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Theosophy versus Neo-Theosophy???

May 18, 2012 08:58 AM
by Daniel

 In regards to C.W. Leadbeater's and Annie Besant's Theosophical teachings, Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn in his book Theosophy:  A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom (published 1930) wrote the following relevant statement:

"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]. Two years ago [starting in the March 15, 1928 issue] The Canadian Theosophist, a magazine published under the editorship of Mr. Albert Smythe at Toronto, published a series of articles [excerpted from Margaret Thomas' Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy] 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)

Dr. James A. Santucci, professor of religious studies at California State University, Fullerton and editor of Theosophical History <>, confirms Kuhn's statements:

"The two [Besant and Leadbeater] were largely responsible for the introduction of new teachings that were often in total opposition to the Theosophy of Blavatsky and her Masters. These teachings were  designated by their opponents as Neo-Theosophy . . . or less often Pseudo-Theosophy. The differences between Theosophy and Neo-Theosophy are too numerous to mention in the context of this paper. . . . An extensive overview [of the differences] is given in the unpublished booklet, Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy by Margaret Thomas. . . . The booklet was written around 1925."  Quoted from:

Jerry Hejka-Ekins, a long-time student of Madame Blavatsky's teachings, has also commented:

"The earliest use of the term 'neo-theosophy' was used by F.T. Brooks around 1912 in a book called Neo Theosophy Exposed. . . . Around 1924, Margaret Thomas published a book called Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy: Part one compares Blavatsky's teachings to those of Besant and Leadbeater's by juxtaposing quotes from each party on various subjects, so that the thoughtful reader could easily discern the differences and contradictions. Part two published documents concerning the Leadbeater scandal, and part three publishes documents concerning the Judge case. . . . " Italics added.  Quoted from "Discussions on the Theosophical Philosophy"

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