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Writing about Theosophy

Jul 19, 2007 06:37 PM
by gregory

Writing about Rukmini recalled for me the whole experience of researching
Leadbeater, and the many curious characters and odd experiences it
Whilst at Adyar I kept a separate notebook for all the strange stories and
exotic gossip passed onto me by people who seemed to find a researcher in
their midst a good opportunity to talk. I recall one very elderly Indian
gentleman who approached me one evening and said: ?I believe, sir, you are
writing a biography of Bishop Leadbeater?? I responded that I was. ?And
you will have been told, sir, that he was the world?s greatest occultist,
a man on the threshold of divinity?? I agreed that I had been told that.
The old man leaned close to me and said in a soft but intense voice: ?Do
not believe it, sir. He was an evil man, and a fraud.? He then wandered
off into the evening darkness. I recall also having to make complicated
arrangements to meet with people who could not be seen meeting with me,
and fondly remember people who gave me copies of documents while saying:
?This is one of the documents you are not able to see because it does not
I heard wonderful (if entirely improbable) stories, including that Mrs
Burnier had stolen HPB?s occult ring from John Coats? safe and used it in
a magical rite to cause his heart attack.
If all the gossip about who was having affairs with whom was true, it was
a miracle that any work was done at all!
I have sometimes considered the possibility of writing a book about the
experience of writing the book: perhaps ?Biography on the Threshold of
Divinity? might be an appropriate title.

Dr Gregory Tillett


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