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Blavatsky & the Masters VERSUS Leadbeater & Besant?

Oct 31, 2006 12:36 PM
by danielhcaldwell

Below is just one of the scores of emails I
posted on Theos-Talk a year or two back:

James A. Santucci, professor of religious
studies at California State University
(Fullerton) and editor of Theosophical
History, has written the following:

". . . Annie Besant, the President of the
[Adyar Theosophical] Society from 1907 to
her death in 1933, and Charles Webster Leadbeater,
arguably the most influential theosophical writer
from the early years of the 20th century to his
death in 1934, . . . were largely responsible
for the introduction of new teachings that were
often in total opposition to the Theosophy of
[Madame H.P.] Blavatsky and her Masters. These
teachings were designated by their opponents as
Neo-Theosophy . . . or less often Pseudo-Theosophy.
The differences between Theosophy and Neo-Theosophy
are too numerous to mention in the context of this
paper. . . . An extensive overview [of the differences]
is given in . . . Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy by Margaret
Thomas. . . . " Quoted from "The Aquarian Foundation."

Jerry Hejka-Ekins, a long-time student of Madame Blavatsky's
teachings, has also commented:

"The earliest use of the term 'neo-theosophy' was used by F.T.
Brooks around 1912 in a book called Neo Theosophy Exposed. . . .
Around 1924, Margaret Thomas published a book called Theosophy
Versus Neo-Theosophy: Part one compares Blavatsky's teachings to
those of Besant and Leadbeater's by juxtaposing quotes from each
party on various subjects, so that the thoughtful reader could
easily discern the differences and contradictions. Part two
published documents concerning the Leadbeater scandal, and part
three publishes documents concerning the Judge case. . . . " Quoted
from "Discussions on the Theosophical Philosophy"

In his book Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom
(published 1930), Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn wrote in greater detail:

"Certain schools of his critics assert flatly that he [C. W.
Leadbeater] has only succeeded in vitiating her [H.P. Blavatsky's]
original presentation [of Theosophy]. . . . . . . [Starting in the
March 15, 1928 issue] The Canadian Theosophist, a magazine
published . . . at Toronto, published a series of articles
[excerpted from Margaret Thomas' Theosophy or NeoTheosophy?] in
which parallel passages from the writings of Madame Blavatsky and
the Mahatma Letters on one side, and from the books of Mrs. Besant,
Mr. Leadbeater, Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, on the other, give specific
evidence bearing on the claims of perversion of the original
theories by those whom they call Neo-Theosophists. The articles
indicate wide deviations, in some cases complete reversal, made by
the later interpreters [Besant, Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa] from the
fundamental statements of the Russian Messenger [Blavatsky] and her
Overlords [the Mahatmas]."

"The differences concern such matters as the personality of God, the
historicity of Jesus, his identity as an individual or a principle,
the desirability of churches, priestcraft and religious ceremonial,
the genuineness of an apostolic succession, and a vicarious
atonement, the authority of Sacraments, the nature and nomenclature
of the seven planes of man's constitution, the planetary chains, the
monad, the course of evolution, and many other important phases of
Theosophic doctrine. This exhaustive research has made it apparent
that the later exponents have allowed themselves to depart in many
important points from the teachings of H.P.B." (pp. 330-331)

For more on this subject, see:

Blavatsky Study Center


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