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Dr. A.B. Kuhn on the Neo-Theosophy of Annie Besant & C.W. Leadbeater

Sep 06, 2004 07:51 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

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

"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:

Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy (abridged ed., reprint of Part I only) 
compiled by Margaret Thomas


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