Theosophists: Reunite!
By F. Pierce Spinks


“Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate,
and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
- Matthew, 12,5

SEVEN hundred years ago Saint Francis of Assisi, patron Saint of San Francisco, where this work has been written, uttered this simple prayer:

“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.
“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.”

This prayer beautifully expresses the feelings of the sponsors of reunification of the Theosophical Movement, for they want strongly to be like Apostles of Peace, Brotherhood and Goodwill among the Theosophists of all affiliations. If our words are forceful, if at times we seem too strong in our condemnation of what are considered fantasies, delusions, and dogmas, pray forgive us, for the strength of our words arises from the strength of our convictions that every dogma which has arisen in any Theosophical Society leads away from [327] Brotherhood, hence is destructive of the ideals which the Founders wished to establish. The Society, as such, has no dicta or enforced teachings. It has only one dogma: UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. Its literature is offered for acceptance or rejection, but it is obvious that all Theosophical literature worthy the name gives support and structure to the concept of the Brotherhood of Man.

It should be obvious to all that the Movement has been the playground of the destructive powers of obscurantism, alluded to by H.P. Blavatsky as “the enemy.” These would have us hide our heads in the sand - a technique which has been perfected by human beings - and ignore the existing unsatisfactory situation which is painful to observe. Past reluctance to examine our animosities has taken on the aspect of a superstition - that to look the problems in the face might add to the weight of evil. But this is not the way of courage. Nor is it the way of progress. This taboo is probably due to the fact that we have not cared to admit that things with such ugly characteristics could exist side by side with the things of beauty in our philosophy. But what “gracious heart is not cut asunder with grief for those evils which come from our divisions,” as Richard Baxter said three centuries ago when beginning his discourse on “The Cure of Church Divisions”? While it is true that we are united at the core of our convictions, we need to enlarge this center until it is a full circle which leaves no part of the Movement out.

All of us have some delusions, simply because it is not possible for a human being to deal with every situation omni-laterally. We must therefore listen [328] carefully and learn from each other, knowing that neither we nor our neighbor can possibly be in possession of all the truth. Human understanding cannot reach it.

It is firmly believed that most if not everyone of those who attack other Theosophical groups on the level of teachings, do so in the sincere conviction that they are rendering a service to the Cause of Theosophy in so doing. We strongly emphasize this thought, but we as strongly present our own belief that these convictions of our brothers are inconsistent with the Original Program, the breadth of the Theosophical platform and the wishes of the sponsors, the Masters themselves.

It is also a certainty that if any of those who might now oppose the reunification of all Theosophical groups were to become convinced that the White Lodge, the spiritual powers behind the Movement, really wanted it to take place, they would do everything possible to aid it. This proves that in their hearts all Theosophists really want to promote the best interests of the Movement and that our problems are due to honest, if unwarranted, differences of opinion as to what is best for the Movement. Of course, people have the right to differ, but this right imposes on them the obligation to do so in a manner which is constructive. Likewise we must learn to listen sympathetically to those with whom we disagree. According to Professor Hayakawa, well known authority on General Semantics, if we do this, the other person no longer has the need of defending himself, and his rigid boundaries begin to relax. Listening is a show of strength; it is the more energetic and active part of the communicative process. [329]


The members of the Theosophical Society are free, said H.P. Blavatsky, “to profess whatever religion or philosophy they like, or none if they so prefer,” provided they are in sympathy with the Objects. [1] And in the Convention of the American Section of the Theosophical Society in 1892, W.Q. Judge sponsored a Resolution which states that the Theosophical Society, as such, has no creed, no formulated beliefs that could or should be forced on anyone, and that “no doctrine can be declared as orthodox.” The advocates of “pure-Theosophy” as opposed to “not-pure-Theosophy” thus find themselves in uncomfortable disagreement with two eminent Theosophical authorities. We repeat that it is legitimate for them to point out where later formulations of Theosophy disagree with the original statements; this is part of a scholar’s work. But it is not legitimate to denounce those with whom they disagree, thus violating the Original Program. Nor is it legitimate to denounce the proponents of the later formulations and refuse to cooperate with them merely because a portion of the teachings embraced by them are not in agreement with H.P.B.’s writings. This would be a case of distorted thinking; of accepting a set of prejudices and beliefs which have little substance to them when examined unemotionally. Persistence in these prejudgments after due examination would be a case of giving loyalty to an unworthy objective merely because it is traditional.

In the past sixty years we have failed to include certain Basic Assumptions as premises to guide our actions. The assumption that we can all work together as one group, for a common cause, on one broad platform, [330] is a valid assumption, and one which was in daily use by the Theosophists during H.P.B.’s time. From this assumption it is easy to see how people holding such widely differing religious views as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, could belong to the same Theosophical Society and work harmoniously together. This assumption will permit the A-Theosophists, the B-Theosophists, and the C-to-Z-Theosophists to do likewise. With the example of H.P.B.’ s days to draw from, it is doubtful if any Theosophist today would care to set up an opposing assumption, for he would then surely not be in the Theosophical camp. His knowledge of Theosophy would not be complete.


Obviously the Theosophical Movement should attract much wider attention than it does today. Its original broad platform should bring together five hundred thousand members with ease. There is no organization in the field with such worthy goals, and in all probability with such esteemed sponsorship. Why, then, does the total membership remain static? Are the internal stresses and strains responsible?

Could the Theosophists possibly believe that the White Lodge, their spiritual parent, has schisms, is disunited? A study of the times we are living in is enough to assert with conviction that the present Theosophical pattern of non-cooperation is unwanted. It is dead. Its seeming aliveness is only the automatic reflexes of a dead carcass shortly after death, paying respect for a brief period only to the movements with which its departed spirit animated it.

Every truth, as Schopenhauer said, passes through three stages before it is recognized: First it is ridiculed; [331] later it is opposed; while finally it is regarded as self-evident. While the friends of reunification throughout the world would like to feel that the members will soon put the movement for reunification in the self-evident stage, still a sense of realism convinces us that it takes time for ethical values to bite into the collective will and force the evil to relax its hold. Immediate attainment of the goal, while possible, and desirable, is not probable. Patience will therefore be necessary with those slow to release their embrace of the fantasies and inconsistencies which make up the present situation. Every organization has its trouble makers; but as would-be occultists it is our job to learn to cope with them and the difficulties they interpose. High on the list of antidotes to their perversity is a knowledge that “love is the cement of the universe,” for eventually, if wisely used, this love will surmount the most troublesome of difficulties. Painted on one of the stained glass windows of the Stanford University Chapel at Palo Alto, California, are the words: “There is something in all hearts that can be reached - some chord that will give forth sweet music, if only we have the skill to touch it.” Colonel Olcott once complained about a trouble maker to the Master K.H. In reply the latter laid his hand gently on his shoulder and said:

“Then he has all the more need of your love and compassion.” It is necessary as we move forward to match our progress with even greater love and understanding for the errors of our fellowmen, for the world is infected with delusions and error, and all of us partake of them in degree. But certain it is that we cannot expect any great advancement in the Movement unless we begin from the very foundations and return it to the Original Program. If we refuse to do this we shall “revolve [332] forever in a circle with mean and contemptible progress,” as Francis Bacon said.

Ours is a high calling, and in its performance we are called upon to display something more than mediocrity. It is as though a crown has been placed high over our head, but we have not yet grown tall enough to wear it. Nor have we yet tapped the resources of our membership because we have been too busy with our problems. But “time makes ancient good uncouth,” said James Russell Lowell. He means that it is not necessarily beneficial to cling to the traditional, something old, particularly if like some fruit of seeming outer beauty, it encases an inner worm of decay.

There was once a Chinese Emperor who commanded a wise philosopher to write a few words which could be aptly used on any and all occasions. This he did, saying: “This too shall pass away.” The unhappy divisions in the Theosophical Movement will also pass away, for a Movement attached to such worthful ideals and having such noble sponsors will not in perpetuity be sacrificed to impediments which are not native to it.


The Theosophical Society is a philosophical enterprise of such vast importance that we cannot afford to dilute its energies by internal weaknesses. While partaking in some respects of the nature of religion, Theosophy is in other respects akin to philosophy. And like that noble branch of knowledge its members have all the freedom and even obligation to explore and question all branches of religion, science and knowledge. This is true even though the revelation so far given carries with it certain statements which Theosophists hold to be true, and because of its source likewise [333] carries far greater weight of authority than do the researches of the members.

It follows from the above that members have a right - indeed it is their duty - to make researches and investigations into all fields of knowledge. Their resulting books or theses should command only the authority of the truth they contain. They may be full of error but they should be respected as efforts made within the scope of the Society’s Objects. They are not binding on the Society, and to the extent that they may clash with the original revelation they should be approached with a more reserved and critical attitude.


In pondering over some of the errors we have made there comes to mind Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave. Herein the world of appearances is compared to an underground Cave with a long passageway which excludes all light and leads down to a central chamber where prisoners are chained by their necks and legs. They cannot move and can only see what is in front of them. At some distance, and above and behind them, burns a fire. Between the prisoners and the fire, on an elevated platform with a protective wall, are persons carrying figures of animals and men as in a puppet show, their shadows cast onto the wall of the Cave in front of the prisoners. When these persons speak, the prisoners think the sound emanates from the shadows passing before their eyes. These shadows are to them the only realities, for, being chained, they see nothing of each other.

Plato now considers what would happen if the prisoners were released from their bonds and were led up the passageway towards the entrance and light. Their [334] movements would be slow and painful, their aching eyes too overpowered to recognize the actual objects whose shadows they had been viewing. They would not believe the objects as real as the shadows they were accustomed to, and in all likelihood they would want to return to their old position in the Cave and the shadows which to them were realities. Before they could see things in the upper world they would need, Plato explains, time to accustom them to the realities. But once released and habituated to sunlight they would be happy in the change and would be sorry for their fellow prisoners. They would rather endure anything than return to their manacled state. But those who were still prisoners and heard the free men speak of what they had seen in the light would not believe. They would laugh; if they could, they would even kill those who were trying to set them free from the darkness of the Cave.


It is high time that we Theosophists, who for several generations have taken the disunities in our midst so lightly, should seriously ponder the words of H.P.B. regarding unity and let them burn into our consciousness as the chief goal of our hearts. The seriousness of the times demands greatness of all of us, true greatness of spirit, forgiveness, humility, vision, and love. Let us see ourselves stripped to the little substance of ourselves, without the pretences of any superiority over any other units in the Movement. If this requires the giving up of some cherished position of prominence in one’s own Society or Group, there is the satisfaction of making a temporary sacrifice which is noble; there is the reward of nobility. Self-sacrifice is of the essence [335] of occultism. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain. The doctor must go to the sick.

We have seen the great growth of the T.S. under H.P.B. and Olcott when all were united. We have seen also the decomposition which followed upon the first schism. This process of decay must be stopped, and this can come about through the nobility of character of the Theosophists themselves, particularly their leaders. We must recognize that all groups have rendered valuable service and are important and precious. They are not to be scratched off our list because bearing a different label. If some of them are growing weaker and disappearing because of errors committed, it is all the more reason to give them our compassion.

There is work to be done to bring back dignity to the noblest of Movements and to see that its direction will never again deviate from the course set by the White Lodge through the Founders. It is their Movement. Without them it is nothing. It is they who give it strength and meaning and power.

The Theosophical edifice must be soundly structured, with all its parts in harmonious relationship. It is not up to the Masters to restore our integrity. We must advance towards Them, towards the position of strength and wisdom from which we retreated.

To the leaders of all the groups we say: It is not fair to the innocent lay members, whose devotion and self-sacrifice are ceaseless, to lead them in any direction that could not have the approval of the White Lodge. For truly the nobility of their aspirations and sacrificial [336] endeavors are like incense which ascends to grace the efforts of the White Lodge. “And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.” [2] For the labors of men in spiritual endeavor are not in vain, for they make each contributor a partner in the Divine Scheme of love and harmony. They add to the incense which ascends before God and must assuredly spread their benign influence through time itself. But what harm results when this incense is polluted with an admixture of unwholesome chemicals! It is the ceaseless devotions of generations of saintly members affiliated with all the Theosophical Societies - of Adyar, of Point Loma, and of the United Lodge of Theosophists - which have brought the Movement to its present position of eminence. We can no longer permit the pollution of their sacrifices. It is unfair to them and unhealthy for the Movement.

We must ask ourselves: Have we Theosophists not lent much of our energy to become servants to a pattern which is pleasing only to the Black Lodge - that of disharmony, uncommunicativeness, fear and suspicion of each other? Does our calling not DEMAND of us that we serve only the pattern set by H.P.B. and the Real Founders of the Movement in the Original Program? Whose ends do we seek to serve?

The answer can be heard clearly. It comes from thousands of Theosophical hearts, and it says: Despite seeming difficulties we call for an immediate return to the integrity, dignity and strength of a reunited Movement, a Movement which will truly and effectively serve those Great Men who gave it birth and who are even now watching and hoping to see it cleansed of [337] its unsatisfactory features so that it may worthily represent them as their organ on this earth for useful and practical work among men. The answer is inherent in the Declaration of the Brotherhood of Man and in our calling as seekers of Truth, students of Divine Wisdom. We can no longer pay fealty to an overriding pattern which contradicts our profession, which imposes on us a blanket of disharmony. The souls of each of us are now in revolt against what we find is in defiance of the Masters whom we want sorely to serve. We call upon all of you who are responsible for the perpetuation of this ignoble pattern to answer this revolution of our spirits in a manner which will be pleasing to those noble men who need us as instruments for their use, but who cannot use us now when we violate the very fabric which makes us serviceable to them. The seriousness of the times and the pitiful sufferings of our fellowmen demand, as said, nobility of spirit from all of us. We must not wait until it is too late. The stirrings of the new day are with us, and we demand that the Movement be made ready and deserving of it. How can we fail such a call? How can we belittle our potential by staying in the Cave, chained to our delusions?

The principle of the sanctity of our Covenant with the White Lodge, as represented in the Three Objects of the Society and the Original Program, must be respected and is fundamental to our achieving the goals that have been set for us. It is our responsibility not to condone any deviation from the principles of Theosophical integrity which were established by the Founders and which are inherent in these Objects and Program. [338]


If a Master were to address all groups of Theosophists would he not speak to us somewhat in this vein:

Only a truly united Theosophical Movement can hope to take its place in a world challenged as never before by dynamic forces. Love is the missing link in inter-Theosophical relations. Constantly test every aspect of your Theosophical relations by the spirit of your central undertaking - Brotherhood. There is no division so great but what it cannot be transcended if the will to do so is strong enough. Grasp this opportunity for reuniting in harmony. Man needs nothing today so much as unity. The present disastrous possibilities derive from disunities. The latter spawn unbrotherliness. Embrace, all of you, everything which contributes to unity, for the present divisions in the Movement have weakened the base of your brotherhood, have seriously impaired the convincing power of its teachings. Everything which contributes to unity and brotherhood is wholesome, while all things which lead in the opposite direction are to be avoided. Hence the first schism was an error of the first magnitude and should have been avoided by all possible means.

Universal Brotherhood cannot be preached effectively by people who are disunited. If you despise a brother, the good works you do are cancelled by the downpull of an unworthy emotion. All religions say: Love your fellowmen, even those who despise you. Welcome the Prodigal Sons at the banquet table once more and let them feel the warmth of forgiveness which the parents have towards all members of the family.

Remember who you are: Divine beings, temporarily displaced from a home to which you long to return. [339] Bitterness, quarrels, lack of Brotherhood only prolong unhappiness and postpone the day of return. They make it less possible to receive help from Those who would help you.

We would now have you strike the spark of rededication to H.P.B.’s Original Program. Recapture its spirit as well as being faithful to its letter. Nothing less is worthy of you. Nothing else will finally prevail. Your goal should be an aggressive return to the original platform of the Society. This entails ceasing in denunciation of each other, a recognition of the good that each has done, and a forgiveness for errors which each has made. When you are faithful to Brotherhood, extending this to all Theosophists, tolerant of their beliefs, even though these may be dissimilar in many respects to the beliefs propounded by H.P.B., you cannot be against the ideals inculcated by us as the basis or platform on which the Theosophical Society should rest.

You have the responsibility to see that the future of the Movement shall be a blessing and not a bane. You have the responsibility to see that all who touch it shall find in it a benediction. You have the responsibility to provide a harmonious climate in which can flower spiritual treasures of lasting value. Ask yourselves if you deserve the flower of Theosophy if you cultivate the weed of division which acts destructively in the garden of the Movement.

The Theosophical Movement, as is the case with other movements, cannot survive materially unless it is redeemed spiritually. By reuniting you will become conscious of enrichment amounting to spiritual gain. Union will provide an increment of resources. It is like the joining of several streams. Together they have [340] power. Every time you surrender to your noble emotions by promoting friendship and kindliness between Theosophists of all affiliations, you advance the day when the evil of unworthy divisive inter-relations will relax its hold.

In the past your points of view have been sectional, but the world is no longer that kind of place. The institutions your ancestors fostered were appropriate to the horse-and-buggy era; they are unfit for the cooperative era of the modern twentieth century. Free yourselves from premises that do not belong to the pattern of today. The alternative to forgiving errors made, wrongs done, is a ruinous vindictiveness, a revengeful harboring of old grudges. These attitudes are more hurtful to the bearer than to those against whom they are directed. So for the Movement’s sake and for the sake of your own well being, work ceaselessly towards a magnanimous reconciliation of every part of the Movement.

It could perhaps be said more truly of the Theosophists than of any other group that they have a rendezvous with high destiny. The source-springs of their inspiration is what guarantees this high hope. Will they keep this rendezvous, thus helping to gather the harvest where the laborers are too few - or will they lose the opportunity and fail, as so many other similar efforts in the past have failed, thus adding to the already mountainous and unbearable human misery due to ignorance?

You must take the initiative in seeking out and finding ways of learning and sharing what you hold in mutual high esteem. New experiments are needed in an effort to reconcile past differences. No doors must be shut because of a belief background. Saturate [341] everything you do with the spirit of love and brotherhood. You, the members of the Theosophical Society, will then speak with power and authority because you will be daily demonstrating that which you profess.

All of you have a need of being a part of the unified Theosophical family. At present there is unhappiness among you because you spend part of your time cutting yourselves off from that to which you belong, whereas it is native to the human spirit that lines of communication should ever remain open through the abiding sense of fellowship with other Theosophists. The separateness in which the Movement finds itself is not sanctioned by the above need, nor is it sanctioned by the rationale of the Movement itself. Everything which opposes communication in the Movement is subversive of its purposes. A new attack is to be made on ignorance and it will need all members of the Theosophical family in ranks that are closed against suspicions, doubts, yes, even hatreds of one another. The task ahead demands the combined efforts of all of you pulling in one direction under a unified command.

You have an obligation to the coming generation of Theosophists and to those now unborn to bequeath to them a Movement soundly structured in accord with the vision of the Founders, one free of resentments, party lines, or any form of bitterness. It must be a Movement wholly fit for use by us. The program that lies ahead is too important and grand in scope to be circumscribed with limitations imposed by human weaknesses and local loyalties.

If you embrace this program then the Theosophical Society will be emblazoned on the pages of religious history as a tool of vast importance in solving the troubled affairs of men; for it will then be worthy of [342] use by Messengers who will use its platform for dispelling ignorance - Messengers who will be recognized because all their works will breathe beneficence and peace.

We now await the day when you shall have accomplished the plan we have just laid before you. We are eager to see it done so that we can again come among you and help you. Then and only then can Isis be further unveiled. Non-cooperation and disunity mean disintegration and death. Unification and harmony mean growth and vital expansion beyond your fondest dreams. Lift your hearts to the Light and seize with strength and with joy this golden opportunity.

So, we think, a Master might speak to us. And so likewise, realistically, we recognize the issues. The day has come when Theosophists must stand up and be counted. Disintegration - or Unity? Whose ends will you serve?


[1] Key to Theosophy by H.P. Blavatsky, p.19
[2] Revelations, Ch.8, V-4


The letters which follow represent the author’s previous attempts to interest the officials of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma) in the reunification program.

LETTER NO.1, addressed to Brother M --- of the headquarters staff of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma), dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, December 9, 1948:
“I was very glad to receive your letter of November 26, and just that very day, I began thinking strongly about the subject of my later remarks, which tie in with some ideas expressed in your letter. I might very properly head the following paragraphs


“We have meetings in which our audiences are a mere corporal’s guard. Others, however, like the young man you mention, have meetings of from 2100 to 2500 people, thus proving that the people want these truths; so there must be something wrong with us or our methods.
“We must find the cause of our trouble, as the churches did a generation ago. They put their best minds to work studying the problem and came up with remedies that have decidedly checked the downward course of membership. Were I to be asked the question, I would say that the most·POTENT cause of our lack of success is THE SCHISM IN THE T.S. which occurred some 50-odd years ago.
“We all know there is nothing wrong with our philosophy, but we preach brotherhood without practicing it in our inter-society relations. It is now up to us to put it into practice. We must cast aside false pride AND MERGE OUR SOCIETY WITH THE PARENT SOCIETY OF ADYAR. It will be an expression of Theosophical brotherhood and unity before the world which will give a tremendous impetus to Theosophical activity everywhere. It could create more interest in Theosophy than any single thing that has happened in the last fifty years. I am personally convinced that it is the direction which the Movement will take in the next few years. It represents an outline of a wider plan which can be developed later.” [344]

LETTER NO.2, addressed to Brother M --- of the headquarters staff, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, January 9, 1949:
“I am convinced that the T.S. can be organized to reach hundreds of thousands instead of a paltry few as now. If I am right then it is folly not to so organize it. It is disorganization which the devil wants and the twenty-odd little Theosophical societies, all begging for public support, is just to his liking. I believe the public will be more inclined to listen to us if we do not remain divided, each little division yelling for recognition with its own pipsqueak voice.
“If the Masters are with and behind our T.S. now, do you believe that they would desert us if Point Loma merged with Adyar? Would it not be more reasonable to suppose that they would rejoice that two brothers had composed their personal differences and submerged their personalities in favor of union?”

LETTER NO.3, addressed to Colonel A.L. Conger, leader of the T.S. (Point Loma), dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, January 9, 1949:
“For several years past I have been travelling through and living in various countries of Europe and the Orient. These include all European countries not under the ‘Iron Curtain,’ and also China, Singapore, Siam, Malay, Java and the Philippines.
“Since my prime interest in life is the furtherance of the Theosophical Movement, I have made it a point to visit Theosophical groups everywhere. I have been agreeably surprised to find that all lodges visited are doing a splendid job of bringing the principles of Theosophy to the public. This includes the U.L.T. and Adyar. I have failed to find anywhere a disposition to ‘knock’ the other groups; but there appears to be a disposition on the part of all groups to regret the schism of the past and to hope for united efforts along Theosophical lines in the future.
“I am quite aware of the excellent efforts made along lines of fraternization, but even these have subsided, and at any rate were never very widespread. It is evident that something more dynamic must be done if we are to achieve Theosophical unity. I am convinced that there is no sound reason for our different societies to be working separately for the same purposes.
“I appeal to you, my dear Colonel. Your predecessor in office made sincere efforts to unite all Theosophists into one Society. In you lies the power and wisdom to take the first step: A request to our Theosophical brothers of Adyar to arrange for merging our Society with theirs. What does it matter to a soul seeking wisdom, or to a Master at the top of the hierarchy, where the headquarters is? The advantages to be gained from unity are so preponderant that all must surely sacrifice personal differences for the common good.” [345]

LETTER NO.4, addressed to me by Brother M -- dated January 20, 1949:
“I have now had a chance to read your letter to the Leader and he has asked me to write you. I will try to give you what I got from him as well as I understood it.
“It is certainly a good thing to try to bring the various Theosophical societies together yet it cannot be done without considering more than the mere surface appearance of unity, though that is all that the average man in the world sees. The Leader allows me to repeat what I said before, that the Masters are behind us here though of course they are not responsible for our shortcomings.
“If you really think that Adyar would amalgamate with us, what is there to prevent their approaching us and not vice versa? Do you think they would expect to do more than absorb us into their way of thinking?
“Our own spiritual solidarity, even if only on the part of a few, would seem to be of more importance to the world than a show of numbers on the part of many people, however well meaning, if they have not that spirituality. If we have it in a high degree then those who need it will undoubtedly feel it and be willing to work for the progress of Theosophy regardless of personalities. Numbers are not everything.”

LETTER NO.5, addressed to Colonel Conger, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, January 30, 1949:
“I gather from your reply that you concede that we need unity. I also take it that you are in accord with the thought that we should show to the world and to the Masters that we are united, not divided. At present an inquirer, in attending different Theosophical lodges, gains the impression, however, that though we all claim to stem from the same origin, yet we are all separate groups, each claiming to be the society which the Masters continue to sponsor - even to the exclusion of others.
“There can be no question about the desirability of one Theosophical Society. But the difficulty comes only when we try to make one out of twenty or even out of two societies. I think it is reasonable to expect in all such cases that the Big will absorb the Small. It simply is not reasonable to expect 35,000 members to join about 1000. Is it not nobler for us who claim to have the real light, to go to them, rather than vice versa?
“In paragraph number three you ask: Is it certain that other societies want to work with us along spiritual lines? I am tempted to put the question the other way and ask: I wonder if we want to work with other societies along spiritual lines.
“Is it not a short-coming to have pride and to think we are [346] better than others, and thus create causes for further disunity? Should we not go to our brothers and request a real brotherhood of Theosophists? We find in the Bible, Matthew 18, v-21-22 the following: ‘Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me and I shall forgive him? Till seven times?’ Jesus’ reply: ‘I say not to thee, till seven times, but till seventy times seven times’.”
“... Your paragraph number five is really the core of the trouble. You state: ‘If you really think that Adyar would amalgamate with us, what is there to prevent their approaching us and not vice versa? ...’ We who claim to be superior, want them to approach us and amalgamate with us; whereas real superiority on our part would only be shown if we did the approaching and offered to fuse with them.
“I again appeal to you with all the force at my command, to espouse strongly this work of unifying, first our two Societies, Adyar and Point Loma. Once we are united, it will have an electrical effect on the entire Theosophical Movement.”

In his reply dated February 7, 1949, Colonel Conger conceded that there were spiritually-minded people in the other societies but he thought that there were degrees of spirituality and that if this were cultivated, numerical strength would not be so important.

LETTER NO.6, to A.L. Conger, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, February 21, 1949:
“Since writing you on January 30 on the subject of a Merger, I have attended two more meetings held by the local Theosophical groups (Adyar). I enclose a program of one of them. I have received real inspiration from attending these programs and say in all sincerity that I cannot see any real difference between the Theosophy which they teach and the Theosophy which we of Point Loma teach.
“I have had several inquiries on Theosophy during my year’s stay here. At first I thought of forming a local lodge and writing for a charter. But when I saw the splendid Theosophical work being done by the large Adyar group here I felt it would be distinctly Un-Theosophical and Unbrotherly to start a little competing group, with resulting disunity. I look forward to visiting these lodges whenever I can leave my office, as I have received a lot of inspiration from the excellent Filipinos who conduct them. I am proud to be among them, because of their skill in presenting Theosophy and because I recognize real inspiration pouring forth from their hearts.
“Again I appeal to you to support the principle of Point Loma [347] merging with Adyar as soon as possible. Surely present and future generations of Theosophists will bless you for having the far-sightedness to initiate this merger. Is not this one of the greatest opportunities ever held by a Theosophist? It does seem so to me.”

LETTER NO.7, to A.L. Conger, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, April 10, 1949:
“It is now several weeks since we have had any correspondence regarding the reunification of all Theosophical groups. All my travels in Europe and Asia wherein I contacted Adyar and other Theosophical groups and members, have convinced me that we of Point Loma have no monopoly on spirituality, and that the efforts of both of us are directed, substantially, to the same goal.
“I will always refuse to admit that numbers are not important. Our society is surely not a Club operating for the benefit of just a few who are more spiritual than others.
“I would appreciate it very much if you will answer the following questions for me:
1. Are you now agreeable to sponsoring a merger of the Point Loma T.S. with the Adyar T.S.?
2. If the answer to the above is Yes, WHEN will the first steps be taken?
3. If the answer to the above is No, please be kind enough to give me in detail your reasons why you can not sponsor such a project.”

A reply to this dated April 18, 1949, and supposedly written by Colonel A.L. Conger, claims that the proposal for merging the Point Loma T.S. with the Adyar T.S. was not one which could elicit his sympathy in any way. My reply follows:

LETTER NO.8, to A.L. Conger, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, May 17, 1949:
“Thank you for yours of April 18, 1949 which replied to mine of April 10 regarding a merger of the Point Loma T.S. with the Adyar T.S.
“Up to now I have kept this matter private, as I have been seeking your approval of the idea, as Leader of the Point Loma Theosophical Society. I now wish to ascertain the views of some of my Theosophical friends on the matter and ask your approval to discuss the matter with them. I also ask your permission to publish parts or all of the correspondence which has passed between us.” [348]

No reply was received.

LETTER NO.9, to Kirby Van Mater, Secretary-General of the T.S. (Point Loma), dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, September 23, 1949:
“I have attended a number of interesting Theosophical meetings in Manila recently and I have found no differences between their discussions on Theosophy and our own viewpoints on the same subjects. Will you kindly advise me what points of disagreement there are, between the Theosophical Society of Point Loma and the Theosophical Society of Adyar.
“If these disagreements are included in book or pamphlet form please send me the material in question; if not, what printed references can you give me on the issues.”

A reply to this, dated October 5, 1949, was received from a member of the staff, recommending that I consult with a member of the T.S. (Adyar) regarding differences in teaching. This led me to write again to the Secretary-General.

LETTER NO. 10, to Kirby Van Mater, Secretary-General of the T.S. (Point Loma), dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, November 7, 1949:
“To my letter dated September 23rd, I have had no reply except a letter sent by ordinary mail and signed by Mrs. Hazel S. Minot informing me that you had left for San Diego on a lecture engagement and that you asked her to send me a few lines of acknowledgment.
“Now that you are back, I will appreciate having from you, in your capacity as Secretary General of our Society, a detailed reply to my letter. An inquirer into Theosophy is entitled to obtain full information from the Theosophical Society, but a member of long standing has more rights than a few lines of acknowledgment.”

The reply stated merely that the previous letter was considered an adequate answer. In an effort to join the issue I wrote again, as below.

LETTER NO. 11, to Kirby Van Mater, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, December 16, 1949:
“In mine of September 23rd, I asked you, as Secretary-General of the T.S. to give me the differences in teaching between the T.S. (Point Loma) and the T.S. (Adyar). The answer I received from H.S. Minot did not meet the issue to my satisfaction and she referred [349] me instead to Mr. Coats of the Adyar T.S. I preferred to write to one of the officials of my own Society, rather than have an Adyar official tell me what these differences are. So I wrote to you again on November 7th, requesting such a reply from you.
“I now have your reply of December 1st, which bears a tone of finality, but which does not discuss the issue in any way, merely referring to a previous letter which did not answer my question.
“H.P.B. pleaded with us in her dying breath for unity among Theosophists; and our good friend G.deP. characterized our dissensions as ‘a Theosophical disgrace.’ No doubt you too are in agreement with these eminent Theosophists.
“In view of this there must be some compelling reasons why we do not now unite as brothers again. It is these differences which I seek to bring out, so I again ask you what are these differences between the teachings of the T.S. (Point Loma) and the T.S. (Adyar ), upon which the policy of continuous disunity apparently rests. Will you please answer me fully this time?”

LETTER NO. 12, to Colonel A.L. Conger, dated Pagsanjan, Philippines, December 17, 1949:
“It is difficult for me to reconcile the fact that the platforms of the various Theosophical societies are broad enough to admit Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others, all with widely different religious views, and the additional fact that we have allowed dissensions to break us up into various small groups, ostensibly because of differences in teaching.
“Is it really logical for us to say that our only prerequisite for membership is acceptance of the principle of Universal Brotherhood, and then go on to enumerate a set of teachings propounded by other Theosophical groups, to justify our continued separate existences? I would be proud of my own society if it took the lead in a reconciliation, by making an offer in all Christian humility, to accept again the hand of Fellowship which I know would be welcomed by our Adyar brothers, and offer to merge our T.S. with theirs.
“As you see from the foregoing I am seeking the answer to questions which are puzzling me and I seek your advice and counsel in answering them. I urge you to give this matter serious thought.”

LETTER NO. 13, to Col. Marion O. French, Dean of the Theosophical University, dated Manila, Philippines, February 12, 1950:
“I address myself to you as Dean of the Theosophical University in order to ascertain what are the differences in teaching between the three major Theosophical groups, i.e. Adyar, Covina and U.L.T. Your studies will doubtless have established these differences by now, and being a member of the University myself, I am quite anxious for the information. [350]
“Having been in the Philippines for the past two years, I have been reading the only available literature - that of Adyar. From this reading I do not find any noteworthy differences, and some of the main books are almost identical in teaching to ours.
“A few books, that are the subject of some discussion, have been classed by the authors as researches, and the reader is told by the author in print, not to accept what is written unless he himself reaches the same conclusions through his own investigations. This attitude seems to me quite fair and scientific.”

Dean French’s reply did not answer my question and called forth the following:

LETTER NO. 14 to Dean French, dated Manila, Philippines, March 22, 1950:
“The purpose of my letter of February 12 was purely academic. It was a request that you explain the differences in teaching between the various Theosophical Societies, upon which the case for continued disunity in the Theosophical Movement rests. As head of the Theosophical University you have undoubtedly made a thorough study of this matter and as a student of Theosophy and a member of the University I naturally turned to you for the necessary information. My letter was obviously not a trap to put the Theosophical University on record as supporting my personal opinion.
“It is only logical that a student, when in trouble, should turn to his alma mater for help, guidance and counsel and this is precisely what I did. I wrote to you not as a member of the Cabinet of the Theosophical Society, but solely in your capacity as present head of that Theosophical school from which I graduated.
“The questions which I sought to develop, and to which you did not reply, were where and in what books, pamphlets or literature, could I find the differences in teaching which are the cause of the present disgraceful Theosophical disunity. Being quite bewildered about the matter I thought it best to write to you in order to obtain unbiased counsel, advice and guidance; and I assure you I was not anxious to ensnare you.
“You refer to the mayavic miasma of the tropics, but I tell you frankly that this mayavic miasma - as you term it - does not prevent me from carrying on my researches for the good of the Theosophical Movement, and I counted very much on your collaboration, not on official grounds, but on purely academic grounds.
“You see therefore, my dear Col. French, that you have quite misunderstood the purpose or scope of my letter, and I am confident that in view of this explanation, you will not now refuse to answer [351] my letter, as this would simply mean that even in the Theosophical school - which exists for the enlightenment of the mind - there exists dogmatism and prejudice.”

LETTER NO. 15 to Col. A.L. Conger, dated San Francisco, Christmas 1950:
“In appraising the Theosophical situation at the year end I cannot help but feel that the matter I placed before you about two years ago - that of reuniting the various Theosophical groups - is of such transcendent importance, that it deserves to be called to your attention again at this time. The situation recalls to my mind the story of the man and wife who quarreled violently and retreated to opposite ends of their front porch. Then a team of horses came slowly up the hill with a cart of stones. ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could pull together like that?’ asked the woman. ‘Well,’ replied her husband, ‘we could pull together just as well as that if we had only one tongue between us!’
“Viewing in retrospect the last seven years, surely it is no accident that brought us together so closely in 1943-44, at which time I left San Francisco for Washington and came to know you. For it is not for nothing, AS YOU PUT IT THEN, that a Theosophist makes important changes in his general living and environment. The future which is now unfolding, has much to do, I feel, with that meeting and long acquaintance in Washington. My subsequent travels and meeting of Theosophists all over the world belonging mainly to other groups than ours, is to me part of the overall plan - it now seems to me so obvious.
“I am sure that you will credit me with none but the best motives in seeking a reassociation of all Theosophical brothers. Theosophy has been a tradition in my family for three generations and I am anxious to bring it to the attention of many more people.
“I feel strongly that the proposed merger will take place. It does seem to me that this is your grand opportunity. Your sponsorship would insure its success. I have talked with responsible people in other groups which stemmed from the original Theosophical Society, and they have given the idea their full approval and blessing.
“‘Every Kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (MATTHEW, 12, 25)
“These words continue to ring in my ears and I fear greatly the consequences of our continued division. I urge upon you with all the sincerity at my command, that you take immediate steps to correct the un-theosophical situation in which we now find ourselves, and make an offer to merge our society with that of Adyar.” [352]

After writing the above letters I continued my efforts to promote Theosophical unity by writing a series of letters to top officials in The Theosophical Society (Adyar) and the United Lodge of Theosophists. As pointed out in the Preface these efforts were unsuccessful, so the problem is now laid before the rank and file Theosophist by means of this writing. [353]


Founded November 17, 1875. Incorporated April 3, 1905.


1. The name of the Association is The Theosophical Society.

2. The objects for which the Society is established are:

I. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
II. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
III. To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

(a) The holding and management of all funds raised for the above objects.
(b) The purchase or acquisition on lease or in exchange or on hire or by gift or otherwise of any real or personal property, and any rights or privileges necessary [354] or convenient for the purposes of the Society.
(c) The sale, improvement, management and development of all or any part of the property of the Society.
(d) The doing of all such things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them, including the founding and main­tenance of a library or libraries.

3. The names, addresses and occupations of the persons who are members of, and form the first General Council which is the governing body of the Society, are as follows: Names omitted.

4. Henry Steel Olcott, who with the late Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and others founded the Theosophical Society at New York, United States of America, in the year 1875, shall hold, during his lifetime, the position of President, with the title of “President-Founder,” and he shall have, alone, the authority and responsibility and shall exercise the functions provided in the Rules and Regulations for the Executive Committee, meetings of which he may call for consultation and advice as he may desire.

5. The income and property of the Society, whencesoever derived, shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Society as set forth in this Memorandum of Association, and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by ways of dividends, bonus, or otherwise by way of profits to the persons who at any time are or have been members of the Society or to any of them or to any [355] person claiming through any of them: Provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good faith of remuneration to any officers or servants of the Society or to any member thereof or other person in return for any services rendered to the Society.

6. No member or members of the General Council shall be answerable for any loss arising in the administration or application of the said trust funds or sums of money or for any damage to or deterioration in the said trust premises unless such loss, damage or deterioration shall happen by or through his or their wilful default or neglect.

7. If upon the dissolution of the Society there shall remain after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Society or any of them but shall be given or transferred to some other Society or Association, Institution or Institutions, having objects similar to the objects of this Society, to be determined by the votes of not less than three-fifths of the members of the Society present personally or by proxy at a meeting called for the purpose, or in default thereof by such Judge or Court of Law as may have jurisdiction in the matter.

8. A copy of the Rules and Regulations of the said Theosophical Society is filed with this Memorandum of Association, and the undersigned being seven of the members of the Governing Body of the said Society do hereby certify that such copy of such Rules and Regulations of the said Theosophical Society is correct.

As witness our several and respective hands, this … day of March 1905. [356]

Witness to the signatures:
(Sd.) H.S. Olcott
(Sd.) Wm. Glenny Keagey
(Sd.) W.A. English
(Sd.) Subramaniam
(Sd.) Arthur Richardson
(Sd.) F.E. Arundale
(Sd.) Pyare Lal
(Sd.) Upendranath Basu
(Sd.) Annie Besant
(Sd.) Peroze P. Meherjee
(Sd.) N.D. Khandalvala


1. The General Council shall be the Governing Body of The Theosophical Society. Not less than seven members of this Council shall be residents of India.

2. (a) The President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, the Recording Secretary and the General Secretaries of the component National Societies (otherwise called Sections) shall ex-officio be members of the General Council. The terms of those members of the General Council who hold office ex-officio shall expire with the vacation of their qualifying office.
(b) The General Council shall include not less than 5 and not more than 10 Additional Members, among whom all past Presidents while in good standing shall automatically have place. Other members shall on the nomination of the President be elected for a term of three years by vote of the General Council at its Annual Meeting, their names having been sent to the Members of the General Council at least three months before the Annual Meeting. [357]
(c) Members retiring shall be eligible for reelection.
(d) The Recording Secretary shall be the Secretary of the General Council.

3. It shall be competent for the General Council to remove any of its members, or any officer of The Society excepting the President of the Theosophical Society and excepting the General Secretaries of National Societies, by a three-fourths majority of its whole number of members, at a special meeting called for the purpose, of which at least three months’ notice shall have been given, the quorum consisting, however, of not less than five members.

4. The General Council shall ordinarily meet once a year at the time of the Annual Meeting or Convention of The Society; but a special meeting may be called at any time by the President, and shall be called at any time by him, or if not by him, by the Recording Secretary, on the written requisition of not less than one-fourth of the total number of members; but of such special meetings not less than three months’ notice shall be given, and the notice shall contain a statement of the special business to be laid before the meeting.

5. At all meetings of the General Council, members thereof may vote in person, or in writing, or by proxy duly given to another member of the General Council for the particular meeting concerned. Except as aforesaid no member shall exercise more than one vote. No member shall be allowed to exercise more than 5 proxy votes.

6. The quorum of an ordinary as well as of a special meeting of the General Council shall be five members. If there be no quorum, the meeting may be adjourned sine die, or the Chairman of the meeting may adjourn [358] it to another date, of which three months’ further notice shall be given, when the business of the meeting shall be disposed of, irrespective of whether there is a quorum present or not.

7. The President, or in his absence the Vice-President, of The Society, shall preside at all meetings of The Theosophical Society or of the General Council, and shall have a casting vote in the case of an equal division of the members voting on any question before the meeting.

8. In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, the meeting shall elect a chairman from among the members present at the meeting, and he shall have a casting vote in the case of a tie.

9. The term of office of the President shall be seven years.

10. Six months before the expiration of a President’s term of office, or within three days of the office becoming vacant, the Recording Secretary shall call for nominations for the office of President from the members of the General Council, each of whom shall be entitled to make not more than three nominations. Such call to members outside India shall be by cable, confirmed within two days by air and ordinary mails. Each member of the General Council who is a General Secretary shall consult with the respective National Governing Council and shall make his nominations on its behalf. Nominations of any member or members in good standing, whose consent as laid down hereunder shall be necessary for the validity of the nomination, shall be sent to the Recording Secretary, so as to reach him within two months of the date of the call for nominations.
At the expiration of this period the Recording Secretary [359] shall place all the nominations received along with the relevant papers before the Executive Committee at a meeting specially convened for the purpose. At such meeting the Executive Committee shall examine the nominations. All nominations for which the consent of the nominated member has not been filed in the office of the Recording Secretary within the period of two months just preceding shall be rejected as invalid. The rest shall be counted, and the names of those receiving the three highest numbers of nominations, (or any lesser number of names, if less than three are nominated) together with any others who have been nominated by not less than half the members of the General Council, but after eliminating any who in the meantime have died or who have withdrawn their consent to nomination and subject only to the provisions of the next following paragraph, shall be those to be voted upon. The list made by the Executive Committee shall not be subject to challenge.
The Recording Secretary shall immediately in writing communicate all the names on the list to each nominee thereon (if the nominee is not at Adyar the communication shall be by telegraph or cable). In the event of any death or withdrawal the corresponding name shall be struck from the list.
On the tenth day following the meeting of the Executive Committee for the examination of nominations, the Recording Secretary shall communicate the list of nominees remaining to be voted upon, to the General Secretaries, and to Lodges and Fellows-at-large attached to the Headquarters at Adyar. Such communication to the General Secretaries outside India shall be by cable, confirmed within two days by air mail and ordinary mail, and to the others by air mail [360] confirmed within two days by ordinary mail. Each General Secretary shall take the individual vote of each of the voter-members of his Section, that is, of members of the National Society on his rolls who are not in arrears of annual dues for more than one year at the close of the previous official year of the Section, and shall communicate the result to the Recording Secretary, who shall himself take the votes of the Lodges and Fellows-at-large attached to the Headquarters at Adyar, who are not in arrears of annual dues for more than one year at the close of the previous official year of the Society at Adyar.
If only one member is nominated the vote so taken shall be on a “For” or “Against” ballot.
At the expiration of six months from the call for nominations by the Recording Secretary, the results of the voting shall be counted by him. The Executive Committee shall appoint two of its members as scrutineers. The nominee receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected to the office of President.
If the voting results in the highest number of votes being given equally to two or more of the nominees, or if the voting upon the “For” and “Against” ballot results in the rejection of the one member receiving nomination, or if the death of any nominee occurs before the counting of the votes and the declaration of the results, the nomination and election procedure herein provided shall be repeated and the President then in office or the Vice-President, if he is temporarily filling such office, shall continue therein until a new President is elected.

11. (a) The President shall nominate the Vice-President, subject to confirmation by the General Council, and his term of Office shall continue till a [361] new Vice-President has been nominated and his nomination confirmed by the General Council. It shall be his duty, among other things, to carryon the executive functions of the President in case the President is dead or where the Executive Committee finds that he is disabled by accident, serious illness or otherwise from performing the duties of the President.
(b) Notwithstanding anything herein contained the Vice-President doing the duties of the President shall continue to be the Vice-President of The Society until a new Vice-President has been nominated and his nomination confirmed by the General Council. In case of death, resignation or permanent disability of such Vice-President doing the duties of the President, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Vice-President who shall hold Office until the new President shall have nominated a new Vice-President and his nomination confirmed by the General Council.

12. The President shall appoint the Treasurer, the Recording Secretary and such subordinate officials as he may find necessary, which appointments shall be reported to the Executive Committee at its next following meeting, and shall continue to be valid unless rejected by a majority of votes of the whole number of members in the Executive Committee, voting in person or by proxy, at the said meeting, the newly appointed Treasurer or Recording Secretary not being present, nor counting as a member of the Executive Committee for purposes of such vote.

13. The Treasurer, Recording Secretary and subordinate officials being assistants to the President in his capacity as executive officer of the General Council, the President shall have the authority to remove any appointee of his own to such offices. [362]

14. The General Council shall at each Annual Meeting appoint an Executive Committee for the ensuing year, of not less than seven and not more than ten members, of whom at least six shall be members of the General Council. The President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and the Recording Secretary shall be ex officio members. Vacancies caused by death or resignation or otherwise may be filled by co-optation.

15. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once in every three months for the receipt and consideration of accounts and the despatch of any other business. A special meeting may be called by the President whenever he thinks fit, and such meeting shall be called by him, or if not by him, by the Recording Secretary, when he is required to do so, by not less than three members of the Committee, who shall state to him in writing the business for which they wish the meeting to assemble.

16. At a meeting of the Executive Committee, three members shall constitute a quorum.

17. The Committee shall, in the absence of the President and Vice-President, elect a Chairman to preside over the meeting and in case of equality of votes the Chairman for the time being shall have a casting vote.

18. The President shall be the custodian of all the archives and records of the Society, and shall be the Executive Officer and shall conduct and direct the business of The Society in compliance with its rules; he shall be empowered to make temporary appointments and to fill provisionally all vacancies that occur in the offices of The Society, and shall have discretionary powers in all matters not specifically provided for in these Rules. [363]

19. All subscriptions, donations and other moneys payable to the Association shall be received by the President, or the Treasurer, or the Recording Secretary, the receipt of either of whom in writing shall be sufficient discharge for the same.

20. The securities and uninvested funds of The Society shall be deposited in the Imperial Bank of India, Madras, or such other Bank or Banks as the Executive Committee, T.S., shall select; and in countries outside of India, in such Banks as the President shall select. Cheques drawn against the funds shall be signed by the President or the Treasurer or the Recording Secretary of The Society.

21. (a) Notwithstanding anything in these rules to the contrary the President may, touching the assets and affairs of The Society beyond India, at any time and from time to time by a Power of Attorney appoint any persons to be the Attorneys of The Society for such period and subject to such conditions and for such purposes and with such authorities and powers as he may think fit, and he may if necessary affix the Seal of The Society thereto.
Without prejudice to the general powers conferred as aforesaid, the President may grant power and authority among others to sell, grant mortgage, lease or otherwise transfer the assets of The Society, movable or immovable, real or personal, and to receive subscriptions, donations, legacies, moneys and other property movable, or immovable, and to institute, continue, compromise, compound or refer to arbitration any actions, suits, or other proceedings, and to take and hold shares in any Company, and to vote at any meetings thereof and to subdelegate all or any of his powers, and to give receipts and releases, and to sign, seal and [364] deliver any instrument or document and have the same registered.
(b) The funds of The Society may be invested by the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, in Government or other Public securities, or in the purchase of immovable property or First Mortgages on such property.
(c) The Adyar Estate of The Society in Madras including The Society’s original Headquarters and all other properties in Adyar since acquired by gift, purchase or otherwise, shall not at any time be disposed of by sale, gift, exchange, mortgage or otherwise; save that the President, if specially authorized by a resolution of the General Council, passed by a three-fourths vote of their members, voting in person, in writing or by proxy, may dispose of such outlying portions of the said Adyar Estate, as may be specified in such Resolutions.
(d) The President may, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, sell, mortgage or otherwise transfer any investment in Government or other Public securities, or any movable or immovable property of The Society other than those mentioned in Rule 21 (c).

22. (a) All deeds whereby immovable properties belonging to The Society are transferred or otherwise dealt with shall have affixed to them the Seal of The Society with the signature of the President and of the Recording Secretary. In case of the absence of the President or where the Executive Committee finds that he is too ill to act, it may appoint two of its members to sign in place of the President.
(b) All transfers of movable property, if in writing, shall bear the signature of the President and of the [365] Recording Secretary but need not have affixed to them the Seal of The Society. In case of the absence of the President or where the Executive Committee finds that he is too ill to act, it may appoint two of its members to sign in place of the President.
Note - The procedure detailed in this Rule is without prejudice to the powers conferred under Rule 21 (a ).

23. The Society may sue and be sued in the name of the President.

24. The Recording Secretary may, with the authority of the President, or of the two substitutes appointed according to Rule 22, affix the Seal of The Society on all instruments requiring to be sealed, and all such instruments shall be signed by the President or by the two substitutes above mentioned and the Recording Secretary.

25. On the death or resignation of the President, the Recording Secretary shall at once make arrangements for the election of a new President, in accordance with Rule 10, and until such new President is elected the Vice-President shall perform the duties of President.


26. Headquarters of The Society are established at Adyar, Madras, and are outside the jurisdiction of the Indian Section.

27. The President shall have full power and discretion to permit to any person the use of any portion or premises in the Adyar Estate for occupation and residence, on such terms as the President may lay down, or to refuse permission so to occupy or reside. Any person occupying or residing under the permission granted by the President shall, on a fortnight’s notice [366] given by or on behalf of the President, unconditionally quit the premises before the expiry of that period.


28. Every person of ten full years of age, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour, shall be eligible for membership in The Society, but those under the age of majority in their respective countries shall be admitted to membership only with the written consent of parent or guardian.

29. Admission to membership may be obtained through the President of a Lodge, the General Secretary of a National Society, or through the Recording Secretary; and a Diploma of membership shall be issued to the Fellow, bearing the signature of the President, and countersigned by the General Secretary, where the applicant resides within the territory of a National Society, or countersigned by the Recording Secretary, if admission to membership has been obtained through the Recording Secretary.

30. Lodges and Fellows, whether unattached or attached to a Lodge, residing within the territory of a National Society, must belong to that National Society, unless coming under Rule 31.
Provided that with the sanction of the President a member who belongs to one National Society may while retaining his membership of that National Society belong to another National Society, but he shall not be allowed to cast more than one vote in matters relating to The Theosophical Society.

31. (a) When an individual Fellow in good standing, for any serious and weighty reason, sufficient in the opinion of the President to justify such action, is desirous of leaving the National Society to which he [367] belongs, but is not desirous of leaving the Theosophical Society, such individual Fellow may become directly attached to Headquarters, Adyar, severing all connection with the National Society. Such application must be made through the General Secretary of the National Society concerned who shall be under obligation duly to forward such application to the President as expeditiously as possible. This shall equally apply in the case of the admission of any new member.
(b) A Fellow of The Theosophical Society in good standing who is desirous of leaving the National Society to which he or she belongs or ought to belong under Rule 30 and of joining another National Society, may be permitted by the President to do so provided such Fellow presents reason sufficient in the opinion of the President to justify such action, and provided further that the application for transfer is submitted with the approval of the General Secretaries of both National Societies concerned.
This rule shall apply equally in the case of the admission of a new member.
(c) When a Lodge, for any serious and weighty reason, sufficient in the opinion of the President to justify such action, is desirous of leaving the National Society to which it belongs, but is not desirous of leaving The Theosophical Society, such Lodge may become directly attached to Headquarters, Adyar, severing all connection with the National Society. Such application must be made through the General Secretary of the National Society concerned who shall be under obligation duly to forward such application to the President as expeditiously as possible.
Before any Lodge shall have the right to apply to be [368] directly attached to Headquarters, Adyar, it shall have mailed to each of its members individually a notice that such application is about to be considered. Such notice must be mailed not less than two weeks before the meeting at which such consideration is to take place, and voting on the application shall be deferred until two months after that meeting. If at such first meeting, or any succeeding meeting pursuant thereto, it is decided to bring the application to a vote as herein provided, a full report of the reasons for such action shall at once be sent to the General Secretary of the National Society concerned.
Any application for separation from the National Society to which a Lodge belongs shall be ineffective unless two-thirds of the members of the Lodge vote in favour thereof.
(d) In the event of any undue delay in the transmission of any application under any of the foregoing provisions of this Rule, a correct copy of such application (duly signed or otherwise authenticated) may be transmitted directly to the President by the Fellow or Lodge concerned, and the President may act on such copy if in his absolute discretion it appears to him to be fit or proper that he should so act. Any action so taken by the President shall be as valid and effectual, for all purposes, as if it had been taken on the original application submitted for transmission to the President. The Fellow or Lodge, when forwarding such copy to the President directly, shall state the full grounds and reasons for the direct transmission.

32. Lodges or Fellows-at-large, in countries where no National Society exists, must apply for their Charters or Diplomas directly to the Recording Secretary, and [369] may not, without the sanction of the President, belong to National Societies within the territorial limits of which they are not situated or resident.

33. Any seven Fellows may apply to be chartered as a Lodge. In a country where no National Society exists the application must be forwarded to the President of The Society through the Recording Secretary.

34. The President shall have authority to grant or refuse applications for charters, which, if issued, must bear his signature and that of the Recording Secretary, and the Seal of The Society, and be recorded at the Headquarters of The Society.

35. (a) A National Society may be formed by the President, upon the application of seven or more chartered Lodges.
(b) The President shall have the authority at his discretion to issue (and to cancel) certificates of Federation to any national group of Lodges not sufficient in number or otherwise unable to form or to maintain a National Society, as defined in these Rules, or where in his judgment territorial division or other causes have made such Federation necessary or desirable. Any such Federation may elect an Organizing Secretary or other executive officer or officers for the purpose of further organization and the transaction of Federation business.
A Federation shall not appoint a General Secretary (as the term is used in these Rules) nor be represented on the General Council. In all other respects the Rules applicable to National Societies and to General Secretaries shall apply to Federations and to their chief executives.
(c) The President shall have authority at his discretion to appoint and to withdraw appointments of [370] Presidential Agents to act under his instructions for the purposes of conducting the business and administration of The Society in any place and in any respect not inconsistent with these Rules. Each such appointment and the power delegated to each such Agent shall be evidenced by a Letter of Appointment referring to this Rule.

36. All Charters of National Societies or Lodges and all Diplomas of membership derive their authority from the President, acting as Executive Officer of the General Council of The Society, and may be cancelled by the same authority.

37. Each Lodge and National Society shall have the power to make its own Rules which shall not be incompatible with the Rules of the National Society to which the Lodge belongs or with the Rules of The Theosophical Society.
All Rules of Lodges and National Societies and amendments thereto shall be submitted for approval within thirty days of their adoption as follows: In the case of a Lodge belonging to a National Society, all such Rules and amendments shall be submitted to the General Secretary of that National Society; in the case of a National Society or of a Lodge not situated within the territory of a National Society or of a Lodge directly attached to Adyar under Rule 31 (c) all such Rules or amendments thereto shall be submitted directly to the President.
All Rules and amendments shall be put into force if approval has not been refused within ninety days of acknowledgment of their receipt.
If by a change made in a Rule of The Theosophical Society, any Rule of a National Society, which at its inception was not incompatible with the Rules of The [371] Theosophical Society, ceases to be compatible, such a Rule of the National Society shall cease to be valid and shall be amended so as to be in consonance with the Rules of The Theosophical Society.
If by a change made in a Rule of a National Society, any Rule of a Lodge, which at its inception was not incompatible with the Rules of the National Society, ceases to be compatible, such a Rule of the Lodge shall cease to be valid and shall be amended so as to be in consonance with the Rules of the National Society.

38. Every National Society must appoint a General Secretary, who shall be the channel of official communication between the General Council and the National Society.

39. The General Secretary of each National Society shall forward to the President, annually, not later than the first day of November, a report of the year’s work of his Society, and at any time furnish any further information the President or General Council may desire.

40. National Societies hitherto known as Sections, which have been incorporated under the name of “The ... Section of The T.S,” before the year 1908, may retain that name in their respective countries, in order not to interfere with the incorporation already existing, but shall be included under the name of National Societies, for all purposes in these Rules and Regulations.


41. (a) The fees payable to the General Treasury by Lodges not comprised within the limits of any National Society are as follows: Charter, £1; for each Diploma of Membership, 5s.; for the Annual Subscription [372] of each Fellow, 5s.; but in the case of Lodges comprised within the jurisdiction of a National Society, the Annual Subscription of each Fellow shall be the amount prescribed for Annual Subscription by the by-laws or other regulations of the National Society within which the Lodge exists; or equivalents.
(b) New members joining otherwise than at the beginning of the year shall at the time of admission pay their annual subscription pro rata for the remaining period of the fiscal year at the rate of £0-1-3 per quarter.

42. Fellows-at-large, resident within the territory of a National Society under the Provision of Rule 31 (a) shall pay to the General Treasury as Entrance Fee and as Annual Subscription the amounts prescribed by the by-laws or other regulation of such National Society, but not less than 5/ - and £1 respectively.
Fellows-at-large, not resident within the territory of a National Society, shall pay to the General Treasury an Entrance Fee of 5/ - and an Annual Subscription of £1.

43. (a) Each National Society shall pay into the General Treasury ten per cent of the total amount received for its own National dues, and shall remit the same to the Treasurer at Adyar on or before the first day of September of the current year, and the financial year of The Society shall close on 30th September.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 41 (a) and Rule 42, the President at his discretion may authorize Presidential Agents to collect dues in terri­tories to which they have been appointed and to remit in accordance with Rule 43 (a).

44. In the event of the cancellation of any Charter under Rule 36, or the dissolution of any National [373] Society or of a Lodge, the constituent Charter of the National Society or of the Lodge, granted by the President, shall, ipso facto, become forfeited or lapsed, and all property, real or personal, including Charters, Diplomas, Seal, Records and other papers belonging to or in the custody of such National Society or Lodge shall vest as follows:
(a) in The Society, in the case of a National Society or of a Lodge not within the territory of a National Society or of a Lodge coming under Rule 31 (c), (except where the law of the country where the National Society or Lodge is situated prohibits such vesting, in which case the property shall vest as hereinafter provided) - and delivery shall be made to the President, or to his nominee on his behalf.
(b) in The National Society in which the Lodge is situated, in the case of a Lodge within the territory of a National Society, said Lodge not coming under Rule 31 (c), and delivery shall be made to the General Secretary of the said National Society.
No National Society or Lodge whose Charter shall have become forfeited or lapsed shall continue to use the name, motto, or seal of The Society except for the purpose of vesting in The Society or in the National Society as the case may be the real and personal property of such National Society or Lodge.
Provided, nevertheless, that the President shall have power to revive the Charter of the National Society or the Lodge, as the case may be, whose Charter shall have become so forfeited or lapsed, and to transfer the said Charter to other Lodges being not less than seven in number, or to other Fellows being not less than seven in number, as the case may be, or to such other [374] nominees of his as in his judgment shall seem best for the interests of The Society.
In cases under (a) above, where such vesting in The Society is prohibited by the law of the country in which is situated the National Society or the Lodge, whose Charter has become forfeited or lapsed as aforesaid, the property shall vest in a local Trustee or Trustees appointed by the President.
To effect any transfer of property, to which The Society may become entitled under this Rule, it shall be lawful for the President to appoint an agent or nominee for the purpose of executing any necessary document or documents, or for taking any steps necessary effectually to transfer the said property to The Society.

45. The financial accounts of The Society shall be audited annually by qualified Auditors who shall be appointed by the General Council at each Annual Meeting for the ensuing year.


46. The Annual General Meeting or Convention of The Society shall be held in India in the month of December, at such place as shall be determined by the Executive Committee in June of each year. Lodges desirous of inviting the Convention and able to make due arrangements for its accommodation, shall send the invitation in March of the current year, with particulars of the arrangements they propose to make.

47. At least once in every seven years a World Congress of The Theosophical Society may be held out of India, at a place and date to be fixed by the General Council, but so as not to interfere with the Annual Convention in India. [375]

48. The President shall have the power to convene special meetings of The Society at his discretion.


49. The General Council, of their own motion or on the motion of the Executive Committee and after at least three months’ notice has been given to each member of said Council, may, by a three-fourths vote of those members who vote in person, in writing, or by proxy, make, alter or repeal the Rules and Regulations of The Society, in such manner as it may deem expedient.

50. The General Council may frame by-laws not inconsistent with these Rules and Regulations and may add to, alter, or repeal such by-laws, consistently with the said Rules and Regulations, as it may deem expedient. [376]


(As amended June 1, 1952)


Section 1. The title of the Society is The Theosophical Society.


Section 1. The Theosophical Society is part of a universal spiritual, intellectual, and ethical movement, which has been active in all ages. This Movement is based on the fact that Spiritual Brotherhood is a Reality, and is of the very essence of Being.


Section 1. The objects of The Theosophical Society are:
(a) To diffuse among men a knowledge of the laws inherent in the Universe.
(b) To promulgate the knowledge of the essential unity of all that is, and to demonstrate that this unity is fundamental in Nature.
(c) To form an active brotherhood among men.
(d) To study ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy.
(e) To investigate the powers innate in man. [377]


Section 1. The International Headquarters of The Theosophical Society shall be located at such places as shall be designated by the Leader, or by the Cabinet of The Theosophical Society with the approval of the Leader, or under the authority of the Constitution.


Section 1. There shall be one supreme office in which shall reside paramount authority regarding all matters which concern the general welfare of The Theosophical Society.
Section 2. The title of the person filling this office shall be Leader.
Section 3. The Leader shall serve for life or until his resignation.
Section 4. The Leader shall appoint his Successor.


Section 1. The Leader shall be the Executive Officer of The Theosophical Society.
Section 2. The Leader shall have the power to declare the policy and in general to direct the affairs of The Theosophical Society.
Section 3. The Leader shall have right, power, and authority at any time to take such steps or measures as in his judgment shall be necessary for the safeguarding of the best interests of The Theosophical Society.


Section 1. The General Officers of The Theosophical Society shall be:
(a) The Members of the Cabinet, hereinafter provided for; [378]
(b) The Secretary General;
(c) The Treasurer General;
(d) The National Secretaries.
Section 2. The Leader of The Theosophical Society shall appoint all General Officers.
Section 3. The Leader shall have the power to remove from office any officer of The Theosophical Society when the Leader shall deem such action to be for the best interests of the Society.
Section 4. The Cabinet shall consist of twelve members, each of whom shall serve until his successor shall be appointed.
Section 5. The duty of the Cabinet shall be to aid the Leader in promulgating and establishing the measures and policies emanating from the Leader’s Office.
Section 6. The Chairman of the Cabinet together with six members thereof shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 7. Should any vacancy occur in the office of Leader, the Cabinet shall perform the duties of that office until the Successor to the Leader shall take possession thereof.
Section 8. There shall be a Council of Elders consisting of those Cabinet Officers selected by the Leader who have served their term and are retired from active duty as members of the Cabinet, and such additional members who may be invited by the Leader to serve. The duties of the Council of Elders shall be to aid the Cabinet in an advisory capacity when requested by the Leader to do so.
Section 9. The duties of the Secretary General and of the Treasurer General shall be those which usually attach to such offices, together with such further duties as may be delegated to them from time to time by the Leader. [379]
Section 10. The Leader may appoint representatives, agents, or envoys for any purposes connected with the work of The Theosophical Society and endow them with whatever powers he may elect to delegate to them and he may cancel such appointments at discretion.


Section 1. Any person whose application for Fellowship is approved by the Leader may be received as a probationary Fellow, but shall not be admitted to full Fellowship until a diploma is issued to him from the International Theosophical Headquarters.
Section 2. Fellows of The Theosophical Society are required to show the same thoughtful consideration for the beliefs of others that they desire others to show towards their own.
Section 3. Three of more Fellows of The Theosophical Society may apply for a charter to form a Branch thereof, in the manner prescribed below.
Section 4. No person may be a member of two Branches at the same time.
Section 5. Branches or unattached Fellows in any one country where no National Secretary has been appointed, may request the appointment of a National Secretary by the Leader.
Section 6. Applications for a Branch-Charter shall be filed with the National Secretary; provided, however, that if there be no National Secretary already appointed in the country of the applicants, applications for a Branch-Charter shall be addressed directly to the Secretary General at the International Theosophical Headquarters. Branch-Charters shall become effective only when signed by the Leader and countersigned by [380] the Secretary General of The Theosophical Society.
Section 7. Applications for Fellowship in The Theosophical Society may be made in anyone of the following ways:
(a) Through the officers of a local branch;
(b) Through the National Secretary;
(c) Direct to the Secretary General at the International Theosophical Headquarters.
Section 8. Organizations or societies adopting this Constitution and making formal application to become integral parts of The Theosophical Society shall become such upon receipt of official notification of their acceptance, signed by the Leader of The Theosophical Society and countersigned by the Secretary General.
Section 9. Organizations or groups of people who endorse the objects of The Theosophical Society in general and who desire in particular to co-operate in forming an active brotherhood among men, but whose members are not necessarily Fellows of The Theosophical Society, may become affiliated with The Theosophical Society under such conditions as may be satisfactory to the Leader of The Theosophical Society and to duly accredited representatives of such organizations or groups.


Section 1. Chartered Branches in all countries are integral parts of The Theosophical Society and function within the provisions of this Constitution.


Section 1. General Congresses of The Theosophical Society may be called by the Leader to assemble at such place and time as he may designate. [381]
Section 2. Each country having a National Secretary shall be entitled to one delegate to any General Congress.


Section 1. The seal of The Theosophical Society shall be a circle formed by a serpent swallowing its tail, inclosing the seal of Solomon within which is the Crux Ansata, and at the serpent’s head a Svastika encircled.


Section 1. This Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths vote of a Congress regularly called or by a three-fourths vote of all Fellows voting in a referendum to the Fellows made by the Secretary General under the direction of the Leader. [382]


WE, the undersigned, residents of the State of California, do hereby associate ourselves together for the purpose of forming a corporation in accordance with the provisions of Sections 593 et seq., of the Civil Code of the State of California,


FIRST: That the name of this corporation shall be “THE THEOSOPHY COMPANY”

SECOND: That the purposes and objects of this corporation are:

(a) To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color;
(b) The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study;
(c) The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man;
(d) To purchase, lease or otherwise acquire, to hold, convey, mortgage, sell, or otherwise dispose of such real estate and personal property as may be necessary or convenient for the purposes of this corporation;
(e) To receive bequests, gifts and donations; [383]
(f) To erect such buildings and structures on any real estate owned, leased or controlled by this corporation as may be necessary or convenient in order to carry out its purposes;
(g) To incur indebtedness of any kind or character, and to such amount, secured or unsecured, by mortgages or liens upon the property of said corporation, as the Board of Trustees may deem advisable;
(h) To hold public meetings at such place, or places, as the Board of Trustees may deem proper.

THIRD: That the principal place of business of this corporation shall be at Los Angeles, California.

FOURTH: That the term for which this corporation shall exist shall be fifty (50) years from and after the date of its incorporation.

FIFTH: That the object of this corporation is other than profit.

SIXTH: That the number of Trustees of this corporation shall be seven (7), and the names and addresses of the Trustees who have been elected and shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified are as follows:

John Garrigues South Pasadena, Calif.
Jennie Garrigues South Pasadena, Calif.
H.W. Clough South Pasadena, Calif.
Grace E.Clough South Pasadena, Calif.
John Lyon Pasadena, Calif.
Adelene R. Lyon Pasadena, Calif.
Winifred Egan Los Angeles, Calif.

SEVENTH: That a meeting of the members of The Theosophy Company was held on the 28th day of [384] September, 1925, at which time the above named parties were elected Trustees for a period of one (1) year, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hands and affixed their seals on this 29th day of September, 1925.

H.W. CLOUGH (Sgd.)


On this 29th day of September, 1925, before me, W.R. LAW, a Notary Public in and for the County of Los Angeles, State of California, personally appeared John Garrigues, Jennie Garrigues, W.H. Clough, Grace E. Clough, John Lyon, Adelene R. Lyon and Winifred Egan, known to me to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that they executed the same for the purpose therein named.

WITNESS my hand and official seal the day and year first above written.
W.R. LAW (Sgd.)
Notary Public in and for the County of Los Angeles,
State of California. [385]



The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.

The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF, a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.

It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is “similarity of aim, purpose and teaching,” and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.

It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and [386] it welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the better able to help and teach others.

“The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each and all.”

*  *  *

The following is the form signed by Associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists:

Being in sympathy with the purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its “Declaration,” I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate, it being understood that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that which I, myself, determine.

Inquiries are invited from all persons to whom this Movement may appeal. [387]

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