Theosophy News Worldwide 4th Quarter 2020

This issue was published on 2021-01-30 or 3 years 3 months ago.


Steven Otto

Dear friends of Theosophy,

with this issue we conclude the year 2020, an exceptional year -- we hope.

The Prussians had many virtues, one of them was, to learn to suffer without complaining. For the ancient Teutons, there was one authority that stood above all, that was fate. You can try to overcome it, but there is no quarreling with it. That's written easily, but when the time comes, and fate shows us it's unpleasant side, then it's much more easier said than done, isn't it?

People with the right faith, who have a rough idea that all this has reasons and that there is justice hidden in it, have an indestructible foundation in their lives. They are far more resilient, more capable of suffering, more free of fear than those many leaves, that are whirled around by the autumn of materialism. And thus they also have a great opportunity: to help in difficult times.

Because study of spiritual teachings always helps -- and in my opinion there is no more spiritual book in this world than the first volume of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine and no more spiritual teaching than the theosophical -- it should be noted, that one can download (again) all the 15 Volumes of the Collected Writings of Blavatsky. The Link to the Source can be find in the Facebook-Section of this Newsletter.

This issue's Topic of the quarter highlights an older not well known but very sad incident in the Theosophical Movement that continues to radiate and have devastating effects to this day (that schocking inside makes this issue the most important issue of all of Theosphy World News so far).

The nice thing about this newsletter, it's very versatile: There are not only the most important news of the Theosophical Societies , Theosophical Magazines and articles of the Theosophy blogs, but also a detailed international press review on Theosophy.

And there you can always find interesting articles (besides the slander). Did you know, that Australia's first national poet Bernard O'Dowd (1866-1953) was a Theosophist or that Maurice Wilson (British, 1898-1934, known for his flight from England to India and the subsequent attempt to climb Mount Everest alone) was interested in Theosophy, as the New York Times reported? And sometimes it's the quieter stories that fascinate, for example, when M. L. Krishnan, who moved in 1998 as a 14-year-old to the Theosophical Society in Chennai, telling us of his youth there. All this and more in the Press Review.

Not to forget the social-media-section, which reflects not only Facebook but also interesting posts of the last 3 months from Twitter and Youtube.

A message reached me from Mr. Joseph Ross, Theosophy scholar and researcher, who "tried to finish the history regarding Krotona and the Adyar TS", impressive to see, have a look at

As you note, this quarterly newsletter is a must read. Subscribe now for free and never miss an issue again. And please share the site with your theosophical friends, it's welcome and important to support this independent and non-commercial project with your Follower-Power. Thank you.

And now I wish you an interesting reading and a peaceful winter. With kind regards from Germany

Steven Otto
Editor of Theosophy World News

PS: Feedback is welcome, don't forget to share your thoughts within the comment-section on the end of the site.

Topic of the quarter

The self-inflicted infiltration and paralysis of the dying (?) Theosophical Movement

The old but not so well known Incident (I learned about it via Theos Talk) is the exposed Egyptian Rite within Theosophical Society Aydar, an Esoteric Section within the known Esoteric Section, see f.e. here for a short explanation or here.

Dr. Gregor Tillet was the first, to publish something about it in his paper "Esoteric Schools Within The Theosophical Movement", a paper presented to the Theosophical History Conference San Diego in June 1992 (PDF).

Secret Sections within Theosophical Societies seems not only an Adyar Problem. Dr. Tillet wrote 2013 (see first page of the paper linked above):

This paper was begun as an overview for a book I was intending to write on “secret societies” within the Theosophical movement (including Adyar, Point Loma, ULT, Steiner, and others).

Carlos Cardoso Aveline draws a good overview of the situation specifically in Adyar and regarding the so-called Egyptian Rite in Adyar, which can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century to Besant and Leadbeater in his article The Fraud in Adyar Esoteric School.

Why these old stories are so important? Two main Reasons, quoted from Avelines article:

The decisive importance of this fact for the theosophical movement as a whole can be realized if one remembers that the Adyar TS has within it some 85 or 90 per cent of the theosophical movement worldwide.  It means nine out of ten. [...] The E.R. [Egyptian Rite] has been a blind political instrument, unconsciously used for perpetuating a top-down, “absolute” and popish control of the whole Adyar movement. [....]

The second reason is: We know from the so called final Mahatma-Letter to Besant:

Misleading secrecy has given the death blow to numerous organizations.

Which already is or can be an indication that secret activities are unwanted and wrong according to the founders of the movement, like e.g. an esoteric, secret section within a TS. But Blavatsky herself, and I quote Aveline again, makes it much clearer:

There never was an Occult Society, however open and sincere, that has not felt the hand of the [...] trying to pull it down by every secret means....
[Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky, volume XIV, p. 267.]

So each of these secret or occult societies within a lot of the different Theosophical "Traditions" or TS -- if we believe Blavatsky and where is he or she, who could credibly contradict her -- is directly or indirectly in the hands of our "worshippers."

I am not concerned with names or people. The current leader of the Esoteric School is also known, but names do not matter. There is reason and unreason. Two opposites. And e.g. to believe, one has to do with Mahatmas, in a secret theosophical organization, or is on the right path with it, after what was quoted above, is naive and dangerous.

Often they do not intentionally serve the dark side (we don't know, so no one should accuse anyone personally!), but are deluded for sure, maybe like necromancers, who believe they are communicating with angels, whom they follow without question or other more astral influences, which they may not even perceive. The reader of the Secret Doctrine knows about the hidden power of the unreasonableness.

And these secret societies, secret think tanks, so to speak, have a very great, but subtle, influence on the Theosophical Societies and thus on the destiny of the whole movement.

And now put two and two together and a lot of things become clear and explainable.

If this is true, evil tongues might go so far as to say, that large parts of the organized Theosophical Movement is already dead, and the empty, dead shells are still being puppeted by "Unreason". This would certainly do injustice to the many sincere Theosophists and Theosophical organizations, but what about the core of the movement, which is the Societies, run by secret sections?

What would have to be done? All Theosophical Societies (aforementioned or not) should convincingly declare that they do not operate Secret Sections and if they do, dissolve them immediately and forever. Here the members should become active.

What do you think?

Must secret theos. organizations be disbanded immediately?


Press outside the movement about Theosophy


My Adolescence in an Attempted Utopia
Coming of Age Amid Adults Questing for Self Actualization at South India’s Theosophical Society Headquarters
read more


London Review of Books

Like Moonlight over Water
Besant was already famous – for being the first woman, in 1877, to make a public statement advocating contraception; for leading tens of thousands of unemployed workers in protest in Trafalgar Square – when, in 1889, she had a religious conversion brought on by a book review assignment. After reviewing Helena Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine for the Pall Mall Gazette,Besant abandoned her atheism and joined the Theosophical Society...
read more


Dayli News

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott: A man of vision and compassion
Every year in November, Ananda College organizes an oration by an illustrious alumnus of the College to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of an exceptional American who was instrumental in the founding of the College in 1886. The Olcott Oration, one of the main highlights of the College calendar, was inaugurated in 1968....
read more

Spread of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka; the role played by Col. Olcott and Theosophists
The Olcott Oration delivered to the Old Boys Association of Ananda College (November 2020, Perth, Western Australia)..
read more


False Allegations

Loss of direction
The esoteric cults and schools of mysticism, which lent credence to the wishful historiography, included Theosophy of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-91) brought to India by Annie Besant (1847-1933) and the early writings of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950).
read more

How Billy TK is using the far right
To this end, Te Kahika introduces the conspiracy theory that the UN’s principles were devised by three female occultists (Helena Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and Alice A. Bailey), and that the UN endorses ‘satanism’.
read more



James Randi (1928–2020)
In the early twentieth century, John Nevil Maskelyne, a founder of the UK Magic Circle, took on deceivers such as the spiritualists Ira and William Davenport and theosophists such as Helena Blavatsky.
read more

Anti-Semitism From Outer Space
Begun in the late 19th century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, Theosophy postulates the existence of a group of spiritually evolved beings on a nonmaterial plane of existence, who communicated with worthy earthly disciples and guided the spiritual course of humanity.....
read more



Ancient Aliens: Does The Lost Kingdom of Shambhala exist?
First is Madam Helena Blavatsky, a Russian mystic and philosopher who wrote “The Secret Doctrine” and founded the Theosophical Society. Both her book and society derive from a mahatma (i.e. great soul, Koot Hoomi) who telepathically manifested himself into her NYC apartment and told her about Atlantis, Lemuria...
read more

Shrine of peace: Sri Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara
Thus, the foundation stone for Sri Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara was laid in 1918 and completed in 1920. On November 26, 1920, the then Bengal governor, Lord Ronaldshay, ceremoniously handed over the holy relic to Asutosh Mookerjee, who in turn handed it over to Dharmapala in the presence of theosophist Annie Besant....
read more

Prayer and manifestation are one in the same
The Law of Attraction is nothing new, having first appeared in print in 1877 by philosopher Helena Blavatsky, this concept has re-emerged and found a place in the ideological beliefs of a generation that is rejecting traditional forms of religion.....
read more


Sydney Morning Herald

Wendy Sharpe explores ghosts of the past and the north shore
Both her ancestors were followers of Madame Blavatsky, the occultist who rose to prominence in the late 19th century, popularised astral travel and inspired The Wizard of Oz and Twin Peaks....
read more


UK Climbing

Ed Caesar on Maurice Wilson, the Moth and the Mountain
He was interested in theosophism and Helena Blavatsky who was very influential at that time and for all these reasons he was drawn to Everest as a place where you could maybe be reborn. His idea, he always said, was to 'build a new man' and I think that's what he was trying to do.....
read more

City lore: How a Trenton native brought Tibetan mysticism to the world
His father became interested in the occult and was much taken with the work of Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. Her claim to have been inspired by Tibetan monks also inspired Evans-Wentz, who had disregarded Christianity for religions that espoused rebirth....
read more


New York Times

An Englishman’s Ill-Fated Quest to Climb the World’s Highest Mountain
He does not try to explore the varieties of turn-of-the-century mysticism, including Madame Blavatsky (whose “golden precepts” Wilson carried to Everest), or the English fascination with dangerous climbs....
read more

The Tide is Turning: Change and the Coming of Maitreya
They are the senior members of the spiritual hierarchy, (spoken of by H.P. Blavatsky, Helena and Nicholas Roerich and Alice A Bailey among others) the Masters of Wisdom and Lords of Compassion....
read more

The man who destroyed skepticism
Several years ago I was preparing a talk on the life of occult journeyer Madame H.P. Blavatsky (1831–1891) for the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Someone on Facebook asked sardonically: "Will James Randi be there?"....
read more

José Vasconcelos, the Forefather of Buddhism in Mexico
Vasconcelos particularly abhorred the works of its main authority, Madame Blavatsky (1831–91), whose writings and interpretations he found replete with “charlatanism and ignorance.” (1938 [1920], 85 No. 1) His exposure to Buddhism came from two main sources: art and texts. ...
read more

Astral Projection: An Intentional Out-of-body Experience
Theosophy gained traction in America thanks to Russian immigrant Helena Blavatsky, who helped found the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York City. Born into a wealthy family, she traveled much of the world, soaking up various religious beliefs along the way and then reworking them into new forms via theosophy...
read more

Fierce and forgotten feminist with ties to Fargo worked beside Susan B. Anthony
Matilda also studied astrology (this was the topic of her first lecture as a 17-year-old), theosophy, and even witchcraft. ...
read more

Dweller on the Threshold: NJ Reddy, YPV Sadhana
In theosophy, it is known as Dweller on the Threshold. When this energy tries to precipitate down and physicalize, there can be havoc on Earth, which can befall either as natural or manmade calamity. This is a serious cause of misery....
read more


Irish Times

Australia’s first national poet – An Irishman’s Diary on Bernard O’Dowd
Apart from poetry, O’Dowd’s other interests included Theosophy, journalism, and political activism.....
read more

A spiritual guru’s curious journey to becoming the first Indian filmmaker in the US
He arrived in the city of Seattle in 1905. In his initial years in the country, Mozumdar lived for a while with a Swedish family, learning during this period a new way of life, greater fluency in English, and an understanding of Christianity. His life as an independent lecturer and preacher began, albeit in a small way, after he got associated with the fledgling Theosophy movement in Seat...
read more



Palm Springs Live

Radiant Agnes Pelton
The novel describes a pivotal point when Pelton was living in the windmill and delved into theosophy, calling the philosophy’s Russian-immigrant founder Helena Blavatsky and herself “fellow travelers”: “I began the journey I felt I had waited for my entire life. Theosophy was a universe unto itself, with its infinite worlds of creators and creation, an enormous canopy that held under its protection Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Judeo-Christian beliefs.”....
read more


Geek Wire

Poetry vs. programming: Wandering the city, a writer finds the intersection of literature and code
Yeats’ fascination with symbols and their effect on consciousness was probably influenced by his sessions with occultist theosopher Madame Blavatsky whom he had visited in the late 1880s as a young man in London.....
read more


LA Times

Why Scriabin’s satanic Ninth Sonata, ‘Black Mass,’ is a scary wonder of music
A follower of Madame Blavatsky and her occultist Theosophy, Scriabin was, along with penning the devil’s will in his Ninth Sonata, proposing a “Mysterium” Symphony, a musical rapture like none before that involved all five senses. ....
read more

Book of the month – Wagnerism by Alex Ross
From investigating the later novels of Philip K Dick to an informed reading of the influence of Wagner on theosophy (revealing deep knowledge of Helena Blavatsky’s allegedly channelled writings and Theosophy, before inviting in Mondrian and Kandinsky), the concept of Wagnerism/Wagnerei/Wagnérisme seemingly extends everywhere. ....
read more


The Guardian

They called her a crazy witch': did medium Hilma af Klint invent abstract art?
But, she adds, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich were all influenced by contemporary spiritual movements such as theosophy and anthroposophy too, as they sought to transcend the physical world and the constraints of representational art.. ....
read more

'Shofuso and Modernism' Revisits a Major Mid-Century East-West Cultural Exchange
“Her connections to theosophy and other perspectives that explored the universality of human experience led her to an early interest in Aurobindo in the mid-1920s.” Nakashima was also driven toward this mystical approach and embedded it in his life and work ....
read more

An Excerpt From Thought Forms: A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation
Thought Forms is one of the few illustrated texts published by the Theosophical Society. This spiritual movement was founded in New York City in the late 1800s and its influence reverberated around the world. The group’s motto was, “There is no religion higher than truth,” and their aim was to explore and seek out the esoteric truths within all religious and spiritual practices.....
read more

HAUNTED HISTORY | Two Sisters, Iconic Buildings Imbued with Sacred Imagery
Other imagery on the building has been interpreted as representing some of the mystical movements of the 19th century including Theosophy.....
read more

Return I Will to Old Brazil
He persistently sought alternatives to established religions, becoming a Buddhist in Ceylon, then exploring theosophy and the occult. This is the side of Fawcett that still intrigues. None other than Brad Pitt produced a film based on his story: The Lost City of Z (2016)......
read more

Rediscovery: Agnes Pelton at The Whitney Museum of American Art
Born into an upper middle-class New York family, Pelton spent her childhood in Europe, returning to study at the Pratt Institute. After graduating in 1900 Pelton started off as an artist who painted “Imaginative Paintings,” aethereal canvases influenced by British romantic poets.....
read more


The “Wisdom religion” is the inheritance of all the nations, the world over.

HPB, SD:1:xviii (Itroductory)

Upcoming events

TS Adyar Australia

R E A R R A N G E D: National Convention
from july 2021 to january 2022 Perth, Australia
more information


TS Adyar Europe

39th European Congress 2021
Healing oneself, healing the World, 2 to 7 August 2021 York, England
more information


TS Adyar Australia

National Convention 2021
23 – 30 January 2021, St. Catherine’s on Park, Perth
more information


News from Theosophical Societies

TS Adyar Australia has a new president, Stephen McDonald (he won by a mere 15% margin over his fellow candidate Barry Bowden), and its first address as president is during the Convention Business Meeting and Inauguration, 25 January 2021 in the University of Sydney, see here. It also published the Theosophy in Australia Quarterly No.4 2020, with many reports from within the Society, a transparent procedure which is very exemplary, f.e. there are 761 members in this Society, 10 less than a year before. Except when it comes to money, which is where the transparency stops.

The New and impressively designed Issue of Theosophy Downunder of TS Pasadena Astralasian Section was published, also with many News.

A News about the new TOS Director in Spain was posted from TOS International.

There is a new Website of UP and Uttarakhand Federation of TS Adyar.

In the Bombay Theosophical Federation Bulletin – November 2020 from the TS Adyar Indian Section you can find f.e. some background-information about the so called VCTS (Virtual Centre of Theosophical Studies, I think we should bear the names, you will probably hear a lot more about it) and the "new star in the Theosophical horizon" Luke Michael Ironside on page 8, see also a video on this topic on YouTube. On the December Issue you can read an interesting article (Wisdom Capsule #1 connected to the VCTS) about Zoroastrianism in Light of Theosophy starting on page 5.

For more News see also the Section with Theosophical Magazines, f.e. the latest issues of The Theosophist from TS Adyar.

Also many Videos were published from different Societies, see the Video-Section of this Newsletter. For example all the Lectures from the European School of Theosophy 2020 were published. TS Adyar England was active on it's channel. and also the TS (Adyar in North-)America.

Everything about the latest TS Adyar Convention can be found on it's website. All the Lecutres, Speakings etc. from this event and more can be found on the YouTube Channel of TS Adyar.

TS Adyar in the Philippines is active on it's Facebook-Channel via Facebook Livestreaming.

TS Point Loma Blavatsky House informed about, that The Secret Doctrine Commentaries is now available in Portuguese, see here.

To be true, religion and philosophy must offer the solution of every problem. That the world is in such a bad condition morally is a conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies--those of the civilized races less than any other--have ever possessed the TRUTH. The right and logical explanations on the subject of the problems of the great dual principles, right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism, are as impossible to them now as they were 1880 years ago. They are as far from the solution as they ever were, but. . . . "To these there must be somewhere a consistent solution, and if our doctrines will show their competence to offer it, then the world will be the first one to confess, that ours must be the true philosophy, the true religion, the true light, which gives truth and nothing but the TRUTH. . . .

From the article "The Theosophical Society: Its Mission and Its Future" by H. P. Blavatsky, published in Lucifer, August 1888 and especially this paragraph HPB has quoted from the so-called "Maha Cohan Letter".

Theosophical Magazines

The TS Pasadena Amnerican Section

The Spiral Path
publisher, Winter Solstice Issue (pdf)


TS (Adyar) in Australia

Theosophy in Australia Quarterly
Newsletter/Quarterly of the TS (Adyar) in Australia
publisher, December 2020 (pdf)


The TS (Pasadena) Australasian Section

Theosophy Downunder
Newsletter of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) Australasian Section
publisher, December 2020 (pdf)


The Aquarian Theosophist

The Aquarian Theosophist
publisher, October 2020 (pdf), November2020 (pdf), December 2020 (pdf)


United Lodge of Theosophists (ULT)

The Theosophical Movement Magazine
publisher, October 2020 (pdf), November 2020 (pdf), December 2020 (pdf)


The TS Adyar Indian Section

The Indian Theosophist Magazine
publisher, October 2020 (pdf), November 2020 (pdf)


The TS Adyar Indian Section

Bombay Theosophical Federation Bulletin
publisher, November 2020 (pdf), October 2020 (pdf)


The TS Adyar in North-America

The Quest Magazine
publisher, Winter 2020 (pdf)


The TS Adyar HQ

The Theosophist
publisher, November 2020 (pdf), October 2020 (pdf), October 2020 (pdf)


Articles from Theosophical sites

Blavatsky News

Theosophy Watch

Theosophy Forward

Theos Talk

Montreal Theosophy Project


Barbara Hebert - The President's Blog: November

Closing European School of Theosophy 2020

The revolutionary Idea of Consciousness Evolution in Blavatsky’s Esoteric Philosophy

Desire, Inner Selfishness, and the Theosophical Society - Edward Abdill

Foundation Day from Adyar - 17th November 2020

Dr. Annie Besant's Birthday Celebration

Interview with Tim Wyatt by Erica Georgiades

Moskau: Int. Theosophy Congress Live-Broadcasting

Consciousness in Its Two Principal Aspects: Absolute and Individual

International research online-seminar «The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky

Kurt Leland: Inner Life Safari - The Workshop: Part 1

Practical Theosophy by William Quan Judge

Nevertheless, personal immortality is conditional...

H. P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine Vol. III, p. 510, On Exoteric "Blinds" and "The Death of the Soul"

Letter to the editor



For your information i have tried to finish the history regarding Krotona and the Adyar Theosophical Society.

Thank you

✴✴✴ The End  ✴✴✴

Share your thoughts and comment


Joseph Ross' The three volume publication is a land mark. For the first time, students of theosophy are learning of the various things that took place behind the scenes in Esoteric Section and Egyptian Rite. One can understand how the interlocking of TS, ES and ER worked. Our eternal gratitude is due to Ross. The revelations in his publication can be the turning point for Theosophy Movement which has been in the decline for years in spite of generous donations from trusts and individuals. Status quo will only lead to theosophical organization as we know it today. Peace

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