Jinarajadasa’s Published Works

Jinarajadasa’s published works include:

The Problem of Problems. For Private Circulation Only (no date)

Dr Besant and the Teaching of Krishnaji (no date)

The Smaller Buddhist Catechism 1901 Compiled by C.W. Leadbeater, translated by C. Jinarajadasa – text available on-line at: http://www.theosophical.ca/adyar_pamphlets/AdyarPamphlet_No41.pdf

Art As a Factor in the Soul’s Evolution 1905

Christ and Buddha, and Other Sketches: from the Children’s page of “The Theosophic Messenger” 1908

The Vision of the Spirit 1911

Occult Chemistry: Investigations by Clairvoyant Magnification 1908

In His Name 1913

Flowers and Gardens (A Dream Structure) 1913

Theosophy and Modern Thought 1914

How We Remember Our Past Lives: and other essays on reincarnation 1915

What We Shall Teach 1915

Occult Guidance in Theosophical Work 1915

The Message of the Future 1916

The Nature of Mysticism 1917

White Lotus Day 1917

The Lord’s Work 1918

The Heritage of Our Fathers 1918

Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom 1881-1888 1919 – digital version available on-line at: http://blavatskyarchives.com/theosophypdfs/jinarajadasa_Letters_from_the_masters_of_the_wisdom_1.pdf

Theosophy and Reconstruction 1919

The Theosophical Outlook: Being the four convention lectures delivered in Calcutta at the forty-second anniversary of the Theosophical Society, December, 1917 1919

Theosophy and An Ideal Australia 1920?

The Faith That is the Life 1920

Christ the Logos 1920

The Meeting of the East and the West 1921

The Vision of the Spirit 1921

Theosophy and Modern Thought: Four lectures delivered at the thirty-ninth annual convention of the Theosophical Society, held at Adyar, Madras, December, 1914 1921

The History of Reincarnation 1921

First Principles of Theosophy 1922

Theosophy and World-Problems: Being the four convention lectures delivered in Benares at the 46th anniversary of the Theosophical Society, December, 1921 by Annie Besant, C. Jinarājadāsa, J. Krishnamurti, G.S. Arundale 1922

In His Name 1923

The Reign of Law, Buddhist Essay 1923

Opening Address of Mr. Jinarajadasa, Vice-President of the Theosophical Society, at the Eighth Congress of the Federation of T. S. National Societies in Europe, Vienna, 21st to 26th July, 1923 1923

The Early Teachings of the Masters 1923 – available on-line at: http://hpb.narod.ru/EarlyTeachings.htm

The Law of Christ 1924

The Wonder Child: (A Sequel to Flowers and Gardens) 1924

The Hindu Doctrine of the Atman: A lecture by C. Jinarajadasa, delivered on May 11th 1924 1924

Theosophy the Interpreter: Being three of the four convention lectures delivered at Benares, at the forty-eighth anniversary of the Theosophical Society, December 1923 1924

The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society: a brief history of the Society’s growth from 1875-1925 1925 (Editor)

The Non-existence of a Personal God 1925

Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series 1926

Some Documents in the History of the T.S. 1927

The Divine Vision: Three lectures delivered at the Queen’s Hall, London, and one lecture delivered at Palermo, Italy 1928

Offering 1928

The Spiritual Factor in National Life: Being four lectures delivered in Sydney under the auspices of the Blavatsky Lodge, Theosophical Society, in May, 1924 1928

“I Promise”: Talks to Young Disciples 1928

Theosophy and Theosophists 1929

The Gods in Chains: Lectures and addresses delivered in South and Central America, 1928-29 1929

The Bhagavad Gita 1930

Lecture Notes 1930

The Personality of H.P. Blavatsky 1930

Krishnamurti’s Message 1930

Gautama the Buddha 1930

Art as a Factor in the Soul’s Evolution 1930

The God Without and the God Within 1930

The Ritual Unity of Roman Catholicism and Hinduism 1930

The Personality of H.P. Blavatsky 1930

The Future of the Theosophical Society 1931

The Flame of Youth: addresses to young people 1931

Karma-less-ness: Theosophical essays on art 1932

The Moors in Spain 1932

A Short Biography of Dr. Annie Besant 1932

Goethe’s Faust, Analysed in a Series of Incidents in Successive Incarnations 1932

The New Humanity of Intuition 1933

A World in Distress: The remedy as seen by the Theosophist 1933

Conventions of the Indian Constitution 1933 – available in digital form on-line at: https://archive.org/details/conventionofthei035507mbp

Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters? 1934

Life! More Life!: Discourses on a theosophist’s vision of life and its possibilities, delivered in Europe, Brazil and Costa Rica 1933-34 1934

Abul Fazl and Akbar 1934

The Nature of Mysticism 1934

The World of Christ in the World Today 1934

The Ritual of the Mystic Star: A form of service for worship and consecration 1935

Unfolding the Intuition 1936

Theosophy as Beauty by G.S. Arundale, S.R. Devi and C. Jinarajadasa 1936

Occult Investigations. A Description of the Work of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater 1938

The War- and After: A Theosophist’s viewpoint, presented to fellow Theosophists, at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, December, 1939 1940

Is and Is-to-be 1941

The Return of Julius Caesar 1941

The “K.H.” Letters to C.W. Leadbeater 1941 (Editor)

The Soul’s Growth Through Reincarnation: The Lives of Erato and Spica 1941 (Editor)

Women in Freemasonry 1943

The World as Idea, Emotion, and Will 1943

Release 1944

Economics and Theosophy: Summaries of three lectures to Theosophical conventions 1944

The Meaning and Purpose of the Ritual of the Mystic Star 1945

The Story of the Mahatma Letters 1946

The Work Ahead for Theosophists: Inaugural address delivered on February 17, 1946 1946

The Soul’s Growth Through Reincarnation: The Lives of Orion 1946 (Editor)

The Administration of the Theosophical Headquarters at Adyar, Madras 1946

The Law of Christ: Sermons by a Buddhist at the Church of St. Alban (Liberal Catholic) Sydney 1947

Clairvoyant Investigations by C.W.Leadbeater, Some Facts Described by Ernest Wood 1947 (Editor) – text available on-line at: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/wood1.html

Work for the World Mother 1948

The Soul’s Growth Through Reincarnation: The Lives of Ursa, Vega and Eudox 1948 (Editor)

What Theosophists Believe 1948

The Master: Meditations in Verse 1948

Bharata Samaj Puja (A Ritual of Congregational Worship, giving a Translation in English of the Sanskrit Ritual) With a Description of its Occult Effects as Seen by Clairvoyance by C.W. Leadbeater 1948 (Introduction and notes)

Buddha and His Message 1948

Krishnamurti and Buddhist Teachings 1949

The Round Table. Addresses to Youth 1950

H. P. B. Speaks. Vol I 1950 (Editor)

The School of the Wisdom 1950

The Soul’s Growth Through Reincarnation: The Lives of Ulysses, Abel, Arcor and Vale 1950 (Editor)

H. P. B. Speaks. Vol II 1950 (Editor)

The Two Miniatures 1951

The Occult Centre for the Southern Hemisphere 1951

The Ritual of the Mystic Star: A form of service for worship and consecration, with rubric of directions and illustrations 1951

Occult Chemistry: Investigations by clairvoyant magnification into the structure of the atoms of the periodic table and of some compounds by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater 1951 (Editor)

The Law of Sacrifice 1951 (with C.W. Leadbeater)

The Seven Veils Over Consciousness 1952

On the Liberal Catholic Church: Extracts from letters of C.W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, 1916-1923 1952 (Editor)

Practical Theosophy 1952

Collected Poems of C. Jinarajadasa 1953

My Brother – The Light!: Poems 1953

Discourses on the Bhagavad Gita 1954

Art as Will and Idea 1954

What Theosophists Believe 1966

Biography of Annie Besant 1971

This is not a complete bibliography. Details of additional works will be very gratefully received so that they can be included in a revised bibliography.

Jinarajadasa also published a number of articles of particular value for the study of Leadbeater’s life and work, including:

“New Investigations into Occult Chemistry”, in Theosophic Messenger, January, 1908

“Investigations into Early Rounds'”, in The Theosophist, August and September, 1911

“Some Notes on Orthodox and Occult Chemistry”, in The Theosophist, March, 1913

“The Scientific Basis of C.W. Leadbeater’s Contribution to Theosophy”, in The Theosophist, February, 1919

“The Contribution of C.W. Leadbeater to Theosophy'”, in Theosophy in Australia, February 1, 1920

“Occult Chemistry”, in The Theosophist, July, August and September, 1925

“C.W.L.”, in The Liberal Catholic, February, 1927

“What H.P.B. Thought of C.W. Leadbeater”, in The Theosophist, February, 1927 *

“Random Occult Investigations”, in The Theosophist, January, 1927

“The Theory as to World-Teachers”, in World Theosophy, February, 1931

“C.W. Leadbeater’s Theosophical Jubilee”, in Australian Theosophist, February, 1933

“Occult Chemistry”, in The Theosophist, August, 1933

“The Liberal Catholic Church and the Theosophical Society”, in The Theosophist, June, 1933

“The Beginning of English Co-Masonry”, in The Theosophist, January, 1934

“The Ritual of the Mystic Star”, in The Disciple, February, 1935

“Occult Investigations”, in The Theosophist, March, April, May and June, 1938

“Dr Besant’s First Occult Investigations”, in The Theosophist, October, 1941

“The Rite of Memphis”, in Morning Star, October, 1943

“Krishnamurti in 1926”, in The Theosophist, July, 1948

“Bharata Samaj Puja”, in The Theosophist, August, September, and October, 1948

“The Mars and Mercury Controversy”, in The Theosophist, September, 1951

“The Rite of Memphis”, in The Theosophist, December, 1951



Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa

Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa was born on December 16, 1875 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) of Sinhalese Buddhist parents in a town about fifteen miles south of the capital city, Colombo.  His father was Kuruppullage Don Hendrik of the Wellala caste in Colombo, and his mother was Kuruppullage Selestina Perera Bambarendige. The Wellala (Tamil: Vellālā) caste was the highest caste in Singhalese Tamil society.


From The Theosophist “C. Jinarājadāsa, 1875-1958. Commemorative Issue, Vol. 74, No. 11, August 1953

At the age of eleven Jinarājadāsa enrolled in the English School of Boys in Colombo which was established under the patronage of Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera at No. 61 Maliban Street, Colombo, on 1 November 1886 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society. Leadbeater was the first Principal (1886–1890). The school later became Ananda College (Sinhala: ආනන්ද විද්යාලය) in August 1895.


Leadbeater initially abducted Jinarājadāsa from his parents in 1889 to take him to England – see https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/the-abduction-of-jinarajadasa-2/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/leadbeater-jinarajadasa-and-the-criminal-law-of-ceylon/ – but eventually obtained their permission to take him to England, supposedly so that he could receive a good education and return to promote the revival of Buddhism in his native land. Jinarājadāsa received an excellent education in England, but did not return to Ceylon for more than a short period, pursuing, instead, a career in the Theosophical Society.


Having persuaded Olcott (then President of the Theosophical Society) and A.P. Sinnett that he should return to England, Leadbeater was given a position as tutor to Sinnett’s son Percy Edward (“Denny”) Sinnett (1877-1908), and George Arundale (1878-1945). Leadbeater took Jinarājadāsa with him, and they lived with the Sinnetts, and Leadbeater taught “Denny” with the two others boys. For “Denny” Sinnett, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/denny-sinnett/

In 1889, Jinarājadāsa met Madame Blavatsky for the first time. On March 14, 1893 he became a member of the Theosophical Society through the London Lodge.

Following a financial disaster, Sinnett was unable to continue to employ or accommodate Leadbeater, and he had to obtain alternative accommodation and employment. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/sinnett-on-leadbeater-jinarajadasa-and-besant/  Jinarājadāsa gives an account of that period in The “K.H.” Letters to C.W. Leadbeater Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1941:68-69 –

During the eleven years of my life with him in England, from 1889 to 1900, when he provided for me and for my education, life was not smooth. He had no means of his own, and had to earn his living first as a tutor to Mr. Sinnett’s son, then as a teacher giving English lessons to foreigners in London, and later as a journalist on the staff of the London office of the Pioneer newspaper of India. There was a period when his income was so low, that he and I lived in a tiny room, for which seven shillings were paid for rent. It had just enough room for two beds and a table and a couple of chairs and a box or two and a wash-stand. His considerable collection of books was tied up in bundles and placed under the two beds. I had my classes to attend and he his lessons to give or his office to go to. My share was to look after our very modest housekeeping. I recall a day when the only money in hand was one half-penny, though a few shillings were expected in the evening. Fortunately he had still some good clothes left, for it was de rigeur that at the meetings of Mr. Sinnett’s Lodge, the

London Lodge, of which Mr. Leadbeater was secretary, all should be in full evening dress. There were occasions when his dress suit and gold watch were pledged with the pawn-broker. In the “outer world”, there were ups and downs for him…

In 1895 Mrs. Besant invited Leadbeater and Jinarājadāsa to join the Headquarters Staff, which was then established in her house at 19 Avenue Road, St. John’s Wood, and they resided there until she sold the lease at the end of the century.

Leadbeater claimed, after he returned to England with Jinarājadāsa, that Jinarājadāsa was the reincarnation of his (Leadbeater’s) younger brother, Gerald. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/3089 and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/brother-gerald-revisited/

Jinarājadāsa became a student of Cambridge University, in 1896, having been admitted as a non-collegial student in 1895. He “migrated” to St John’s College as a “pensioner” on October 19, 1896. See: J.A.Venn (comp.) Alumni Cantabrigienses part II vol III 1752-1900 Cambridge University Press, 1947:574. He graduated in December 1900 with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Oriental Languages Tripos. He was awarded a Masters of Arts in 1913. He had intended to study Law, but as a result of ill-health he missed the examinations. He was coxswain of the Lady Margaret Rowing Club boat in the rowing team.


He returned to Ceylon where he became Vice-Principal (1900-1901) of Ananda College in Colombo, but in 1902 he returned to Europe to study literature and science at the University of Pavia, Italy, and to assist in the work of the Theosophical Society in Italy. In 1904 he went to America, beginning a long career as an international lecturer of the Theosophical Society.


In 1906 Jinarājadāsa’s membership of the Theosophical Society was suspended by Colonel Olcott, then the President of the Society, for his public defence of Leadbeater in the wake of the allegations of sexual abuse of boys by him. Jinarājadāsa was fairly quickly restored to membership, although not by Olcott, who had sought to do so but had died before he could, but by Olcott’s successor, Besant.

In 1907 Jinarājadāsa began working with Leadbeater and Besant on their clairvoyant research, including that on “occult chemistry”. See: C. Jinarājadāsa Occult Investigations. A Description of the Work of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater (1938).

He lectured in the USA 1908-1911, and then returned to Adyar where he was introduced to Krishnamurti and Nityananda, serving as their companion and tutor in England until the end of 1913.


Jinarājadāsa was a high ranking member of the secret ritualistic Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, founded by in 1912 by Besant, Marie Russak and James Wedgwood. When the Temple was closed down at the direction (via Leadbeater) of the Master in 1914, Jinarājadāsa was directed to develop and alternative, but public, ritual. This he eventually did in the Ritual of the Mystic Star: see The Ritual of the Mystic Star: A Form of Service for Worship and Consecration (1935). See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/the-ritual-of-the-mystic-star/

In 1915 Jinarājadāsa met Miss Dorothy Graham (1881-1963) in Adyar, and they travelled to England to be married in November, 1916. Krishnamurti and Nityananda attended the wedding, and Krishnamurti commented that he thought the marriage “most extraordinary; he is the last person I would have thought of as getting married.” As Mary Lutyens commented; “Indeed, the idea of an initiate marrying was deeply shocking to most theosophists, many of whom had ruined marriages by abstaining from sex.” Mary Luytens Krishnamurti. The Years of Awakening John Murray, London, 1975:97


It was intended to be a celibate marriage. Jinarājadāsa was an initiate and, as Mrs Besant had declared: “For an initiate, sex is impossible.” Jinarājadāsa and his wife were both members of the E.S. and, at that time, members of that organization were required to abstain from sexual relations. The marriage seems to have ended following Arundale’s election as President of the Theosophical Society after Besant’s death in 1933. Mrs Jinarājadāsa died in London on 13 January 1963.

For Dorothy Jinarājadāsa, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/dorothy-jinarajadasa/

Jinarājadāsa was one of the founding members of the Order of the Brothers of Service, together with his wife and Fritz Kunz, and served as its secretary from the time the order was formed on April 7, 1917 until the Order became dormant in 1930.

Jinarājadāsa served as Vice President of the Society, from 1921 to 1928, during the presidency of Besant.

Jinarājadāsa travelled extensively lecturing on Theosophy. He was able to do so in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.


In 1925, in the revelations “brought through” by Arundale, Jinarājadāsa was declared to be an Arhat, and to be one of the “Twelve Apostles” who would work with the coming World Teacher (through the body of Krishnamurti) – see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/the-new-apostles/

In 1930 Jinarājadāsa’s Italian connections proved of value to Leadbeater in the establishment of the Egyptian Rite – see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-egyptian-rite/  The Sovereign Sanctuary of the Rite of Memphis at Palermo was headed by a Theosophist, Reginald Gambier Macbean (1859-1942), who had become the Grand Master of the Sovereign Sanctuary in 1921 while serving as the British Consul for the Compartimento of Sicily and the Sicilian Island and Italian correspondent for the press agency Reuters. Macbean, originally a 33rd degree Mason of the French jurisdiction, had become a Co-Mason, and had admitted Jinarājadāsa, Leadbeater, Wedgwood, Arundale and Oscar Kollerstrom to the Rite of Memphis and, when the Palermo Sanctuary was suppressed by Mussolini, transferred his rights in it to those five brethren, and issued a formal charter for the Egyptian Rite.

Jinarâjadâsa was editor of The Theosophist, for several months in 1917; in 1931-33; and in 1946–53. He also served as director of the Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1930-1932 and 1935, and worked on organizing the archives of the Society, and in publishing archival materials.

Following Besant’s death in 1933, Jinarājadāsa declined to accept nomination to succeed her as President of the Theosophical Society, and thereafter undertook extensive lecture tours in Europe and South America. During World War II, he spent most of his time in England.

During the election campaign for the presidency of the Theosophical Society which followed the death of Besant in 1933, Mrs Jinarājadāsa campaigned for Ernest Wood against George Arundale. Following his election, Arundale suspended Mrs Jinarājadāsa’s membership of the Egyptian Rite, of which he had become Grand Master in succession to Leadbeater, and evicted her and Jinarājadāsa from the apartment that they had occupied on the Adyar estate.

For a few years beginning in 1934, Jinarājadāsa was Head of The Manor in Sydney.

Jinarājadāsa was elected President after the death of George Arundale in 1945. He declined to be re-nominated in 1953 due to ill-health, but continued in office until his death on 18 June 1953 in the USA. Jinarājadāsa was Outer Head of the Esoteric School of Theosophy from 1934 (following Leadbeater’s death) until his death.


Following the election of Nilakanta Sri Ram (1889–1973 as Arundale’s successor as President of the Theosophical Society in February 1953, Jinarājadāsa travelled to the American headquarters of the Society in Wheaton, Illinois, where he died on 18 June, 1953.


Dorothy Jinarajadasa

One of the very interesting, if peripheral, characters in the Leadbeater drama was May Dorothea (Dorothy) Jinarajadasa (nee Graham)(1881-1963) who married Leadbeater’s close disciple, Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa (1875-1953) in Kensington (London) in 1916.

Mary (or May) Dorothea (or Dorothy) Graham was born on 19 March 1881, the daughter of George Frederick Graham, a company secretary, and Margaret Helier Graham, and was baptised in the Church of St Mary, Wavertree, near Liverpool, on 15 May 1881. Various forms of her first names – May or Mary, Dorothea or Dorothy – appears on official documents, but she was generally, in her Theosophical career, known as Dorothy.


Jinarajadasa met Miss Graham in Adyar, and they travelled to England to be married in November, 1916. Krishnamurti and Nityananda attended the wedding, and Krishnamurti commented that he thought the marriage “most extraordinary; he is the last person I would have thought of as getting married.” As Mary Lutyens commented; “Indeed, the idea of an initiate marrying was deeply shocking to most theosophists, many of whom had ruined marriages by abstaining from sex.” Mary Luytens Krishnamurti. The Years of Awakening John Murray, London, 1975:97

Jinarajadasa appears to have considered his marriage as one of the “crucifixions” he experienced during his life. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/jinarajadasas-crucifixions/

It was intended to be a celibate marriage. Jinarajadasa was an initiate and, as Mrs Besant had declared: “For an initiate, sex is impossible.” Jinarajadasa and his wife were both members of the E.S. and, at that time, members of that organization were required to abstain from sexual relations. Whether the “crucifixion” related to Jinarajadasa’s thwarted desire for sexual relations with his wife (which seems unlikely), or from her desire for sexual relations with him is unclear, although Russell (Dick) Balfour Clarke, who lived at Adyar when the Jinarajadasas resided there, said that Mrs Jinarajadasa’s obvious sexual interest in men, including him, was well known and embarrassing.

Miss Graham (as she then was) had travelled to India with Mrs Besant and Margaret Cousins (1878-1954), the Anglo-Irish suffragist and Theosophist, in 1916 and the three of them co-founded the Women’s Indian Association (WIA) in Adyar.


Margaret Cousins – for whose work before moving to India see: https://womanandhersphere.com/tag/margaret-cousins/ and for whose work in India see: http://www.indiancultures.in/margaret-cousins/ and Kumari Jayawardena The White Woman’s Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia During British Rule Routledge, 1995 – Chapter 10: “‘Blazing the Trail for Indian Womens’s Freedom’. Margaret Cousins in India”

For the WIA, see: Mark Bevir “Mothering India” History Today Vol. 56, No. 2, February 2006:19-25; Geraldine Forbes Women in Modern India Cambridge University Press, 1996:72-75

This association was started at Adyar, Madras on 8 May 1917. The founding members of this organization were Annie Besant, Margaret Cousins and Dorothy Jinarajadasa. It was the first organization to create an overall awakening among women and to train them to shoulder their responsibility in public services and bind them together for mutual service and the good of the country. It was also concerned with influencing government policy on women’s suffrage and issues related to educational and social reforms. Since its inception the Women’s Indian Association was involved in political matters. The presence and leadership of Mrs. Annie Besant provided an impetus to women to think in terms of political freedom. In 1917, Annie Besant stimulated the Home Rule movement in Tamil Nadu. Women’s Indian Association (WIA) branches proposed that equal treatment and status should be given to Indians. They also supported to compulsory primary education for girls and Hindu women’s inheritance laws. Describing themselves as the “Daughters of India”.

From: Mrs. R. Kalaivani “Works of Women’s Indian Association (WIA) & Role of Annie Besant” International Journal for Social Studies Vol. 2 Issue 1 January 2016:91-96.

See also The Inspiring Saga of Women’s Indian Association, 1917- 1967 Women’s Indian Association, 1967.

Mrs Jinarajadasa served as a Justice of the Peace for Madras.

Mrs Jinarajadasa was one of the first members of the Theosophical Order of the Brothers of Service, along with her husband and Fritz Kunz. A later post will outline the history and work of the Order.

She accompanied her husband on his many international lecture tours, and lived in Sydney with him when he was staying in Australia.

Jinarajadasa served as Vice-President of the Theosophical Society from 1921 to 1928, and was elected President after the death of George Arundale in 1945. He declined to be re-nominated due to ill-health in 1953, but continued in office until his death on 18 June 1953 in the USA. Jinarajadasa was Outer Head of the Esoteric School of Theosophy from 1934 (following Leadbeater’s death) until his death.


Mrs Jinarajadasa with Leadbeater

During the election campaign for the presidency of the Theosophical Society which followed the death of Besant in 1933, Mrs Jinarajadasa campaigned for Ernest Wood against George Arundale. Following his election, Arundale suspended Mrs Jinarajadasa’s membership of the Egyptian Rite, of which he had become Grand Master in succession to Leadbeater, and evicted her from her house on the Adyar estate.

Mrs Jinarajadasa died in London on 13 January 1963.

Following Jinarajadasa’s death, a commemorative issue of The Theosophist was published: Vol. 74, np. 11, August 1953. This contains no reference to Mrs Jinarajadasa: even though it details lecture tours by Jinarajadasa on which she accompanied him, and no mention is made of her elsewhere. The article, “C. Jinarajadasa – Feminist” makes no references to Mrs Jinarajadasa’s work for the liberation of women in India.

Who Elected Leadbeater as a Bishop?

James Burton, a Liberal Catholic Bishop in Great Britain, wrote at some length in an attempt (unsuccessfully) to establish the canonical legitimacy of what became the Liberal Catholic Church, claiming (manifestly falsely) that James Ingall Wedgwood was lawfully elected to replace Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew when Mathew “abandoned” (which he didn’t) the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain and submitted to Rome (which he hadn’t by the time of Wedgwood’s resignation). Part of Burton’s “proof” lay in the publication of the minutes of the Episcopal and Clerical Synods of the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain and of a copy of the document whereby Wedgwood had been elected to the episcopate.

On December 10, 1915, a meeting of laity and clergy of what was then the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain was held to elect Wedgwood to the episcopate:

We the undersigned clergy and laity of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain, at a meeting held for the purpose, at No. 1 Upper Woburn Place, London, W.C. on December the 10th 1915, do hereby elect the Very Rev. James Ingall Canon Wedgwood to the honour and dignity of the episcopate, and in view of this election, we who append our names hereto do pray that the said Priest may receive visible Episcopal Consecration to the greater Glory of God and the honour and welfare of the Church.

(Canon) J.B. Seaton, D.D., M.A

Robert King

Rupert Gauntlett

James Frances Arnold Carter

Reginald E.A.L. Farrer (Secretary and Registrar)

Thos. Haines (Priest)

Theodore Bell (Priest)

Helen Bell

Marion Edith Palmes

Selene Oppenheimer

Fiona Dainly.

A further signature was added on January 4, 1916: Federick James. Priest.

From “Appointing a Bishop With Special Reference to the “Election” of the Rt. Rev. James Ingall Wedgwood”, The Liberal Catholic LV:1, February, 1986:14.

Nothing even vaguely resembling this document – which would be called a “Protocol of Election” – has ever be made public in the case of Leadbeater. The Constitution and Rules by Which the Clergy Undertake to be Bound of what was then known as the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain, adopted at a joint Episcopal and Clerical Synod on April 20 1916, and “regarded by our Bishops and Clergy as authoritative, and as binding upon them”, and signed by Bishop James Wedgwood, provided that:

5. Should any vacancy occur in the Episcopate in Great Britain, the Synod of Clergy shall be convened and, after the celebration of the Mass de Spiritu-Sancta, proceed to nominate a new Bishop, the voting being by secret ballot. The name selected will then be sent to the Episcopal Synod but it must be understood that the latter, whilst naturally desirous of giving the fullest value to the choice of the Clergy, must be allowed to exercise their discretion and also for another choice on the part of the Clergy; even, if need be, to appoint to the vacancy themselves.

The choice of Bishops for other Provinces (until they are granted autonomy) will be made or ratified (as the case may be) by the Episcopal Synod.

The consecration of a Bishop for Australia was clearly a matter of “The choice of Bishops for other Provinces (until they are granted autonomy)”. Who therefore elected, “made or ratified”, Leadbeater’s election to the Episcopate?


The Episcopal Synod of the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain (as it was then known) consisted of Bishops James Wedgwood, Robert King and Rupert Gauntlett. No record has ever been made public of any decision by that Episcopal Synod to elect Leadbeater to the Episcopate.

Did Wedgwood obtain the approval of his two fellow Bishops, King and Gauntlett, for Leadbeater’s consecration?

Wedgwood arrived in Australia in early July 1916 following his consecration to the Episcopate in London on February 13, 1916. Leadbeater was ordained sub conditione to the Priesthood by Wedgwood on July 15, 1916, having first received baptism and confirmation, together with all the Minor Orders and the Diaconate sub conditione in case the Anglican sacraments he had received were later called into question. On July 22, 1916, Wedgwood secretly consecrated Leadbeater to the episcopate. Three days later, Leadbeater wrote to Mrs Besant advising her of his consecration.

Had Wedgwood discussed the possibility of his consecration with Leadbeater in, say, the first two weeks of July 1916, could a letter seeking the approval of such a consecration have been sent to Gauntlett and King in London, and an affirmative reply have been received, by July 22?

For Burton’s attempts at showing the legitimacy of the Liberal Catholic Church, see:

E.J. Burton The Official Records of the Synod During the Period 1910-1920 of the Liberal Catholic (Old Catholic) Communion, Part I 1910-1915, St Alban Press, London, no date

E.J. Burton The Official Records of the Synod, During the Period 1910-1920 of the Liberal Catholic (Old Catholic) Communion Part II 1915-1920, St Alban Press, London, no date

E.J. Burton “The Liberal Catholic Communion (Old Catholic). The Official Records of the Synod during the Period 1910-1920”, in The Liberal Catholic, September and December, 1973

Every edition of The Constitution of the Liberal Catholic Church has included the express requirement that, prior to the consecration of a bishop, he must have been elected by the General Episcopal Synod, and imposing severe penalties on any bishop participating in an episcopal consecration which did not comply with this requirement.

The other notable episcopal consecration which appears to have occurred without the approval of the Synod was that of George Arundale in 1925 (by Wedgwood, assisted by Mazel and Pigott at Huizen, The Netherlands) without synod election, and without the advance knowledge or approval of Leadbeater (as Presiding Bishop) who, having been notified after the event, expressed his disapproval.

In both cases – Leadbeater and Arundale – approval for the consecration was claimed to have derived from the Masters, rather than any earthly Synod.


Jinarajadasa’s “Crucifixions”

Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa (1875-1953) was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Leadbeater initially abducted him from his parents – see https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/the-abduction-of-jinarajadasa-2/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/leadbeater-jinarajadasa-and-the-criminal-law-of-ceylon/ – but eventually obtained their permission to take him to England, supposedly so that he could receive a good education and return to promote the revival of Buddhism in his native land. Jinarajadasa received an excellent education in England, but did not return to Ceylon, pursuing, instead, a career in the Theosophical Society, and eventually becoming Vice President of the Society, from 1921 to 1928, and  President from 1946–53, and succeeding Leadbeater as Outer Head of the Esoteric Section, 1924-1953.


In the autobiographical section of his book, The Seven Veils Over Consciousness Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1952;72-81, Jinarajadasa describes two of his crucifixions”.

The first arose from his departure from Ceylon:


Young Jinarajadasa: from The Seven Veils Over Consciousness (1952)

I had loved deeply a cousin of mine, a boy a year younger than myself. I had never revealed my love to him. But that night out at sea I knew I was going away, away from him, and I wept bitterly. My Brother [Leadbeater], who was in the cabin, sat by my side, but said no word. What could he say? At last, I cried myself to sleep,

That night, my “Father-in-God” [the Master] called me to Him, and received me as a disciple on Probation. What Light on the Path says was proven true in my case: “Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.” My soul’s feet were that night washed in the blood of my heart. I was then thirteen, and it was the first of many crucifixions that my Karma has allotted to me, both to purify me and to make me more efficient as a worker in the Great Work.

The years from boyhood to manhood passed, the inner life of the heart marked by strain each year. Now and then there were brief periods of happiness. But also crucifixions.

Jinarajadasa The Seven Veils Over Consciousness Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1952:77-78

The second “crucifixion” began in his manhood:

Then came the day when I had to carry the heaviest cross of all my past lives, and take a longer journey to Golgotha, there to endure the direst crucifixion. It lasted twenty-two years, and there was never an hour, day or night, I was not aware of its acute agony. But nothing of it all was shown in my face, as I attended to my many labours. The only solace was in the faces of children. No one knew, except my Father-in-God. He could but watch, for as He said long ago, “he who runs swiftly must pay for his swiftness”. But at last that crucifixion ended, and there was a brief period of peace, and some moments of joy. But debts to Karma had to be paid, and so began yet another crucifixion.

There await me in future lives many a crucifixion, but less agonizing and for briefer periods, as the evil account of Karma lessens. Only when, after transcending the Seven Veils I shall be on the threshold of Divinity, will crucifixion cease. I shall then enter the Light, though I shall never touch the Flame.

Jinarajadasa The Seven Veils Over Consciousness Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1952:78-79

What was “the second [of the] crucifixions that my Karma has allotted to me, both to purify me and to make me more efficient as a worker in the Great Work”? A reading of Jinarajadasa’s life suggests one relationship that “lasted twenty-two years”, and in which there may never have been “an hour, day or night, I was not aware of its acute agony”. That was his marriage to May Dorothea (Dorothy) Jinarajadasa (nee Graham)(1881-1963) when she was 34 and he was 41.


Jinarajadasa married Dorothy Graham in London in 1916, much to the astonishment of those who knew him closely. Krishnamurti commented at the time that he thought the marriage “most extraordinary; he is the last person I would have thought of as getting married.” As Mary Lutyens remarked; “Indeed, the idea of an initiate marrying was deeply shocking to most theosophists, many of whom had ruined marriages by abstaining from sex.” Mary Luytens Krishnamurti. The Years of Awakening John Murray, London, 1975:97

It was intended to be a celibate marriage. Jinarajadasa was an initiate and, as Mrs Besant had declared: “For an initiate, sex is impossible.” Jinarajadasa and his wife were both members of the E.S. and, at that time, members of that organization were required to abstain from sexual relations. Whether the “crucifixion” related to Jinarajadasa’s thwarted desire for sexual relations with his wife (which seems unlikely), or from her desire for sexual relations with him is unclear, although Russell (Dick) Balfour Clarke, who lived at Adyar when the Jinarajadasas resided there, said that Mrs Jinarajadasa’s obvious sexual interest in men, including him, was well known and embarrassing.

Jinarajadasa’s marriage seems to have lasted no more than twenty-two years. During the election campaign for the presidency of the Theosophical Society which followed the death of Besant in 1933, Mrs Jinarajadasa publicly campaigned for Ernest Wood against George Arundale. Following his election, Arundale suspended Mrs Jinarajadasa’s membership of the Egyptian Rite, of which he had become Grand Master in succession to Leadbeater, and evicted her from her house on the Adyar estate. She was living in London at the time of her death in 1963. It is unknown whether she and her husband ever divorced. She was still using his name at the time of her death.

A later post will outline the life and career of Mrs Jinarajadasa, with an additional post regarding Jinarajadasa himself.


Causative Theurgy: Making Masters

The apotheosis of Leadbeater’s occult exploration and experimentation was achieved – at least as far as he saw it – in the last years of his life when he determined that occult advancement and hastened spiritual evolution – the creation of Arhats or the making of Masters – could be “scientifically” and “mechanically” facilitated. This represented the culmination of his previous “scientific” work on Freemasonry and Catholic ritual, and took to its logical conclusion the traditional Roman Catholic doctrine of Ex opere operato (a Latin phrase meaning “from the work worked”): the efficacy of, and the transmission of Grace (or, in Leadbeater’s terms, power) in, the Sacraments is not dependent on, and is entirely independent of, the “worthiness” of either the Minister or the recipient.

Chapter 22, “An Occult Laboratory”, in Dr Brendan French’s PhD thesis, The Theosophical Masters: An investigation into the conceptual domains of H.P. Blavatsky and C.W. Leadbeater (2000), provides a brilliant intellectual analysis of the development and application of Leadbeater’s “Causative Theurgy”. The following is an extract from that chapter, section headings and extensive footnotes omitted.


Leadbeater categorised the Egyptian Rite as ‘the most powerful occult ritual in the world’.  Its novelty exists in its explicit identification of Theosophical initiation conducted by Theosophists with occult advancement profferred by the Masters. In the simplest possible terms, Leadbeater and his associates had arrogated unto themselves both the rôle and privilege of the Master – as the initiations they conferred were ipso facto deemed to be confirmed on the Inner Planes.  Thus, although performed in the name of the Masters, the latter were made effectively redundant, for the ritual itself was sufficient to activate personal evolution. 

Where Blavatsky had taught that wisdom was what made the Masters unique (although, by displaying a Masters-granted phenomenalism, she never really closed the door on hysterical Himalayan searches for paranormal boons), Leadbeater concentrated on their occult power.  In his occultistic drive to explain the metaphysical in quasi-scientific and rationalistic terms, he came upon the obvious corollary that the Masters’ power could be understood in an identical way.  If, then, the Masters’ power belonged in the empirical domain, it could be independently examined and replicated.  He had ‘observed’ the occult technologies of the Master the Count and the Lord Maitreya in Co-Masonic and Liberal Catholic services, which had resulted in books classifiable most readily as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ guides.  When his first attempt to ‘create’ a Master – through the person of Krishnamurti – proved a demonstrable failure, Leadbeater turned to the Egyptian Rite as the ideal means to control the process of Master-making.  As a consequence, he could not but usurp the privilege of the Masters themselves.  In designating himself a ‘Master of Light’, with all of the powers which inhere in such an office, Leadbeater had finally compressed the remaining space between mundane humanity and the Great White Brotherhood, and had declared himself the only Master necessary.

A short review will indicate that the Egyptian Rite was the logical outcome of all of Leadbeater’s previous clairvoyant and ceremonial occultisms.  The first part of his Theosophical career had been spent mapping the Blavatskian terrain, yet he was temperamentally disinclined to engage with a broad cosmo-historiographical vision as she had done, and instead set about reducing her grand metastructures into more manageable portions; the universe gave way to the solar system, the four yugas became truncated and compressed as the eras of the Seven Rays, and the Masters of the Wisdom were depicted as being akin to roving ‘Ministers and Secretaries of State’.  In so doing he was able to translate Blavatsky’s sophisticated esotericisms into a popular (and occasionally populist) Spiritualistic occultism, given colour and dynamism by the often fantastic visions afforded him by his astral perception.  Whereas Blavatsky’s modus operandi was to employ a form of eccentrically-scientific esoteric textual hermeneutic, through which all human discourse could be sifted and reconfigured to expose the underlying philosophia perennis, Leadbeater ignored history, scripture, and philosophy altogether, choosing instead a quasi-Spiritualistic visionary process.  By focussing on an apparatus of ‘astral perception’ he was able to ‘see’ the Theosophical metastructures at first hand, and describe them for others in terms borrowed self-consciously from scientific rationalism.  Necessary concurrence with Blavatsky was maintained by remaining for the most part within the circumscribed boundaries of pre-mapped cosmological, anthropological, and historiographical paradigms. 

One of the boundaries which Leadbeater could not ignore, and which he consciously exploited for his own ends, was the figure of the Master.  The Masters circumscribed the edges of the Theosophical domain, were its supreme revelators, and the embodiment of its authority.  Yet the Masters qua Masters were an elite – necessarily at a remove from human commerce.  The dynamic tension between the ontological separateness of the Masters, and the exigencies of guaranteeing their oversight and personal involvement in the lives of Society members, caused occasional breaches in the Theosophical edifice during Blavatsky’s tenure as ‘mouthpiece’.  Yet the medium of the Mahatma letters, the sheer indomitability of Blavatsky, and the occasional sightings of the Brothers themselves, enabled the Masters to appear sufficiently close to the mundane realm to maintain an adequate esprit de corps among the faithful.  Leadbeater, in characteristic fashion, brought the Masters even closer to the membership (while maintaining their necessary physical distance); he was only rarely the recipient of Masters-letters, and had no need to ‘produce’ Masters in propria personae for the simple reason that he was in constant psychic communication with the entire hierarchy.  Conveniently, he was thus also protected from latter-day ‘Coulombs’ and ‘Hodgsons’. 

Leadbeater’s ardent occultistic desire to rationalise his clairvoyant visions, and to appeal to scientific causality to explain putative meta-empirical phenomena, meant that he was much less interested in the nature of the gnosis conferred by the Masters, than in the dynamics of its transformative potentialities.   As a consequence, Leadbeaterian Theosophy is, unlike its Blavatskian equivalent, divorced from text and meaning: interest in the Masters is less in the ‘what’, than in the ‘how’.  Ergo, the ceremonial of Liberal Catholicism and Co-Masonry is of far greater significance than the transmission of sensible meaning.  (To this degree, Leadbeater proposed a form of applied occult semiotics).  Yet the value of the revealed text or liturgy, whether The Secret Doctrine or the Missa Romana, is not entirely abandoned – just reinterpreted mechanistically as a conduit for transmutational power: when grace and gnosis are placed in the crucible of Leadbeaterian Theosophy, they reappear simply as power.

In tracing the passage of divine power, mediated by the Masters through ceremonial, and articulating it ratiocinatively as a form of circuitry, Leadbeater had consciously subjugated the meta-empirical to the dictates of the empirical.  Empiricism qua empiricism infers replicability, and Leadbeater’s analyses of ritual are thus a species of occult physics (fully akin to his previous occult chemistry) which promises predetermined outcomes if the ceremony is always performed correctly and under identical conditions.  Having discerned the scientific basis of the Masters’ power, he logically inferred that he himself could replicate that power.  In so doing he must be seen as perhaps the most significant and influential of a thoroughly new breed of twentieth century magicians – the causative theurgists….

Krishnamurti’s reluctance to engage in ritualism (aside from the greater problem: his disavowal of Theosophy) conspired against Leadbeater’s notion that causative theurgy could create a Master.  Where the elderly Besant abdicated from any rôle in refashioning the Theosophical enterprise following Krishnamurti’s apostasy (stating instead, ‘I am his inferior and where I do not understand I suspend my judgment hoping to grow into understanding’), Leadbeater swept away any sense of failure by rationalising the event as a failed scientific experiment. 

His next project, the Egyptian Rite, pointedly removed all contingential reliance upon the aspirant.  As the graded structure of the Rite corresponded exactly with that of the Great White Brotherhood, and progress from one stage to the next was determined according to ritualised initiation, control could be maintained over the development of candidates, and initiatic grace/power could be conferred via the initiator, rather than through an exterior party (such as the Lord Maitreya).  This last is of great significance because meta-empirical agency could be assumed to be present by the initiand, but not required by the initiator – who has arrogated unto himself the function of the Masters to welcome aspirants into the Hierarchy.  The Egyptian Rite constituted what Leadbeater had always desired: an occult laboratory. 

Ernest Wood, who lived for a time at The Manor, later reflected upon his experiences:

[Leadbeater] “was running an occult beauty parlour. The auras may have come to look prettier to the clairvoyant eye, but it appeared to me that the people specially cultivated by him lacked in essential qualities of character as compared with others whom I knew, and that the atmosphere of his community encouraged the lack.  He was painting dolls.”

Wood was wrong: Leadbeater wasn’t painting dolls, he was fashioning adepts.

From: Brendan J. French The Theosophical Masters: An investigation into the conceptual domains of H.P. Blavatsky and C.W. Leadbeater – 2 v. (xviii, 829 leaves): ill., ports. A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Religious Studies at the University of Sydney, 2000. Copyright © Brendan James French 2000. Reproduced with the author’s permission.


The Theosophical Senator

On May, 1922, a particularly stormy meeting of some 700 Australian members of the Theosophical Society was held in Sydney at which the question of whether a vote of confidence in Leadbeater should be passed was debated. Heated accusations against Leadbeater were loudly proclaimed, and equally heated defences of him were offered. Jinarajadasa, Krishnamurti, Nityananda and other pupils of Leadbeater spoke in his defence. The case against a vote of confidence was led by T.H. Martyn.

The person who moved the motion of confidence in Leadbeater was Senator Matthew Reid (1856-1947).

As Krishnamurti described the meeting:

There was a huge uproar on the part of the Loyalty League.  A man got up, frightfully coarse & vulgar & said that he had no confidence in C.W.L. as he was an immoral man & began to rake up all the lies about C.W.L.  Raja who was the chairman said all this had nothing to do with it, etc.  Then there were those who spoke for C.W.L. and those against him.  He was there all the time.  The storm of accusation & defending went on for about 2 ½ hours.  Martyn spoke & said C.W.L. could not be trusted because he was associated with Wedgewood [sic].  Then Fritz Kunz, Nitya and I finally spoke.  We thundered at them.  I said I knew C.W.L. better than most of them & so I could speak with some authority.  I declared he was one of the purest & one of the greatest men I had ever met.  His clairvoyance may be doubted but not his purity.  As to his style Bishop, a man can call himself what he liked etc.  Finally I said that being Theosophists we behaved worse than the ordinary man & that we all lost our gentlemanliness when we were attacking etc.  Martyn went out immediately after the vote was taken.  For 85 & against 15.  Only delegates voted. Quoted in Mary Lutyens Krishnamurti. The Years of Awakening, John Murray, London, 1975:140

Matthew Reid was born at Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1856. He married Mary Smart in 1879, and they had two daughters, Edith Florence and Gertrude Mary, and a son, Arthur. Reid worked as a carpenter and became active in union and political affairs. He migrated to Brisbane (Australia) in 1887 intending to farm, but became active in trade union and political activities, and was elected to the Queensland parliament in 1904. He was elected to the federal Senate in 1917, and was re-elected in 1922 and 1928. He retired from the Parliament in 1934.


Reid had joined the Theosophical Society around 1905. In his will, he left funds to the Theosophical Society in Queensland enabling the Brisbane Lodge to renovate its headquarters, Besant House.


Senator Reid regularly lectured at Theosophical Society meetings, most often on topics like: “The Spiritual Solution for the World’s Economic Problems”; “Theosophy and Economics”; “Problems of Life. Theosophy’s Solution”; “Heredity, Destiny and Free Will”; and “Rationalism, Spiritualism and Theosophy”.

He attended the Jubilee Convention at Adyar in 1925 as an Australian delegate.

For Matthew Reid, see:




Ian Richard Hooker

Ian Richard Hooker (1930-2017), 9th Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church (2000-2005), and a devout follower of Leadbeater, died in Perth (Western Australia) on the morning of January 26, 1917. A Requiem Eucharist was celebrated for him at the Liberal Catholic Church of St John the Divine in Perth (Western Australia), where he had been ordained and served as Vicar, on 2 February, 2017, prior to a funeral service at the crematorium at Karrakatta Cemetery Perth (Western Australia).


Ian Hooker was the son of Francis William Rodier Hooker (1903-1965) and Daisy Hooker (nee Kelly) (1896-1973) who were married in Perth (Western Australia) in 1927. Francis Hooker had been born in Balham (London), the son of Francis Robert and Miriam Hooker.

Francis Hooker was well-known in Perth as a lecturer for the Theosophical Society, and was ordained a Priest of the Liberal Catholic Church in Perth on 21 November, 1927 by Leadbeater.


The West Australian (Perth) 21 November 1927

Both Francis and his wife, Daisy, were active members of the Perth Co-Masonic Lodge. Francis Hooker seems to have given up his Theosophical and Church activities in the late 1930s.


The West Australian (Perth) 2 March 1935

Francis Hooker served in the Australian Army in World War II.

Francis and Daisy Hooker were divorced in 1947 on the ground of Francis’ desertion, and Francis Hooker married Myrna Iris Hooker (nee Brabazon)(1906-1994) in 1948.

Ian Hooker was a devout and devoted member of the Theosophical Society and its Esoteric Section, and of Co-Masonry and the Liberal Catholic Church, although the Church became his major focus.

Following his ordination as a Priest of the Liberal Catholic Church, Hooker was Vicar of the Liberal Catholic Church of St John the Divine, Perth (Western Australia) 1967-1974.


Hooker married twice: first, in 1962, to Isadora Lyndall Hooker (nee Sheppard), and, second, in 1999, following his divorce from Isadora Hooker, to Carla Maria Hooker (formerly Wester)(1955-2012).

Hooker completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Australia in 1953. Between 1954 and 1959 he taught in various secondary schools in Western Australia. From 1960 to 1964 he was Research Officer, Research and Curriculum Branch, Western Australian Education Department, preparing text books and a teachers’ handbook in secondary Social Studies, and helping with in-service conferences. Between 1965-1967 he was a Senior Master in Social Science in secondary schools. From 1968-1974 he was a Lecturer in Education at the Claremont Teachers College, the State’s first post-secondary teaching institution which opened in 1902. In 1981 the College became a College of Advanced Education and later a campus of Edith Cowan University.

After his retirement from his career in education, Hooker and his (then) wife, Isadora, moved to Sydney and lived for various periods at The Manor.

In 1981 Hooker completed his Master of Arts degree at the University of Sydney with a thesis entitled: The Foundations of the Liberal Catholic Church, MA (Pass) Thesis, Department of Religious Studies, University of Sydney, 1981. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/leadbeater-theses-ian-hooker/


Ian Hooker after his Consecration with his (then) wife, Isadora

Hooker was consecrated as a bishop on 3 June 1990 at Sydney by Sten von Krusenstierna (who had been the 6th Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church (1973-1984)), assisted by Christopher Bannister and Stuart Nicholls. He served as an Auxiliary Bishop for Australia (1990-1994); Regionary Bishop for Australia (1994-2000); and 9th Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church (2000-2005).

As Presiding Bishop, Hooker succeeded two Presiding Bishops who had caused considerable difficulties for the Church, and during whose periods in office dissent over the question of the ordination of women had become a major issue: Eric Scollick Taylor (1918-1995), 1984-1993; and Johannes Cornelis van Alphen (1925-1909), 1993-2000. In Hooker’s term, five bishops resigned from the Church (including the former Presiding Bishop van Alphen) and three bishops were dismissed from the Church. In the previous 55 years of the Liberal Catholic Church, only four bishops had ever been dismissed and only three bishops had resigned from the church. Hooker’s term, as Presiding Bishop (determined by the General Episcopal Synod), was somewhat shorter than those of his predecessors: five years as opposed to eight, nine, nine and seven years for his immediate predecessors.

Under Hooker, clergy in the Dutch, Belgian and Canadian provinces elected their own Episcopal Synod in opposition to the Synod headed by Hooker, and soon included churches in The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Cameroon, The Congo, Sweden, and the USA, and, confusingly, continued to use the title “The Liberal Catholic Church”. The foundations of a radical new model of the Liberal Catholic Church were developed by Joannes van Alphen, who formally established The Young Rite in 2006; it emphasized the esoteric elements of the Liberal Catholic Church but also allowed for the ordination of women.

Considerable, and often acrimonious, correspondence circulated, and various threats of litigation were made. Much of the material was published on-line. Considerable legal costs were incurred by all involved.

As Presiding Bishop, Hooker and his wife, Carla, travelled extensively in Europe, attempting to prevent further schisms and to minimize the damage of those that had occurred. Hooker seems to have been unsuccessful in his efforts.

It was rumoured that Hooker was being “guided” by a direct source of communication with the Masters and by someone with psychic powers. Stories about the consequences of this guidance were reported both by those awe-inspired by them and those appalled by them. It was, for example, claimed that a consecration of a Bishop in which Hooker was a participant was declared to be “occultly invalid”, with the public ceremony being repeated secretly to remedy the defect under clairvoyant observation. This is an aspect of the history of the modern Liberal Catholic Church obviously worthy of further exploration.

In an attempt to “satisfy” those demanding that women be ordained, Hooker and his wife had developed what can best be called services for the non-ordination-ordination of women, including the establishment of the office of the Deaconess (who is not the equivalent of the male Deacon), and of the Order of our Lady in which women candidates are admitted (not ordained) by a Bishop through a series of stages (not orders) with rituals somewhat similar to those used for the (male) Minor Orders, the Sub-diaconate and the Diaconate. Each stage is symbolized by a flower which is given to the candidate: purity (white rose); devotion (red rose); knowledge (yellow rose); love (pink rose); will (white lily); wisdom, or Deaconess. The strange flower symbolism seems to derive from both the Golden Chain (an early Theosophical organization for children) in which the imagery of children as flowers was employed, and the Order of the Round Table (a Theosophical organization for young people) in which there was a ceremony using flowers. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/leadbeater-and-the-ordination-of-women/

In the final years of his life, Hooker’s physical and mental health deteriorated to such an extent that he was placed in a nursing home, and surrendered all his episcopal regalia.

Hooker was the author of “Liberal Catholic Church” in Philip Harris (Ed) Theosophical Encyclopedia Theosophical Publishing House, Quezon City, 2006:375-379.

Hooker was totally committed to a literalist Leadbeaterian world-view. I recall that, on one occasion when discussing the role of vestments in the liturgy with him, I asked him if a priest could simply drape himself with electrical wires, rather than vestments with metallic braid, to facilitate the flow of the “psychic currents” described by Leadbeater in the Science of the Sacraments. He assured me that this would be entirely effective, if aesthetically unattractive. He was being serious.

Herbrand Williams

Herbrand Alfred Collman Williams (1896-1945) was one of Leadbeater’s literary assistants, undertaking research for him, and editing and correcting typewritten manuscripts of talks and sermons for publication. Leadbeater particularly acknowledged Williams’ assistance in the preparation of his two works on Freemasonry:

I desire to offer my heartiest thanks to the Rev. Herbrand Williams, M.C., B.A., for his kindness in placing at my disposal his vast stores of Masonic erudition, and for many arduous months of patient and painstaking research.

C.W. Leadbeater The Hidden Life in Freemasonry Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1926:xii. An identical acknowledgement is found in C.W. Leadbeater Glimpses of Masonic History Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1926:vi.

Williams was the son of Colonel William Hugh Williams and Adeline (“Daisy”) Spencer Churchill, daughter of Lord Alfred Spencer Churchill (1842-1893), second son of the 6th Duke of Marlborough (George Spencer-Churchill)(1793-1857).

Hebrand Williams’ brother, Geoffrey Williams, served in the Royal Navy during World War I.

Williams served in the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corp during World War I, attaining the rank of Captain in 1918, and being severely wounded. He was awarded the Military Cross.

In 1927 Williams married Xenia Poushkine, a Russian, the eldest daughter of Senator Poushkine and his wife, Barbara (née Princess Galitzin), a former Russian Grand Duchess. By the early 1930s the couple had begun to live apart and were eventually divorced.

Barbara Poushkine (?-1931) had been a leading member of the Theosophical Society in Russia, having joined the Society in 1908; she became the representative of the Order of the Star in the East in Russia in 1912, and was a devoted follower of Krishnamurti, translating much of his writing into Russian. She had studied at the Smolny Institute and at the Musical Conservatoire of Petrograd. During World War I she worked as a nurse but had to flee Russia after the communist ban on occult activities, including Theosophy. She and her family travelled to England. She and Senator Poushkine had three children, who were educated at the Theosophical St. Christopher’s School, Letchworth during World War I. Following the War she moved to Paris and established a vegetarian restaurant.

On 2 September 1938 Williams changed his name from Herbrand Alfred Collman Williams to Herbrand Alfred Collman Ingourville Williams

In 1934 Williams, as a member of the Egyptian Rite [ER], announced that he had been given instructions about the future of the Esoteric Section [ES] and the ER by the Master The Count. One June 4 he wrote to George Arundale, as Grand Master of the ER, claiming that The Master The Count was concerned about a pledge that had been imposed on pupils in December 1932, and about the then rituals of the ER. The Master (according to Williams) was concerned at the ascetical strictness of the pledge, including the prohibition on alcohol and sex outside marriage. As for the latter, the Master (via Williams) believed that “All healthy young people need sex experience, and they should be free to find it for themselves in their own way.” The Master The Count (according to Williams) was also unhappy at the removal of the Masonic elements of the ER, and did not approve of the revisions to the ritual imposed by Arundale.

Arundale responded promptly and in a letter dated June 29 suspended Williams from membership of the ER, being prepared, however, to reinstate him is he withdrew his previous claims. Williams responded with a further message from the Master to the effect that he (the Master) had been so angered by Arundale’s action that he now had “suspended occultly the Egyptian Rite throughout the world” and withdrawn all the spiritual powers of Arundale as the Grand Master and of all lesser officers. Noting that Jinarajadasa, as Vice Grand Master of the ER and Outer Head of the ES, had supported Arundale’s actions, Williams declared that the Masters Morya and The Count had also “partially suspended the ES in like manner, depriving it of Their Presence and of all occult validity”.

Williams then distributed the copies of the correspondence between him and Arundale to members of the ER and the ES, offering them the choice between him and the Arundale-Jinarajadasa leadership. It would appear that the vast majority of members of the ER chose to reject Williams, and he quietly disappeared from Theosophical history.

Williams was an active member of an art collective called The White Stag group, which he co-founded in 1934 with Kenneth Hall and Basil Rakoczi, who was to remain a close friend until Williams’ death in the 1945. They had met in the early 1930s in the New Britain Group, which met to discuss ideas in psychology and psychotherapy. At the time, Williams was a medical student at Cambridge. Rakoczi had an interest in Gypsy law and the occult.

Williams had also started to study psychology, and he introduced Rakoczi to the subject and this remained a lifelong interest to him. Rakoczi’s subsequent work in psychology, which was extensive, was based on his own experience in the mid 1930’s with analyst Karin Stephen, with whom both he and Williams underwent a “full Freudian analysis”. Stephen was married to Adrian Stephen, also a psychoanalyst, and the younger brother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. On completion of his analysis Williams began to study psychology for himself.

In late 1933, Rakoczi and Williams set up the Society for Creative Psychology at Rakoczi’s studio in London with the aim of developing the techniques of Freudian Psychological analysis. For Basil Ivan Rakoczi see: http://www.rakoczi.org.uk/rakoczi_biography.php

The White Stag group was “a brotherhood for the advancement of subjectivity in psychological analysis and art”. The group took its name from Williams’ family shield. He and other members of his circle moved to Ireland at the outbreak of war in an attempt to avoid conscription.  Williams began to complete his medical studies with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and worked at Grangegorman Mental Hospital. Williams apparently had considerable financial resources from which he supported the group and, notably, Rakoczi.

For the White Stag group, see: http://www.artbiogs.co.uk/2/societies/white-stag-group and S.B. Kennedy “The White Stag Group”, available on-line at www.imma.ie/en/downloads/whitestagbk.doc


In 1945 Williams’ book, Three Painters, which studied the work of Basil Rakoczi, Kenneth Hall and Patrick Scott, was published. It was the definitive statement of the philosophy of Subjective Art as interpreted by the White Stag artists. The group employed “the method of Subjective Art where ‘the theme, instead of being drawn from objects in the external world, is elaborated by the workings of the imagination turned inwards upon the memories, dreams and phantasies of the Unconscious’. To Williams, the unconscious, and in particular the creative power of the numen, ‘the fountain-head of all artistic and cultural achievement’ was the source of such activity by means of which art obtained ‘its elusive, magical quality’. These observations seem to be heavily influenced by his experiences with experimental psychosis.” See: https://bethlemheritage.wordpress.com/tag/herbrand-ignouville-williams/

Artworks, by Williams, Basil Beaumont, Julian Trevelyan and others, were created as part of series of experiments at the Maudsley Hospital by Dr Eric Guttman and Dr Walter Maclay into the hallucinogenic effects of the drug mescaline in the late 1930s. See: https://bethlemheritage.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/


Herbrand Williams Mescaline Painting – Red and Blue Finger-Painting (1936)

Some of the artwork in the exhibition bore striking resemblances to some of Leadbeater’s representations of thought forms.


An interesting account of Williams is to be found in Memoirs of a Public Baby (1958) by Philip O’Connor (1916-1998), English writer and surrealist poet: Williams had a deadly white, plump face, and a small cherry-read mouth, “and lectured like a soft fondant from the depths of a tobacco-coloured chair, the light arranged with artful discretion above his head”.


O’Connor was persuade to live for a time in the “sort of ‘ashram’ of young male misfits in the process of becoming medical students” which Williams maintained at Cambridge. See Andrew Barrow Quentin and Philip: A Double Portrait London, Pan, 2004. This is something of a comparative biographical study of Philip O’Connor and Quentin Crisp [Denis Charles Pratt] (1908-1999), two characters whom Philip Hoare in his review of the book for The Guardian described as, “in Crisp’s case, an overtly gay figure devoted to Garbo and Dietrich, dressed in waisted jackets, his hair teased into a flaming henna bush; in O’Connor’s, a vaguely bisexual surrealist poet of early promise and long overcoats, intermittently mad and perennially alcoholic, given to a life of tramping and scrounging.” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/dec/21/featuresreviews.guardianreview9

Williams died in Dublin in 1945, leaving his estate to Basil Rakoczi. He was buried in the Glasnevin Cemetery.

Williams contributed articles to The Liberal Catholic, The Blazing Star (Leadbeater’s short-lived Masonic journal), The Herald of the Star, The Star Bulletin (of which he was the Editor), and other Theosophical journals.

Williams’ writings included:

The Symbolic Relation between the Craft and the High Grades London: Universal Co-Masonry, 1934

Three Painters: Basil Rakoczi, Kenneth Hall, Patrick Scott Dublin: At the Sign of the Three Candles, 1944

Thomas Hammond Martyn

Thomas Hammond Martyn (1859-1924), was an eminent and powerful member of the Theosophical Society in Sydney, a leading and very wealthy stockbroker, and, initially, an enthusiastic disciple, generous host and financial supporter of Leadbeater. He subsequently became a bitter enemy of James Wedgwood, of whose sexual misconduct he claimed to have irrefutable proof, and the Liberal Catholic Church, and then of Leadbeater himself. He led a large number of members of the Theosophical Society in Sydney to break from Adyar, and establish a relatively short-lived Independent Theosophical Society.


Martyn had come into contact with Theosophy around 1890 and met Olcott when he visited Sydney in 1891. In that year he joined the Esoteric Section [ES] and became Corresponding Secretary for Australasia (i.e. Australia and New Zealand).

Martyn became General Secretary of the Australian Theosophical Society in 1917, and raised substantial funds (including large contributions of his own) for the building of an impressive eight-storey headquarters for the Society at 69 Hunter Street, Sydney. It was named “King’s Hall” in honour of the “Inner King of The World”, although local people generally assumed it was in hour of King George V, King of Great Britain and Australia. The spacious lecture hall was the location of numerous and frequent lectures by Leadbeater which attracted large crowds.

Besant subsequently removed him as Corresponding Secretary, replacing him with Leadbeater, and eventually suspended and expelled from and a number of his colleagues from the ES for disloyalty in their criticism of Leadbeater and her.

The Independent Theosophical Society was formally established on October 29, 1923. Plans had already been made to set up an independent ES in the Blavatsky tradition, with “the old papers in their original form which H.P.B. issued to her pupils” being obtained from Mrs Alice Cleather who had visited Sydney in February 1923. For Alice Cleather, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/alice-leighton-cleather/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/alice-leighton-cleather-2/

What was known as “The H.P.B. Esoteric School” [HPBES] was one of the secrets of the Independent Theosophical Society. It issued its own papers, mainly copies of those put out by Blavatsky. One new paper gave a history of the HPBES, and put forward its claim to a succession from Blavatsky via Cleather. New members of the HPBES at first received Blavatsky’s Preliminary Memorandum and a paper on meditation by W.Q. Judge which they were to study for six months. And older member of the HPBES was assigned to each member as a mentor, and a report was required after six months. Thereafter, further papers would be sent to the member.

The HPBES appears to have faded out after the unexpected death of Martyn in 1924.

The Independent Theosophical Society began to decline after Martyn’s death but managed to survive until 1959 when its few remaining members joined the Adyar Theosophical Society as a separate lodge which continued until the 1970s.


The Independent Theosophical Society published Dawn. Official Organ of the T.S. Loyalty League, which was produced from Volume 1, issue 1 1921 to Volume 4, issue 19 1924. Dawn provided particularly interesting material on the history of the Theosophical Society in that period, its editor obviously having had access to internal and “secret” material, including ES material, from within the Adyar Society. Dawn is available in digital form on-line at: http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/dawn/ An index to Dawn can be found on-line at: http://www.austheos.org.au/indices/DAWN__.HTM


The Independent Theosophical Society also published The Path. The International Official organ of the Independent Theosophical Society, 1925-1946. An index to The Path can be found on-line at: http://www.austheos.org.au/indices/PATHAU.HTM

Amongst the many documents which came to acquire names of their own during the sexual scandals involving Leadbeater and (later) Wedgwood was “The Martyn Letter”, a private letter addressed to Mrs Besant by Hammond Martyn on May 21, 1920. The letter was (inevitably) published (although not by Martyn and against his protests) soon after it was written, and widely circulated. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/martyn-responds-to-besant/

A detailed account of the origins and history of the Independent Theosophical Society is found in Alfred John Cooper The Theosophical Crisis in Australia: the story of the breakup of the Theosophical Society in Sydney from 1913 until 1923 A thesis for the degree of Master of Arts in the School of Religious Studies at the University of Sydney, 1986. See: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/leadbeater-theses-john-cooper/


Sydney Morning Herald 13 October 1924

For obituaries and a biography of Thomas Hammond Martyn, see: http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/dawn/Vol-4-19-DAWN.htm

Martyn published a number of pamphlets, including:

Tsarism or Reconstruction in the Church? An Open Letter Explaining the Writer’s Views on the Constitution of the Old Catholic Church (now Liberal Catholic) Theosophical Publishing House, American Branch, Krotona, 1919 Full text available on-line at: http://www.theosophycanada.com/files/lcc-tsarism.pdf

Should we reconstruct? Published in order that the members of the American Section of the T. S. can become acquainted with Martyn’s advice on the reform of the Liberal Catholic Church. No place [but USA], no date

“A Member of the Theosophical Society” [i.e. T.H. Martyn] The Validity of Orders in the Liberal Catholic Church Examined by a Member of the Theosophical Society author, Sydney, 1921 Full text available on-line at: http://www.theosophycanada.com/files/lcc-validity-of-orders.pdf

The Secret of Death: In the light of the ancient wisdom Sydney, n.d.