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Encyclopedia > Charles Webster Leadbeater

C.W. Leadbeater (1847 or 1854-1934), English clergyman and Theosophical author, contributed to world thought mostly through his work as a clairvoyant. 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1854 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1934 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...

Leadbeater was an Anglican priest when he joined the Theosophical Society in 1883. The next year he met Helena Petrovna Blavatsky when she came to London. The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... The Theosophical Society was the original organization formed to advance the religious doctrine known as Theosophy. ... 1883 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Helena Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Hahn (also Hélène) (July 31, 1831 (O.S.) (August 12, 1831 (N.S.)) - May 8, 1891 London, England), better known as Helena Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky was the founder of Theosophy. ... The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, which contains Big Ben London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ...

At this time he was the recipient of a few Mahatma letters which influenced him to go to India. In India he claimed to have received visits and training from some of Blavatsky's Masters. See C.W. Leadbeater's "Account of the Development of His Clairvoyance. Mahatma is Sanskrit for Great Soul. ...

This was the start of a long career in the Theosophical Society.

He remains well known and influential in his work through clairvoyance with for instance his books The Chakras and Man, Visible and Invisible dealing with the human aura and chakras, and writing on the function of the Sacraments in the Liberal Catholic Church, to name just a few subjects. Clairvoyance is defined as a form of extra-sensory perception that it is claimed allows a person to perceive distant objects, persons, or events, including seeing through opaque objects and the detection of types of energy not normally perceptible to humans (i. ... An aura is an optical effect wherein gas or dust surrounding an object luminesces or reflects light from the object. ... In Hinduism and its spiritual systems of yoga and in some related eastern cultures, as well as in some segments of the New Age movement, a chakra (from the Sanskrit word चक्र meaning wheel, circle) is thought to be an energy node in the human body. ... The Liberal Catholic Church is a form of Christianity open to theosophical ideas. ...

His most well-known activity was the discovery of Jiddu Krishnamurti, on the private beach that formed part of the Theosophical headquarters in Adyar, India. Krishnamurti and his family had been living in the headquarters for a few months before this discovery. Krishnamurti was to be the vessal for the indwelling of the coming "World Teacher" that many Theosophists were expecting. This new teacher would, in the pattern of Moses, Buddha, Zarathustra (Zoroaster), Christ, and Muhammad divulge a new dispensation, a new religious teaching. Theosophists believed that the teacher was a spiritual being who would dwell in the body vessal. Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 11, 1895 Madanapalle, India - February 17, 1986 Ojai, California) was discovered as a young boy by C.W. Leadbeater in India on the private beach, that was part of the Theosophical headquarters in Adyar in Chennai. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew Móše, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى Musa), son of Amram and his wife, Jochebed, a Levite. ... A stone image of the Buddha. ... Zartosht, as popularly depicted by Iranian artists. ... Christ is the English representation of the Greek word Χριστός (transliterated as Khristós), which means anointed. ... Muhammad is a common Muslim male name. ...

Charles Leadbeater stayed in India for some time overseeing the raising of Krishnamurti, but eventually felt that he was being called to go to Australia for the cause. While in Australia he became a leading member of the Liberal Catholic Church.

Leadbeater was accused of paedophilia but was never charged or brought to court, though there is a body of evidence that suggests he may have sexually abused his students in the United States, India and Australia. Peter Michel, in his biography of Charles W. Leadbeater, writes that these accusations are suspect as they came from what can be considered as his enemies: Alexander Fullerton, Herbert Burrows, G.R.S. Mead, Hubert van Hook, Katherine Tingley and Hilda Martyn. It has been speculated that an incriminating letter to a young boy attributed to Leadbeater, that was signed "Thousand kisses darling", was a forgery by Fullerton.

It is true however that (before 1906), he recommended the practice of masturbation as a prophylactic in certain cases to young boys. But these were ideas that Charles Leadbeater already had before he joined the Theosophical Society and still was a member of the Church.

Leadbeater's clairvoyance was not without grave errors. In his book The Inner Life he claims that there is a population of humans on the planet Mars. See Leadbeater's Observations on Mars.

For more on his teachings, see Criticisms of C.W. Leadbeater's Teachings.


  • Michel, Peter. Charles W. Leadbeater:Mit den Augen des Geistes ISBN 3894271078 (In German; No English translation available)
  • Tillett, Gregory. The Elder Brother: A Biography of Charles Webster Leadbeater.


  • Chakras (1927)
  • The Inner Side Of Christian Festivals (1920)
  • The Science of the Sacraments (1920)
  • Glimpses of Masonic History (1926)
  • The Hidden Life in Freemasonry (1926)
  • The Masters And The Path (1925)
  • Man Visible And Invisible (1902)
  • The Inner Life (1911)
  • Occult Chemistry (book)

For a more complete list of his works, see A Chronological Listing of C.W. Leadbeater's Books and Pamphlets. Occult Chemistry is a book written by Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Charles Webster Leadbeater:  His Life, Writings and Theosophical Teachings (2548 words)
Annie Besant, the President of the [Adyar Theosophical] Society from 1907 to her death in 1933, and Charles Webster Leadbeater, arguably the most influential theosophical writer from the early years of the 20th century to his death in 1934.
• The Elder Brother: A Biography of Charles Webster Leadbeater by Gregory Tillett.
• C.W. Leadbeater in Retrospect by Hugh Shearman
  More results at FactBites »



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