By Lee Penn
By Lee Penn
is a blend of distorted forms of Hinduism and Buddhism with Western
spiritual movement took its modern form in 1875 in
At first glance, the stated aims of the Theosophical Society appear harmless:
· “To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
· To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy, and science.
· To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.”
These principles were established in the 19th Century, and have been the foundation of Theosophy since then. However, in her writings – which the Theosophical movement still publishes and reveres – Madame Blavatsky showed the darker side of her world-view.
For Blavatsky, the Lord is not God; mankind is. In The Secret Doctrine, she said: “esoteric philosophy shows that man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects – good and evil.” Since mankind is god, it follows through the “law of spiritual development” that “mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally – SELF-REDEEMED.” Elsewhere in the same book, Blavatsky foreshadowed Gorbachev (who recently said “nature is my god”) by claiming, “The silent worship of abstract or noumenal Nature, the only divine manifestation, is the one ennobling religion of Humanity.” Either way, for Blavatsky, God is not the Holy Trinity as revealed to Christians.
Throughout The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky praised the Devil and belittled God.
In Volume I, Cosmogenesis, she
wrote: “The devil is now called
Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the Bible he is called the ‘Son of
God’ (see Job), the bright star of early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft
in the reason why the first
Blavatsky went on to hail Satan as “Saviour” of man: “Satan and his rebellious host would thus prove, when the meaning of the allegory is explained, to have refused to create physical man, only to become the direct Saviours and the Creators of ‘divine Man.’ … For, instead of remaining a mere blind, functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless Law, the ‘rebellious’ Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgment and will, his right of free-agency and responsibility, since man and angel are alike under Karmic Law.”
For her, Satan is the one who frees man from death: “Thus ‘Satan’ once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, un-philosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine man; who gave him, throughout the long cycle of Mahâ-kalpa the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death.”
In Volume II, Anthropogenesis, Blavatsky continued to exalt the Devil. She said: “Satan will now be shown, in the teaching of the Secret Doctrine, allegorized as Good, and Sacrifice, a God of Wisdom, under different names.” Blavatsky added, “In this case it is but natural – even from the dead letter standpoint – to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual mankind. For it is he who was the ‘Harbinger of Light,’ bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah, as alleged; and he who was the first to whisper: ‘in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil’ – can only be regarded in the light of a Saviour. An ‘adversary’ to Jehovah the ‘personating spirit,’ he still remains in esoteric truth the ever-loving ‘Messenger’ (the angel), the Seraphim and Cherubim who both knew well, and loved still more, and who conferred on us spiritual, instead of physical immortality – the latter a kind of static immortality that would have transformed man into an undying ‘Wandering Jew.’”
In the end, Blavatsky raises up Satan as “the highest divine Spirit:” “To make the point clear once for all: that which the clergy of every dogmatic religion – pre-eminently the Christian – points out as Satan, the enemy of God, is in reality, the highest divine Spirit – (occult Wisdom on Earth) – in its naturally antagonistic character to every worldly, evanescent illusion, dogmatic or ecclesiastical religions included. Thus, the Latin Church, intolerant, bigoted and cruel to all who do not choose to be its slaves; the Church which calls itself the bride of Christ, and the trustee at the same time of Peter, to whom the rebuke of the Master ‘get thee behind me Satan’ was justly addressed; and again the Protestant Church which, while calling itself Christian, paradoxically replaces the New Dispensation by the old ‘Law of Moses’ which Christ openly repudiated: both these Churches are fighting against divine Truth, when repudiating and slandering the Dragon of esoteric (because divine) Wisdom.’”
For her, “In antiquity and reality, Lucifer, or Luciferus, is the name of the angelic Entity presiding over the light of truth as over the light of the day.”
The logical consequence of these beliefs is that, for Blavatsky, “The Fall was the result of man’s knowledge, for his ‘eyes were opened.’ Indeed, he was taught Wisdom and the hidden knowledge by the ‘Fallen Angel,’ for the latter had become from that day his Manas, Mind and Self-Consciousness. … And now it stands proven that Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the ‘Lord of Phosphorus’ (brimstone was a theological improvement), and Lucifer, or ‘Light-Bearer,’ is in us: it is our Mind – our tempter and Redeemer, our intelligent liberator and Saviour from pure animalism.”
With this theological foundation, Blavatsky raged against other aspects, great and small, of the Christian tradition.
Blavatsky dismissed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as a “tribal god:” “History shows in every race and even tribe, especially in the Semitic nations, the natural impulse to exalt its own tribal deity above all others to the hegemony of the gods; and proves that the god of the Israelites was such a tribal God, and no more, even though the Christian Church, following the lead of the ‘chosen’ people, is pleased to enforce the worship of that one particular deity, and to anathematize all the others.”
She adds that “Jehovah has ever been in antiquity only ‘a god among other Gods,’ (lxxxii. Psalm). The Lord appears to Abraham, and while saying, ‘I am the Almighty God,’ yet adds, ‘I will establish my covenant to be a God unto thee’ (Abraham) and unto his seed after him (Gen. xvii. 7) – not unto Aryan Europeans.”
(“Aryan Europeans” did abandon the “tribal” worship of Jehovah during the last century. They idolized Hitler, the Aryan race, and the German nation instead – with gruesome results.)
Blavatsky moved on to assail Christ. In Isis Unveiled, Blavatsky said, “The present volumes have been written to small purpose if they have not shown, 1, that Jesus, the Christ-God, is a myth concocted two centuries after the real Hebrew Jesus died; 2, that, therefore, he never had any authority to give Peter, or anyone else, plenary power; 3, that, even if he had given such authority, the word Petra (rock) referred to the revealed truths of the Petroma, not to him who thrice denied him; and that besides, the apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud; 4, that the Gospel according to Matthew is a fabrication based on a wholly different manuscript. The whole thing, therefore, is an imposition alike upon priest and penitent.”
(With similar skepticism, Jack Spong, then serving as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, wrote in 1998: “Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.” )
Blavatsky also claimed in 1877 that the miracles of Simon Magus, “the Great Power of God,” were “more wonderful, more varied, and better attested than those either of the apostles or of the Galilean philosopher himself.” (Likewise, Bishop Spong, who considers himself to be a ground-breaking, reformist theologian, wrote in 1998, “The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.”)
Blavatsky’s description of “Sophia” should give pause to those who invoke her as a female Third Person of the Godhead. In Isis Unveiled, she said, “The various cosmogonies show that the Archæal Universal Soul was held by every nation as the ‘mind’ of the Demiurgic Creator, the Sophia of the Gnostics, or the Holy Ghost as a female principle.” This may be the spiritual origin of “inclusive language” for the Third Person of the Trinity. In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky added: “In the great Valentian gospel Pistis Sophia (§ 361) it is taught that of the three Powers emanating from the Holy Names of the Three Tridunάmeiς, that of Sophia (the Holy Ghost according to these gnostics – the most cultured of all), resides in the planet Venus or Lucifer.”
The female “Sophia” resides in the planet Lucifer; you heard it here first.
Blavatsky said in 1877 that religious truth would be found in the aggregate of the religions: “Our examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late, have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive source. It would seem as if they were all but different modes of expressing the yearning of the imprisoned human soul for intercourse with supernal spheres. … Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection.” She added, “It but needs the right perception of things objective to finally discover that the only world of reality is the subjective” Maybe postmodernism is not so new, after all.
In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky urged that an astrologically based form of natural family planning be taught to “the armies of the ragged and the poor:” “If instead of being taught in Sunday Schools useless lessons from the Bible, the armies of the ragged and the poor were taught Astrology – so far, at any rate, as the occult properties of the Moon and its hidden influences on generation are concerned, then there would be little need to fear increase of the population nor resort to the questionable literature of the Malthusians for its arrest.” (At the time, world population was about 1.6 billion people, roughly one-quarter of the current human population.) In the 20th Century, many others would follow the trail that Blavatsky blazed, and would concern themselves with limiting reproduction among the poor.
Before 1950, New Age authors spoke more bluntly about race than is usual now.
In 1877, Blavatsky quoted anthropologist Alfred R. Wallace as saying, “it must inevitably follow that the higher – the more intellectual and moral – must displace the lower and more degraded races;” after a long period of “natural selection,” the world will again be “inhabited by a single, nearly homogeneous race, no individual of which will be inferior to the noblest specimens of existing humanity.” Blavatsky approved of the opinions and “scientific methods” of this “great anthropologist,” and added, “what he says above clashes in no way with our kabalistic assertions. Allow to ever-progressing nature, to the great law of the ‘survival of the fittest,’ one step beyond Mr. Wallace’s deductions, and we have in the future the possibility – nay, the assurance of a race, which, like the Vril-ya of Bulwer-Lytton’s Coming Race, will be but one remove from the primitive ‘Sons of God.’” (The Coming Race was an 1871 novel by a British occultist. It was based on the existence of a subterranean race, the Vril-ya, that were “psychically far in advance of the human species.” Whoever mastered the energy of vril could “enjoy total mastery over all nature.”)
In 1888, Blavatsky said, “Mankind is obviously divided into god-informed men and lower human creatures. The intellectual difference between the Aryan and other civilized nations and such savages as the South Sea Islanders, is inexplicable on any other grounds. No amount of culture, nor generations of training amid civilization, could raise such human specimens as the Bushmen, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes, to the same intellectual level as the Aryans, the Semites, and the Turanians so called. The ‘sacred spark’ is missing in them and it is they who are the only inferior races of the globe, now happily – owing to the wise adjustment of nature which ever works in that direction – fast dying out. Verily mankind is ‘of one blood,’ but not of the same essence.”
She saw the extinction of
“inferior” races” as part of
mankind’s evolution: “a series of other less favoured groups – the
failures of nature – will, like some individual men, vanish from the
human family without even leaving a trace behind.” “A
process of decimation is taking place all over the globe, among those
races, whose ‘time is up’ – among just those stocks, be it remarked,
which esoteric philosophy regards as the senile representatives of the
archaic nations. It is inaccurate to
maintain that the extinction of a lower race is invariably
due to cruelties or abuses perpetrated by colonists.
… Redskins, Eskimos, Papuans,
No URI document says anything of this kind. However, there is a double standard in effect regarding the treatment of Blavatsky’s writings. In today’s mainstream public discourse, any conservative or traditionalist writer who ever said such things is dismissed as racist, and his entire body of work is considered unworthy of attention. However, Blavatsky, a spiritual predecessor of today’s New Age movement, still gets respect from Theosophists and occultists; her followers are deemed to deserve a place at the interfaith table.
Part of Blavatsky’s pantheon was the seven-headed “Serpent of Darkness” bearing the swastika on its crowns. She said, “And this ‘true and perfect Serpent’ is the seven-lettered God who is now credited with being Jehovah, and Jesus One with him. To this Seven-vowelled god the candidate for initiation is sent by Christos, in the Pistis Sophia, a work earlier than St. John’s Revelation, and evidently of the same school. … … These seven vowels are represented by the Swastika signs on the crowns of the seven heads of the Serpent of Eternity, in India, among esoteric Buddhists, in Egypt, in Chaldea, etc., etc., and among the Initiates of every other country. ... The seven-headed serpent has more than one signification in the Arcane teachings. It is the seven-headed Draco, each of whose heads is a star of the Lesser Bear; but it was also, and pre-eminently, the Serpent of Darkness (i.e., inconceivable and incomprehensible) whose seven heads were the seven Logoi, the reflections of the one and first manifested Light – the universal Logos.”
The Bible describes a seven-headed animal, as well – but does so to warn against it rather than to praise it. The book of Revelation portrays “a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems upon its horns and a blasphemous name upon its heads,” (Rev. 13:1) who receives its authority from the Dragon (Rev. 13:2, 4).
The Theosophists have retained the swastika symbol. Since 1881, the emblem of the Theosophical Society has included the image of a snake eating its tail, with an encircled swastika where the serpent’s head meets its tail. The Nazis borrowed the swastika symbol and ideas of Aryan racial supremacy from the Thule Society and other German occultists, and then made their own sanguinary adaptations to occultism.
premier historian of the occult roots of Nazism and neo-Nazism,
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, explains the connection between Theosophy and
Nazism: “Even before the First World War, occult-racist völkisch
Blavatsky expected the current world religions to disappear; the “religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian belief in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts. … But this can only come to pass when the world returns to the grand religion of the past; the knowledge of those majestic systems which preceded by far Brahmanism, and even the primitive monotheism of the ancient Chaldeans.”
that the universal “religion of the ancients” was the worship of the
Dragon and the Sun. She said, “The
tradition of the Dragon and the Sun is echoed in every part of the
world, both in its civilized and semi-savage regions.
It took rise in the whisperings about secret initiations among
the profane, and was established universally through the once universal
heliolatrous religion. There was a time
when the four parts of the world were covered with the temples sacred
to the Sun and the Dragon; but the cult is now preserved mostly in
The memory of this ancient religion was “the origin of the new Satanic myth” of Christians.
The restored worship of the Dragon and the Sun is what Blavatsky expects to be the New Religion of the future. Thus, she predicted a literal fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation that “Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast” (Rev. 13:4).
proclamation of “universal
brotherhood” did not extend to Christians and their churches. In 1877, she said
that Isis Unveiled was “in particular directed against
theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure
teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into
pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man’s faith in
his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint. We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic
theologians who would enslave both history and science; and especially
In 1888, Blavatsky reiterated: “the Secret Doctrine must some day become the just Karma of the Churches – more anti-Christian than the representative assemblies of the most confirmed Materialists and Atheists.”
authorities, from the
The authors of the New Age Almanac
say, “Theosophy became the seedbed that
nurtured the important new movements that would emerge so forcefully in
the twentieth century. Several hundred new
occult organizations can be traced directly to the Theosophical Society. For example, drawing upon the esoteric work
initiated by Theosophy, ritual magicians have attempted to attain the
mastery of the world through occult means in a measure only hinted at
in theosophical circles. …
Theosophy also nurtured a reborn astrology. …
Beginning with minuscule astrological groups in the late
nineteenth century, astrology made an astounding comeback to become the
most pervasive popular occult practice in the latter part of the
twentieth century. Theosophy also provided
the prime channel through which Hinduism and Buddhism reached out to
claim non-Asian supporters. Through
theosophical literature, leaders, and centers, Eastern religious ideas
flowed into the West. …
Many of the early Buddhist groups in the West began in
theosophical lodges. Ultimately, however,
Theosophy proved itself more akin to Hinduism, and the new Hinduism of
the Indian Renaissance of the nineteenth century used Theosophy
effectively in its movement to
observer of new religious
movements says, “Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy, Krishnamurti, J. I.
Gurdjieff, and P. D. Ouspensky all stem directly from the activities of
the Theosophical Society, and the development of modern Buddhism, and
especially in its indigenous form in present-day
Marcus Braybrooke, a leading historian of the interfaith movement, said in 1992 that “Theosophists can claim to have been amongst the first to suggest a unity of religions.” He added, “The society insists that it is not offering a new system of thought, but merely underscoring certain universal concepts of God, nature and man that have been known to wise men in all ages and that may be found in the teachings of all the great religions. Emphasis is placed on mystical experience. A distinction is made between inner, or esoteric, and outer, or exoteric, teaching. It is said that all the historic world religions contain inner teaching which is essentially the same, despite external differences. This teaching is monistic in character, suggesting an underlying all-encompassing unity. Theosophy has also shown a preoccupation with the occult. … Theosophy has been a means of introducing many Westerners to the wisdom of the East. Some theosophists, notably Henry Steel Olcott and Annie Besant, played a part in the spiritual renaissance of Buddhism and Hinduism at the end of the last century and the beginning of this century. Besides the Theosophical Society, the teachings of theosophy have influenced Westerners through a variety of other organizations, such as Rosicrucianism, the Liberal Catholic Church, World Goodwill, and the Lucis Trust.”
Dr. Stephan Hoeller, Director of Studies for the Gnostic Society of Los Angeles, says, “C. G. Jung’s statement that Blavatsky’s Theosophy as well as Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy (a variant of Theosophy) were both pure Gnosticism in Hindu dress contains a large measure of truth.”
K. Paul Johnson, who has
written several scholarly histories of Theosophy, said: “A remarkable
feature of Theosophy’s history is the disparity between its miniscule
membership and its vast and varied cultural influence.
Blavatsky’s ideas inspired leading figures in the development of
modern art, most notably Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. Theosophical influence in literature affected
the Irish Literary Renaissance, in which William Butler Yeats and AE
(George Russell) were prominent. Political
activism in colonial
Joscelyn Godwin, author of The Theosophical Enlightenment, said that Theosophy and its offshoot movements were an historically unprecedented rejection by a civilization of its own tradition. Blavatsky “believed that the West had better look to the East if it wanted to learn what real philosophy was (or to relearn what it once knew). With equal certainty she despised every form of institutional Christianity. As a result, her Society, its members, and its offshoots became the main vehicle for Buddhist and Hindu philosophies to enter the Western consciousness, not merely as an academic study but as something worth embracing. In so doing, they paved the way for the best and the worst of the oriental gurus who have taken up residence in the West. They introduced into the vernacular such concepts as karma and reincarnation, meditation, and the spiritual path. Together with the Western occult tradition, the Theosophists have provided almost all the underpinnings of the ‘New Age’ movement. … But these efforts themselves are something characteristically Western. … No previous civilization has ever had the interest, the resources, or the inner need to hold the entire world in its intellectual embrace; to take the terrifying step of renouncing, even blaspheming, its own religious tradition, in the quest for a more open and rational view; to publish freely those secrets that were formerly only given under the seal of initiation; and, in short, to plunge humanity into the spiritual alembic in which we find ourselves today.”
Note: Internet citations were done during 2003 and 2004. Documents may have moved to different Web pages, or may have been removed from the Web entirely, since then.
 For further information on the teachings of the Theosophical movement (Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, David Spangler, Neale Donald Walsch, Robert Muller, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Benjamin Creme, see Lee Penn, “New Age and Globalist Strategies: Unity, Collectivism, & Control,” Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Vol. 23:4-24:1, 2000, pp. 42-70, and “Dark Apocalypse: Blood Lust of the Compassionate,” Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Vol. 24:2-24:3, 2000, pp. 8-31; obtainable through http://www.scp-inc.org.
 Sylvia Cranston, HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994, p. 333 ff., on Lucifer magazine.
 Joscelyn Godwin, The Theosophical
 See, for example, the title page of Alice A. Bailey, Initiation, Human and Solar, First Edition, Lucifer Publishing Co., 135 Broadway, New York City, 1922.
 The Steiner biography on the Anthroposophic
Press web site does not mention the 1913 break between Steiner and
Theosophy (Anthroposophic Press, “About Rudolf Steiner,” http://www.anthropress.org/aboutrudolf.html, printed
 Theosophical Society in
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 515.
 Ibid., p. 420.
 Fred Matser, “Nature Is My God,” an interview
with Mikhail Gorbachev, Resurgence 184,
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. I — Cosmogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 381, footnote.
 Ibid., pp. 70-71.
 Ibid., pp. 193-194.
 Ibid., p. 198.
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 237.
 Ibid., p. 243.
 Ibid., p. 377.
 Ibid., p. 512
 Ibid., p. 513.
 Ibid., pp. 507-508.
 Ibid., p. 508.
 H. P. Blavatsky,
 H P. Blavatsky,
 H P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: Vol. I, Science, Theosophical University Press, 1988 reprint of 1877 ed., p. 130.
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 512.
 H. P. Blavatsky,
 Ibid., p. 639.
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. I — Cosmogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 228, footnote.
 H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: Vol. I, Science, Theosophical University Press, 1988 reprint of 1877 ed., p. 296.
 Ibid., p. 296.
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The
Occult Roots of Nazism,
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 421, footnote; see also pp. 162, 168, 195, 196, 197, 249, 446, 779, and 780 for similar statements. On p. 425, she contradicts these statements, and argues against “dividing humanity into superior and inferior races.”
 Ibid., p. 446.
 Ibid., pp. 779-780.
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. I — Cosmogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., pp. 410-411.
 Charles Upton adds, “There is no better
illustration of how mixing constellations-of-symbols integral to
different religions can result in Satanic parodies. To assimilate to
Jehovah and Christ the seven-headed cobra who overshadowed Gautama
Buddha’s meditation is, in Judeo-Christian terms, to assimilate Jehovah
to Satan and Christ to Antichrist.” (E-mail
from Charles Upton to Lee Penn,
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Hitler’s
Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth, and
 Steven Heller, The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption?, Allworth Press, 2000, pp. 47-48; an example of this image is on p. 48.
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The
Occult Roots of Nazism,
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black
Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity,
 H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: Vol. I, Science, Theosophical University Press, 1988 reprint of 1877 ed., p. 613.
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret
Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II —
Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of
1888 ed., pp. 378-379. Charles Upton
comments on Blavatsky’s theological confusion: “It is true that many
archaic Near Eastern religions, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism, took
the serpent as a symbol of wisdom, a meaning which is undoubtedly
reflected in the brazen serpent of Exodus. But the dominant meaning of
the serpent in the Judeo-Christian tradition is clearly negative; it
most often symbolizes not Divine Wisdom but rather a lower dualistic
knowledge, the ‘knowledge of good and evil,’ which obscures
Divine Wisdom. Furthermore, the essentially negative Judeo-Christian
symbol of the dragon is derived from such Babylonian figures as Tiamat
(equivalent in many ways to the Biblical Leviathan), the Chaos Monster
who is slain in the Divine act of creation; this is basically what
“dragon-slaying” has come to mean in the West. In
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 378.
 H. P. Blavatsky,
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II — Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1999 reprint of 1888 ed., p. 228.
 For the sentences inside the double quote
 Pontifical Council For Culture and Pontifical
Council For Interreligious Dialogue, “Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The
Water Of Life: A Christian reflection on the “New Age,” 2003, section
2.3.2, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html, printed
 J. Gordon Melton, Jerome Clark, and Aidan A. Kelly, New Age Almanac, Visible Ink Press, 1991, pp. 6-7.
 George D. Chryssides, Exploring
New Religions, Cassell, 1999, p. 87. Charles
Upton notes, however, that “Gurdjieff probably lifted something from
Blavatsky, but his core teachings stem from Sufi and Hesychast
practices taken illegitimately out of context and mixed with other
influences, notably hypnosis and psychic control. Krishnamurti
as a young man was adopted by the Theosophical Society who trained him
for the role of their new ‘World Teacher,’ a role he rejected. His own later teachings could be called the
polar opposite of those of the Society.” (E-mail
from Charles Upton to Lee Penn,
 Marcus Braybrooke, Pilgrimage of Hope: One Hundred Years of Global Interfaith Dialogue, Crossroad, 1992, p. 266.
 Ibid., p. 267.
 Stephan A. Hoeller, Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing, Quest Books/Theosophical Publishing House, 2002, p. 169.
 K. Paul Johnson, Initiates of
 Joscelyn Godwin, The Theosophical
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