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The modern Theosophical Movement

Oct 22, 2008 11:20 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Excerpted from Wikipedia:

Modern Theosophical esotericism, however, begins with Madame Helena 
Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) usually known as Madame Blavatsky. In 
1875 she founded the Theosophical Society in New York City together 
with Henry Steel Olcott, who was a lawyer and writer. During the 
Civil War Col. Olcott worked to root out corruption in war contracts. 
Madame Blavatsky was a world traveler who eventually settled in India 
where, with Olcott, she established the headquarters of the Society 
in Bangalore. Her first major book Isis Unveiled (1877) presented 
elements mainly from the Western wisdom tradition based on her 
extensive travels in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Her second 
major work The Secret Doctrine (1888), contains a commentary on The 
Book of Dzyan, and is based upon what she called an Unwritten Secret 
Doctrine (really the Wisdom tradition or Wisdom Religion alotted to 
Man), which is the underlying wisdom upon which are based all of the 
religions of humanity. These writings, along with her Key to 
Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence became the basic pillars of 
the Theosophical movement, together with the Mahatma Letters, 
allegedly written by highly evolved humans to AP Sinnett and AO Hume.

Upon Blavatsky's death in 1891, several Theosophical societies 
emerged following a series of schisms. Annie Besant became leader of 
the society based in Adyar, India, while William Quan Judge split off 
the American Section of the Theosophical Society in New York which 
later moved to Point Loma, Covina, and Pasadena, California under a 
series of leaders: Katherine Tingley, Gottfried de Purucker, Colonel 
Arthur L. Conger, James A. Long, Grace F. Knoche, and in March 2006 
Randell C. Grubb. The great pulp fiction writer Talbot Mundy was a 
member of the Point Loma group, and wrote many articles for its 
newsletter. Yet another international theosophical organization, the 
United Lodge of Theosophists, was formed by Robert Crosbie. He was a 
student of William Quan Judge and after his death went to Point Loma 
in 1900 to help Katherine Tingley's Thesosphical society, and which 
he left in 1904 to found the ULT in 1909. He experienced a lack of 
respect for the original work of H. P. Balvatsky and W. Q. Judge in 
Tingley's work and wished to bring that original stream of study back 
to the world, through a re-presentation of unaltered original 

Rudolf Steiner created a successful branch of the Theosophical 
Society Adyar in Germany. He focused on a Western esoteric path that 
incorporated the influences of Christianity and natural science, 
resulting in tensions with Annie Besant (cf. Rudolf Steiner and the 
Theosophical Society) ? having already founded his own 
Anthroposophical Society a month earlier ? after he refused members 
of the Order of the Star of the East membership in the German 
Section. Steiner was vehemently opposed to The Order of the Star of 
the East's proclamation that the young boy, Jiddu Krishnamurti, was 
the incarnation of Maitreya (who was believed to have "over-shadowed" 
Jesus Christ). However and fortunately, J. Krishnamurti himself saw 
through this business and left the Society. The great majority of 
German-speaking theosophists, as well as several others, joined 
Steiner's new society. (Steiner later became famous for his ideas 
about education, resulting in an international network of "Steiner 

In North London, another splinter group split off to form the Palmers 
Green Lodge under the leadership of the occultist and colonial 
adventurer, Thomas Neumark-Jones. The Palmers Green Lodge published 
the journal Kayfabe which published, among others, Rainbow Circle 
writers like Hobhouse[disambiguation needed] and Chiozza Money. After 
the death of William Quan Judge, another society, the United Lodge of 
Theosophists, emerged, recognizing no leader after Judge; it is now 
based in Los Angeles, California.

Other organizations based on the theosophical teachings of Besant and 
Leadbeater include The Lucis Trust, Share International, Agni Yoga, 
The Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse / Church Universal and 
Triumphant, and The Temple of The Presence.
Quoted from:


Blavatsky Study Center

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