Alice A. Bailey, H.P. Blavatsky and Helena Roerich (Pt. I)

Alice A. Bailey, H.P. Blavatsky
and Helena Roerich

Cleavages between the followers of three traditions:
The Theosophical Society, The Arcane School, The Agni Yoga Society

Alice A. Bailey and The Theosophical Society

1. Alice Bailey and the Theosophical Society
2. (a) Refutation of Nicholas Weeks’ article “Theosophy’s Shadow” – Phillip Lindsay
2. (b) Refutation of Nicholas Weeks’ article “Theosophy’s Shadow” – Morten Sufilight
3. (a) ‘Bailey and Theosophy’ by Nils Bronsted
3. (b) Two Amanuenses – Bailey and Blavatsky
3. (c) Alice Bailey’s Personal View of the Theosophical Society
4. Alice A. Bailey – Various Viewpoints (Weblinks)
5. Alice Bailey and Theosophy – Uri Gorbunov
6. Two Remarkable Russian Women: Blavatsky & Roerich – Uri Gorbunov

Alice A. Bailey and Helena Roerich

1. Helena Roerich’’s Letters About Alice Bailey
2. Astrological Perspectives
3. Horoscope of Helena Roerich – Transits for her letters
4. Views and Commentary on HR’s Letters – Uri Gorbunov
5. Agni Yoga Forum Horoscope
6. Attack on DK’s Ashram? Initiates can ‘fall’
7. AAB Anti-semite Accusation
8. Laden Lha Reference
9. Letters between Students of Roerich and Bailey
10. Alice Bailey’s Teaching and Agni Yoga – Yuri Gorbunov
11. Comparative Biographies of Roerich and Bailey – Uri Gorbunov
12. On Alice Bailey and Helena Roerich – by James Davis
13. DK and Agni Yoga in Concordance – James Davis
14. Commonalties Between DK’s and M’s Teaching (Agni Yoga)


Alice A. Bailey, Helena P. Blavatsky and Helena Roerich were three women who acted as amanuenses[1] for various Masters to bring through new teachings of the Ageless Wisdom for the Aquarian Age.

It started with Blavatsky (HPB), an advanced initiate, who pioneered the way in 1888 with the first installment of the mystery teachings – The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled.

From 1919-1949 Alice A. Bailey (AAB) continued what HPB had started by working with the Master DK for thirty years, the same Master who had given much instruction to HPB. This second installment from the Hierarchy was designed to build upon and expand what HPB had initiated.

Around the same time as AAB, Roerich (HR) started her work with the Master Morya in 1924 for a period almost as long as AAB, producing around twelve books, generically called the Agni Yoga teachings.

Many students consider that the three teachings are aspects of the divine trinity, corresponding to the rays or aspects of 3, 2, 1 respectively. The latter Agni Yoga, is considered the new yoga that will supercede Raja Yoga. It is built on an understanding and comprehension of the previous two stages of the teachings.

Of course all the teachings have their adherents, and some study one without the others, or two of the three, or all three. The reasons are varied, ranging from rayological affinities, to that motivated by sectarian propaganda and devotion to the Messenger.

It is the sectarian and devotional problem that, in the author’s opinion, has led to cleavages between followers of Agni yoga, Theosophy, and the teachings of DK through Alice Bailey.

[1] A person employed to write or type what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another; secretary.[Latin: secretary, originally adjective, from (servus) a manu secretary + -ensis belonging to] Macquarie Dictionary CD ROM.

Alice Bailey and the Theosophical Society
The perennial problem of Alice A. Bailey’s (AAB) relation to the Theosophical Society has caused a major split between students of the Ageless Wisdom for over eighty years.

Much of it started when Alice Bailey was the head of the Krotona Theosophical Society (California) in 1918. She describes in The Unfinished Autobiography, the spiritual snobbery of some theosophists. They took exception to the fact that she had a personal ‘recognition’ of the portrait of her Master Koot Hoomi at the local TS lodge, and also later that she was receiving transmissions from the Master DK (Djwhal Khul).[2]

in 1920 there was a split in the Theosphical Society. The Esoteric Section (ES) dominated and some members tried to remove AAB and Foster Bailey from Krotona. Later at a conference:

“The cleavage between the authoritarians of the E.S. and the more democratic minds in the T.S. was steadily widening…I had never been present at any convention in my life and to say that I was disillusioned, disgusted and outraged is putting it mildly. Gathered together was a group of men and women from all parts of the United States who were presumably occupied in teaching and spreading brotherhood.  The hatred and rancour, the personality animus and the political manipulation was so outrageous and shocking that I made a vow never to attend another Theosophical Convention again in my life…It was obvious from the first moment of the Convention that the E.S. was in control and that those who stood for brotherhood and democracy were hopelessly outnumbered and, therefore, beaten…[Mr Warrington was succeeded by] Mr Rogers who was bitterly opposed to us and far more personal in his opposition than Mr. Warrington…Thus ended our time at Krotona and our very real effort to be of service to the Theosophical Society.” [3]

Later, for some reason possibly associated with these events, the tag ‘black magician’ was bandied about: quite irresponsibly it seems, by some leading theosophists of the day. Geoffrey Hodson was apparently one of  those individuals, a fairly advanced soul by all accounts. It has been said by some theosophists in the Esoteric Section (ES) (personally to this author) that AAB betrayed her oath of silence by releasing a mantram to the general public:

“May the Holy Ones, Whose pupils we aspire to become, show us the light we seek; give us the strong aid of Their compassion and Their wisdom. There is a peace that passeth understanding; it abides in the hearts of those who live in the Eternal. There is a power that maketh all things new; it lives and moves in those who know the Self as one. May that peace brood over us, that power uplift us, till we stand where the One Initiator is invoked, till we see His Star shine forth. May the peace and the blessing of the Holy Ones pour forth over the worlds.” [4]

This is a mantram that the Master DK  (Djwhal Khul) gives to one of his disciples to use in the above book. Its powerful and inspirational quality may not have seen further light of day if the ES chose to keep it under wraps as ‘theirs’, or as the only true ‘custodians’ of such material.

Since the 1920’s, right up to present day, generations of theosophists have gone on perpetrating these negative notions about Alice A. Bailey. Most theosophists that this author has questioned about the AAB/TS split, do not know why AAB was ‘working for the Black Lodge’. They cannot give a reasoned explanation of it, showing an unquestioning acceptance, a mystical and non-occult understanding of the situation. The same goes for some followers of Helena Roerich as will be shown quite shockingly later.

These individuals also demonstrate how conditioning affects us all, particularly if well-respected members make those claims. Even advanced disciples can get it wrong. Their seems to be an inertia or laziness demonstrated where the books of AAB have not even been sought out and read – so that discrimination can be exercised, and a decision made by the individual. Some Roerich followers have also adopted this attitude.

This reflects the insidious conditioning which itself has been working through the TS, even since the days of HP Blavatsky (HPB), something she remarked upon herself. The form of the TS had become crystallised and fanatical, obscuring some of the original essence that underlies the organisation. Even the current head of the world Theosophical Society, Radha Burnier, adopts these anti-Alice Bailey viewpoints along with many of her contemporaries.

Paradoxically then, due to the internal wrangles and politicking of the TS in the 1920’s, accompanied by the Krishnamurti debacle[5], the TS probably opened itself to the attacks from the very materialistic forces which they accused AAB of working with, thereby succeeding in helping establish negative propaganda toward her.

Of course if this happened, it would not have been difficult to accomplish, given some of the hateful sniping that was going on in the TS. Even Krishnamurti, hailed as the new World Teacher, was accused of having a black magician speaking through him by certain theosophists! [6]

It gives rise to the question, how can a person who is basically an aspirant to the mysteries, distinguish between such things? How can most of us know what path a fellow traveller treads? It is an entirely subjective process and one not lent to speculation and hysteria, or some of the exaggerations of those tumultuous times.[2] The Unfinished Autobiography, Alice A. Bailey. p.155.[3] The Unfinished Autobiography, Alice A. Bailey. p.173.[4] Discipleship in the New Age Vol.1, Alice A. Bailey. p.537.[5] See The Initiations of Krishnamurti, Phillip Lindsay.[6] The Intitiations of Krishnamurti: An Astrological Biography. Phillip Lindsay. [7] A Treatise on White Magic, Alice  A. Bailey. p.11.[8] Initiation Human and Solar, Alice  A. Bailey, pp.51-2.[9] Masters of the Seven Rays, Phillip Lindsay.[10] Extract from a Statement by the Tibetan. (Printed at the front of all 24 books by  DK)

Theosophy’s Shadow by Nicholas Weeks
The following article against the validity of AAB’s source (DK) is reprinted in full, with this author’s commentary interspersed. Warning, it is a little long, so the reader may wish to skip to the next section.

[This article is a revised and expanded version of one that appeared in the Summer 1997 issue of Fohat, a Theosophical magazine published in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.] Men must learn to love the truth before they thoroughly believe it. (1)

Nicholas Weeks (NW): This article is intended mainly for those attracted to the New Age books of Alice A. Bailey. Her claim that her teachings came from the same Occult Brotherhood that taught HP Blavatsky, the founder of the modern Theosophical Movement, is not valid. This short piece is not about whether Bailey’s writings are inspiring, wonderful or contain any truth; but simply whether HPB and AAB had the same mentors, as claimed by Bailey. Bailey’s guide professed to be the same Djual Khool that was one of HPB’s teachers. Bailey also declared that her guru was the same Master Koot Hoomi that Blavatsky knew. This paper will propose that the so-called Tibetan and the Hierarchy of Masters portrayed in Bailey’s books, were not Djual Khool and the Adept Brotherhood known to HPB.      Bailey asserted that her teachings are grounded in and do not oppose in any fundamental way Theosophy as lived and taught by HPB and her Gurus. This assertion is false. Her books are rooted in the pseudo-theosophy pioneered by CW Leadbeater. For example, one of CWL’s favorite revelations was the return to earth of “Maitreya” the Christ. Bailey accepted this fantasy.

Phillip Lindsay (PL): It is actually the other way around. Leadbeater used some of AAB’’s original material from books such as Initiation, Human and Solar and took the credit for it in his book The Masters and the Path. This has been the prevailing theosophical view since the early 1920’s, particularly after the damaging articles of theosophists Crump and Cleather. (See later in text) Also, consider the following:

“In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire the Tibetan has given us what H. P. Blavatsky prophesied he would give, namely the psychological key to the Cosmic Creation. H.P.B. stated that in the 20th century a disciple would come who would give the psychological key to her own monumental work The Secret Doctrine on which treatise the Tibetan worked with her; and Alice A. Bailey worked in complete recognition of her own task in this sequence.” FOSTER BAILEY Tunbridge Wells December 1950.

Also bear in mind the following quote as an overall consideration in this discussion: (web-editor’s emphasis) ” The age-old method of arriving at truth by the process of accepting new authorities and comparing them with previously established doctrines, while of undoubted value in the training of the mind, is gradually being transcended. In its place is emerging in both the religious and philosophical worlds a new capacity to take a more scientific position. Spiritual teaching will be increasingly accepted as an hypothesis to be proved less by scholasticism, historical foundation and authority, and more by the results of its effect upon the life lived and its practical usefulness in solving the problems of humanity. Heretofore, advanced esoteric teaching has almost invariably been obtainable only by the student’s acceptance of the authority of the teacher, varying degrees of personal obedience to that teacher and pledges of secrecy. As the new Aquarian dispensation progresses these limitations will disappear…” (Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul – A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Foreword)

Nicholas Weeks (NW): She placed an immense spiritual value on the Great Invocation (2) which is supposed to induce Christ and his Masters to leave their hidden ashrams, enter into major cities and begin to dictate the redemption of Aquarian society.  Contrariwise, the Theosophy of HPB and her Gurus emphasizes reliance on the Christos principle within each person.  As Blavatsky explained: “[Christian theology] enforces belief in the Descent of the Spiritual Ego into the Lower Self; [Theosophy] inculcates the necessity of endeavouring to elevate oneself to the Christos… state.” (3)  The discovery and altruistic expression of our innate divinity uplifts each individual and thus, very slowly, all of humanity.

PL: It seems that Weeks and others such as Clump and Cleather, have taken great exception to the Christian terminology in the Great Invocation, rejecting it solely on this basis. This can be easily seen, particularly as the TS was very strongly influenced by eastern religions. However, The Great Invocation is much more than this, as the book Sacred Vessel of the Mysteries, by John Berges, amply illustrates. It is about the invocation of extra-planetary energies, intimately related to the evolution of the Solar Logos and of Sirius. There is no argument by AAB or her students that the Christos principle is something to be contacted by each individual. However, DK through AAB,  (this must be emphasised), wanted to describe the immanent Reappearance of the Masters, a great planetary event that has not occurred since the ancient days of Atlantis. This is described particularly in the book Externalistion of the Hierarchy and The Reappearance of the Christ.

NW: Channels such as Bailey are sincere and convinced that their inner voices and visions are real Masters. Unhappily, sincerity is no protection from delusion. In 1884 Master KH wrote to a psychic of that time, giving an explanation for the befuddling of a channel or seer.

““Since you have scarcely learned the elements of self-control, in psychism, you must suffer bad consequences. You draw to yourself the nearest and strongest influences ” often evil ” and absorb them, and are psychically stifled or narcotised by them. The airs become peopled with resuscitated phantoms. They give you false tokens, misleading revelations, deceptive images. Your vivid creative fancy evokes illusive Gurus and chelas [disciples], and puts into their mouths words coined the instant before in the mint of your mind, unknown to yourself. The false appear as real, as the true, and you have no exact method of detection since you are yet prone to force your communications to agree with your preconceptions.”” (4)

PL: No truer statement made by the Master KH, but by what criteria does Weeks judge AAB? – His own theosophical conditioning or his in-depth study of AAB’’s works? “Illusive gurus” etc may apply to several other twentieth century teachers of the Masters, but certainly not Bailey. One has to only look at the quality of the teachings contained therein, to really know.

NW: Efforts to discern reality from illusion must not be confined to our study and meditation times, but should also pervade our ordinary daily life. Should devotees of Bailey wish to compare closely the main principles of real Theosophy with their present faith, they might consider using some of the three methods mentioned in this article. Hopefully, followers of Bailey will not rely exclusively on her own explanations. Surely, if she really teaches the same basic Theosophy as HPB, one could resolve any conflicts between their teachings without acceding to AAB’s every proclamation. The template of basic Theosophy is in the original writings of HPB and her Gurus. Bailey’s key teachings must match this template or they cannot be from the same sources that taught HPB.

PL: One good example is A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, given by the Master DK as a major key to The Secret Doctrine. Has Weeks or many theosophists given this extraordinary book any close scrutiny? Have they studied closely the extended Stanzas of Dzyan given out in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire? Many students in the world who are not saddled with some of the prejudices so ingrained in the Theosophical Society, are easily able to’match the template’ between the two teachings.

Brett Mitchell (BM): But the basic problem is that TS does not admit even the possibility of anything being new. If it is not consistent with HPB, it is already wrong. Yet if the Teaching is ever to grow and respond to the need of today’s humanity, it must, at some point, differ! Thus TS binds itself in a straightjacket of ever-more obsolete esoteric teachings. Until the TS accepts the possibility of new teachings from the Masters, commonality of thought is not possible. It is this aspect that must be addressed, not differences or similarity of teaching.

NW: 1) Contrast primary goals and objectives. One such purpose of the real Brotherhood was expressed by Koot Hoomi, the actual Guru of Djual Khool and supposed mentor of Bailey’s Tibetan guide.

The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary power… Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery… The best Adepts have searched the Universe during millenniums and found nowhere the slightest trace of [God], but throughout, the same immutable, inexorable law. (5)

Bailey’s Tibetan theologian (the supposed disciple of KH, the author of the passage above) gives his view of deity and law.

“A law presupposes a superior being who, gifted with purpose, and aided by intelligence, is so coordinating his forces that a plan is being… matured… A law is but the spiritual impulse, incentive and life manifestation of that Being in which [a person] lives and moves. [A law] which is sweeping him and all God’s creatures on to a glorious consummation.” (6)

This superior being is gifted and aided from the Supreme Being with purpose and intelligence, no self-induced evolution needed for him. This deity is certainly a law unto himself, which is just what the Church has preached for hundreds of years. God’s law will simply sweep all of us up and away to some sublime end. One just needs to “pass… through himself as much of that [Being’s] spiritual life impulse” (7) as one can. This New Age theology sounds familiar. Her Tibetan has just replaced that old, prosaic God and His angelic cloud of witnesses with the Solar Logos and his devas.  Jesus and his disciples are supplanted by Maitreya Christ and his disciples, the Masters of the Hierarchy.

PL: This is an extremely biased, simplistic and out of context interpretation of DK’s words. It shows a lack of understanding of the basic purpose of Deity. I would ask if Weeks is labelling AAB as ‘theological’ – based upon his reaction to the Christian phraseology in the Great Invocation? The quote above is about how the spiritual aspirant recognises the greater ‘plan’ which is unfolding in the mind of God, and how an alignment takes place using creative free will to determine destiny. It also ironically shows signs of the author being somewhat of a ‘theosophical theologian’. It may pay to put a little more of the original quote back in to achieve a little more context:

“He then himself begins to wield the law or to pass wisely, lovingly and intelligently through himself as much of that spiritual life impulse which his particular organism can respond to, transmit and utilise.  He ceases to obstruct and begins to transfer.  He brings to an end the cycle of the closed self-centered life, and opens the doors wide to spiritual energy. In so doing he finds that the law which he has hated and mistrusted is the vitalising, purifying agency which is sweeping him and all God’s creatures on to a glorious consummation.” [7]

NW: But does the problem of personal God or impersonal Principle really matter? The Master Koot Hoomi answered a similar query long ago.

“You say it matters nothing whether these laws are the expression of the will of an intelligent conscious God, as you think, or constitute the inevitable attributes of an unintelligent, unconscious “God,” as I hold. I say, it matters everything… Immutable laws cannot arise, since they are eternal and uncreated; propelled in the Eternity and… God himself, if such a thing existed, could never have the power of stopping them.” (8)

Koot Hoomi also wrote that the “very ABC of what I know” and “the rock upon which the secrets of the occult universe” are “encrusted” is the certainty of there being no personal God, only the infinite mind’s “regular unconscious throbbings of the eternal and universal pulse of Nature.” (9)

PL: “This Entity, Whom we call the solar Logos, is in no sense the same as the personal God of the Christian, who is no more nor less than man himself, expanded into a being of awful power, and subject to the virtues and vices of man himself. The solar Logos is more than man, for He is the sum total of all the evolutions within the entire solar system, including the human, which is an evolution standing at a middle point in relation to the other evolutions.” (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p.239) “The problem now is concerned with the mystic and the occultist, and their eventual synthesis … the difficulties between thinkers, and between disciples of all groups, consist in their identifying themselves with some form, and in their inability to understand the different points of view of others. As time elapses, … they are brought into closer relationship with the two Masters with whom they are concerned (their own inner God and their personal Master)…” (Initiation, Human and Solar, p.81)

The sufferings of humanity are primarily personal; of God, they are pre-eminently impersonal and related to the whole.

NW: Bailey’s view that the Theosophical Movement revolves around humanity invoking an avatar and his hierarchy is foreign and opposed to Theosophy as taught by HPB and the Adepts. Theosophists “try to replace fruitless and useless prayer by meritorious and good-producing actions.” (10)  Bailey recommended chanting the Great Invocation to supplicate and vacuum forth from their high plane, our saviors, the Christ and his Masters. As if Masters and avatars are too nonchalant, ignorant of mankind’s trials or powerless to come forth and help us, without millions first imploring them.

PL: A totally misinformed comment. What DK was talking about is the Science of Invocation and Evocation, with which avatars and the Hieararchy are intimately related. This invoking process in the Aquarian Age will be based upon a conscious and intelligent apprehension of occult laws, but in the past has been based more upon the unconscious, wish-fulfilling desires of an ignorant humanity. All avatars, from Krishna to the Buddha and Christ, have been evoked by the Humanity of the time, consciously or unconsciously and in their cycle. One of the main purposes of both HPB’s and AAB’s teachings has been to bring about an awareness of the existence of the Masters and Hierarchy. Humanity is future Hierarchy – it is therefore a necessary education. Part of the ‘getting to know’ process is invoking Them into personal and group awareness.

NW: Granted, the question of why and how avatars descend is profound.  HPB’s teachings mention causes and conditions such as a divine seed for all avatars, certain time cycles and the Spiritual Sun being a source. (11)

PL: The Doctrine of Avatars is one of the keys that HPB gives for cracking the code to secret cycles.

NW: Bhavani Shankar, a disciple of KH, wrote that the Divine Principle sometimes responds to someone attaining high Adeptship by sending forth an avatar. (12)

PL: And if the consciousness of a few, a group, or the collective achieves a critical mass, it too is capable of invoking divine aid.

NW: As for the Occult Brotherhood encouraging humanity to pray for (and even supplying the invocation for) avatars and Masters to come forth and usher in the New Age, real Theosophy says:  “work is prayer.” (13)

PL: Technically it is not prayer, although it has been called the new ‘prayer for the Aquarian Age’. It is a very deliberate and potent mantram, that usually always culminates at the end of a personal or preferably a group meditation. There is a big difference between devotional prayer and occult meditation. Again, worth a look, is a lengthy analysis of the Great Invocation given by the aforementioned author, John Berges. “Work is prayer” is fine – nothing wrong with karma yoga. What is ‘real theosophy’ anyway?

NW: While entreaty by the suffering masses for divine aid (with or without the Great Invocation) is an understandable, ancient attitude, it has no invocative pull on avatars or Adepts, as Bailey suggests. The Occult Brotherhood knows the karmic cycles of mankind and is constantly helping us; even supplying avatars when karma permits, not just when we want them.

PL: As mentioned above, of course there is an invocative pull – There is an occult law in operation which makes an evocative response from Masters or Avatars unavoidable. Yet we are coming to a stage in our evolution where Humanity is unfolding far more consciousness. It enables a taking on of more responsibility and working cooperatively with the Masters, as opposed to having our nappies changed for us.

NW: Many people are eager to have a constant presence of godly elder brothers guiding their lives and civilization; which happens to be just what Bailey and Leadbeater and much of the New Age promises, thus its popularity.

PL: That may be true of some interpretors of Bailey and Leadbeater, and in the initial stages for some of the younger ones, may be a necessary thing, though fraught with the illusions it may entail. There is nothing really wrong with that and it is a natural human desire.

NW: Spiritual evolution, says Theosophy, takes place because of our “self-induced and self-devised efforts,” (14) not from our prayers and invocations for Christ and his Hierarchy to govern civilization.

PL: Yes, spiritual evolution, expressing itself through Initiation does take place because of what has been initiated through ‘self-devised efforts’. All strivers to Liberation have prayed and invoked. St John of the Cross, Krishnamurti etc – show me a spiritual biography where the person has not? The occult worker knows that the spiritual Hierarchy is bound by the Law of Karma not to interfere in human affairs, only guide and inspire. It is Humanity who have the free will and choice to govern their own civilisation, and they do.

NW: Unlike a traditional view of avatars, such as found in the Bhagavad Gita (4, 6-8) which says the Lord comes when virtue is almost extinct, Bailey’s advisor teaches that the Christ will come only after humanity has shown good faith by refining itself psychically and socially.

PL: Just because an avatar may come ‘unbidden’ does not mean to say that it also cannot be invoked. Who is to say that a small ‘virtuous’ minority cannot invoke such an avatar? The refinement of Humanity ‘psychically and socially’ is a necessary step and an evolving process that is key to working more closely and consciously with the greater Plan, as it emanates from the mind of “God” and filters down through the Hierarchy to Humanity.

NW: Much of Bailey’s writings revolve around preparing the reader for this advent by urging purificatory study and meditation on, and proclamation of, the reappearing Christ and his Masters. This preparation requires extensive reading and pondering on the occult technology of this world’s political and social relations, plus initiation, psychology, telepathy, astrology, healing, the seven rays, etc. Her books inform us about the Hierarchy, (of this planet, of the solar system, of Sirius and beyond) its constitution, work, goals, principal members and their projects. The Brotherhood known to HPB was not called “Occult” for nothing; very little was given out about Them. Nor were comprehensive, detailed volumes on occult subjects furnished by HPB; unlike Bailey’s artificial esoteric treatises.

PL: Nevertheless, the Brotherhood did want it to be known that they existed. Why did they also allow their portraits to hang in TS lodges? If The Secret Doctrine and HPB’s Collected Writings  are not ‘detailed volumes on occult subjects’, I don’t know what are. AAB’s material was designed to build upon and expand HPB’’s foundational writings. Again, this material will be empowering for Humanity and allow it to take far more responsibility for itself.

NW: Why? Because pondering on descriptions of superior beings and the occult side of the universe will be of very little help spiritually.

PL: What premise or reasoning does Weeks give for this bland statement?

NW: Furthermore, if the teachings are patently spurious, as Bailey’s are, our imagination is stimulated and overfilled with images and concepts that lead us far away from the real Adepts and our rightful spiritual destiny.

PL: Again, what premise or reasoning does Weeks give for this statement? Weeks probably would not know a ‘real adept’ if he tripped over one.

NW: This trumpeting of Christ’s arrival with his Hierarchy has been going on for many decades. Surely when a genuine avatar descends he is not announced by thousands of promoters wailing and hailing for years beforehand.

PL: Why not? Does it not conform to a personal ideal? Consider the biblical words: “Every eye shall see him”. The bible, apart from its associated theology, has quite a deal of occultism through it.

NW: HPB wrote that to draw near the Masters “can only be done by rising to the spiritual plane where the Masters are, and not by attempting to draw them down to ours.” (15)

PL: This is a basic truth, of course. The Masters  are not interested in creating glamorous personality cults through the encouragement of over zealous devotees. Perhaps it may pay to consider the following:

““Not many of Their names [Masters] are known to the public, nor would it be wise in many cases to reveal Who They are, where They dwell, and what is Their particular sphere of activity.  A very small minority, through group karma and a willingness thus to sacrifice Themselves, have come before the public eye during the past one hundred years, and therefore concerning these, certain information may be given out.

Quite a number of people in the world today are aware of Their existence independently of any particular school of thought, and the realisation that Those Whom they thus know personally are workers in a great and unified scheme of endeavour may encourage these real knowers to testify to their knowledge, and thus establish past all controversy the reality of Their work.  Certain schools of occultism and of theosophical endeavour have claimed to be the sole repository of Their teaching, and the sole outlet for Their efforts, thereby limiting that which they do, and formulating premises which time and circumstance will fail to substantiate.”” [8]

NW: Consider another HPB quote and note the spiritual self-reliance and impersonal nature of divinity advanced.

“Each human being is an incarnation of his God [Higher Self]… As many men on earth, so many Gods in Heaven; and yet these Gods are in reality One, for at the end of every period of activity, they are withdrawn like the rays of the setting sun into the Parent Luminary, the Non-Manifested Logos, which in its turn is merged into the One Absolute… Our prayers and supplications are vain, unless to potential words we add potent acts, and make the aura which surrounds each one of us so pure and divine that the God within us may act outwardly… [A] prayer, unless pronounced mentally and addressed to one’s “Father” in the silence and solitude of one’s “closet,” must have more frequently disastrous than beneficial results…” (16)

PL: Introducing the idea of the Masters does not mean that ‘spiritual self-reliance’ is not advocated. On the contrary, the self-initiated efforts that helped them achieve Mastery is a sober reminder for any striving aspirant. NW: The fact that for thousands of years most people have not worshipped their own inner divinity as suggested above, is one reason why the Theosophical Movement was reborn a century ago, to try to counter this separative tendency to invoke an external, personal deity. Since Bailey’s Great Invocation is to be droned by the masses in this conventional way, it opposes the self-reliant, philosophically atheistic attitude (and silent practice) suggested by the Brotherhood. This is another point in favor of Bailey’s guide not being Djual Khool.

PL: ‘”Droned to the masses”’ is an ignorant and condescending remark. Once again, Weeks has the wrong end of the stick in suggesting DK advocates an anthropocentric viewpoint.

NW: So what should a follower of Theosophy rely on (and recommend to others) to subdue their passions and selfishness and thus foster planetary redemption? “His Higher Self, the divine spirit, or the God in him, and…his Karma.” (17) Karma means altruism in thought, word and deed now. It means practicing “virtue for its own sake,” not in order to speed the descent of Christ and the Hierarchy. To put it simply, as one of the Masters wrote to Olcott in the 1870s: “Act as though we had no existence. Do your duty as you see it and leave the results to take care of themselves. Expect nothing from us, yet be ready for anything.” (18)

PL: Most AAB students known to this author, barely give the Masters a second thought. Weeks makes the assumption that they would. Most aspirants and disciples are aware of the Masters and are just getting on with the small part that they have to play in the greater scheme of things. Many younger aspirants look to the Masters and quite often contact their astral reflections.

NW: A letter from an Adept to Annie Besant warned her about the worshipful attitude towards the Masters developing in her Theosophical Society. Bailey was critical of the TS and yet the jargon and gush she wrote about the Hierarchy over 30 years (1919- 49) was as bad, if not worse, than that in the TS of the same period.

PL: As one who has written a book on the Masters based upon much of DK’s works [9], I fail to see the ‘jargon and gush’ to which Weeks refers. Occult and theosophical terminology, when misused, can become jargon. As for ‘gush’, much of AAB’’s writings have been criticised for being too dry. Reverence at times, but gush, well that’s a subjective thing for some.

NW: The Adept wrote: “Is the worship of a new Trinity made up of the Blessed M[orya], Upasika [HPB] and yourself [Besant] to take the place of exploded creeds? We ask not for the worship of ourselves… The cant about “Masters” must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which one is a part.  Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work.” (19)

PL: Consider this: “”In all the above, I have told you much; yet at the same time I have told you nothing which would lead you to offer me that blind obedience and the foolish devotion which the emotional aspirant offers to the Guru and Master Whom he is as yet unable to contact. Nor will he make that desired contact until he has transmuted emotional devotion into unselfish service to humanity—not to the Master.” [10]

NW: This Trinity of HPB, M and AB was (thankfully) never put forward by Bailey. Instead she chose the fantastic Triune God of Manu, Mahachohan and the Bodhisattva, another revelation from CW Leadbeater. If the Adepts’ work was being hindered by the “confused aura” exuded by the references to themselves in 1900, ponder how much their work, up to the present time, must have been thwarted by Bailey’s books, Great Invocation, Arcane School etc.

PL: Again, Weeks is incorrect here as it was part of the earlier ‘appropriation’ of some of AAB’’s early material by Leadbeater. What is so ‘fantastic’ about this trinity as a reflection of trinities which HPB describes in her writings? On the contrary, Weeks’’ confusion has compounded existing TS confusions and ignorance. The triune nature of the Manu, Boddhisattva and Mahachohan – as reflections of the solar trinity, are essential to understand the structure of Hierarchy.

NW: 2) Contrast key terms or themes. One of the most pervasive themes in AAB’s work and writing is the feverish pursuit of spiritual status. Her Tibetan’s first two books (20) were dedicated to initiation and occult meditation. Several other books focussed exclusively on her variant of discipleship and the spiritual path. Nearly every text she channelled is strongly colored by an advocacy of discipleship. After less than five years of being the medium for her Tibetan, she formed the Arcane School. This school is just the sort of nursery for occultists HPB’s Gurus would have nothing to do with.

PL: I think that Weeks has misread this ‘‘feverish pursuit of spiritual status’’, possibly by his own projections and also the very theme which has saturated theosophical circles for years. Initiation is a science and one of the sub-sciences of Esoteric Astrology. For the disciple of the Aquarian Age, the ‘self-reliance’ that Weeks talks about, will be far more to the fore. One of the tests in treading the Path is ascertaining where you are, and therefore what is the nature of your next step. Even if it means thinking that you are about to become an Arhat, when in fact you are only approaching the Second Degree, those illusions will have to be worked through.

Why are there hundreds of worldwide TS lodges in operation? Why is a theosophical university in existence? Occult education is one of the primary functions of the TS.

NW: Bailey’s book on occult meditation even gives the floor plan and curriculum for a prophesied occult college. Master KH wrote that one “who is not as pure as a young child had better leave chelaship alone.” (21)

PL: So what is wrong with putting forth a vision? There may be very sound occult reasons for suggesting these floor plans.

NW: Blavatsky told the American theosophists:

“The [Theosophical] Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists – as a factory for the manufacture of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of materialism… By “materialism” is meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism in conduct and action… but also the fruits of a disbelief in all but material things… A disbelief which has led many… into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.” (22)

PL: Yes the Theosophical Society may not have been founded for such purposes, but other souls who come forth may require deeper occult education. How do you think the Masters attained their occult knowledge? The materialisation of the Theosophical Society from an organism into an organisation, is responsible paradoxically, and has been a breeding ground for many crystallisations of thought and prejudices.

NW: The Secret Doctrine mentions the “depraved tastes” of humanity that craves “the materialization of the ever-immaterial and Unknowable Principle.” (23)  Alice Bailey’s writings cater to the human weakness for having divinity and divine fields made understandable to our personal mind. Rather than uplift our personal awareness to our actual spiritual nature and know Spirit in truth, most of us prefer the comfortable fiction.

PL: Assumptions. Weeks seems to prefer the mystical approach, not the occult. There is a two-fold and inextricably entwined human evolution of heart and head. How can apprehension of that which is perceived directly of the divine be grounded in consciousness otherwise? It remains mystical apprehension, but not occult understanding and comprehension. The ‘’materialistic’’ aspect of AAB’’s teachings is that which builds a scaffold for higher understanding.

NW: Another key theme is the nature and relationship to humanity, of the Occult Brotherhood. According to Bailey one of the prime aims of the Hierarchy was to prepare humanity for the reappearance of the Christ. (24) In addition to Christ’s Second Coming there will be an externalization of the Hierarchy. Part of this advent involves several of the Masters descending from the etheric plane and taking up lodgings in various cities around the globe. An entire book, (25) plus many passages in her other tomes, expound on this theme. The Masters, as dutiful planetary civil servants, will apportion tasks concerning economics, religion, education, etc. amongst themselves. At that point they will proceed with the task of directing the planned new world order. On the other hand, HPB and her Gurus present the Brotherhood as quite aloof from society’s affairs. Which is not surprising since they are liberated from self-centered, worldly concerns and have no interest in greasing the wheels of our banal, materialistic civilization. As Bodhisattvas They do help, but being creatures of the immutable Law of Karma, “can not stop the world from going in its destined direction.”  (26)   HPB wrote:

“The more spiritual the Adept becomes, the less can he meddle with mundane, gross affairs and the more he has to confine himself to a spiritual work… The very high Adepts, therefore, do help humanity, but only spiritually: they are constitutionally incapable of meddling with worldly affairs… It is only the chelas that can live in the world, until they rise to a certain degree.” (27)

PL: Despite his scoffing, does Weeks really know in his heart whether this is true or not? The Masters may not have been involved with coming in amongst Humanity when the Secret Doctrine was written, but that does not mean to say that they did not have other future plans. Weeks only knows what he has learnt from the TS teachings. All the statements above are sound and with which most students would concur. Yet the Masters also make statements that are seemingly contradictory, upsetting frequently the concretising faculty of the lower mind. Part of the Masters’ plans for releasing the material through HPB is actually preparing Humanity for their gradual externalisation. But it will be mainly the personnel of their ashrams, the Masters themselves probably keeping quite low key.

NW: 3) Contrast methods of teaching. This is not a new debate. With respect to Bailey’s insular teaching method, which uses constant declaration with little or no supporting evidence, here is what Alice Cleather, a member of HPB’s Inner Group, wrote in 1929:

“Boiled down, what does it all amount to? Simply Mrs. Bailey’s calm, unchecked (and uncheckable) assertions, for the validity of which she claims the equally unchecked (and uncheckable) “authority” of her “Tibetan”.” (28)

PL: How many ‘unchecked assertions’ can you find in HPB’s writings? Hundreds I dare say. Cleather, if one of the inner group, was probably a member of the dreaded ES, to which AAB makes reference in the earlier quote. NW: The late Victor Endersby pointed out:

“There is a gulf as wide as the world between the presentation by H.P.B. and that of Bailey, in the matter of mode alone. H.P.B.’s was accompanied by voluminous evidence from many sources… Nothing of this appears in the Bailey output… the entire structure rests on her ipse dixit (29) alone. One thing is certain: whatever her “K.H.” and “Djwhal Khul” may have been, they were not the mentors of H.P.B. That much is surely proven by the texts as anything could be.” (30)

PL: This is one of the major criticisms of AAB’’s work and granted, it is a valid one, but only from the material viewpoint, in the way HPB had all the back-up references. The Secret Doctrine was a great work of comparative religion, amongst many other things. HPB laid a material foundation in order to prove her cosmogony to the materialistic western science and religion of Victorian times. AAB’’s work does not set out to make proofs through material references, but it is there for the earnest student’’s developed intuition to recognise. This is a fundamental key in this whole argument, the intellect versus the spiritual intuition. So if it is perceived as ipse dixit, have those ‘theosophists’ really made an effort to exercise their intuition? My guess is that that they have been prey to reactionary devotion and sub-cult conditioning – the thorn in the side of the TS this past century or so.

NW: In 1882 HPB’s Master Morya wrote: “A constant sense of abject dependence upon a Deity which he regards as the sole source of power makes a man lose all self-reliance and the spurs to activity and initiative. Having begun by creating a father and guide unto himself, he becomes like a boy and remains so to his old age, expecting to be led by the hand on the smallest as well as the greatest events of life… The Founders (31) prayed to no Deity in beginning the Theosophical Society, nor asked his help since. Are we expected to become … nursing mothers…? Did we help the Founders? No; they were helped by the inspiration of self-reliance, and sustained by their reverence for the rights of man, and their love for a country [India]… Your sins? The greatest of them is your fathering upon your God the task of purging you of them. This is no creditable piety, but an indolent and selfish weakness.  Though vanity would whisper to the contrary, heed only your common sense.” (32)

Although the “sinners” mentioned by Morya were some Hindus of a century ago, Alice Bailey, her Tibetan and their followers share the same habit, fathering upon their Hierarchy and Planetary Logos, their indolent and selfish wish that Sanat Kumara, Christ and the Masters will purge humanity of sin.

PL: If that is the case, when looked at objectively, then many theosophists do the same thing. We all know that Humanity can only purge its own sin, Weeks has missed the point and misinterpreted.

NW: These are just a few of the topics (barely touched on) that must be studied closely by those who wish to understand how inimical Theosophy and pseudo-theosophy are.

Part II of IV here.


1. Blavatsky: Collected Writings Theosophical Publishing House, vol. 11, 49.
2. It can be found in any of Bailey’s books.
3. The Key to Theosophy, Theosophical University Press, 155.
4. From an unpublished portion of a KH letter to Laura Holloway; written in the summer of 1884.
5. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett 2nd. ed., TUP, 53, 142- 43.
6. A Treatise on White Magic, Lucis Publishing 10-11.
7. Op. Cit.
8. The Mahatma Letters, 143, 141.
9. Ibid 143, 138.
10. The Key to Theosophy, 70.
11. See Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. 14 and The Secret Doctrine.
12. See The Doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita, Concord Grove Press, chapter 3.
13. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. 9, 69.
14. The Secret Doctrine, TUP, vol. 1, 17.
15. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. 12, 492.
16. Ibid,  533-35.
17. The Key to Theosophy, 73.
18. “Address of the President-Founder,” The Theosophist, Aug.1906, 829-30.
19. The Eclectic Theosophist, Sep./Oct. 1987.
20. Initiation Human and Solar and Letters on Occult Meditation.
21. Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series, TPH, 1948, 34.
22. Blavatsky: Collected Writings,  vol. 9, 244.
23. Volume II, 503.
24. As witness her book The Reappearance of the Christ, Lucis Publishing, 1948.
25. See her The Externalization of the Hierarchy.
26. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in Chronlogical Sequence, TPH, 1993, 474.
27. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. 6, 247.
28. Quoted in Theosophical Notes Special Paper, Sept. 1963, 14.
29. Latin — he himself said it: an assertion made but not proved.
30. Theosophical Notes Special Paper, Sept. 1963, 40.
31. HP Blavatsky, WQ Judge and HS Olcott.
32. Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series, 107.
More recent dialogue (2011) with the head of the TS, Radha Burnier

2 Responses to Alice A. Bailey, H.P. Blavatsky and Helena Roerich (Pt. I)

  1. orest yurij tarnawsky says:

    Past references though significant do not necessarily indicate the prevailing situation.
    I have presented at the Adelaide(south Australian) Theosophical Society and here in New Zealand (Christchurch and Auckland). The attitude I have encountered is a positive supportive encouragement to bridge the Alice A Bailey work into the Society. The initial experiences that LAWSON Bracewell encountered have been reversed and our relationships with the TS have been good with Julia touring both islands as a presenter. Change has manifested here in the location of G. Hodson New Zealand.

  2. Phillip Lindsay
    Phillip Lindsay says:

    It has also been my experience from talks I have given at Theosophical Societies throughout New Zealand, Australia, South America and the United States – all very positive and open to Alice Bailey teachings. Alot depends upon the politics of individual lodges I think – such as the international headquarters in Chennai or Wheaton, USA …

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