The Human Truth Foundation


By Vexen Crabtree 2022

#atheism #germany #india #madame_blavatsky #monotheism #new_age #polytheism #spiritualism #swastika #theosophy #USA

Links: Pages on Theosophy, Other Religions
God(s)Atheist / Monotheist / Polytheist / Theist
HeritageSpiritualism and Westernized Indian spirituality
Area of OriginUSA
FounderBy Madame Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott

The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 in New York, USA, by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Steel Olcott1,2,3,4 . She had previously been involved in the Spiritualism scene, but, it was now mired in fraud arrests and exposés, so, Blavatsky reinvented her routine as a new religion, using an Indian theme, but, it was too obviously linked to the old discredited tricks of Spiritualism2 that they moved from the USA to India1, hoping to start anew. It also spread to England and Germany.

Theosophists wrote voluminously on relatively harmless topics such as meditation and yoga, but also confidently espoused much nonsense about Atlantis, Lemura and the 7 root races and each of their 7 sub-races, crystals, psychic powers and every other pseudo-scientific sham and wayward spiritual practice going1,5. It was often considered "a bit of a joke"6, and Blavatsky exited the scene by 1885 amid the same scandals that had troubled Spiritualism6,7. Annie Besant (1847-1933) was then president until her death 19336, taking Theosophy from 15,000 members to over 40,000 in 19291. Their proclaimed messianic World Teacher, a young member groomed to be a leader, left the movement in 1929 and declared to them all that fundamental Theosophist teachings were unhelpful for the search for truth1. It has declined ever since1. Theosophy became mythic in its influence over alternative spirituality4 , the fledgling New Age1,8,4, and it helped popularize Eastern spirituality in the West1,8.

"Theosophy" as a word does predate the Theosophical Society; the Greek phrase simple means "God Wisdom". It was an occasional mystical and esoteric approach towards knowledge of god(s). Later, "the writings of Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), a German mystic whose visions he believed showed him the spiritual structure of the world, are an early inspiration for modern theosophy"3.

And finally: some in the modern era might worry about the Swastika on the logo. But that symbol is ancient, and it was a standard part of religious symbolism, before it was accosted by the Nazis.

1. Practices and Beliefs

#atlantis #buddhism #christianity #gnosticism #hinduism #india #karma #meditation #new_age #pseudoscience #psi #reincarnation #science #supernatural #theosophy #vegetarianism

Modern Theosophy is the creation of Madame Blavatsky's teachings and doctrines3,9 . Her two most important books were Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), and she and her fellows also wrote a great number of other articles and books1. According to the literature on Theosophy, here are the most important beliefs and practices:

2. Reincarnation and Karma

#afterlife #buddhism #hinduism #india #jainism #karma #new_age #reincarnation #sikhism #taoism #theosophy #vedic_religions

Karma is an important concept in a range of Vedic religions and cultures, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism14,15, all stemming from Indian beliefs. Karma is a universal principal and cosmic law, like the Tao of Taoism16. Unlike Taoism, individual beings (and the entire universe) go through a large number of incarnations. It is closely linked to the concept of continual rebirth (reincarnation)17. Although belief in Karma is a good tool for improving motivation to treat others well, it also has a worrying implication: Karma creates blames on those suffering from disabilities and other ailments, unfairly insinuating that they deserve their problems.

Original Jain beliefs had it that all actions had negative karma and only complete serenity and detachment could help the situation18. Later Jain beliefs came closer Hindu and Buddhist ideas: Acts of merit such as pilgrimages and worship can improve your next fate19. Eventually, beings can break free from the cycle and scape the evil world in which we all are trapped. In Hinduism and Jainism this liberation is called moksha and in Buddhism the result is the attainment of enlightenment and nirvana. Western New Age movements have also taken on the concept "though sometimes with a degree of misunderstanding"19. All in all, more people on Earth believe in Karma through a series of rebirths than in any other religious principle.17,18,19,20,21,22

For more, see:

We are reincarnated after death in accordance with the law of karma; Human beings are sparks of the divine on a journey back to the source1. And of course, "those who reach a high stage of moral and spiritual development are those masters who attempt to assist their 'younger brethren' through the work of the Theosophical Society"1.

3. Blavatsky Created Theosophy to Escape From Spiritualist Scandals, Saying that Mystical Masters Revealed an Ancient Secret Religion

#egypt #india #spiritualism

In 1870, Blavatsky was a Spiritualist in Cairo, Egypt, doing all the same things as Spiritualists elsewhere: seances, psychic get-togethers with faked table-raising and "rapping" noises to represent communications from the dead. Despite carrying on with this, she later claimed that she wandered in Tibet long enough to receive ancient religious wisdom from hidden Masters4. They happened to reveal to her, by coincidence, many of the things she already believed and practised under Spiritualism.

In journeys through Asia [Blavatsky] discovered the existence of a secret wisdom tradition, which was the source and origin of religion [and] that behind the beliefs and practices of the great world faiths there was an esoteric or hidden body of doctrine. This had been preserved through the ages by a succession of adepts or 'Masters of the Wisdom'. Two of those masters had, she claimed, selected her to present these teachings to the Western world, where they had long been suppressed by the Christian church, and to the adherents of Asia, who had forgotten them.

"The Theosophical Society" by Kevin Tingay (2004)1

[Blavatsky later revealed herself to be] a heaven-born messenger, [sent] to enlighten mankind, and tell us of the existence of the "Mahatmas" or Masters, those mystic being who alone are fully acquainted with the hidden secrets and forces of Nature.

"The Supernatural?" by Lionel A. Weatherley (1891)2

Fired up by the amazing revelation of her task to reveal this great truth to the world, she then continued in Egypt running various Spiritualist workshops.

Things growing unpleasant for her in Egypt, we next hear of her in America, attending Spiritualistic séances, and still bearing the character of a Spiritualist pure and simple. Not a hint of Theosophy had the outer world ever received so far. Certainly, we are told now that such was not the case, but that all along she had refuted the doctrines of Spiritualism. The facts as we know them, however, point to a very different conclusion. Whilst in New York she conceived the idea of starting the "Theosophical Society"... as a way of escaping from the increasing furore that surrounded the fraud- and scandal-ridden movement of Spiritualism. [...]

Having started the new creed in America, she journeyed to India, and there, we are told, her teachings "went like wildfire." Marvellous, indeed, were the accounts we received of the wonders wrought in the name of Theosophy. There was, however, one blemish this new occultism had in the eyes of those familiar with Western trickery - the manifestations which were produced in evidence of the higher knowledge attained by Theosophists were simply the old, old spiritual phenomena served up fresh. The same mysterious writing, the same raps and taps and jingles, the same flower séances, the same apparitions; in fact, the same old ad captandum, discredited years ago in connection with Spiritualism.

"The Supernatural?" by Lionel A. Weatherley (1891)7

Just a note - ad captandum is a phrase used to describe a range of techniques and tricks used to trick the naive, the gullible, the desperate, the open-minded and those unaccustomed to critical thinking.

4. Atlantis, Lemuria and The 7 Root Races, Each With 7 Sub Races

#7 #atlantis #eckankar #india #lemuria #numerology #theosophy

Theosophists have always taken Atlantis for granted, and to the myth have added a second one - the myth of Lemuria. This name was originally proposed by a nineteenth-century zoologist for a land mass he thought must have existed in the Indian Ocean, and which would account for the geographical distribution of the lemur. Madame Blavatsky, the high priestess of theosophy, adopted the name and wrote in some detail about the 'Third Root Race' that she believed flourished on the island.

According to Blavatsky, five root races have so far appeared on the planet, with two more yet to come. Each root race has seven 'sub-races,' and each sub-race has seven 'branch races.' (Seven is a mystical number for theosophists.) The first root race, which lived somewhere around the North Pole, was a race of 'fire mist' people - ethereal and invisible. The Second Root Race inhabited northern Asia. They had astral bodies on the borderline of visibility. At first, they propagated by a kind of fission, but eventually this evolved into sexual reproduction after passing through a stage in which both sexes were united in each individual. The Third Root Race lived on Lemuria. They were ape-like giants with corporeal bodies that slowly developed into forms much like modern man. Lemuria was submerged in a great convulsion, but not before a sub-race had migrated to Atlantis to begin the Fourth Root Race.

The Fifth Root Race, the Aryan, sprang from the fifth sub-race of the Atlanteans. At the present time, according to theosophists, the Sixth Root Race is slowly emerging from the sixth sub-race of Aryans. This is happening in Southern California where, in Annie Besant's words, the 'climate approaches most nearly to our ideal of Paradise.' [...] After the Seventh Root Race (which will develop from the seventh sub-race of the sixth root race) has risen and fallen, the earth cycle will have ended and a new one will start on the planet Mercury.

"Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science" by Martin Gardner (1957)23

Theosophy's writings on all of these numerological myths were unfortunately influential, helping to mis-educate many about basic biology and evolution. One group that gobbled it up was Eckankar, a very strange new-religious-movement. They copied some of the text about seven races and sub-races almost verbatim, adding their own twists.

The Theosophical concept of race has led to accusations of racism; they embraced the disasterous concept of 'purity' of race: that 'pure' races can become degenerate through breeding with impure races. Blavatasky said: "The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans - degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality".5 All of this should be setting off many alarm bells, although it had little impact on Theosophy as a movement, it helped spread pseudoscientific ideas about race.

5. Exposed as Fraudulent

Multiple investigators and whistleblowers accused Blavatsky of fradulent mediumship4 , including many of the same claims the overall Spiritualist movement had faced, and some of the exact same techniques of trickery during magical shows, such as table-tapping. She was accused of copying others' books, and tried to defend herself by saying that the content was channelled to her on a spirit plane by Ancient Masters4 . Although she never really took into account what it would mean if those Ancient Masters themselves were merely reading content from boring-old Human books. Blavatsky found no escape, and was widely disgraced"Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age"
Joanne Pearson (2002)6.

[By 1885] there had been a split in the Theosophical camp, and the Coulombs, confidants of Madame, had revealed that which, if true, conclusively proved the fraudulent nature of Madame's pretensions, and discredited the whole of the supposed phenomena from beginning to end. [... Investigator Mr Hodgson] arrived at the conclusion that the manifestations were one and all ingenious trickeries and nothing more.

"The Supernatural?" by Lionel A. Weatherley (1891)7

Blavatsky's... teachings were accompanied by psychic manifestations, which were alleged to be fraudulent by an investigator from the Society for Psychical Research.

"The Theosophical Society" by Kevin Tingay (2004)1

Blavatsky exited the scene by 1885, leaving it to Annie Besant, who was president of the society from 1907 until her death in 1933"Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age"
Joanne Pearson (2002)6.

6. 1909-1929: Krishnamurti, the Proclaimed New World Teacher, Defies Expectations


In 1909, Theosophists became interested in Jiddu Krishnamurti as a result of a mystical and spiritual look at his magical aura. They excitedly taught that Krishnamurti would become the New World Teacher, a messianic embodiment of great spiritual power, to change the world forever.

Krishnamurti was adopted by Besant whilst she was President of the Theosophical Society. He was groomed over many years, educated, formed and prepared to take up the role, with an entire branch of Theosophy devoted to him - the Order of the Star. He was very close to his brother, who the Theosophists vowed to look after through his continued ill health.

But nothing went according to Theosophist prophesizing: Krishnamurti's brother died, leaving him despondent with the statements that they'd look after him, Krishnamurti was academically very poor for a long time, and began undergoing some kind of regular mental seizure which defied Theosophist interpretation. And he was consistently too introvert to perform. Even when practice and experience made him adequate, he was still unsure and repetitive in his speech.

Eventually he began coming up with ideas of his own that were not sourced from Theosophist thinking. During the annual conference of the Order of the Star in 19291, he stood in front of all and told them he was leaving the movement, refuted core Theosophist doctrine, denied the value of the teacher-parent method of teaching ultimate truth, and set that all people needed to be set free.

After that high-profile embarrassment, membership entered a long-term decline1. Outside of Theosophy, Krishnamurti became a respected functional adult, dedicated to peace and the inner pursuit of truth, and repeatedly disallowing anyone from following him.

7. Factions

#eckankar #germany #india

Just as Theosophy attempted to get away the discovered frauds of the Spiritualist movement, Theosophy in turn spawned a few factions who disliked the way the movement went. Some of these splits occurred very early24 .