Table of Contents


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


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          Throughout the notes, locations are given for sources which may not be readily accessible.  The coding (given in [ ]) is that used in the bibliography.

          Works for which no author is cited and which are preceded an asterisk (thus *The Astral Plane) are either solely or jointly by C.W. Leadbeater, and appear in the first section of the Bibliography.

Chapter l: Notes

          1. Quoted in Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1983:vii

          2. Brodie, above cit.:vii

          3. Ibid

          4. Sources are not given for all of the statements in this chapter since it is intended as an introduction to the work as a whole and the statements occur elsewhere in the text, where they are fully documented.  Those which do not occur elsewhere are annotated in this chapter.

          5. For details of the occult chemistry research, c. Jinarajadasa, 1938

          6. Leadbeater saw many kinds of animal life on Mars but on Mercury the "only animal life I saw was a small thing like a rabbit", beautiful butterflies, and cactus-like vegetation.  In World Theosophy, December, 1931:917-8.  Other visionaries had penetrated the depths of the solar system;  the first had been Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who described the inhabitants and lifestyle of Mars, Venus and the Moon.  One of the most noted was Helene Smith (i.e. Catherine Elise Muller, 1861-1929), whose Martian explorations were the subject of a detailed study, in which a conclusion was reached which applied equally to Leadbeater:  "We are struck by two points, the complete identity of the Martian world, taken in its chief points, with the world in which we live, and its puerile originalia in a host of minor details." Quoted in Fodor, 1966:287. For a general account of the genre, cf. Fodor, 1966:287.   Andre Jackson Davis (1826-1910) also explored the planets in his Harmonial Philosophy, William Rider and Sons, London, 1917:24-46.  

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          7. For details of the Masters, see *The Masters and the Path, 1925.

          8. For the evolution of man on this planet, cf. *Man. Whence, How and Whither, 1913.

          9. For a general study of occult physiology and anatomy, cf. Walker, 1977.

          10. For life after death, see *The Other Side of Death, 1903,

          11. The account of the rock which loved the boy appears in various places, including in Leadbeater's "Rock consciousness", in The Liberal Catholic, October, 1947:236-7.

          12. See Star Congress at Ommen, 1925:7

          13. For the Christian sacraments, see *The Science of the Sacraments, 1920

          14. For the results of Leadbeater's clairvoyant research into these matters, cf. *The Hidden Side of Things, 1915.

          15. Cancer cells, Leadbeater said, were "exactly like the normal cell except that it was a looking glass image of it".  Quoted in Jinarajadasa, 1938:58

          16. lt seems that Leadbeater, although nominally recognizing both Anglican and Roman Catholic Orders, did not in fact recognize them as being "as valid" as his own, once he had become a Liberal Catholic bishop.  He tended to re-baptize those who sought admission to the Liberal Catholic Church even when they had previously been baptized into Anglican, Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches, and to re-ordain clergy from those churches.  See the letter from Bishop Burt in The Liberal Catholic, October, 1948; the baptismal register of St Alban's Church, Sydney, supports this view.   This may also have been connected with a belief that Wedgwood had "purged" the Apostolic Succession of the Roman Catholic Church received by him, and that therefore the Liberal Catholic Church had Orders which were "more valid" than other churches.

          17. Quoted in The O.E. Library Critic, October 7th, 1925.

          18. Quoted in the American Theosophist, July, 1981:196. By 1982 there were, according to Bowker's Books in

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Print, 1981-2 (R.K. Bowker and Co, New York, 1981)

7 titles of Leadbeater's in print in English (excluding Indian imprints - and thus the Theosophical Publishing House in India).  British Books in Print 1981 (J. Whitaker and Sons, London, 1981) listed 11 titles, and Australian Books in Print (D.W. Thorpe, Melbourne, 1982) listed 2.  The 1983-84 Books in Print listed 7 works by Leadbeater, and 1 jointly by Leadbeater and Besant.  The 1984 British Books in Print listed 11 works by Leadbeater, and 4 jointly by Leadbeater and Besant.   The 1985 Australian Books in Print listed 2 works by Leadbeater.

          19. For general studies of the occult revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cf. Webb, 1971 and 1981.  For popular studies of the late twentieth century revival cf. Nat Freedland, The Occult Explosion, Michael Joseph, London, 1972;  John Godwin, Occult America, Doubleday and Co, New York, 1972; Time, June 19th, 1972:40-8.  For scholarly studies of the modern revival, cf. Galbreath, 1971; Tiryakian, 1974; Marty, 1970; and Ejerfeldt, 1974.

          20. Cf. Arthur Calder Marshall's review of The Elder Brother, in The Times Literary Supplement, July 9th, 1982.

          21. For a summary of research into the aura, see Lyall Watson, Supernature, Coronet, London, 1974:141-50 and Stanley Krippner and Daniel Rubin (Eds), Galaxies of Life, Interface, New York, 1973.  Whether or not there is scientific validity in claims about the aura, it remains significant that Leadbeater's descriptions (given initially in an article in The Theosophist in 1895, and in considerable detail in Man Visible and Invisible in 1902) have been more or less repeated by later researchers, both scientific and occult.  The earliest scientific study of the aura was published by Dr J Walter Kilner (1847-1920), a physician at St Thomas' Hospital, London.  He published The Human Atmosphere in 1911. Cf. W.J. Kilner, The Human Atmosphere, University Books, New York, 1965, and The Aura, Samuel Weiser, New York, 1973.

          22. For the history of vegetarianism, cf. Berry, 1979 and Janet Barkas, The Vegetable Passion, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1975.  The author of that work underestimates the importance of Theosophy as an influence on popularizing vegetarianism, focusing on Anna Kingsford and Annie Besant (pp. 85-7) and the brief Theosophical Society contact of Gandhi (pp. 29-30).  She does not mention Leadbeater.

          23. For the historical and cultural background to the "New Age", cf. Theodore Rosak, The Making of a Counter

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Culture, Faber, London, 1972. For an "inside" survey of the area, cf. Spiritual Community Publications, Spiritual Community Guide 1975-76, Spiritual Community Publications, San Rafael, 1974.  Fora broad coverage of groups within the area, cf. J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, McGrath, Wilmington, 1978, vol. 2, chapter 17.

          24. Cf. Albert Goldman, Elvis, McGraw-Hill, 1981:636.

          25.    For example, see the studies of Psychiana and The I Am Movement (which has numerous derivatives) in Braden, 1949:78-127 and 257--307.  The section on "New Vessels for the Ancient Wisdom" in Ellwood, 1973:88-130 includes material from post-Leadbeater movements showing clearly his influence, as does the section "Other Offshoots and Related Groups" in Campbell, 1980:159-65.   Those movements which have most literally expanded upon Leadbeater's teachings are those in the "I AM" tradition, which had its beginnings in the work of Guy Ballard (1878-1939) and his wife, Edna, in California in the 1930's - cf. Campbell, 1980:161-3, Braden, 1949:257-307 and Ellwood, 1973:121-125.  They emphasized a pantheon of "Ascended Masters", the use of Rays of various colours, vibrations, the chanting of mantras, and the passage of the chosen disciple through a sequence of spiritual initiations conferring great occult powers.  Following on from the now virtually defunct I Am movement are many similar groups.

          26. Sheehan, 1925:28

          27. Hodson and van Thiel, nd:18

          28. Ibid:24

          29. The International Theosophical Year Book, 1937:218. [*TSA]

          30. The Liberal Catholic, April, 1934:301.

          31. Quoted in The Canadian Theosophist, October 27,


          32. Ibid: June, 1934:122.

          33. Ibid

          34. Dawn, May 1st, 1923:15.

          35. For Dion Fortune, cf. Cavendish, 1974:88; King and Sutherland, 1982:144-57, Colquhoun, 1975:184-9, 217-9

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and Alan Richardson, Dancers to the Gods, Aquarian Press, Wullingborough, 1985.  For her contents on Leadbeater, cf. King, 1971:122, and her own books Applied Occultism, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, 1973:78-9, and Sane Occultism, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, 1972:129-30.

          36. For Crowley, cf. Cavenish, 1974:70-2; John Symonds, The Great Beast, Rider, London, 1951 and Crowley's own "autohagiography", edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Jonathan Cape, London, 1969.  For Crowley on Leadbeater, cf. King, 1971:135, and The Equinox, September, 1913:xxix.

          37. For a bibliography of Rajneesh's comments, cf. Weeraperuma, 1981:46, 100. Cf. Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, April 16th, 1979:4-6.

          38. Cf. John Bull, February 9, 1909:141, and The New Statesman, March 1.0, 1934:338

          39. Keyserling, 1926, vol. I:120.

          40. Quoted in Landau, 1964:175.

          41. Williams, 1931.

          42. In The Canadian Theosophist, October, 1933:248.

          43. In The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, volume XI, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1964:  letter to Dr Pranjivan Meh, May 8th, 1911.

          44. Quoted in Henry Summerfield, That Myriad Minded Man, A Biography of George William Russell, "A.E.", Colin Smyth, Gerrard's Cross, 1975:134

          45. Quoted in The Canadian Theosophist, June 15th, 1934:121-2.

          46. George Arundale in Besant, 1939:38.

          47. Cf. Eirenicon, Winter, 1963, and Spring, 1961. [*]

          48. Ryan, 1975:306.

          49. Hodson and van Thiel, n.d.:20.

          50. cf. Nethercot, 1961 and 1964

          51. Nethercot 1961:13

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          52. Nethercot, 1964:467-8

          53. Ibid:468

          54.  Letters from Dr Nethercot to the author, March 3 1977; August 1, 1979; January 18, 1980.  Dr Nethercot commented:  "I am delighted to learn that someone is going to complete the history of the triumvirate, Besant-Olcott-Leadbeater." (March 3, 1977) [*]

          55. cf. Weeraperuma, 1974 and 1982

          56. Shringy, 1977.  For other theses, cf. Weeraperuma, 1982.

          57. Campbell, 1980:147

          58. Ibid:166-9

          59. Cf. lbid:172

          60. For the influence on Gandhi, cf. Louis Fischer, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, Granada, London, 1982:53-4, 89-90.

          61. See chapter 23

          62. For Steiner, cf. Ahern, 1984 and Wilson, 1985.  For Bailey, cf. Campbell, 1980:150-3 and Ellwood, 1973:103-6.

          63. Cf. Ellwood, 1973:74-9, 88-130 and Melton, 1978, vol. 2:135-93.  This is also considered in chapter 22.

          64. Cf. van Sommers, 1966:114-5, Rodd, 1972:6-9 and Drury & Tillett, 1980:21-5.

          65. Mary Lutyens (1908- ) is an eminent historical writer, better known for her studies of John Ruskin, Effie Gray, the Lytton family and her father, the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), than for her works on Krishnamurti.

          66. The Times Literary Supplement, July 9th, 1982:732.

          67. The Sunday Times (London), July 25th, 1982.

          68. Catholic Herald (London), August 6th, 1982.

          69. The Bulletin (Sydney), November 2nd, 1982.

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          70. Choice (New York), February, 1983.

          71. Theosophy in Australia, December, 1982, and The Theosophical Journal (London), December, 1982.

          72. See Shearman, 1980.  It was reviewed in highly favourable terms in The American Theosophist, June, 1981, by a reviewer who agreed with Shearman that Leadbeater was "the greatest occultist of the twentieth century".

          73. Shearman, 1980:1

          74. Ibid:1

          77. Ibid.

          76. Ibid:24

          77. Ibid:37

          78. *A Christian Gnosis, 1983:ix-xxix

          79. For an introduction to cognitive dissonance, cf. Festinger, Riecken and Schachter, 1964:3-32

          80. Reynolds and Capps, 1976:4

          81. Cf. Thomas E. Berry (Ed), The Biographer's Craft (Odyssey Press, NY, 1967).  For a summary of developments in anthropology and psychology, see Reynolds and Capps, 1976:8-27.

          82. Reynolds and Capps, 1976:85

          83. Ibid:4

          84. For this evolutionary model, cf. Jinarajadasa, 1922:46 and 107.

          85. Wood, 1936:143

          86. In The Watchman (Sydney), a Seventh-day Adventist magazine, August, 1926.

          87. Information from John Cooper, who obtained it from the singer.

          88. Mary Lutyens, 1975:x.

          89. Balfour-Clarke, 1977:42, also interview with

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Balfour-Clarke, at Adyar, December, 1979.

          90. Correspondence with Mary Lutyens, 1979, and interview with her in London, 1979.


Chapter 2: Notes

          1. A.J. Hamerster, "C.W. Leadbeater", in Round Table Annual, 1932.  Details of the writing of the article and Leadbeater's approval of it are in Hamerster's "Hero, Saint and Sage ", in The Theosophist, May, 1935.

          2. Collected Articles of A.J. Hamerster, 7 volumes; the two articles referred to are in Volume IV; Adyar Library reference *181 Ham CA.

          3. See, for example: Annie Besant, "C.W. Leadbeater", in The Theosophist, November, 1911, reprinted in The Theosophist, April, 1934; Annie Besant, "February 17th, 1847" in The Theosophist, February, 1923; J.I. Wedgwood, "Some Reminiscences of Mr Leadbeater", in Union Lodge T.S. Transactions, February 26, 1918.

          4. In both The K.H. Letters to C.W. LEADBEATER, compiled by C. Jinarajadasa (1941) and in J.L. Davidge,"Authentic Biographical Notes on Bishop Leadbeater" in The Theosophist, May, 1934, there is reference to the Norman French origins of the surname "Leadbeater".  However, standard references on English surnames suggest the more common derivativation of "lead beater", that is, a worker in lead.  Cf. C.W. Bardsley, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, Geneaological Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1968; P.H. Reaney, A Dictionary of British Surnames, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1976 and J.R. Dolan, English Ancestral Names.  The Evolution of the Surname from Medieval Occupations, Clarkson N. Potter, New York, 1972.  No parallel French name is found in Albert Dauzat, Dictionnaire Etymologigue des Noms de Famille, Librarie Larouse, Paris, 1951.  There was an eminent Leadbeater family whose surname derived from the Hugenot family of Le Batre, of which the best known member was the English authoress Mary Leadbeater (see The Leadbeater Papers, 2 vols, 2nd edition, London, 1862), but there is no reason to connect this with the Stockport Leadbeaters.

          5. Mention of Bulwer Lytton (1803-1873) as an occultist occurs in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (A.T. Barker, 1972:209-10) in a letter from Master K.H. to

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A.O. Hume;   it is said that Bulwer Lytton attempted to found an occult school in London in the 1860's but failed because of the "pestilent London atmosphere".  Wedgwood said Bulwer Lytton was a Rosicrucian, and Weller van Hook stated he was a Master and a pupil of the Master known as The Venetian.  Cf. C. Nelson Stewart, Bulwer Lytton as Occultist, TPH, London, 1927.

          6. Annie Besant, "C.W. Leadbeater", in The Theosophist, November, 1911; reprinted in The Theosophist, May, 1934, and in Adyar Day, 17th November (n.d.).

          7. C.W. Leadbeater, "Saved by a Ghost", in The Theosophist, January, 1911; published separately with notes by C. Jinarajadasa under the title Saved by a Ghost. A true story of adventure in Brazil near Bahia, 1861-2, of Charles Leadbeater, senior, Charles Leadbeater and Gerald Leadbeater , C Jinarajadasa) and also includes with some changes in C.W. Leadbeater, The Perfume of Egypt and other weird stories, TPH, Adyar, 1911 (further editions 1912, 1936, 1948 and 1967).  All quotations are from the 5th edition, 1967.

          8. Jinarajadasa identifies the railway as "The State of Bahia South Western Railway Company", and said he had visited their offices in an attempt to find documentary evidence of Leadbeater's father's involvement;  but "owing to local revolutions the company's books are untraceable and probably were burnt in some fire."  Jinarajadasa's notes, including this comment, are found on a printed slip included in the offprinting of the article from The Theosophist.  Leadbeater's knowledge of Brazilian railway history appears to have been defective.   The first railway - from Guanabaia Bay to Petropalis - was begun in 1854;  the second from Recife to Cabo, and the third, from Rio de Janero to Quernasos (and later on to Sao Paulo) were begun in 1858.  C.f. E. Bradford Burns, A History of Brazil, Columbia University Press, New York, 1971: 144-5.

          9. Martinez is a Spanish name;  Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country.  The name Martinez does not appear in any standard history of Brazil.  Nor does Leadbeater's story fit in with known Brazilian history.  There were no recorded uprisings in Brazil between 1850 and 1889, a period spoken of as "the maturing of the Empire of Pedro II" by one historian.  See Burns, above cit.:124-5.  The Brazilian Embassy in London could not identify the events described by Leadbeater in the context of the history of Brazil. (Correspondence with author)

          10.    Dr Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882), was an English theologian and a leader of the Oxford Movement in

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the Church of England.  For a summary of his influence, c.f. Vidler, 1971:51-4.

          11. *The Perfume of Egypt, 1967:209.

          12. Ibid:213

          13. Ibid:215

          14. Hacienda is a Spanish word;  Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country in which hacienda is not used.  Although the town in Brazil is not named, it can almost certainly be identified from the information given about its location.  It was the city of Bahia, the oldest city in Brazil and then its third largest.  It was one terminus for the Bahia to Sao Francisco railway of 576 kilometers, on the other end of which was the town of Joazeiro, five hours away by train on the banks of the Sao Francisco river.   C.f. Arthur Bias, The Brazil of Today, Lanneau and Despret, Nivelles (Belgium), n.d. but c.1903. US

          15. *The Perfume of Egypt, 1967:216

          16. Ibid:265

          17. Clara Codd, 1951:292ff.

          16. A copy of this Nemo was given to the author in 1979 by the then President of the Theosophical Society, John Coats.

          19. Correspondence with the successor to that Bank, Williams and Glyn's Bank Ltd, in London, revealed that records from the period are no longer in existence.

          20. Codd, above cit.

          21. In the "Leadbeater Centenary Number" of The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, Vol. XII, No. 4-5, Feb-Mar, 1947, the biographical account (pp. 5-21) included the information that the family motto was toujours pret.  Fairbairn's Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 2 vols., T.C. and E.C. Jack, London, n.d., gives toujours pret ("always ready") as the motto of 12 families, and toujours prest as the motto of 18 families, none of them Leadbeater or any variant on that name.  Indeed, the name Leadbeater does not appear in that work, although both Leadbetter and Leadbitter do, although without a motto resembling toujours pret.

          22. J.L. Davidge (1881-1964) joined the Theosophical

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Society in 1908, and became a priest of the Liberal Catholic Church in 1930.  He served as General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Australia from 1947-57.  He was a close associate of Leadbeater's in Sydney in Leadbeater's final years.  C.f. his "Authentic Biographical Details on Bishop Leadbeater", in The Theosophist, May, 1934.

          23. Josephine Ransom, "C.W. Leadbeater: In Memorium 1847-1934", in Theosophical News and Notes, April, 1934.

          24. C.f. Whos' Who in Australia 1927-28, Fred Johns (Ed), Hassell Press, Adelaide, 1927 and Who's Who in Australia, 1933-4, Errol G. Knox (Ed), Herald Press, Melbourne, 1933. US

          25. A History of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. A Study Course, The Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton, Ill., n.d.

          26. Sten H.P. von Krusenstierna, "The Modern Founders", in The Liberal Catholic Church: History, Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies, Unit 3, Paper 1, Part 2, L.C.I.S., Ojai, n.d.  None of the L.C.I.S. papers on the history of the Liberal Catholic Church mention any historical uncertainty, difficulty or controversy.

          27. In the archives of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society at Adyar is a family tree for Leadbeater drawn up by C. Jinarajadasa, a copy of which was given to the author in 1979 by the then President of the Theosophical Society, John Coats.  It shows Emma Morgan's father as John Morgan, not Webster Morgan, and Jinarajadasa claims in notes attached to the family tree to have met him "about three times".  As Jinarajadasa first came to England in 1889, Mr Morgan must have lived to a great age, unless Jinarajadasa is referring to a meeting when he was incarnated as Gerald Leadbeater.  All the author's research into Leadbeater's family was replicated, at the request of the then President of the Theosophical Society, John Coats, by Miss Lilian Storey, Librarian of the Theosophical Society in England, and a member of the Society of Genealogists.  In a letter to Mr Coats, a copy of which he gave the author, she confirmed all the information uncovered.

          28. Census data was obtained from the Public Record Office, London. C.f. J. Worrall, Worrall's Directory of Stockport, author, Oldham, August, 1872. BL

          29. Copies of birth, death and marriage certificates were obtained from the General Register Office, London, in 1978-9; additional research was undertaken on material

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available from the census returns in the Public Record Office, London.  This work was replicated by a researcher for the Theosophical Society as mentioned in note 27 above.

          30. See C. Jinarajadasa, 1952:73. Leadbeater's correspondence with the English Theosophist, A.P. Sinnett, regarding the boy he was bringing back with him from Ceylon does not mention a reincarnated brother, merely a boy in whom the Master was interested.  C.f. A.P. Sinnett, 1922:95.  Nor is there any reference to Gerald reincarnated in Leadbeater's correspondence with H.S. Olcott, then President of the Theosophical Society, at the time:  this correspondence was consulted in the archives of the Theosophical Society at Adyar.

          31. C.f. Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis 1715-1886, author, London, 1888, volume III. BL

          32. Correspondence with both the Registrar of the University of Oxford, and the Keeper of the Archives of The Queen's College, Oxford, indicated that there is no record of Leadbeater matriculating or entering the University.

          33. C.f. A.J. Venn, Alumni Cantabridgiensis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1951, part II 1752-1900, volume IV.  BL Correspondence with the Librarian of St John's College, Cambridge, indicated that there is no record of Leadbeater in the College or the University.

          34. C.f. The Winchester Diocesan Calendar and Clergy List, Jacob and Johnson, Winchester, editions for 1876 and 1878. BL

          35. *The Masters and the Path, 1953:38

          36. Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Volume XII:732;  see also John Irving, The Annals of Our Time, Macmillan, London, 1880, volume I, events for May 10 and 11, 1866. BL

          37. All Saints', Margaret Street, London, was completed in 1859 on the site of Margaret Chapel, originally built in the 1830's to put into practice the ideals of the Oxford Movement.  It attracted a congregation of influential laymen and was notable for the quality of its sermons, ceremonial and music.

          38. C.f. Owen Chadwick (Ed), The Mind of the Oxford Movement, Adam and Charles Black, London, 1960:  "Pusey and the Language of Mysticism" (pp.46-50) and "What is Puseyism?" (p.51).

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          39. Dr Hans Gross, Professor of Criminology at the University of Prague, quoted in Yseult Bridges, How Charles Bravo Died:  The Chronicles of a Cause Celebre, The Reprint Society, London, 1957:23.


Chapter 3: Notes

          1. For general surveys of the Church of England in the nineteenth century, see W.D. Chadwick, The Victorian Church (4 vols., A. and C. Black, London, 1966-1970), P.T. Marsh, The Victorian Church in Decline (Routledge Kegan Paul, London, 1959), L.E. Elliott-Binns, Religion in the Victorian Era (Lutterworth, London, 1964) and R.A. Soloway, Prelates and People, Ecclesiastic Social Thought in England.,1783-1852 (Routledge Kegan Paul, London, 1969).  See also Brenda Collins, Victorian Country Parson (Constable, London, 1977) for background to Leadbeater's country curacy.

          2. See R.C. Newman, 1975; also The Winchester Diocesan Calendar and Clergy List, Jacob and Johnson, Winchester, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881.  For Capes, see Who Was Who 1897-1915, Adam and Charles Black, London, 5th edition, 1960, and Crockford's Clerical Directory, London, 1883.

          3. Leadbeater refers to his lay work in the Church of England in Talks on "At the Feet of the Master", 1922:214, and claims to have worked at St Alban's, Holborn (London), a notable Anglo-Catholic Centre, under the famous and controversial Anglo-Catholic priest, Fr. A.H. Mackonochie (ibid:565-6).

          4. See Winchester Diocesan Calendar, above cit., 1878.  Leadbeater described the parish as "congregation of farmers and labourers" (*Talks on "At The Feet of the Master, 1922:179).

          5. In 1975 and 1979 the author visited both Bramshott and Liphook, and interviewed local residents who recalled the "age of Canon Capes".  The present Rector had only a vague knowledge of Leadbeater, and referred to him as "someone who was a curate here once, got caught in some heresy and went to Australia".  Church registers can be seen with Leadbeater's signature in them.  "Hartford" is still standing, and the Church at Bramshott is little changed.

          6. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1967:8.

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          7. Ibid.

          8. This was a popular theme at the time - see James G Campbell, Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and the Islands of Scotland, James MacLehose and Son, Glasgow, 1902.

          9. The seances were held in Paris in February, 1857:  c.f. G.McHargue, Facts, Frauds and Phantasms, Doubleday, New York, 1972:95-6, and Fodor, 1966:172.  Napoleon III (1808-73), the son of Napoleon I's brother, Louis, returned to France in the revolution of 1848, and came to power in a coup d'etat in 1851;  he lost his throne in 1871 after French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, and retired to England.  The Reverend Charles Maurice Davies was a well-known, if critical, author in occult and psychical subjects:  his books included Mystic London; or, Phases of Occult Life in the Metropolis, London, 1875.  Daniel Dunglas Home (1633-86) was one of the most notable mediums of the nineteenth century;  he travelled extensively, and achieved fame for remarkable phenomena.  Ronald Pearsall (1973:67) noted:  "D.D. Home dominates English spiritualism from 1855, when he arrived in England from America, until 1870.  These were the golden years of Victorian spiritualism, and after his retirement no one was able to take up his mantle.  If only for one reason:  Home was never detected in any fraud."  Home included in his circle many famous and eminent people.  Cf. D.D. Home, Incidents in My Life (Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green, London, 1863).

          10. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1967:10-11.

          11. Ibid:11-12

          12. Ibid:12

          13. *The Perfume of Egypt and Other Weird Stories, 1911

          14. The K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1941:106

          15. Ibid

          16. Ibid:107  For an account of William Eglinton (1857-1933), see chapter 3.  Cecil Husk (1847-1920) was an English professional singer, and later, professional medium:   cf. Fodor, 1966:177-8.  Presumably, "the Irresistible" was Mr Husk's spirit guide.

          17. Pearsall, 1973:9-10

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          18. Catherine Crowe, The Night Side of Nature, or Ghosts and Ghost-seers, Routledge, London, no date but 184? includes chapters on allegorical dreams, wraiths, Doppelgangers or doubles, apparitions, the power of will, and similar subjects.  A copy bearing Leadbeater's book plate was seen in the Theosophical Society library at Adyar,

          19. For the Fox family and the origins of spiritualism, see Fodor, 1966:144--8, within which also see separate entries for specific spiritualist practices.  For history of Victorian spiritualism, see Pearsall, 1973.

          20. For a history of the Confraternity, albeit from a distinctly hostile point of view, see Walter Walsh, The Secret History of the Oxford Movement, Swan, Sonnenschein and Co, London, 1898, chapter VII.

          21. Correspondence between the author and the Secretary-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

          22. *The Christian Creed, Its Origin and Signification, 1899; second edition, 1920.

          23. *An Enquiry Into the Failure of Christianity, unpublished manuscript, 194 pages typsescript, Adyar Library and Research Centre, Reference L*091 Lea SF.  Parts of this work, together with other unpublished and published talks and articles by Leadbeater, have been published as *The Christian Gnosis (1983).

          24. Samuel Cox, Salvator Mundi, or is Christ the Saviour of All Men, Kegan Paul, London, 1882 (-?- edition);  copy bearing Leadbeater's bookplate -?- in the Theosophical Society Library at Adyar.


Chapter 4: Notes

          1. For the background to and history of Theosophy prior to 1883, cf. The Theosophical Movement, 1875-1925: 1-? Kuhn,1930:1-114;  Campbell, 1980:1-29, Ransom, 1938:57-75;  Ryan, 1975:30-64;  Olcott, 1941; and Jinarajadasa, 1925:1-81.

          2. Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840-1921) was the editor of the Pioneer newspaper in Allahabad, where he met HPB and Colonel Olcott in February, 1879, and they stayed with him

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during their visits to India.  He witnessed a number of phenomena associated with HPB, including a miraculous duplication of a cup and saucer.   In 1883 he returned to England after conflicts with the proprietor of the Pioneer over Sinnett's sympathy with India, and became the centre of TS work in London.  Both he and his wife, Patience, had become members of the TS in 1879, and Sinnett was Vice-President of the Society from 1880-1888.  Cf. Barborka, 1973:23-31, 33-45;  Linton & Hanson, 1973:249-58, Colquhoun, 1975:168-9 and H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, volume VII:395.  The Occult World was first published by L. Trubner and Co., London, in 1881.

          3. For supernatural phenomena in the presence of HPB, cf. Barborka, 1966, and Olcott, 1941:343-93, 429-448 for disciples' accounts;  and Meade, 1980, for a critical account.

          4. Sinnett, 1896:1

          5. ibid:11

          6. ibid:29

          7. For Sinnett's letters from the Masters, cf. Barker,1933 and Barborka, 1973.

          8. Amongst the numerous biographies the following should be noted:  (1) By disciples: Ryan, 1975;  Whyte, 1920;  Butt, 1925;  Sinnett, 1913;  Neff, 1971, Murphett,1975;  (2) Critical:  Meade, 1980;  Symonds, 1959, "Ephesian",1931.

          9. For Home, cf. note 9, chapter 2.

          10. For the Theosophical concept of the Masters or Mahatmas, cf. Cavendish, 1974:139-140;  Barborka, 1973;   Kuhn,1930:147-175;  Campbell, 1980:53-74, Ransom, 1938:42-56.  The concept of Masters or Mahatmas as presented by HPB involved a mixture of western and eastern ideas;  she located most of them in India or Tibet.  Both she and Colonel Olcott claimed to have seen and to be in communication with Masters.  In Western occultism the idea of "Supermen" has been found in such schools as the Strikte Observanz of von Hund (1722-76), and the fraternities established by Martinez de Pasqualli (d.1774) and Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803).  It was also central to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which spoke of "Secret Chiefs", and was associated with the TS from the time of its establishment in March, 1888.  See Colquhoun, 1975:32-39;  For details of the links between the Golden Dawn and the TS, cf. Colquhoun, 1975:118-9.  For the concept of Masters generally, cf.

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E.M. Butler, The Myth of the Magus , Cambridge University Press, London, 1948.

          11. For the Fox family, cf. Kerr & Crow, 1983:79-110.

          12. For Henry Olcott, cf. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, volume 1:503-18;  Murphett, 1972;  Ransom, 1938:35-41;  Eek, 1965:640-59;   Dictionary of American Religious Biography, Henry W. Bowden (Ed), Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 1977:342-3;  and the Olcott Centenary Number of The Theosophist, August, 1932.  For Olcott's involvement in the TS, see his Old Diary Leaves, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1935, 1941 and 1954.

          13. Cf. Meade, 1980:137-8;  the compiler of HPB's Collected Writings suggests, without citing any evidence, that Nikifor Blavatsky died between 1863 and 1864 (Volume VII:304).  Both in 1886 and 1887 HPB made statements in which she referred to herself as Blavatsky's widow, claiming that she had been at the time of her naturalization as an American citizen on July 8, 1878 (Cf. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume VII:304-5, 310).   Virtually no biographical material exists on General Blavatsky.

          14. People of the Other World, American Publishing Company, Hartford, Conn.,1875.  For the letter from the Brotherhood of Luxor, cf. Olcott, 1941:75-6;  Campbell, 1930:23-4 and Jinarajadasa, 1925:12-15, which includes a reproduction of the letter.  For letters from the Masters generally, cf. Barborka, 1973.

          15. For accounts of the founding of the TS, cf. Olcott, 1941:113-146;  Jinarajadasa, 1925: 16-38;  Ransom, 19:.8:76-94;  Ryan, 1975:53-64;   Meade, 1980:147-57.

          16. Ransom, 1938:545

          17. ibid:546

          18. ibid:548

          19. The first edition was published by W.J. Bouton, New York.  For accounts of Isis Unveiled, and its writing, cf. Olcott, 1941:202-276;  Meade, 1980:158-89;   Kuhn, 1939:115-46;  Ransom, 1938:91-101;  Campbell, 1980:32-9;  Ryan, 1975:65-85;   Meade, 1980:158-89 and The Theosophical Movement, 1875-1925:26-41.

          20. Pansil involved the repetition of the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts of Buddhism;  cf. Olcott,

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1954:167-8;   Ryan, 1975:128;  Meade, 1980:214-5.

          21. The first edition was published by L. Trubner and Company, London, in 1831;   the second edition in 1882.

          22. For Blavatsky's letters from the Masters, cf. Barborka, 1973.  For summaries of the teachings of Theosophy, cf. Campbell, 1980:53-74;  Kuhn, 1930:194-300;   Albertson, 1971;  Judge, 1975.

          23. Anna Bonus Kingsford (1846-1888) was the wife of the Reverend Algernon Kingsford, Vicar of Atcham, Shropshire.  She held a M.D. from Paris, and was notable as a rabid anti-vivisectionist.  Although she had entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1870, she was also a member of the TS, and President of London Lodge in 1883.  Cf. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Works , Volume IX:438-40;  Meade, 1980:277-8;  Colquhoun, 1975:76-7.

          24. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1967:20 his Mr ,rby was not

          25.  This Mr Kirby was not William Henry Kirby (1872-1936),      an M.A. of Oxford, who joined the TS in 1902.  He and his wife remained good friends of Leadbeater's throughout his Theosophical career.  *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1967:21.

          26. Gerald B. Finch, who appears but briefly in TS history, was a barrister and a loyal disciple of HPB;  after serving as President of London Lodge he left to become founding President of Blavatsky Lodge when it was established by HPB in direct competition with Sinnett's London Lodge in 1887.

          27. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:22

          28. For Annie Besant's pre-TS career, cf. Nethercott, 1961.

          29. A copy of his application and the entry in the membership roll is reproduced in C. Jinarajadasa, "C.W. Leadbeater's Theosophical Jubilee", The Australian Theosophist, February, 1933:165-7.

          30. Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), FRS, OM, was an active member of the Society for Psychical Research as well as one of the most eminent scientists of his day.  He became a member of the London Lodge in 1883, and did research into occultism with A.P. Sinnett in addition to his orthodox scientific research, which included the invention of the radiometer in 1875, and the spinthariscope in 1905.   Cf. E.E. Fournier d'Albe, The Life of Sir William Crookes OM, FRS,

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London, 1923.

          31. For his controversial involvement in psychical research, cf. Trevor H Hall. The Spiritualists, Duckworth, London, 1962.

          32. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:24-5

          33. The TS originally included an inner group (the First Section) consisting of the Masters, another group (the Second Section) consisting of those chosen by the Masters as pupils, and an outer group (the Third Section), of general members.  Cf. Jinarajadasa, 1925:119.

          34. For William Eglinton (1857-1933), cf. Fodor, 1965:118-22, Linton & Hanson, 1973:229, and material in the following chapter.

          35. For slate writing, cf. Pearsall, 1972:108-9,111-3, and Frank Podmore, Mediums of the 19th Century, University Books, New York, 1963, volume 2:204-22.

          36. The Perfect Way, by Anna Bonus Kingsford and Edward Maitland, was first published by Field and Tuer, London, in 1882;  this was a more Western and ostensibly a more Christian approach to occultism than HPB's, and differences between HPB and Dr Kingsford were not long in appearing.  In 1384, Dr Kingsford resigned from what was the British Theosophical Society and established the Hermetic Lodge of the TS, initially under a charter from Colonel Olcott.  Cf. Meade, 1980:377 and Ryan, 1975:168-72.


Chapter 5: Notes

          1. For details of the conflict, cf. Kuhn, 1930:174;  Ransom, 1938:196-9 and Ryan, 1975:171-2.

          2. Francesca E. Arundale (?-1924) joined the TS in 1881.  She was the aunt of George Arundale, whom she raised.  She was a devoted disciple of HPB, who stayed with her in London in 1884 - cf. her My Guest - H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, Adyar, 1932.  She was a pioneer of Co-Freemasonry in England, and introduced Annie Besant to the organization in 1902;  she established Co-Freemasonry to India in 1903.  From 1903 she devoted herself to educational work for women and girls in

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 India.  Cf. International Theosophical Year Book, 1937:186.

          3. Mohini Mohun Chatterji (1858-1936) was a private secretary to Colonel Olcott, and gave evidence to the SPR enquiry into the reality of psychical phenomena occurring at Adyar.  He was a scholar, MA and BL of Calcutta, and wrote books in English and Bengali.  He accompanied HPB and Olcott to London in 1884, and greatly influenced a number of Theosophists, including W.B. Yeats, and "A.E." [i.e. George W. Russell].  Together with another Theosophist, Laura C. Holloway, an American clairvoyant, he wrote Man: Fragments of a Forgotten History ("by Two Chelas"), TPS, London, 1885.  He became the centre of controversy over rumours about his relationships with female followers in Europe in 1885-6 (see Meade, 1.80:363-6), and resigned from the TS in 1887, returning to Calcutta to practice law.  Cf. Eek, 1965:638-9 and Barborka, 1973:332-3.

          4. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:43-4

          5. The Hermetic Theosophical Society was established on April 9th, at a meeting at which Mohini Chatterji delivered, Colonel Olcott presided, and Oscar Wilde was present.   Shortly afterwards the Hermetic Lodge separated from the TS and became an independent organization of which the poet "A.E." [George Russell] established a branch in Dublin.  Cf. Meade, 19.30:292-3;  Ransom, 1938:193-9 and Campbell, 1980:137,163.

          6. Light was a leading spiritualist journal edited, at that time, by the Reverend W. Stainton Moses.  It published a considerable amount of correspondence on Theosophical matters around this time.   Founded in 1881, it is still published.

          7. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:49

          8. ibid:50

          9. For a summary of the identities of the Masters, see Appendix.

          10. Jinarajadasa, 1941:12;  a facsimile of the handwritten letter is found on pp. 6-11;  cf. Barborka, 1973:308-13.

          11. Cf. Eek, 1965:304-5

          12. Jinarajadasa, 1941:13

          13. For a facsimile of the envelope, see

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Jinarajadasa, 1941:97

          14. For an account of the development of scholarly interest in oriental religions, cf. Webb, 1971:25-65

          15. A.J. Cooper-Oakley (1853-1899), MA(Cantab.), joined the TS in 1884 and was its Recording Secretary from 1885-7.  He and his wife travelled to India with HP8 in 1884.  Leadbeater had a particular dislike of him.  Isabel Cooper-Oakley ?-1914) was educated at Girton College.  She became one of HPB's Inner Circle in London in 1890, and attended the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in September, 1893.  She spent the latter part of her Theosophical career accumulating material on Masonry and esoteric traditions in Europe, on which she wrote several books .

          16. That HPB smoked cigarettes and ate meat remains an unpopular fact amongst Theosophists;  in one standard photograph of HPB the lower section is often amputated prior to publication eliminating her hand which is shown holding a cigarette.  One popular explanation for her smoking was that she was so spiritual that unless she smoked tobacco her etheric body would have dissolved.

          17. Jinarajadasa, 1941:52;  facsimile of the letter Given on pp. 50-1.

          18. Extracts from his diary for the last days in Bramshott are found in Jinarajadasa, 1941:60-1

          19. Esoteric Buddhism by A.P. Sinnett, Chapman and Hall, London, 1888.  The title should have been Esoteric Budhism, to distinguish the esoteric philosophy (Budhism) from the religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddhism), but a printer's error got in the way.  Sinnett claimed that the teachings contained in the book were received from the Master, and "given out for the first time".  Some of these teachings were later seen to contradict HPB's teachings, and a controversy developed.  Cf. Ransom, 1938:157-7, 178-9,187, 194, 255.

          20. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:62

          21. For the "Coulomb case", cf: Theosophical Movement, 1925:59-74;   Campbell, 1980:88-95;  Kuhn, 1939:177-80;  Ransom, 1938:209-16;  Ryan, 1975:181-203;   Meade, 1980:289-304 and Eek, 1965:510-513;   together with Emma Coulomb, Some Account of my Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky, Elliot Stock, London, 1885.

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          22. Dr Richard Hodgson (1855-1905) was an Australian who undertook legal studies at Cambridge and became an active member of and investigator for the Society for Psychical Research. Cf. Fodor, 1966:169-711;  Eek, 612-26 and A.T. Baird, Richard Hodgson. The Story of a Psychical Researcher and His Times, Psychic Press Ltd, London, 1949.

          23. For the SPR investigation, cf. Theosophical Movement, 1925:59-93;   Campbell, 1980:87-8, 92-4;  Kuhn, 1930:176--80;  Ransom, 1938:211-6;  Ryan, 1975:165-7, 193-201;  Meade, 1930:305-9, 322-3, 361-2, 392-3;  and Society for Psychical Research, "Report on Phenomena connected with Theosophy", in Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. III, December, 1885.

          24. Quoted in Ransom, 1933:214

          25. Cf. Renee Haynes, The Society for Psychical Research 1882-1982, Macdonald, London, 1982:141-4.  For Theosophical "answers" to the SPR report, cf. Adelai E. Waterman [i.e. Walter A. Carrithers, Jnr], Obituary: The "Hodgson Report" on Madame Blavatsky 1885-1960, TPH, Adyar, 1963, and Victor Endersby, The Hall of Magic Mirrors. A Portrait of Madame Blavatsky, Carlton Press, NY, 1969.

          26. For an account of these phenomena in HPB's Theosophical career, cf. Barborka, 1966.

          27. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:91

          28. ibid:92

          29. Quoted in Lutyens, 1953:113;  cf. Meade, 1980:330


Chapter 6: Notes

          1. Maha Nayaka Hikkaduwe Sumangala Thero (1827-1911) was High Priest of Sripada Temple, Adam's Peak and Galle District, and sponsored Olcott's work for Buddhism in Ceylon, giving his approval to the Colonel's Buddhist Catechism.  He served as honorary vice-president of the TS 1880-88, and as chairman of the Priests' Association of the Buddhist Section of the TS.  Cf. International Theosophical Year Book, 1937:238

          2. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:101

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          3. Ibid:103-6

          4. Quoted in Editor of "Justice", 1918:110

          5. Letter from the Secretary-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, March 15, 1979, including an extract from the Confraternity's membership records.   In The Buddhist, January 24th, 1890, Colonel Olcott, replied to the "malicious assertion, recently made, that Mr C.W. Leadbeater was not an ordained clergyman of the Church of England";  he declared that the relevant documents has been sighted by many people in Colombo, and that Leadbeater's name had been removed from the "Clergy List" when he had "become a Buddhist" (p. 48).

          6. Gyanendra Nath Chakravarti (1863-1936), MA, DS, DLitt, was the representative of the Indian Section of the TS to the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893, where he also served as the Brahmin representative.  He appears in Theosophical history as a rather sinister figure whose role and influence was never clearly defined, and who was held, for a time, to be a Master by Annie Besant and some of her associates (see Chapter 8).  Cf. The Path, October, 1893:204-6;  International Theosophical Yearbook, 1937:193-4.

          7. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:118;  the story is also told in Barborka, 1973:308-14.

          8. For the history of the Adyar estate, cf. Neff, 1934 and Adyar. The Home of the Theosophical Society, 1911. 

          9. Leadbeater gives an account of the estate in Adyar.  The Home of the Theosophical Society, 1911.

          10. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:121

          11. Dr Franz Hartmann (1838-1912), MD, was one of the organizers of the TS in Germany in the early 1880's, and took pansil in Ceylon in 1883.  He was involved in a number of occult organizations, and published a number of books on occult subjects, including works on the Rosicrucians.  He was disliked and distrusted by HPB.  Cf. Collected Works of H.P. Blavatsky, VIII:439-57;  Eek, 1965:596-612;  an obituary in The Theosophist, October, 1912:119.  See also Hartmann's "An Autobiography of Dr Franz Hartmann", in The Occult Review, January, 1908.

          12. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:126-7

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          13. During modern conventions palm huts and halls are also constructed to house the great number of delegates who attend;  the more primitive accommodation is reserved for the Indian members, whilst the Europeans stay in the permanent buildings.

          14. Ransom, 1936:206

          15. T Subba Row (also spelt Rao) (1856-1890) was an Indian lawyer, whose interest in the occult had been stimulated by a meeting with HPB in 1882, although he subsequently broke with her over certain esoteric teachings.  He was registrar of the High Court of Baroda.  Cf. Eek, 1965:661-73;  "T. Subba Rao" in The Path, July, 1893:102-3.  See Chapter 7.  Damodar K. Mavalankar (1857-?) was a Brahmin who served the TS as Recording Secretary 1882-5 and as Treasurer 1883.  He claimed to have visited his Master's ashram in 1883 to undergo training, and a number of phenomena were said to have occurred in his presence.  He left Adyar in February, 1885, at the instruction of his Master to travel to Tibet;  he was never seen again and a number of stories circulated about his ultimate fate.  Cf. Eek, 1965;   Eek, 1940;  Meade, 1980:207, 342.

          16. Cf. Ransom, 1935:206

          17. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:122-3

          18. ibid:123

          19. ibid:151

          20. Thebaw or Thibaw reigned 1878-1865;  the British declared him to be a tyrant, and popularized this view as justification for the war they declared on Burma in 1885.  This lasted only a week, but removed the King.  Cf. G.E. Harvey, British Rule in Burma 1824-1942, Faber, London, 1946;  John F. Cody, A History of Modern Burma, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1960:111-121;  and Maung Htin Aung, A History of Burma, Columbia University Press, 1967:252-64.

          21. Olcott developed an interest in Mesmerism prior to his contact with Theosophy, and used Mesmerism as a means of healing during his lecture tours.  For Mesmerism, cf. Fodor, 1966:239-41;  Campbell, 1980:13-4;  Webb, 1971:8-10;  and Frank Podmore, From Mesmer to Christian Science, University Books, NY, 1963.

          22. For HPB's departure from India, cf. Meade, 1980:260-281;  Ransom, 1938:215-23;  Ryan, 1975:204-13;  and H.P. Blavatsky, "Why I do not return to India", in The

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Theosophist, January, 1933.

          23. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:149

          24. For the disappearance of Damodar, cf. Eek, 1965:360-1


Chapter 7: Notes

          1. The position of Recording Secretary was effectively, that of administrator of the Society's business.  It was distinct from the office of Corresponding Secretary which was held by HPB (1875-1891), and which, after her death, was never filled again.  The Recording Secretaries of the Society around this time were:

          1882-1885 - Damodar K Mavalankar

          1885 - S. Krishnaswami;  C.W. Leadbeater;   A.J. Cooper-Oakley;  T. Vijayaraghava Charlu

          1886-1887 - T. Vijayaraghava Charlu;  A.J. Cooper-Oakley;  C.W. Leadbeater

          1888 - C.W. Leadbeater;  W.Q. Judge;  Archibald Keightley;  Richard Hare;  T. Vijayaraghava Charlu  (Jinarajadasa, 1925:254)

          The Theosophist, the international journal of the TS, was first published on October 1st, 1879 as "a 32-page royal 4to, monthly journal, of great merit - the organ of the Theosophical Society", entitled "The Theosophist, A Monthly Journal devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art, Literature and Occultism. Conducted by H.P. Blavatsky".  Cf. Ransom, 1938:134-5, and Jinarajadasa, 1925:43.  The Theosophist office managed the publication of the journal, the distribution of literature, and, until the Theosophical Publishing House took over, the publication of pamphlets on Theosophy.

          2. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:130-1

          3. Kundalini (from the Sanskrit, "coiled") is said

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to be a subtle psychic energy focussed in the psychic centre (chakra, from the Sanskrit "wheel'") at the base of the spine.  This "sacred serpent fire", which, in occult development, is believed to move up the spine until it reaches the chakra at the top of the head (sahasra).  In true occult training this leads to great psychic powers (siddhis, from the Sanskrit, "power") and illumination.  "The latent force of kundalini is closely connected with occult development and with many kinds of practical magic, but any attempt to awaken it or use it without the supervision of a competent teacher is fraught with serious dangers." (*Some Glimpses of Occultism, 1903:69)  The potential power and danger of the development of kundalini has been widely recognized in occultism eastern and western:  cf. Benjamin Walker, Encyclopedia of Esoteric Man, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1977:145-6.   For traditional Indian views, cf. John Woodroffe, The Serpent Power, Ganesh, Madras, 1953;  for a modern Indian view, cf. Gopi Krishna, Kundalini, Shambala, Berkeley, Calif., 1970;  and for Theosophical views, cf. *The Chakras, 1927 and Arundale, 1947.

          4. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:131-2

          5. ibid:133

          6. Pythagorus (c. 582-500BC) was said by Leadbeater to have been a Master, and to have taught the "Ancient Wisdom".

          7. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:133-4

          8. *Talks on the Path of Occultism, vol. III, 1931:843

          9. Biographical material on Subba Row is found in the "Appreciation" by S. Subramanien, in T. Subba Row, The Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, TPH, Adyar, 1921.   Olcott's obituary of him is in The Theosophist, July, 1890, and is reprinted in Subba Row, A Collection of Esoteric Writings, Bombay Theosophical Publications Fund, Bombay, 1910.  Cf. Olcott's Old Diary Leaves, 4th series, 1910, chapter xiii.

          10. Cf. Ryan, 1975:214-221;  Ransom, 1938:246-7;   Theosophical Movement 1925:137-8, 403;   Campbell, 1980:40;  Meade, 1980: 381;  and Eek, 1965:114-6.

          11. Cf. Subba Row, 1910, 1918, 1921

          12. The Bhagavad Gita attracted considerable attention fron Theosophical writers:  cf. Eric J. Sharpe, "The Early Theosophists and the Interpretation of the

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Bhagavad Gita", in Theosophy in Australia, September, 1979:50-57.

          13. *How Theosophy Came to Me, 1930:134

          14. Subba Row's teachings differ from those of HPB, and Leadbeater's differ from both of them an a number of basic doctrines - for example, the existence of of a personal deity, the occult constitution of man, the requirements of occult training and the occult history of the solar system.  No published study of differences between Leadbeater and Subba Row exists.  Cf. Hugh Shearman, "Theosophical ontologies", in The Theosophist, October, 1971.

          15. Correspondence between Leadbeater, Olcott and Sinnett is held in the Archives of the TS at Adyar;  the author had access to it during his research at Adyar in 1979.  Although there are some copies of letters from Leadbeater, the bulk of the material is letters received by Leadbeater from Olcott and Sinnett.  The contents of these make it relatively easy to determine what was said in the letters from Leadbeater to which they were replies.

          16. Cf. Sinnett, 1922:95, together with letters from Sinnett to Leadbeater, TS Archives, Adyar

          17. Letters from Olcott to Leadbeater, TS Archives, Adyar

          18. For the Buddhist TS, cf. Jinarajadasa, 1925:163 and Ransom, 1938:259

          19. The Smaller Buddhist Catechism, "Approved and Recommended for the Instruction of Buddhist Children by H. Sumangala, Pradhana Nayaka Thera, High Priest of Adam's Peak and of the Western and Southern provinces of Ceylon, Principal of Vudyodaya College for Buddhist Monks", was published in two parts in 1889:  the first part sold 23,000 copies through 13 editions, and the second 16,000 through -?- editions, by the time it was reprinted in a single volume edition of 5,000 copies by the Buddhist Theosophical Society in Columbo in 1902.  For a brief account of Leadbeater's work for Buddhism in Ceylon, and his compilation of the shorter Buddhist catechism, which was translated into Sinhala by Anagarika Dharmapala, cf. Guruge, 1965:702-4.

          20. For the background to Buddhism in Ceylon at this time, cf. Kitsiri Malalgoda, 1973.

          21. The K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1943:90. A

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Theosophist who undertook research into Leadbeater's life and work in Ceylon commented:  "For him the physical surroundings were uncongenial, to put it mildly.  He was looked upon as a pariah by the British community (and authorities) and obliged to live 'in exile' and consort only with those he considered racially (and 'socially') inferior, and whose language he did not speak or understand." (Rex Henry, letter to the author, February 11, 1980)

          22. The K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1943:90

          23. ibid:85

          24. ibid:88

          25. ibid:90; cf. Meade, 1980:445

          26. Leadbeater's correspondence from HPB and Mrs Sinnett is in the TS Archives at Adyar, where the author had access to it in 1979.

          27. Dharmapala, a Buddhist monk, solicited funds from his friends to finance the purchase of English type from Madras, and The Buddhist began in December, 1883;   it was

issued as a supplement to the Singhalese paper, The Sandarese.  Cf. Guruge, 1965:704

          28. The Buddhist, volume I (1888-9)

          29. Barker (Ed), 1925:334

          30. The Buddhist, vol I, No.22:171

          31. Research by a lawyer in Colombo into this incident was commissioned by a member of the TS, Rex Henry, and both documentary sources and interviews with local people were used to provide an account:  correspondence from Rex Henry to the author, February 11, 1980.

          32. Ibid

          33. Today Ananda College, still on its original site in Marandana Road, has some 6,000 students and is the most important institution of its kind in what is now Sri Lanka.   Portraits of the Principals in its hall include those of Leadbeater, and his pupil, Fritz Kunz (1888-1972) who led the College during the first World War.

          34. See chapter 1.

          35. Jinarajadasa, 1969:72-6

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          36. Cf. *Messages from the Unseen, 1931

          37. Sinnett, 1921:111

          38. Jinarajadasa, 1969:74

          39. Ibid:76

          40. Correspondence from Olcott to Leadbeater, TS Archives, Adyar.

          41. Cf. Meade, 1960:444-5

          42. Ibid:445

          43. For George Arundale, cf. Personal Memories of G.S. Arundale, TPH, London, 1967;  International Theosophical Yearbook, TPH, Adyar, 1937: 183-4;  K.P. Sen (Ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, Institute for Historical Studies, Calcutta, 1972:71-2;  and G.S. Arundale, 1940.

          44. Arundale, 1940:11-12

          45. That Leadbeater held strong prejudices against coloured people is confirmed both by Olcott's letter to him (note 40 above) and also by statements by former pupils of Leadbeater's, as indeed also by his writings on the occult aspects of evolution which imply that the Aryan (by which he generally means "white") race possesses a superiority over others.  There were rare exceptions to this general prejudice - Jinarajadasa was one, Krishnamurti was to be another.

          46. Cf. Barker (Ed.), 1923.  For Sinnett's differences with HPB, cf: Meade, 1980:286, 444;  Theosophical Movement, 1925:303;  Campbell, 1980:86-7;  Kuhn, 1939:310;   Ransom, 1938:251;  Ryan, 1975:237-9;  and Theosophical Notes, November, 1955:1-17, April, 1956:7-17, June, 1956:9-11, and January, 1957:15-22.

          47. K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1943:74

          48. Sinnett, 1922:111

          49. As suggested by Meade, 1980:444

          50. Cf. Transactions of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society, Numbers 1-13, June, 1884 to August, 1887.

          51. Sinnett, 1922:111. The London office of The

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Pioneer was established in 1877[?] with Sinnett in charge, but was eventually taken over by the former owner of the newspaper, and both Sinnett and Leadbeater lost their jobs.  Cf. Eek, 1965:280-1.

          52. For HPB's Esoteric Section, cf: Theosophical Movement, 1925:144-77;   Campbell, 1980:98-9;  Kuhn, 1939:184-6;  Ransom, 1938:251-2;  Ryan, 1975: 245, 264-6;  Theosophical Notes, July, 1959:4-7;  Meade, 1980:408, 410-11.  For HPB's esoteric teachings, cf. Collected Works of H.P. Blavatsky, volume XII.  For HPB's reference to Leadbeater as "W.C.", see Meade, 1980:445.

          53. Sinnett initially used Miss Laura Holloway for mediumistic communication with KH (Sinnett, 1922:95) but was attracted by Leadbeater's "wonderful clairvoyant faculties" (Ibid:111), the origins of which he did not know.

          54. Leadbeater's teachings confirmed those given out by Sinnett in his Esoteric Buddhism (1884).  The simplest example of a conflict between the teachings of HPB and those of Sinnett-Leadbeater is that relating to the role of the planets Mercury and Mars;  Leadbeater and Sinnett said that they were part of the "earth chain" of evolution, and Blavatsky said they were not.  Both sides claimed the Master KH as their source.  Cf. Leechman, n.d.:9, and Thomas, n.d.:14-15.

          55. Cf. Cleather, 1922:68-70, and Eirenicon, Spring 1961, No. 138.

          56. K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1943:68-9

          57. Jinarajadasa, 1908:83

          58. ibid:90

          59. Nethercot, 1963:341

          60. ibid:46


Chapter 8: Notes

          1. The Hall of Science was a popular centre of Secularism and Freethought in which all manner of (then) controversial topics were hotly debated.  Cf. Smith, 1967:33, 34, 39.  In 1872, Charles Bradlaugh and the eccentric