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Feb 26, 2006 07:23 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline


A. P. Sinnett's Autobiography Reveals



Dear Friends,

The starting point of C.W. Leadbeater’s “clairvoyance” is honestly revealed in the “Autobiography” written by Alfred P. Sinnett (see bibliographical note below).

Since Mr. Leadbeater got back to London, a few years after receiving a couple of letters from a Mahatma, he never joined the Esoteric School founded by H.P. Blavatsky. Any true disciple or lay disciple would certainly do that, but he didn’t.

Instead, Leadbeater joined the “inner group” of the London Lodge, presided by Alfred P. Sinnett. All contact between Sinnett and the Mahatmas had ceased, but fancies quickly came in to replace actual contact. Relations with HPB’s students were most tense and uneasy.

Since 1987, this “inner group” promoted and “mesmeric sittings’ believed to have mediumnistic conversations with one of the Masters through a person named “Mary” by Mr. Sinnett. “Mary’s” real name was Maude Travers. (In 1893, she married Mr. Scott-Elliot, a member of this “inner group”.)

Such pseudo-contacts with the Masters and other similar mediumnistic attempts were commented by H. P. Blavatsky in her book “The Key to Theosophy”, published in 1889. Her words seem to foretell and describe most of what C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besnat would do in later years. Yet the whole process of illusions actually started in Mr. Sinnett’s “inner group” and during HPB’s life. She wroite:

“Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of our Masters have been subjected. There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have seen them. Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided by ‘Masters’, often supposed to be far higher than ours! Many and heavy are the sins of those who advanced these claims, prompted either by desire for lucre, vanity, or irresponsible mediumship. (...) Worst of all, the sacred names of Occultism and the holy keepers thereof have been dragged in this filthy mire, polluted by being associated with sordid motives and immoral practices, while thousands of men have been held back from the path of truth and light through the discredit and evil report which such shams, swindles and frauds have brought upon the whole subject.” (“The Key to Theosophy”, HPB, The Theosophy Co., 1987, pp. 298-299)

Note the important expression “immoral practices”.

It was indeed in Mr. Sinnett’s “inner circle” that C.W. Leadbeater’s imaginary clairvoyance and false contact with the Masters began. Also the pseudo-informations about Martian civilization started there.

In the page 48 of his Autobiography, Mr. Sinnett reveals how the then “Outer Head” of the Esoteric School (Adyar) , Annie Besant, was personally brought into his unfortunate mediumnistic séances in 1894. Soon Leadbeater was “adopted” by her as an “occult” consellor:

“Perhaps Mrs. Besant’s regard for Leadbeater may be explained in this way. She had been admitted by her own request to the meetings of our London Lodge group in June 1894. Up to that time her psychic faculties had not developed. Leadbeater was one of the most important elements in our group – Mary of course the other. (...) I do not know exactly how the idea arose that he would (...) go to live at the Avenue Road and help the work going on there (...).”

Earlier that same year of 1894, the persecution had begun against Mr. William Q. Judge, a long-standing chela and a loyal friend to H.P.B. The aim was – political power. It is ironical that W. Q. Judge was accused precisely of that which Mr. Sinnett, C.W.L. and Annie Besant were personally doing. A campaign of rumours stated that Judge had “false contacts with the Masters”.

What’s the practical importance of these events to us?

In the first decades of the 21st century, it seems to be the right time for us to accept the facts, to drop fancies and false ritualisms, to recover common sense and to take the Mahatmas’s pedagogy more seriously at heart. Such a pedagogy points to the autonomy of the learner and lay disciple; to the need for frankness, truthfulness and unity in diversity.

Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline

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Mr. A. P. Sinnett’s “Autobiography” was published by “Theosophical History Center”, London, in 1986 (65 pp.).

On the personal identity of “Mary”, see the magazine “Theosophical History”, April 1987, p. 52, which has a commentary by C. Jinarajadasa on A.P. Sinnett’s “Autobiography”. See also the short note “Mary Unveiled”, by Michelle G. Graye and Daniel H. Caldwell, in “Theosophical History”, October 1986, pp.205-207. (CCA)

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