troubled about the whole affair, for I have never


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met with anything in the least like it, and I cannot feel sure that it is right or necessary.  Certainly he obtained a step last year along very similar lines [his Third Initiation];  yet all this is so utterly opposed to what I myself have been taught.  I hope that you can assure me that you know all is well.  Krishna and Nitya seem to have no shadow of doubt, and I think that they must know;  and yet two messages which they have received (copies of which I enclose, they have no doubt already sent them to you) are not in the least in the style of either of our Masters.  I suppose that all is well, and that they are being led along the way which is right and best for them;  yet it certainly seems very strange.  I feel quite clearly that although this is a very powerful centre, it would not be at all a good place for exercises of this description;  it is far too near to a big city, and there is so much always going on that it would be impossible to obtain the perfect quiet which seems so necessary." [31]

          Leadbeater had no desire that his work at The Manor should be interrupted by what he viewed as exotic and unnecessary activities.  His stable household, and the security, and


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power, it offered to him was vitally important, and he did not wish to risk its disruption.   So he wrote to Nitya on the same day, and began by admitting:

          "I do not understand the terrible drama that is taking place with our beloved Krishna, but I want to have frequent news of it, for indeed I am very anxious about it." [32]

          He continued his suggestions that the "process" was neither right nor necessary, and discouraged them from coming to Sydney.  He did not want to resume responsibility for what was happening, and, as Mary Lutyens notes, it is "one of the many mysteries of this strange story" that Leadbeater did not ask the Master KH, or the Master Jesus, or the Lord Maitreya, what was happening in Krishna's body. (33].  Or, indeed, why he did not observe it clairvoyantly with the same vision which enabled him to penetrate the atom and the solar system.  Krishna and Nitya obviously found his letter unsatisfactory for they cabled him for clarification:   his reply said simply "President says all right".

          Early in 1924 James Wedgwood resumed his activities in the TS, the LCC and Co-Masonry.   Following his resignation from all activities on March 7th, 1922, he had travelled to Paris and begun work for a Doctorate at the


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Sorbonne.   He had given up all his ceremonial and spiritual interests, saying that they were of no importance.  However, his time in Paris had been a mixture of wild sensual indulgence, academic research, and occasional religious involvement.  He undertook work at the Sorbonne, experiments at the works of a celebrated organ builder, and church activities at Russian Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches in Paris. [34]  He also engaged in a wide range of sexual pursuits, and was able to indulge his tastes for young men without the necessity of concealing them from Theosophical associates.  He also acquired an addiction for cocaine, which he used in quantity, and which he also 'pushed' amongst the young men whose companionship he sought.  On occasions, when going to England, he was obliged to smuggle cocaine concealed in the head of his bishop's crozier.  Wedgwood was a homosexual with what he described as an "almost unbelievably strong" sexual urge matched by a strong religious strain, and was dominated by those two fundamental, but often conflicting, drives. [35]

          It was also in Paris that the serious symptoms of syphilis manifested themselves.   Wedgwood had contracted syphilis as the result of oral sex in Sydney.  When told in Sydney that he had contracted the disease, he simply denied it, claiming that, as an Initiate, he could not have such an infection. [36]  As a result of this attitude, he failed to


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have treatment, and the disease had simply progressed until its secondary manifestations appeared.

          By early 1924, Wedgwood's money was running out:  his small private income had not been sufficient for his personal tastes or lifestyle.  He wrote to Mrs Besant, who contacted several Dutch Theosophists seeking a quiet place for Wedgwood to live.   Although declaring that he wished to return to a quieter life than previously, he quickly threw himself into occult activities once more. [36]

          Leadbeater, meanwhile, was very busy with Church and Star activities.  On Maundy Thursday, March 9th, 1924, assisted by Cooper and Mazel, he consecrated Frank Waters Pigott to the episcopate in St Alban's Cathedral, Sydney.  Pigott, formerly an Anglican clergyman, was to be responsible for the work of the LCC in England. [37]  This ceremony was followed by a meeting of the General Episcopal Synod of the LCC, and Pigott remained in Sydney long enough to assist at another episcopal consecration, that of John Walker as auxiliary bishop for the Church in South Africa.

          The July issue of the Star in the East was devoted to the Balmoral Amphitheatre, and contained some impressive statistics.  The amphitheatre occupied two building lots, tapering down sixty-six feet to the beach front.  Beneath the


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amphitheatre, with its Greek columns and plinth bearing the inscription "Thou art the Light.   Let that Light shine", there were three large meeting rooms built into the cliff face.  In addition, there was a library, a reading room, a meditation room, dressing rooms, and, on the ground floor, a tearoom open to the public.  A Masonic lodge and a chapel completed the structure.  Branches of the Order of the Star in the East in eighteen countries had now purchased seats, and Pathe Gazette, a Sydney newsreel company, had prepared a film of the building.  For devout Theosophists desiring to live in close proximity to this esoteric structure, the nearby flats, "Stella Maris", owned by a member of the OSE, were available.

          The first lecture in the completed amphitheatre was given on the night of the full moon in October, 1924, by Dr J J van der Leeuw, a Dutchman now living at The Manor. [38]   And from November of that year the LCC, the OSE and Co-Masonry held regular meetings there.  The Editor of the

Star in the East proclaimed that the amphitheatre was built

for the use of the Great World Teacher, to ensure Him a place where He could speak and work, however great the opposition that might arise. [39]

          And by the October issue of that year the Editor could


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enthusiastically write:

          "When we began to build, the public was inclined to treat the scheme as a hoax, or to suspect mercenary motives, and some even believed that we wanted the Amphitheatre as a convenient stepping-off place from which to be 'caught up together in the air', or thought we had selected our site with a view to witnessing the coming of the Lord 'in clouds of glory', or 'through the heads [of Sydney Harbour]'.  But gradually the truer conception gained ground, that our building was intended for Him 'who spake as never man spake' so that even if opposition arose He would have a place of His own from which to give His teachings." [40]

          Krishna's "process" was continuing to cause him concern, and he regularly wrote seeking Leadbeater's advice;

          "My process is slowly beginning and it is rather painful.  The back of my head and the base of my spine are active once again and when I think or write it is almost unbearable.  The moment I lie down, it's very painful when I wake up in the


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morning, I feel as though it had been going on all night.  It is altogether very curious and I don't understand it in the least.... I have an intense desire to see you and I wonder when it will be fulfilled." [41]

          On April 3rd, 1925, Krishna arrived in Australia, having been invited to attend the annual Australian TS Convention.  He was accompanied by Nitya, Jinarajadasa, Lady Emily, and her daughters Mary and Betty.  They were met at the dock by Leadbeater and his party, which now included Dick Balfour-Clarke, sent to Sydney by Mrs Besant to care for Leadbeater.  Theodore St John, Leadbeater's current favourite boy, was also there to meet them.  Lady Emily recalled:

          "We got to Sydney early on the morning of April 3rd.  We were all on deck as we docked, and directly the barrier was down which kept out the public, we saw C.W.L. walking towards us in a long purple cape over a purple cassock and leaning on the arm of Theodore St John, a golden-haired boy of about fifteen who was his favourite pupil at that time.  At first sight it struck me that he looked much older and somewhat bowed, but his eyes were as young and twinkling as ever.  They came on board and after greeting us all, C.W.L. led me off


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to the dining-saloon and made me sit beside him.  One would hardly think that this was the time or place for a talk about the deeper things of life, but he began as soon as we were seated:  'Now that we are comparatively alone, let us talk about the real thing.'  We talked about the Masters and he asked me if Betty and Mary were really interested and really wanted to get near to them.  I told him that that was why we had come to Sydney." [42]

          And Mary wrote of their meeting:

          "It would have been difficult not to notice Leadbeater in a crowd, for apart from his dress and snow-white hair he was very tall and had a long white beard.  He had the merriest of twinkling blue eyes, a joking manner and a very loud though pleasant voice and an air of sparkling health, as if every faculty was kept in perfect working order for immediate use.... He was now seventy-eight but seemed very much younger, giving the impression by his enormous vitality that there was nothing he would not do or dare.  His only unpleasant feature was a pair of long yellow eye-teeth that inevitably brought vampires to mind." [43]


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          Krishna and Nitya stayed with Mr Mackay, who paid their fare to Australia, at his home, "Myola", in David Street, Moswan, near The Manor.  Lady Emily and her daughters stayed at The Manor, which was at the time at the height of its fame as an occult centre.  Lady Emily found the house "anything but luxurious", and was depressed when she learned that she and her daughters had to share a room on the ground floor.  However, this had the great compensation of being next to Leadbeater's room, "so we knew our auras would be mingling with his".  It was in Lady Emily's account of her stay that the story of the rooms being lined with beaten copper "hammered into hideous shapes" which Leadbeater "charged very highly with magnetism" originated.  In fact, only some of the rooms of the extraordinary house were partially lined with thin sheets of metal, probably tin or zinc, for purposes of insulation.   There were no "hideous shapes", only a pattern of flowers and leaves. [44]

          The population of The Manor included Dick Balfore-Clarke, Dr Mary Rocke, Koos van der Leeuw, Mrs Roberts and her daughters Ruth and Marcia, Helen Knothe and Theodore St John.  Leadbeater formed a special group which met in his room every evening for discussions on the Masters - or, rather, monologues on the Masters by Leadbeater.  This groups consisted of Lady Emily, Theodore, Betty, Mary, Ruth and


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Helen. Mary recalled that Leadbeater

          "would talk about the Masters with a most infectious conviction of reality.   The atmosphere was not at all holy;  he would relate anecdotes of the Masters in a matter-of-fact way as if they were close neighbours." [45]

          Life at The Manor was simple, if fairly rigidly structured.  Every morning before breakfast, the Eucharist was celebrated in the basement chapel, and on Sundays the community travelled into the city by ferry for morning and evening services at St Alban's.  One evening a week most of them went into the city to a Masonic meeting at St Alban's Masonic Temple, which was next to the Cathedral.  Leadbeater was insistent on attendance at the Church and emphasized the importance of the multi-coloured glowing forces which were generated and spread through the church roof into the whole city.  The pupils were reprimanded if the spiritual emanations were of insufficient strength or of the wrong colours.  In addition to LCC and TS work, The Manor residents were expected to participate in all the associated movements.

          Meals were held in a communal dining room, and tension was produced by Leadbeater's insistence on silence.


--- 722 ---

          Lady Emily recalled that the effort required to keep the silence intensified every little sound, and the upsetting of a glass or the dropping of a fork would bring "a stern look to the guilty one which made him long to disappear into the ground". [46]   The meals, naturally, were vegetarian.

          Much of the time at The Manor was spent waiting for Leadbeater to appear from his room which opened on to the verandah.  Small groups gathered around the door, anxious not to miss the opportunity of a word with him, and it was considered a disgrace to miss seeing him.  Occasionally, Leadbeater would lead an expedition into the surrounding parkland, and, less frequently, organize day trips.  On all these occasions he continued to talk about occult matters to his young followers.

          "On a walk, Leadbeater's conversation was at its most fascinating.   He would comment on everything he saw clairvoyantly around him, such as the devas, or nature spirits, who could not bear vulgar human lovers or the smell of alcohol or tobacco but who crowded round The Manor people because they did not smoke or drink and were 'united by a real affection'.  One day Leadbeater pointed out a large rock in Taronga Park which had once fallen in love with one of The Manor boys;


--- 723 ---

when the boy sat on it all the life in the rock gathered into that part on which the boy was sitting." [47]

          When not accompanying Leadbeater on walks, or waiting for him to emerge from his room, the pupils occupied their time in the few pursuits of which Leadbeater approved.   Shorthand and typing were regarded as of value to the Masters, but few bothered with shorthand and not many of them acquired any special skill in typing.  Leadbeater regarded any form of individual work as a "deplorable self indulgence" [48] and many of the students were simply bored for most of the time. [49]  Elisabeth Lutyens felt that the whole period was a waste of time -

          "We just sat around aimlessly most of the time like an inactive Stock Exchange, waiting for another message to come through on the astral ticker-tape." [50]

- enlivened only by the evening meetings in Leadbeater's room, with the lights extinguished.

          "He would gather us round him and embark on some spine-chilling talk with considerable relish, the glint of [his] yellow teeth giving an extra


--- 724 ---

frisson to his absorbed audience." [51]

          Krishna spent his days commuting between "Myola" and The Manor, or between "Myola" and Leura, a small town in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney where Nitya had gone in another attempt to help his lungs which had for some time been affected by tuberculosis.  Shortly after his arrival in Sydney, Krishna visited the amphitheatre and expressed his enthusiasm for it, although he had little enthusiasm for life at The Manor, and tended to make fun of those who were trying desperately to achieve occult development.  Mary Lutyens suggested that Krishna was as much out of place at The Manor as a "gazelle in a flock of sheep", whilst Leadbeater was "at home there as a happy shepherd". [52]

          Krishna's former desire to be with Leadbeater for occult training had now been forgotten and he felt much happier when he was away from Sydney with Nitya.  Leadbeater found Krishna a disturbing influence at The Manor, and was not eager to have him visit.  However, Krishna did talk with Leadbeater, but he was offered little advice on the nature of his "process" and found Leadbeater reluctant to discuss it.  Leadbeater commented to Lady Emily that it was certainly not a necessary part of the preparation for the Coming, or for Initiations.  Yet in contradiction he believed it was "the forcing of the spirillae in each atom", a process that


--- 725 ---

would change Krishna's physical body into one suited for the Sixth Root Race and therefore suitable for the occupancy of the Lord Maitreya. [53]

          At the beginning of May, 1925, all activity at The Manor was directed towards the Festival of Wesak - which traditionally celebrated the birth, Enlightenment and death of the Buddha - which that year fell on the full moon of May 8th, at 1.43 a.m.  Every member of the community was working with great excitement in the hope that he or she would attain some measure of occult advancement on that great occasion;  each desperately struggled to obtain those qualities considered necessary for Initiation and discipleship.

          Leadbeater alone knew the results of their efforts, and he never gave out information directly.  News of occult advancement was gradually transmitted around the community by word of mouth, passed from Leadbeater's favourites to whom he made it known.  This gave rise, as Mary Lutyens noted, to a "great deal of mortification, snobbery and spiritual pride". [54]  Leadbeater made lists of possible advancements, and his closest pupil, Theodore St John, offered hints to his friends as to what they might expect;  even two days before the event Leadbeater could write to Mrs Besant suggesting who would be advanced.


--- 726 ---

          Wesak, 1925, was the occasion for seventy advancements in various parts of the world, including, naturally, a number amongst The Manor community.  Although he congratulated the successful ones, Krishna was dubious about the value of such activities and concerned about the way in which The Manor residents were obsessed with their own spiritual progress.  He took the opportunity on May 25th to address them after dinner, speaking about the importance of not confusing personal identity and spiritual quality with labels.  Leadbeater, meanwhile, was expressing the wish that Krishna would go on with his work, and leave The Manor community to go on with its own.

          Lady Emily returned to India, and thence to England on June 7th, leaving Mary and Betty at The Manor for spiritual development.  Krishna and Nitya departed on June 24th for San Francisco, traveling on to Ojai.  Prior to their departure, Leadbeater and some of his pupils had gone to the amphitheatre for the consecration of a small temple within the building.  At the climax of the ceremony - the lighting of a sacred flame - no oil could be found, and Mary Lutyens recalled that "after the Bishop's wrath had been passed down through several layers, some old lady's tonic was produced and found to be sufficiently combustible". [55]


--- 727 ---

          In Europe most extraordinary things were happening in the Theosophical community.  Arundale, Wedgwood, Oscar Kollerstrom and Rukmini Devi Arundale had been causing Leadbeater concern by their occult activities.  Arundale was "bringing through" messages from the Masters, and announcing occult advancements on an unprecedented scale.  Arundale, Wedgwood, Kollerstrom and others all claimed to be clairvoyant, and eventually all began receiving messages, mostly regarding their own exalted spiritual status.

          Arundale, against Leadbeater's direction, was ordained a priest in the LCC at Huizen, in Holland, by Bishop Wedgwood on July 26th, and on the night of August 1st claimed to have taken his Third Initiation.  Wedgwood also claimed to have taken his Third, and Rukmini her Second.  One of Arundale's messages from the Masters instructed him that all occult advancements and Initiations were to be confirmed "on the physical plane" by Leadbeater, but this was ignored in practice.

          In a little over a week after his ordination, and without any election by the General Episcopal Synod of the LCC (which constitutionally had responsibility for the election of bishops), Arundale was consecrated to the episcopate by Wedgwood, assisted by Pigott and Mazel.


--- 728 ---

          Leadbeater's permission had been sought both because of his occult authority, and also because as Presiding Bishop of the LCC, he was constitutionally responsible for such matters.  No reply was received by the appointed day (August 4th), so Arundale claimed to have contacted Leadbeater on the inner planes, and conveyed his "cordial consent" to the consecration, which then went ahead.  Unfortunately, on their return from the church after the consecration - at which, according to Arundale, "The Lord Himself consecrated and all the Masters were present" - the party found a cable from Leadbeater expressing his disapproval.  Mrs Besant, recalled Lady Emily, looked very grave as she read the cable. [56]

          Undaunted by this apparent rebuff, and enthusiastically wearing episcopal regalia, Arundale continued to receive messages and instructions from the Masters.  These ranged from a requirement that the bishops and priests of the LCC should wear silk underwear (for reasons connected with psychic forces) to directions that Wedgwood, Mrs Besant, Rukmini and he were to give up eating eggs in any form, and included a promise of a visit on the physical plane to the castle of the Master The Count in Transylvania. [57]

          On the night of August 7th, Arundale announced yet more in his continuing series of occult advancements:  he


--- 729 ---

claimed that he, Wedgwood, Krishna (in Ojai) and Jinarajadasa (in India) had taken their Fourth Initiations, and that Lady Emily and Dr Mary Rocke (in Sydney) had been consecrated by the Lord Maitreya on the astral plane to lead an Order of women.  Wedgwood told Lady Emily on August 9th that he saw her being consecrated "a sort of an abbess" sometime in the future, and was surprised to be told by Arundale that it had happened the previous night.

          On August 10th the revelations continued.  Arundale announced that he had been told the names of the "Twelve Apostles" who had been chosen by the Lord to work with him when he came:  they were to include Mrs Besant, Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa, Arundale, Rukmini, Wedgwood, Nityananda and Oscar Kollerstrom.  The names of the other four were not made public, although Rajagopal, Theodore St John and Lady Emily were included in one version of the list. [58]  Arundale declared that he and Wedgwood were direct pupils of the Mahachohan, and Wedgwood was to be Mahachohan of the Seventh Root Race, with Mrs Besant as his Manu and Leadbeater as his Bodhisattva.  This necessitated the Mahachohan "gradually withdrawing his influence" from Jinarajadasa, who had previously been promised that position, and who required special help to deal with his loss of status.


--- 730 ---

          Arundale himself was to be "Chief of Staff" of the Seventh Root Race, and this was to be his last incarnation.  Thereafter, he would be a sort of galactic trouble-shooter, ranging the Universe but not attached to any specific planet.

          On August 11th, Mrs Besant announced the Apostles at the Star Congress at Ommen, quite close to Huizen, by command of "the King", and revealed that the Lord had ordered "three lines of activity" in preparation for his coming.  These were a World Religion, a World University and the Revival of the Mysteries through ceremonial work to bridge the lower physical and higher subtle worlds.  She announced the establishment of the World University with herself as Rector, Arundale as Principal and Wedgwood as Director of Studies, and ominously declared:

          "The Lords of the Dark Face have hopes of setting back the Coming, which they cannot prevent, but which if we are disloyal, they can retard." [59]

          Arundale delivered an address in which he declared that Mrs Besant was the representative in the outer world of "the King" and called her "our Mother, the Chief".  On August 12th, he informed his listeners that the World University was a reincarnation of the University of Alexandria , and


--- 731 ---

"the University that belongs to the Elder Brethren".

          The World Religion was to proclaim One Self-Existent Life manifested in the Logos, a Hierarchy of Elder Children, and evolution by successive life-periods.  Affiliation to the World Religion required acceptance of this doctrinal base, together with the admission to all ceremonies of all members of the World Religion (except those ceremonies conferring authority or membership), and abstinence from attacks on affiliated members or organizations. [60]

          On the 13th a number of the leading figures at the congress gathered around the camp fire to talk about Leadbeater.  Rein Vreede, one of Leadbeater's pupils, enlivened the discussion at the campfire by recalling Leadbeater's work with angels and fairies in the National Park in New South Wales.  Fairies in the park were fascinated by Leadbeater's pectoral cross, and Leadbeater sought, and received permission from the angel in charge of the fairies in the park, to take them back The Manor.  In return he agreed to send some of the force generated at the Eucharist to the angel for his use.  The angel also requested a cross like Leadbeater's, so some Jewels, equivalent to those set in the consecrated pectoral cross of Liberal Catholic bishops, were magnetized and buried in the park. [61]


--- 732 ---

          Vreede noted that Leadbeater's familiarity with the unseen worlds extended also to Sydney Harbour.  Whenever he travelled to the city on the ferry, Leadbeater created a "sort of scoop" out of invisible matter in which he caught water sylphs, attaching them to his own aura, and then sending them to anyone in the city whom he knew to be unhappy. [62]

          In her announcement of the developments on the inner planes, Mrs Besant presented the revelations as her own, and did not mention their source as Arundale.  In announcing the Initiation to Arhatship (the Fourth Initiation), she even declared:

          "My brother Leadbeater and myself were of course present on the astral plane at this Initiation, and also that of Krishnaji, and welcome the new additions to our band." [63]

          And she explained Arundale's consecration to the episcopate as a necessary part of his preparation for Initiation.

          The extraordinary events continued, and were reported to Leadbeater.  He and Mrs Besant had an arrangement whereby she accepted his clairvoyance as if it was her own


--- 733 ---

and he supported her loyally in her decisions.  When he received the news of the Apostles and the other revelations he was very unhappy, and, Ernest Wood recalled, "visibly distressed".

          " ...he did not believe in it, and said to me:  'Oh, I do hope she will not wreck the Society!'  He knew that she was taking statements from others as well as from himself.   Still, Mr Leadbeater kept to his contract loyally and did not let this out in public, except on one occasion when he was caught by surprise in a question meeting." [64]

          Dick Balfour-Clarke, who was present when Leadbeater received the cable with the news of the revelations, recalled that he looked very grave, and when asked whether it was true, replied:  "If it was true, would I not have known of it?"  Balfour-Clarke enquired whether he was going to refute it, and Leadbeater responded angrily:   "Do you want me to split the Society?" [65]

          But to his closest friends and associates, including Wood and Balfour-Clarke, Leadbeater made his position clear:  the announcements of the Apostles and subsequent developments were wrong, and due to Mrs Besant's "impulsive eagerness".  Adrian Vreede, present with


--- 734 ---

Leadbeater at the time and subsequently a Presiding Bishop of the LCC, regarded the whole affair as close to madness.

          Recalling that Mrs Besant had "definitely cut herself off from her higher consciousness" in 1912, he noted that she "believed not only in C.W.L. but also others in her entourage and blindly accepted their announcements, dreams and revelations".

          These began their phantasies by the proclaiming of twelve apostles, designating them by name and contending that they had all received high initiations, those of the fourth degree, that of Arhat initiation, and later, that six of them - Mrs Besant, C.W.L, Krishnamurti, Jinarajadasa, Wedgwood and Arundale - had even become Masters of the Wisdom by receiving the fifth initiation!  Mrs    Besant believed all this.  Revelations of the most exorbitant nature followed;  among them the order to go to the castle of the Hungarian Master in which Mrs Besant took part and which proved a fantastic failure. [66]

          Vreede noted that Leadbeater had not approved of all this, and stated:  "This explosion has done more to hinder the Coming of the Lord than anything else." [67]


--- 735 ---

          On August 16th, Arundale announced a secret journey to the Castle of the Master the Count in Hungary:  he had been told to discover the location by opening a Continental Bradshaw at random, and taking the select group of Initiates to wherever he happened to put his finger.  Accompanied by Mrs Besant, Rukmini, Wedgwood, KoIllerstrom, and Wedgwood's current French lover, Henri Pascal Bazireau [68], the party travelled to Innsbruck by train, and then hired a car to complete their travels.  They did not reach the Castle, or indeed Transylvania, and returned some two weeks later without any explanation of what had actually happened.  There were dark hints that the "Black Powers" had been too strong for them, and Mrs Besant seemed extremely unhappy about the whole affair.  Various explanations have been offered to account for this odd adventure, and it seems certain that the visit was called off not long after it started, with Wedgwood, his lover and Kollerstrom claiming to have been taken ill. [69]

          Leadbeater had not been consulted about the more exotic activities, since his disapproval could have been anticipated.  His residence in Sydney had distinct practical advantages for Wedgwood and Arundale.   On October 23rd, 1925, Krishna arrived in England from the USA, unhappy and extremely skeptical about recent events.  But he realized that if he spoke too openly in opposition to Wedgwood and


--- 736 ---

Arundale, they would proclaim the "Black Powers" (to which they were inclined to attribute any failure or interference) had got hold of him.   Leadbeater himself had given some hints about the "Brothers of the Shadow", indicating that the Masters could assist but not interfere in any confrontation with them.  And, indeed,

          "The more advanced we can become, the better prey we should be for these Brothers of the Shadow if they could get hold of us." [70]

          However, he did not attribute quite as much to the malevolence and interference of the "Blacks" as did some of his colleagues.

          Mrs Besant addressed a large meeting on the Queen's Hall, London, on November 1st, on "The Coming of the World-Teacher", and declared:

          "Now I mean by a World-Teacher exactly what the Hindu means, only he puts it in Sanskrit, a Jagat-Guru, literally a World-Teacher;  what the Buddhist means when he speaks of the Bodhisattva;  what the Parsi means when he speaks of Zoroaster or Zarathustra;   what the Greeks meant when they spoke of Orpheus, the Founder of the Orphic


--- 737 ---

Mysteries;   what the Christian means when he speaks of Him who held the office of the Christ." [71]

          Some of her critics were uncharitable enough to suggest that she did not understand the differences between the world religions, and that such a simple equation could not be made.

          However, shortly after this lecture, her certainty about the Coming and all the recent events received a serious and permanent shock which affected her psychological and physical health.  Krishna rejected all the revelations about Initiates and Apostles, the World Religion and World University and such things, but was unwilling to tell Mrs Besant himself.  But he was determined that she must be told.  So he sent Professor Marcault, an official of the World University, to break the news whilst he, Krishna, remained in the car outside Mrs Besant's London residence. [72]

          Marcault told Mrs Besant as simply as he could, and departed, leaving her deathly pale and severely shocked.  For some time afterwards she was physically ill, and thereafter showed signs of rapid aging, loss of memory and a tendency to focus on the past.  She was torn between a series of opposed loyalties and demands and remained in a state of uncertainty and conflict for the rest of her life.


--- 738 ---

          On November 3rd, Krishna, Mrs Besant, Wedgwood and Lady Emily departed for India, and in Rome were joined by the Arundales.  Krishna was told by the Mahachohan (via Arundale) that Nitya would die unless he, Krishna, accepted the revelations given through Arundale and confirmed the occult status of the Apostles and Initiates.  Krishna

refused. [73]   In between delivering messages from the higher planes, Wedgwood and Arundale toured Rome in their episcopal regalia, pectoral crosses prominently displayed.

          As the party entered the Suez Canal on November 13th, a cable was received telling of Nitya's death.  Mrs Besant broke the news to Krishna, and it had a shattering effect on him.  Shiva Rao, who shared a cabin with Krishna, wrote to Mary Lutyens that Nitya's death had broken Krishna completely, changed his entire philosophy of life, and destroyed his implicit faith in the plans outlined by Leadbeater and Mrs Besant. [74]  No doubt Wedgwood and Arundale were gratified that the Mahachohan's warning had been validated.

          The rest of the journey was intensely painful for Krishna, and most uncomfortable for the rest of them.  However, by the time they reached Colombo Krishna had resolved his inner conflicts and found new strength.   The


--- 739 ---

party arrived at Adyar on November 25th.  Leadbeater and his party, which included Betty and Mary Lutyens, Dr Rocke, Theodore St John and Ruth Roberts, reached Colombo on December 2nd.  Leadbeater had been informed of Nitya's death when the ship stopped at Melbourne.  He greeted Krishna, who had travelled to Colombo with Mrs Besant, Wedgwood, Jinarajadasa and Lady Emily to meet him, with the words:  "Well, at least you are an Arhat," confirming previous impressions that of all the initiations he accepted only Krishna's Fourth as real.

          The party journeyed back to Adyar on a special train, and was greeted by crowds at every station.  After their arrival at the TS headquarters, Leadbeater's disapproval of the activities of Arundale and his followers became more apparent.  Theodore St John informed Lady Emily that Leadbeater did not believe he or any of the others had passed their Fifth Initiation.  He and Mrs Besant hoped to do so in their next lifetime.  Nor did he believe that Rukmini had passed three Initiations in such a short time, since this exceeded even the achievements of "our Krishna". [75]

          However, Leadbeater continued with his own announcements of occult advancements amongst his own followers, and Wedgwood and Arundale began suggesting that he had been taken over by the "Black Powers" and that his


--- 740 ---

occult powers were failing.  Leadbeater was also concerned at the number of people being made thirty-third degree Co-Masons by Wedgwood, and tried to limit this. [76]  He was especially concerned when one of Wedgwood's homosexual friends appeared at meetings for initiates and was accredited with high occult status.  Ironically, Leadbeater continued to create a number of thirty-third degree Co-Masons amongst his own friends and pupils, even constituting one of them a thirty-third degree Mason in the cloak room of a Masonic temple when he discovered that he required an assistant of that degree for the ceremony he was about to perform. [77]

          An open fight was developing between the Wedgwood-Arundale faction and Leadbeater, and this was kept out of the public arena only out of respect for Mrs Besant.  There was considerable tension, and a distinctly unpleasant atmosphere as the Jubilee Convention drew nearer.  Over three thousand delegates arrived, some five hundred of them from outside India.

          Krishna remained apart from both Arundale and Wedgwood, and from Leadbeater, although he joined in the numerous activities on the Estate to please Mrs Besant, allowing himself to be made a Co-Mason, attending the services at the Liberal Catholic Church, and avoiding open


--- 741 ---

conflicts with those of whose behaviour he so much disapproved.  Regular meetings of Initiates were held, sometimes with Leadbeater and Krishna attending.  Leadbeater was most concerned not to engage in open argument with Arundale, or Wedgwood, and was worried over the effect of the simmering conflict on Mrs Besant.  Sometimes, however, he felt compelled to make comments.  At one meeting a long message was read out by Arundale, supposedly originating form the Lord Maitreya.  Leadbeater listened to it carefully and then said:

          "May I ask who wrote down this message as it is not, of course, at all in the style in which the Lord speaks." [78]

          Mrs Besant was not pleased, but the effect was to immediately limit the number of messages.

          Mrs Besant tried to reconcile the two opposing factions by bringing Krishna to a meeting with Leadbeater, Arundale and Wedgwood, and asking him whether he would accept them as his disciples.  He replied that he would not, though possibly he would accept her as a disciple.  The meeting served, therefore, only to contribute to growing conflict.


--- 742 ---

          Despite the inner wrangling the Convention was superficially a great success:  a huge crowd was attracted by the hope that great events would occur, and many of them were expecting to see the Masters in person.  They were all disappointed as the Convention proceeded in an orderly manner, discussing its theme of "The Three World Movements".  As Wedgwood noted in his Convention address:

          " ...the World Teacher indicated a few years ago three activities which might be regarded as specially preparing for His Coming:  namely, the Theosophical educational movement, the Liberal Catholic Church and the Co-Masonic Order... and now we are able to see a further expansion of that original hint in the three movements taking shape amongst us which form the subject of these lectures:   namely, the World Religion, the Theosophical World University, and the Restoration of the Mysteries." [79]

          The Convention heard lectures from Wedgwood, Mrs Besant, Leadbeater and Krishnamurti, and received a "Message from an Elder Brother" (almost certainly emanating from Leadbeater) which proclaimed "our four great messengers of Brotherhood to the outer worlds, H.P. Blavatsky, H.S. Olcott, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater". [80]  This


--- 743 ---

should have clarified the question of just who represented the Masters, but as far as Wedgwood and Arundale were concerned it did not.

          The Convention was followed on December 28th by the Star Congress.  It was at this Congress that the first sign occurred of what was interpreted as the manifestation of the World Teacher.  Whilst delivering an address under the Banyan tree, Krishna changed his speech from the third person to the first person:

          "He [the World Teacher] comes only to those who want, who desire, who long.... and I come for those who want sympathy, who want happiness, who are longing to be released, who are longing to find happiness in all things.  I come to reform and not to tear down.  I come not to destroy but to build." [81]

          Some of the audience, including Mrs Besant, Leadbeater and Jinarajadasa, were aware of the change.  Wedgwood and Arundale, not surprisingly, said they noticed nothing.  Mrs Besant referred to "the event of the 28th" as having marked "the definite consecration of the chosen vehicle", and said "the Coming has begun".  Krishna likewise referred henceforth to the 28th as an important event, and was sure that the


--- 744 ---

Lord "would come more and more" in the future.

          Leadbeater was also certain.  On his arrival back in Sydney he was asked, "When we are asked if the World Teacher has come, what do we answer?"  He replied in definite terms that the World Teacher had "used the Vehicle more than once" at the Jubilee Convention, as he had at Benares on December 28th, and would continue to do so occasionally, and more frequently, in future, partly "to get the Vehicle used to Him".

          Following the Convention, the General Episcopal Synod of the LCC met at Adyar, and concluded, amongst other things, that women should not be given seats in the sanctuary during the course of a service.  A footnote in the Synod's minutes exempted Mrs Besant from this restriction. [82]

          By the end of January, 1926, the party at Adyar had broken up.  Leadbeater had returned to Sydney taking Arundale and Rukmini with him.   Lady Emily suggested that this was "to knock some sense into him", since Leadbeater had "an even more forceful personality than George's". [83]  Krishna was pleased with this decision, and wrote to Leadbeater:


--- 745 ---

          "I am very glad the Master wants George to stay in Australia for a year.  This will ensure us from complications and unnecessary and absurd romantic excitement." [84]

          And he mentioned that his own impressions and intuitions had been growing stronger, leading him to distrust past events, and feel that the activities of the past ten months had not been "clean and wholesome".  While he realized that none of the events was very important, he felt

          " ...this apostles business is the limit.  I don't believe in it all;  and this is not based on prejudice... I think it's wrong and purely George's imagination... Wedgwood is distributing initiations around." [85]

          He was alarmed at "initiations and sacred things" being made into a joke and "dragged in the dirt".  There is little doubt that Leadbeater agreed with him, although he was in less of a position to say so openly.  But there is equally little doubt that part of Leadbeater’s alarm was fear that his own position as dispenser of initiations and bestower of occult status (though always in the names of the Masters) was being challenged by men less skilled in playing this role.


--- 746 ---

          Following Leadbeater back to Sydney was a young boy, whose grandmother, in whose charge he was, had acquired an interest in Theosophy and Buddhism, and attended the Convention.  The boy was Peter Finch, later well known as an actor.  After spending much of the Convention wandering around the TS Estate, was given into the charge of Dick Balfour-Clarke, and taken back to Sydney, where he was put into the Theosophically-inspired Garden School, and confirmed in the LCC by Leadbeater. [86]

          Wedgwood had also left Adyar, although very much under a cloud.  No official statement had been issued, but Mrs Besant ordered him off the Estate having discovered - or rather re-discovered - some of his sexual activities.  The O.E. Library Critic gleefully announced this fact, denouncing Wedgwood as a "sodomitic sex pervert whose unholy doings were a public scandal in London". [87]

          Leadbeater was also facing continued attacks in the Sydney Press;  the Truth had run headlines reading "An Episcopal Menace", "Leadbeater's Illicit Lessons Lead Boys Astray" and "Pseudo-Bishop and His Evil Doctrines".  Smith's Weekly, however, took a more humourous approach, and considered Leadbeater's accounts of past lives with a headline that read:  "Was Bishop Leadbeater the Man in the


--- 747 ---

Moon?  Moving Account of Annie Besant on Dead Planet.  She Stood on her Tail." [88]

          The Truth articles inspired Gustav Kollerstrom to initiate a law suit against the newspaper, claiming ten thousand pounds in damages.  The paper was delighted, and announced its intention of calling Leadbeater as a witness, and of producing documents from the Crown Solicitor's office concerning the police investigations into Leadbeater's activities.  Mr Kollerstrom sought to withdraw the suit, but Truth refused.   When the matter finally came to court later in 1926, Kollerstrom's solicitors did not present a case, and he was ordered to pay the full costs of the newspaper, amounting in all to some seven hundred pounds.   It was announced that Leadbeater had been too ill to appear in court - just as he had been too ill to be interviewed by the police in 1922.

          In 1925 one of Leadbeater's most controversial books was published.  The Masters and the Path contained material which had previously been circulated privately in the Esoteric Section of the TS.  It included elaborate details of the Inner Government of the World, the Masters, their physical appearances and special work, and even plans of the home of one of them.  It also included accounts of Leadbeater's meetings with the Masters.  He claimed to have


--- 748 ---

met the Master Jupiter and to have dined with him and T. Subba Row while he was working at Adyar, and to have met the Master The Count in the Corso in Rome;  they had wandered into some nearby gardens and spent an hour in conversation abut the TS.  He also claimed to have seen the Master M in Hyde Park in 1851, the same year that HPB met him in London, and, in fact, three years before Leadbeater had been born. [89]

          Krishna travelled to Castle Eerde at Ommen in Holland in July, 1926, and from the 7th began speaking to the thirty or so people gathered with him.  On July 19th it was generally believed that the Lord had again spoken through him during one of his morning addresses.  Krishna and his party then moved on to Ommen for the Star Camp, which opened on the 24th.  On the 27th, once again, many present at an address by Krishna believed that the Lord had spoken through him, but Wedgwood told Mrs Besant that he had seen a well-known "Black Magician" in the audience, and that he (the Black Magician) had spoken through Krishna.  Mrs Besant informed Krishna of this, and he was deeply hurt, telling her that if she believed Wedgwood's story he would never again speak in public.   Mr Besant was very distressed by this, and never again referred to the matter.  Wedgwood, however, continued to use the "Blacks" as a useful explanation for anything Krishna did or said of which he did


--- 749 ---

not approve, and it seems to have left a nagging doubt in Mrs Besant's mind.

          Upset by the continuing friction and increasing problems within the TS, Mrs Besant decided she should resign from the Presidency.  She had seen the whole Society begin to fragment.  Towards the end of 1925 the whole Czechoslovakian Section had seceded in protest against the Order of the Star, the LCC and the Esoteric Section "with their pretentious and in our opinion blasphemous claims to the highest degree of Agents of the Supreme Beings of the World". [90]  G. Narayaniah, an eminent Indian member of the Society, had written to her demanding a severance of connection with Leadbeater, declaring "Mr Leadbeater has the lowest kind of sexual appetite and... he has his own ways of gratifying it." [91]

          Mrs Besant wrote to Leadbeater expressing her wish to resign and follow Krishna.   She was encouraged in this by Arundale who gave her a message, which he said came from the Mahachohan, telling her to resign in his favour.  Krishna, when told of this, said angrily that she should expel Arundale.  Leadbeater urged her not to resign, saying that it was not her Master's wish that she should do so.

          Still uncertain, Mrs Besant left for the USA with


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Krishna, and during their time together at Ojai became more and more convinced that his consciousness was merging with that of the Lord Maitreya.  They were greeted by enthusiastic press coverage in America, and Mrs Besant announced, in a statement to the Associated Press of America,

          "The Divine Spirit has descended once more on a man, Krishnamurti, one who in his lifetime is literally perfect, as those who know him can testify." [92]

          And she concluded:  "The World Teacher is here".

          The World Teacher may indeed have arrived, though neither Wedgwood nor Arundale accepted him, and Leadbeater had grave reservations.  But his manifestation was so unlike that expected by his prophets that the sunrise would quickly yield to sunset.


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