Talk:Theosophical Society

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Please Wikipedians delete this article. We will make new one with more information and suitable references. (from my opinion) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mahusha (talkcontribs) 14:12, 7 December 2013 (UTC)


I would like to propose removing the misleading sentence that states the Thule Society "provides the final link between occult racial theories and the racial ideology of Hitler and the emerging Nazi party." This incorrectly suggests that the Third Reich was the natural outcome of Theosophy. I propose re-writing the statement to more accurately reflect Hitler's relationship with Thule outlined in the Thule Society article.Yonderboy (talk) 18:36, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

My recommendation is to remove the section on the Thule Society altogether, as this has nothing to do with the formation of the Theosophical Society. Technically the statement about a chain of connections may be correct but this why Hitler became Hitler and we - did not. Other, better connections between the TS, and the TS, might be made instead. A Server —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 22 January 2010 (UTC)


I can't quite figure out the system here. This is the third place I try to comment on this. Anyhow - I don't think this page needs to list every theosophical organization worldwide. And since we can't, IMO list every organization (and have to check whether links still work), we should not list any other than the main ones. And the australian link isn't a main one. It is simply a subsection of the Theosophical Society Adyar.

I think those Three objects of the society may have been jimmied with. My original source from 1893 makes no mention of Buddism Hindooism or any other tradition specifically than Aryan. Has someone editorialized them???

My edition says it's an "Unabridged, verbatim reprinting of the origional edition of 1889, including the glossary (which appeared in H.P.B.'s second edition) and a new index. " It's the edition by the Theosophical University Press Pasadena, California.

(Of course the current objects of the Theosophical Society Adyar are different, as are those of the other theosophical organisations. )

kh7 12:48 Apr 19, 2003 (UTC)

Fact and Opinion[edit]

To me the the statement "While all three organizations trace their history back to the founding of the original Society, that Society must in some sense be said to have ceased to exist after the 1895 schism." sounds very much like opinion with the "in some sense to be said". However with the "must" it was stated as a fact. Instead I changed it to "While all three organizations trace their history back to the founding of the original Society, one might say that in some sense the original Society has ceased to exist after the 1895 schism." to clarify that it is an opinion.

If someone wants to change it back to the way it was I'd recommend adding in WHO believes that the original Society is dead. Do the 3 factions themselves believe this? Do critics? --John Lynch 15:07, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

the theosophical seal[edit]

The theosophical seal is as follows: [1]

The current seal given (seems to have been changed today) is Blavatsky's seal, on which (probably) the TS-seal was based. I don't know how to edit pictures, so I hope someone will change this back or something. kh7 10:46, 5 May 2006 (UTC)


This article bads needs some references with footnotes. Sardaka (talk) 09:10, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Using as a source or link[edit]

This site is the personally registered site of Anand Gholap of Pune, India. He has a disclaimer that he is not responsible for the use of anything on his site ( He makes no special claims of expertise or any affiliation. A number of texts and images from books are on his site but copyright status is uncertain as he does not have specific permission to make these public domain but has added these on the basis of his understanding of copyright law which is not the same as Wikipedia's. His site fails WP:RS and WP:ELNO and should not be used as a reference or link for any article apart from (possibly) an article about himself.—Ash (talk) 17:18, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Krishnamurti's relationship with Leadbeater[edit]

In the section "Krishnamurti", there is a supposed statement of Krishnamurti that is not only uncited, but also dubious, specifically the quote that Leadbeater was "evil". This I have noted in the Leadbeater Talk page which I invite you to view. There are other factual problems and/or omissions with the "Krishnamurti" section of the article that I'm in the process of correcting. Thank you.

Primary sources[edit]

This article depends way too much on primary sources. Given how much has been written about the Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, it should be quite easy to find sources that are more appropriate for Wikipedia. --jpgordon::==( o ) 19:22, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

No it doesn't. Apart from descriptions of what is clearly presented as doctrine, there's a variety of secondary sources. Encyclopedias are secondary sources. Also imo you misrepresent the primary sources policy:

Policy: Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source. Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, or evaluative claims about material found in a primary source. Do not base articles entirely on primary sources. Do not add unsourced material from your personal experience, because that would make Wikipedia a primary source of that material. Use extra caution when handling primary sources about living people; see WP:BLPPRIMARY, which is policy.

The sources I used are a good example of not being prejudicial: statements should be examined based on their factual accuracy, not the affiliation of the person who makes them. If you can't learn to live with that, leave it alone. Maybe there should be one more Wikipedia policy about that.
And why didn't you start this discussion before removing the information? What a joke. (talk) 15:55, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, an encyclopaedia is a tertiary source: "Policy: Reliably published tertiary sources can be helpful in providing broad summaries of topics that involve many primary and secondary sources. Some tertiary sources are more reliable than others, and within any given tertiary source, some articles may be more reliable than others". One should only use an encyclopaedia as a general guide to a subject - specific details are best found in secondary sources, which should cover them in greater detail. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:55, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The point is, encyclopedias are not primary sources, the reason given by the other user and yourseld for reverting the information. Did you just find that out now? In that case I honestly apologize for calling you a vandal. However ignorance of such a simple central fact raises the question of what you have to offer in this discussion. (talk) 00:23, 14 February 2011 (UTC) (talk),
  • "And why didn't you start this discussion before removing the information?" See WP:BRD.
  • "What a joke." Also see WP:CIVIL
Cheers, JoeSperrazza (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Really. First, have you actually read the WP:BRD page? Are encyclopedia sources considered "bold" edits? Are you avoiding the facts by trying to fit them in a policy not relevant here? Because I can point to several other policies on editing and citing sources that are much more relevant and support my position. Do editors second-guess every encyclopedia, and every encyclopedia citation based on the affiliation of the contributor? Do you actually realize that most encyclopedia contributors are closely related or affiliated with their entries? That's why they are experts on them and that is why other experts (the editorial boards) peer-review them. The burden of proof to the opposite is on the other party. How would you call the constant reverting of properly cited, good-faith, prima-facie neutral edits? vandalism? No?
Do you think any of the following may be "uncivil": repeatedly deleting accurately cited, sourced info. Starting a revert war and then complaining about it. Being right just because you were the first to cry about it. Threatening with unspecified sanctions. Blocking without any real reason. Making poorly veiled threats as you did in your "welcome". How about the following, crowning incivility: learning (incompetently) on the job. (talk) 00:23, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
"Do you actually realize that most encyclopedia contributors are closely related or affiliated with their entries?" If this were true (I doubt it is, for most reputable ones), it would be further grounds not to use them as sources. Find proper secondary sources, written by people unaffiliated with Theosophy, and you will be in a stronger position to argue you case. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia of Religion is not a strong or proper source? Is this a joke? Both editions include "Theosophical Society" entries from two different contributors affiliated with the Society, reviewed by different senior editors and editorial boards. Other Encyclopedias' contributions on the subject are by persons also affiliated by the Society. It must be a conspiracy by the Illuminati or by a bunch of chipmunks. Or you are wrong. Which do you think is more likely? (talk) 15:13, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, if the Encyclopedia of Religion entries are written by "contributors affiliated with the Society" they are not reliable sources written by unconcerned third parties. They do not meet Wikipedia standards, and should not be used. If there are no reliable neutral sources that make the same claims as the Encyclopedia, these claims cannot appear in the article, other than as attributed statements of opinion by involved parties: it is not Wikipedia policy to present such information as neutral. And no, I see no evidence of conspiracy - I do however see a clear misunderstanding of Wikipedia policy on sourcing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:55, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
If I may offer an opinion for whatever it's worth: It seems to me the affiliation of the contributor is not a secret (at least in the 2nd ed. of the Encyclopedia, I don't have access to the 1st). Also, in general, contributors to such works are invited, and their entries are reviewed (or are supposed to be reviewed) before publication. So when you question a contributor you are basically questioning the integrity of the editorial review board, in other words, the encyclopedia itself. If a journalist writes an article (not opinion piece or editorial) in say, the New York Times, in which he/she discloses an affiliation with the subject, and it nevertheless passes the New York Times editorial review for neutrality and accuracy (as proven by its publication), what basis do we have for questioning it? Thanks. (talk) 20:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
In the interest of full disclosure :) I need to add that I have come across encyclopedia entries that are factually wrong or imbalanced (for example, see my notes in List of works about Jiddu Krishnamurti#Miscellaneous other). However I felt that once the errors were noted, there was still merit in referencing the source. I understand this case may not be a perfect fit for this discussion. Thanks. (talk) 21:11, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Here's where it gets problematic. It might be appropriate to say, "According to Shirley J. Nicholson, chief editor of the Theosophical Publishing House and director of the Krotona School of Theosophy, The Society's objectives have since their formulation been partially or wholly incorporated in the goals of diverse sociopolitical movements and into various philosophical and scientific enquiries, and are considered responsible for increasing the cross-fertilization of ideas between East and West." We cannot, however, make such a broad assertion (about the Theosophical Society without a either a third party source or using the "according to"; it should be obvious that Nicholson is not an independent source regarding Theosophy. It doesn't matter that the Encyclopedia of Religion (itself a quite reliable source) published the article; their rules for acceptable sourcing aren't the same as ours, nor is there any reason for them to be. --jpgordon::==( o ) 21:52, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that was where I saw the real problem too. I don't know enough about the subject to comment on other edits by, but that seemed to me to be way beyond anything a neutral article should be asserting, without very good external sourcing: "Exceptional claims require exceptional sources". A statement on this subject by a Theosophist, no matter where made, clearly isn't good enough. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:07, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Both of you have to stop trying to find ways to excuse your behavior. First, the source is not Shirley Nicholson, it is the Encyclopedia of Religion. Secondly, the sourcing procedures of a reliable source are not part of ANY wikipedia policy on editing or citing. Third, WP:REDFLAG does not apply here. And I quote:
  • surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources;
  • reports of a statement by someone that seems out of character, or against an interest they had previously defended;
  • claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living persons. This is especially true when proponents say there is a conspiracy to silence them.
None of the above applies in this case, as half an hour's research can show you. You are just being lazy, sloppy, and prejudicial. Your reasons for disallowing the citation change (ever so slightly) every time. How disingenious. So where are we here? The source is reliable. The text accurately reflects the source. The facts from "mainstream sources" support the text as presented and do not alter at all "mainsream assumptions". The citation is properly formatted. You are out of order in removing the citation according to Wikipedia policies on editing, sourcing and citing. This is vandalism by any other name, and ofcourse, I retain the right to ask that the citations be reinserted. (talk) 01:09, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
And where exactly are the ""mainstream sources" that support the claims made by Nicholson regarding the Theosophy Society's objectives being "partially or wholly incorporated in the goals of diverse sociopolitical movements and into various philosophical and scientific enquiries" and being "considered responsible for increasing the cross-fertilization of ideas between East and West"? If they exist, then cite them, rather than Nicholson. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:21, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm starting to suspect that you wilfully don't see the situation here. The "claims" are not made by Nicholson but by The Encyclopedia (the editors having overriding authority over any contributor). I had also posted another citation from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy at least partly supporting the text. Similar can be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica and the already cited New Age Encyclopedia (published by Gale, in case one thinks this is about "fringe" publishers). Finally the first statement is so broad that falls under the "obvious" category. In the century following the statement of the objects of the Society, similar nondiscriminatory slogans have indeed become commonplace in sociopolitical causes, while the comparative study of religion, and scientific investigations on consciousness, the paranormal etc have proliferated. This was NOT the case in the 19th century or before. The Encyclopedia of Religion citation is as good as any, and even better, it shows that there should be no knee-jerk reactions based on the affiliation of the contributor. All that I have repeated before, and I'll keep repeating for as long as it takes. (talk) 01:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you're wrong about the claims; I think you should find it very easy to find supporting sources from third parties. We don't get to use the claims otherwise. --jpgordon::==( o ) 02:59, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Another self-contradictory post. Ok, no problem. I guess we'll have to continue this after the soft lock expires. (talk) 14:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
What's contradictory? That I think you're correct about the claims, but that they require reliable sourcing? That's the sole problem here. Oh, that and your expressed intent to continue edit warring; the proper place to discuss this is here. If you proceed as you have been, the page will likely be semi-protected for as long as is necessary. --jpgordon::==( o ) 16:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If the so-called claims are correct and the source (Encyclopedia of Religion) is reliable then your [02:59, 16 February 2011] post is self-contradictory. I inserted reliable sources, starting with the Encyclopedia of Religion. And I'm not edit warring. I'm adding pertinent information, and you are removing it without cause, and also initially without prior discussion. All this "warring" started with you. I can see the need for the page to be fully protected from you, mainly. (talk) 20:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
No, you still miss the point, perhaps completely. If it had been an anonymous entry in the Encyclopedia, I'd not have a leg to stand on. But it's not an anonymous entry, and we can't ignore the authorship. --jpgordon::==( o ) 02:07, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
There's no point in this. Nowhere have I seen an Encyclopedic source questioned solely because of the identity of the contributor. If 1. the contribution is factual and 2. the source acceptable, this is sufficient. You just have to realize that even partisans can make factual statements about subjects they know about. (talk) 15:44, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Of course they can. And since the statements are factual, it will be simple to find a non-partisan source backing up the claims, so we can use them in Wikipedia. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:49, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Another self-contradictory post. Ok, no problem. I guess we'll have to continue this after the soft lock expires. (talk) 14:34, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
"'ll keep repeating for as long as it takes" Perhaps you'll stop vandalizing my talk page, while you're not listening here. JoeSperrazza (talk) 03:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
A look at my talk page reveals the unwarrranted template:ISP and the attendant implied threat still there. Well, I can neither revert, block or ignore that. Also, since you are so big on pointing out policies/recommendations that have nothing to do with the subject at hand, you may want to read this one: Wikipedia:Vandalism. Questioning administrattive sloppiness, laziness and abuse doesn't exactly fall under this one either, I think. (talk) 14:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

"Semi-protected" ???[edit]

Is there a specific reason all IP users are not allowed to edit? I understand there is a dispute with one IP user (I posted on that thread yeaterday), but why limit all IP edits? Thanks. (talk) 18:38, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Looking around the noticeboards, I saw the article is semi-protected for 1 month by Ed Johnston, I believe, but no reasons are given why confirmed accounts should have the privilege to edit. The parties in this dispute include confirmed accounts, and it seems to me that the dispute is still not resolved. Blocking all IP accounts and allowing all confirmed accounts strikes me as one-sided. The proper thing to do (maybe it can't be done for technical reasons) imo is to disallow editing only to the parties in dispute. Thanks. (talk) 18:53, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree that this is less than ideal. The problem is that (a) as far as I know, it isn't possible to block a single IP from a single article, and (b) it is relatively easy to obtain a new IP anyway, to get around a block. I can only suggest that you either register with a username, or alternately, post any suggested revisions here: if they are uncontroversial, it shouldn't be a problem for someone else to add them. Note that you will not be able to edit this article immediately, even with a named account: you need to have made at least 10 edits elsewhere, and to have had the account for four days: see WP:AUTOCONFIRM AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:04, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt response. I have to say that I don't even understand the current controversy, so I can't tell what would be uncontroversial material. In any case, there's also technical stuff to do, like introducing anchors, citation templates etc. I'm only peripherally interested in this particular topic, so it's not a priority, especially since there's an ongoing dispute. Mainly I was interested in setting the record straight regarding the World Teacher/Krishnamurti issue, which I previously did, imo. Thanks (talk) 19:52, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


An IP editing from the NY Public Library has tagged the article for expansion. The article seems complete. What's missing? JoeSperrazza (talk) 00:53, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

The org. has been around for almost 140 years. The article says next to nothing about its development up to the present. It basically concentrates on the founding, and examines at some length doctrinal matters more suited to the Theosophy page. Who were prominent members? Why? Did important bylaws change? Why? How did controversies, etc. impact the institution? What institutional actions deserve mention and why? What was/is the institution's influence or criticisms? etc. etc. Thanks. (talk) 15:54, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Material for merger[edit]

A substantial bank of material for possible merger with this article, originally from Theosophy, can be found at User:Hgilbert/Theosophical Society. If someone wishes to take on merging this into this and related articles, it would be helpful. HGilbert (talk) 07:36, 16 January 2015 (UTC)


I wanted to suggest a link be inserted to Moncure D Conway's page

since he is so much a part of a book entitled "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: Theosophy and the Emergence of the Western Guru." rumjal 05:51, 1 September 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumjal (talkcontribs)

Reference book[edit]

Does anyone here have this book?

Washington, Peter (1993). Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: Theosophy and the Emergence of the Western Guru. London: Secker & Warburg. ISBN 978-0-436-56418-5.

It seems to have a section on the School of Economic Science and the Wiki on that article would benefit greatly from additional content based on more reliable sources such as this. Please bring the book there if you can. Thanks -Roberthall7 (talk) 11:55, 21 July 2016 (UTC)