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Wedgwood's Illness

Jul 16, 2007 01:10 AM
by gregory

James Ingall Wedgwood contracted syphilis as a result of homosexual
contact. He refused to accept that he was so infected (since as an
Initiate he obviously could not be!) and refused to seek treatment. The
disease developed in its characteristically horrible way, leading to the
tertiary stage and manifestations which included generalized paresis of
the insane, resulting in personality changes, changes in emotional affect,
and hyperactive reflexes. All of these manifestations are described by
those who witnessed Wedgwood?s behaviour in his later years, although most
of them did not admit, or actually denied the cause.
Wedgwood?s health ? both physical and psychological ? was made worse by
the ongoing consequences of a long addiction to cocaine which had, amongst
other effects, caused severe damage to the inside of his nasal passages.
The principal source of my information was Rex Henry, who served as
Wedgwood?s secretary in the 1920?s; he even identified and gave me a group
photograph of a group of Liberal Catholic clergy which included the young
man who had been the source of Wedgwood?s infection. The young man ? who
claimed variously to be a Prince or a Count but who was neither ? more
rationally obtained treatment.
I interviewed Mr. Henry (who had been ordained a Liberal Catholic Priest
by Wedgwood) at length at Adyar, at Mijas (Spain) and in France, and
recorded a lengthy interview with him about Wedgwood, which I subsequently
transcribed, and which he signed, after adding additional material in his
own hand.
I had second-hand information about Wedgwood?s illness from various people
who had been told about it by Oscar Kollerstrom (with whom Wedgwood had
fallen in love in Sydney, and who had gone to Europe with him), including
one of Mr Kollerstrom?s wives, and by a Liberal Catholic Priest in
Australia who had been given the information by F.W. Pigott (Wedgwood?s
successor as Regionary Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church in Great
Britain). Likewise, the same information came from E.L. Gardner (who had
lived at the Tekels Park Theosophical Estate during Wedgwood?s period
Wedgwood did not die from the effects of syphilis; he died as a result of
a fall which fractured a number of his ribs and led to bleeding into his
lungs. I have a copy of his death certificate.

Dr Gregory Tillett


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