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Bailey, Leadbeater and Masters

Sep 03, 2007 08:04 PM
by gregory

Leadbeater?s ?The Masters and the Path? was published in 1925: it was a
compilation of material previously circulated privately in the journals of
the ES, and the original material can be found in editions of those
journals from around 1923 to 1925. ?The Masters and the Path? was
subsequently published in later editions, edited to varying degrees by the
TPH (mostly to remove references to the by then failed ?Coming?).

Any relationship between Leadbeater and Alice Bailey remains something of
a mystery. Certainly he was known to like her writings, even at the time
when they were regarded as ?heresy? in the TS and not available in TS
libraries. I have seen a copy of ?Initiation, Human and Solar? bearing
Leadbeater?s bookplate at Adyar.

A recent researcher in the filed has commented:

?According to Bailey?s biographer Sinclair (1984) controversy between
Bailey and the Theosophical Society emerged regarding Bailey?s attempt to
publish her first work. The controversy involved another prominent
Theosophist and writer Leadbeater, whose book, ?The Masters and the Path?
was published, argues Sinclair, after Bailey?s first book, ?Initiation,
Human and Solar?, was allegedly written with Djwhal Khul.
According to Sinclair, Leadbeater?s work derived its inspiration from
Bailey?s book. The early chapters of the Bailey text were purportedly sent
to Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar, India (where Leadbeater was
based) to be published in the magazine, ?The Theosophist?. This apparently
provided Leadbeater with an opportunity to plagiarise Bailey?s work.
However, as a consequence of attempting to attain publication through the
Society, it was Bailey who was officially criticised by the Society for
falsely claiming to be in communication with Djwhal Khul. Sinclair?s
allegation that Leadbeater had taken Bailey?s ideas and reworked them to
form the basis of his own book remains open to speculation. Indeed,
Hammer?s (2001) recent epistemological study of theosophy continues to
support the Theosophical Society?s view that it was Bailey who was
influenced by Leadbeater (2001:385).?

[Isobel Wightman ?The texts of Alice A. Bailey: an inquiry into the role
of esotericism in transforming consciousness? PhD Thesis University of
Western Sydney 2006:63 ? available online at]
The reference to Sinclair is to Sir John. R. Sinclair, ?The Alice Bailey
Inheritance?, Turnstone Press, Wellingborough, 1984, and the reference to
Hammer is to Olav Hammer, ?Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology
>From Theosophy To The New Age?, Brill, Leiden, 201.

Dr Gregory Tillett


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