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Charles Webster Leadbeater



Charles Webster Leadbeater

1858? -1934


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C.W. Leadbeater 1858-1934 (birth date disputed may be 1847 or 1854) English clergyman and Theosophical author, contributed to world thought mostly through his work as a clairvoyant.


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. 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. 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.


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 vessel 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 vessel.


On reaching adulthood Krishnamurti renounced the claims that he was to be the world teacher and went his own way pursuing a long and distinguished career as a spiritual teacher.


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 homosexual activity and was defrocked as a result. Nonetheless, he was never charged or brought to court, though there is a body of evidence that suggests he had sexual relations with 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.


Leadbeater's clairvoyance has come in for serious critcism since his time. In his book The Inner Life he claims that there is a population of humans on the planet Mars.

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Writings of C W Leadbeater


A Textbook of Theosophy


The Mystic Chord


An Outline of Theosophy


The Power and Use of Thought


History of the Theosophical Society



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