Henry Steel Olcott
William Quan Judge
Julia Ver Planck
Charles & Vera Johnston
Walter Gorn Old (Sepharial)
THE PHENOMENON of the last 2000 years
Alfred Percy Sinnett
Allan Octavian Hume
Helena Blavatsky might be "judged" by the company she kept.
We might first look at her own Teachers (pictured below).
The reader can consult the internet or contact the author with queries about them.
The list above of students, followers and associates in the outer world
should give the reader more hints about HPB.
Colonel Olcott was the second most important force in 19th century Theosophy.
He was the Founding President of the Theosophical Society and
served in that capacity for almost 40 years.
With HPB, Colonel carried western Theosophy back to the East and
established the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, India.
Prior to entering into Theosophy, Olcott was a businessman and agriculturalist.
His title of Colonel arose from his service in the Union Army during the Civil War.
After the war, he became a lawyer and investigative journalist.
Colonel Olcott was an indefatigable traveler and proselytizing Theosophist.
He helped bind up many wounds among diverse religions in Asia.
He also promoted the resurrection of Buddhism in southern India and Ceylon.
Henry Olcott became almost a patron saint among Buddhists
as he revived Buddhist schools, published his Buddhist Catechism,
and designed the modern flag of Buddhism.
Colonel Henry Olcott lectured all over southern Asia and
wrote his own library of books including
People from the Other World and Old Diary Leaves (6 volumes).
Colonel Olcott probably knew HPB better than any of her contemporaries.
He had many, many "remarkable" experiences of
her phenomena as well as lion heart.
HPB and HSO were known as "the Twins."
Click to read about one of Olcott's extraordinary works in India.
WQ Judge was a founding member of the Theosophical Society.
And only 24 years old at the time it was formed.
WQJ had emigrated to the USA with his family at age of 13.
Mr. Judge made opportunities for himself in his new country.
He trained as an attorney and practiced mostly in commercial law.
After HPB and HSO relocated to India,
Mr. Judge took over the reins of the TS in America.
He almost single-handedly built and developed the organization in the West.
Besides speaking and organizing, William Judge produced for many years
The Path, America's version of HPB's The Theosophist.
Like HPB, Mr. Judge wrote, edited and published this periodical.
He used a number of pseudonyms as well as his own name
to fill up the pages of The Path with valuable matter on a wide range of topics.
WQ Judge also found time to write books which include
The Ocean of Theosophy
Essays on the Gita
Other writings were later compiled as
Echoes of the Orient
Letters That Have Helped Me
WQ Judge considered HPB his Teacher and Brother.
Julia Keightley was American-born and a writer beginning her teens.
She published translations, and original verse,
tales and plays under pen names as well as her own.
Her first husband and two sons all died in 1877
leaving her ill and in a state of shock for a long time.
She eventually encountered Helena Blavatsky but never met her in the physical.
Julia became an energizing influence in the Theosophical Society of America
eventually working on both sides of the Atlantic with Archibald Keightley.
She became known through a number of pseudonyms, especially that of Jasper Niemand
publishing over 140 articles in The Path and other Theosophical journals.
Her correspondence with William Q. Judge became known
Letters That Have Helped Me
on being published in 1891 and re-published many times.
Of HPB, she wrote,
“Madame Blavatsky was to be found in the philosophy taught by her.
Message and messenger are one and the same thing in the laws of the supra-natural."
Bertram and Archibald
Archibald Keightley was a British physician and "a born healer" according to HPB
who became prominent in the Theosophical Society.
While a student at Cambridge, interests in Spritiualism, alchemy and mysticism developed.
He was introduced to Theosophy by AP Sinnett and and became a Theosophist in 1884.
By 1887, Nephew Bertram and he had accompanied HPB from Belgium to England.
They both engaged in the editing of Helena Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine
and in producing her Lucifer magazine.
In the late 1880s, Archibald was sent to the USA on Theosophical Society business.
On the second visit, he met the future Mrs. Keightley.
The couple were long involved in TS work on both sides of the ocean.
Dr. Keightley acted as an executive, speaker and writer
for the Theosophical Society while continuing to practice medicine and
"to act as a physician to weary hearts and blighted souls,
as much as to diseased bodies."
Like his uncle Archibald, Bertram Keightley attended Cambridge University.
His studies extended to mesmerism and mysticism, the mystics and Eliphas Levi.
He was a natural for Theosophy, joining the society with Archibald in 1884.
Bertram and Archibald worked and traveled almost as twins for several years.
He eventually became General Secretary of the Indian Section
traveling extensively and working among the Branches.
Johnston was an Irish-born Sanskrit scholar, Orientalist, and writer.
He founded the Dublin Lodge of the Theosophical Society
with William Butler Yeats and A.E. - George William Russell in 1886.
Charles married Vera Zhelihovsky at her aunt Helena Blavatsky's home
in London in 1888.
After years in India and traveling Europe, the Johnstons moved to New York.
Charles wrote and lectured for the American Theosophical Society.
Johnston wrote prolifically including hundreds of
Theosophical articles and commentaries on
The Bhagavad Gita, Crest Jewel of Wisdom, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Johnston once said of HPB: “An immense feeling of power surrounded her;
it was like being in a room with a tremendously active volcano ..."
Mrs. Johnston was also a writer of Theosophical articles and
translated correspondence between HPB and her family for The Path
as well as Part I of From the Caves and Jungles of Hundustan.
General Doubleday was a career United States Army officer and
famous for service in the American Civil War.
He is said to have fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter and
had a pivotal role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg.
After the war, he obtained a patent on the cable car railway
in San Francisco which still runs there.
In his final years in New Jersey,
he was the first Vice President of the Theosophical Society.
He also was briefly President of the American branch until
William Judge took the active reins of the organization.
Doubleday is often honored as inventor of baseball.
But that credit to him is under dispute.
Mr. Corson was a close friend of Helena Blavatsky.
She visited Corson and his family on a number of occasions
during her days in the United States.
She also composed a large portion of Isis Unveiled
while staying with the Corsons.
Professor Corson was duly impressed by
Madame Blavatsky's extraordinary "powers of eruditon"
which did not rely on libraries and encylopedias.
He was exposed to the unusual methods
she used to write her book.
Corson had worked at the Smithsonian Institute and taught at various colleges
before becoming a professor of English literature at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Professor Corson wrote numerously
on Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, and Browning.
He also edited a translation by his wife, Caroline,
of Pierre Janet's Mental State of Hystericals (1901).
Mead was an author, editor, and translator.
He was an influential member of the Theosophical Society in England.
While at Cambridge University, Mead was attracted to Theosphy
through Esoteric Buddhism by Alfred Percy Sinnett.
He abandoned his teaching profession in 1889
to become HPB's private secretary and joint-secretary of the Esoteric Section (ES).
His scholarly works dealt mainly with the Hermetic and Gnostic religions of antiquity
in titles which include
Fragments of a Faith Forgotten
Apollonius of Tyana
Thrice Greatest Hermes
Mead's writings influenced notables such as
Ezra Pound, WB Yeats, Hermann Hesse, and Carl Gustav Jung.
To GRS Mead, HP Blavatsky
"remains our sphinx, our mystery, our dearly loved Old Lady."
Pryse joined the Los Angeles branch of the Theosophical Society in 1887.
following the example of his brother John who was already a member.
The Pryse brothers moved to New York City in 1888
and founded the Aryan Press in Manhattan in 1889 to
handle the publishing needs of the Theosophical Society branches in the USA.
Due to the Aryan Press's success, James was summoned to London
to set up and operate the new H. P. B. Press,
also referred to as "Blavatsky Press."
James Pryse soon began his own writing efforts
at decoding esoteric meaning in the Holy Bible.
His major works are known as
The Apocalypse Unsealed
The Restored New Testament
The Magical Message according to Iôannês
Constance Georgina Louise Bourbel de Monpincon was born in Florence, Italy
to a French father and English mother.
She married her cousin in 1861, the Count Wachtmeister,
with whom she had a son, count Axel Raoul.
Her husband was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sweden, but died in 1868.
After the death of her husband in 1871, she continued in Sweden for several years.
The countess began investigating Spiritism and joined the Theosophical Society in 1881.
The Countess Wachtmeister was an important partner for Helena Blavatsky in HPB's latter years
while she composed The Secret Doctrine.
Her own work Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine
became a source for study on the personality of Madame Blavatsky.
With Bertram Keightley,
she subsequently organized the Theosophical Publishing Company
to publish the works of Helena Blavatsky.
|Walter Gorn Old
Mr. Old was a well known writer and astrologer
who used the pseudonym of Sepharial.
Sepharial became one of the first newspaper astrologers
through his column in the Society Times of London (beginning 1886).
Soon after, he was admitted to the "inner sanctum" of the Theosophical Society.
Sepharial became an influential author in occultism, astrology and numerology.
He had genuine impact on fellow astrologers E. H. Bailey and Alan Leo.
He introduced Mr. Leo (William Frederick Allan) to Theosophy.
Sepharial was one of the most erudite astrologers ever
via his knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and historical methodology.
Sepharial's "Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised" (co-written with Charubel)
foreshadowed Marc Edmund Jones's later work on Sabian Symbols.
Madame Blavatsky called him "The Astral Tramp"
because of his nightly explorations into the astral plane.
Dayanand Saraswati was an important Hindu religious leader of his time.
He was a renowned scholar of the Vedic lore and Sanskrit language.
Dayananda believed the Vedas to be infallible.
His mission was to create a Universal Brotherhood through nobility as spelled out in Vedas.
For that purpose, he founded the Hindu reform movement called Arya Samaj - Noble Society.
The Swami was one of the first to give the call for Swarajya as "India for Indians."
Dayanda denounced the idolatry and ritualism prevalent in Hinduism at the time,
and worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies.
He promoted equal rights for women and education for the comman man.
He has been called one of the "makers of Modern India."
Dayananda also advocated the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation.
He emphasized the Vedic ideals of brahmacharya (celibacy) and devotion to God.
His Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society were united from 1878 to 1882,
to become the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.
Dayananda Saraswati composed more than 60 works.
|T Subba Row
Subba Row worked as a Vakil (Pleader) within the Indian justice system.
However, his interest in the law paled when he found Theosophy.
In 1882, he invited Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott to Madras (Chennai),
where he convinced them to make permanent headquarters for the Theosophical Society.
Prior to this meeting, Subba Row was not known for any esoteric or mystical knowledge.
But after, he began to expound on metaphysics and astounded most of those who knew him.
Mr. Row became able to recite whatever passage was so requested of him
from the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and many other sacred texts of India.
He had no conscious knowledge of those writings prior to that meeting.
It is said that when he encountered Helena Blavatsky,
all knowledge from his previous lives came flooding back.
Subba Row eventually disagreed with HPB
about teaching non-Hindus and about editing The Secret Doctrine.
Nonetheless, Row called her "a great yogi."
In his short life, T. Subba Row
wrote on Buddhism, The Bhagavad Gita, Occultism and other subject.
AP Sinnett was a major figure in the development of Theosophy
through his work as a newspaper editor in India
and author on theosophical subjects in England.
Mr. Sinnett made contact with HP Blavatsky and Henry Olcott
soon after their arrival in India in 1879.
At the time, he was editor of The Pioneer, the leading English daily in India.
Blavatsky and Olcott stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett for long times and
the latter were gifted to see many of HPB's unique phenomena.
AP Sinnett was also introduced through her to the Mahatmas.
Sinnett engaged in an extended correspondence with Koot Humi.
Out of this experience, he wrote Esoteric Buddhism and The Occult World.
Mr. Sinnett held office in the Theosophical Society in England and
composed lesser known works in later years.
His correspondence with the Masters was eventually
collected and published by Trevor Barker in 1926.
The Mahatma Letters to AP Sinnett is
an extraordinary source of material on
occultism and Theosophy, the Masters and Helena Blavatsky.
The writings of AP Sinnett and HS Olcott stand second only
those of HP Blavatsky in informational and educational value.
AO Hume was a civil servant and political reformer in British India.
He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress,
a political party which eventually led the Indian independence movement.
Hume was also an amateur ornithologist and horticulturalist and
was called "the Father of Indian Ornithology" as well as "the Pope of Indian ornithology."
Upon HPB and HSO appearing in India,
Hume expressed his intention to become a chela of the Mahatmas.
Though he was found wanting,
Hume did write articles and pamphets on Theosophy.
As "H.X." he composed articles called Fragments of Occult Truth
and personally published pamphlets entitled Hints on Esoteric Theosophy.
Madame Blavatsky was a regular visitor at Hume's Rothney castle at Simla,
but eventually fell into disfavor with Mr. Hume.
Some details can be explored in Sinnett's Mahatma Letters.
Even as Hume's interest in Theoosphy waned,
he was brought into contact with many Indian thinkers and
became involved with the creation of the Indian National Congress.
Anna Bonus Kingsford
Anna Kingsford was an anti-vivisectionist, women's rights campaigner, and physician.
She was one of the first English women to obtain a medical degree.
Mrs. Kingsford was the only medical student at her Paris school
to graduate without having experimented on animals.
Her six years of study were meant to provide her a position of authority
from which to continue her animal advocacy.
Her thesis was published in English as The Perfect Way in Diet in 1881,
and demonstrated the benefits of vegetarianism.
In the same year, she founded the Food Reform Society.
and traveled the UK to talk about vegetarianism,
and to the Continent to speak out against animal experimentation.
Kingsford was interested in Buddhism and Gnosticism,
and became President of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society (1883).
She founded her own Hermetic Lodge in 1884.
Anna received insights in trance-like states and in her sleep.
Edward Maitland, her lifelong collaborator, collected her manuscripts and pamphlets,
and published them in the book, Clothed with the Sun (1889).
Maitland also published her biography, The Life of Anna Kingsford (1896).
Subject to ill-health all her life, she died at the age of 41.
Mabel Collins was an author of popular occult novels,
a fashion writer and an anti-vivisection campaigner.
She also became a theosophist and composed over 40 books.
Mabel was introduced to the Theosophical Society by AP Sinnettt in 1881 and
gradually got to know HP Blavatsky during visits to England.
HPB eventually moved to Norwood, staying with Ms. Collins at her Maycot home
where she continued her composition of The Secret Doctrine.
Mabel became a founder of the Blavatsky Lodge of Theosophy
and the co-editor for two years with HPB of Lucifer, a new theosophical journal.
She was a member of Blavatsky's inner circle for some time.
Sadly, Ms. Collins flirtations and indiscretions led to rupture with HPB,
ejection from the Esoteric Section. Lawsuits and recriminatons followed.
Mabel's life became forgotten but her writings persist.
Collins's most famous books include
those which were dictated by Hilarion
Light on the Path,
Idyll of the White Lotus,
Through the Gates of Gold.
Hubbe-Schleiden was a German scholar educated in the universities of
Göttingen, Heidelberg, Munich and Leipzig.
He practiced as a lawyer for a time and
was appointed Consular Attaché in West Africa.
Hubbe-Schleiden joined the Theosophical Society
after reading AP Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism.
He was the founder-President of the first German lodge of the Theosophical Society
and General Secretary of the German Section, 1912-13.
Wilhelm established a theosophical magazine called The Sphinx.
He also wrote a number of books reflecting his political and philosophical interests.
In 1894 he visited India to study Hindu philosophy and
thereafter dedicated himself to searching for proofs of reincarnation and karma.
Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden became a friend of Helena Blavatsky.
He visited and watched her at work as she composed The Secret Doctrine.
Franz Hartmann was a multi-talented man of German birth.
He was physician, theosophist, occultist, geomancer, astrologer, and author.
His produced books on medicine and magic, astrology, alchemy and the adepts
and biographies of Jakob Böhme and Paracelsus.
Hartmann translated the Bhagavad Gita into German and
was the editor of the journal Lotusblüten.
Prior to discovering Theosophy,
Hartmann had traveled and practiced medicine for years in America.
Franz was at one time a co-worker of Helena Blavatsky at Adyar, India.
In 1896 he founded a German Theosophical Society.
He was also a Rosicrucian follower and a student practical magic.
the oldest son of the historian Sergei Solovyov and
brother of the philosopher Vladimir Solovyov.
He became famous as a Russian historical novelist.,
his most noted work being a Chronicle of Four Generations,
a fictional account of the Gorbatov family from
the time of Catherine the Great to the mid-nineteenth century.
His later works include
The Magi (1889) and The Great Rosicrucian (1890),
He visited Paris in 1884 where he was befriended by HP Blavatsky.
By 1886, he became a bitter and disillusioned enemy of the founder of theosophy
apparently because of his not being afforded access to the Mahatmas.
He abandoned his plans to promote theosophy in Russia and
denounced Blavatsky as a failed Russian spy.
After HPB's death, he published an attack in book form against her.
Its English title is A Modern Priestess of Isis.
The book demonstrates a love-hate relationship with Madame Blavatsky.
Despite himself, he saw her as "femme aux phenomenes" and
considered her "such a phenomenon, such a living 'human document.'"
Annie Besant was a British socialist and women's rights activist,
writer, orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule.
She became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society (NSS) and
writer and a close friend of Charles Bradlaugh.
In 1877 they were prosecuted for publishing a book on birth control.
Annie became involved in union actions including the London matchgirls strike of 1888.
She was a leading speaker for the Fabian Society and the Marxist Social Democratic Federation.
Mrs. Besant met Helena Blavatsky in 1890.
Her interests in theosophy expanded and those in secular matters waned.
Afte joining the Theosophical Society, she took up the mantle of HP Blavatsky.
She travelled to India and helped establish the Central Hindu College.
Annie Besant became much involve in Co-Freemasonry and
helped establish lodges throughout the British Empire.
In 1907, she became president of the Theosophical Society -
international headquarters in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai).
She eventually joined the Indian National Congress and
helped launch the Home Rule League.
Annie Besant was elected president of the India National Congress in late 1917.