Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:56 pm

Fritz Lenz
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19




Fritz A Lenz (9 March 1887 in Pflugrade, Pomerania – 6 July 1976 in Göttingen, Lower Saxony) was a German geneticist, member of the Nazi Party,[1] and influential specialist in eugenics in Nazi Germany.


The pupil of Alfred Ploetz, Lenz took over the publication of the magazine "Archives for Racial and Social Biology" from 1913 to 1933 and received in 1923 the first chair in eugenics in Munich. In 1933 he came to Berlin where he established the first specific department devoted to eugenics, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics.

Lenz specialised in the field of the transmission of hereditary human diseases and "racial health". The results of his research were published in 1921 and 1932 in collaboration with Erwin Baur and Eugen Fischer in two volumes that were later combined under the title Human Heredity Theory and Racial Hygiene (1936).

This work and his theory of "race as a value principle" placed Lenz and his two colleagues in the position of Germany's leading racial theorists. Their ideas provided scientific justification for Nazi ideology, in particular its emphasis on the superiority of the "Nordic race" and the desirability of eliminating allegedly inferior strains of humanity - or "life unworthy of life" (Lebensunwertes Leben). Lenz was a member of the "Committee of Experts for Population and Racial Policy". He joined the Nazi party in 1937 while serving as the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology.[1]

After World War II, Lenz continued to work as a Professor of genetics at the University of Goettingen. When questioned Lenz said that the Holocaust would undermine the study of human genetics and racial theory. He continued to believe that eugenic theories of racial differences had been scientifically proven.


For Lenz, human genetics established that the connection between racial identity and human nature was actually physical in character. This extended to political affiliations. Lenz even claimed that the revolutionary agitation in Germany after 1918 was caused by inferior racial elements, warning that the nation's racial superiority was threatened. He stated that "The German nation is the last refuge of the Nordic race...before us lies the greatest task of world history".[2] For Lenz, this validated the racialised politics of the Nazis.

He justified the Nuremberg laws of 1935 in this way:

As important as the external features for their evaluation is the lineage of individuals, a blond Jew is also a Jew. Yes, there are Jews who have most of the external features of the Nordic race, but who nevertheless display Jewish mental tendencies. The legislation of the National Socialist state therefore properly defines a Jew not by external race characteristics, but by descent.[3]

Likewise, Lenz took the view that Slavs were inferior to Nordic peoples, and that they threatened to "overrun the superior Volk (People)." In 1940, Lenz advised the SS that "The resettlement of the Eastern zone is...the most consequential task of racial policy. It will determine the racial character of the population living there for centuries to come."


1. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0-202-02033-9, ISBN 978-0-202-02033-4.
2. Geoffrey G. Field, "Nordic Racism", Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977, p. 526
3. Fritz Lenz, Über Wege und Irrwege rassenkundlicher Untersuchungen, in: Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie Bd. 39, 3/1941, S. 397

See also

• Racial policy of Nazi Germany
• Eugenics
• Ex-Nazis
• Alfred Ploetz
• Ernst Rudin
• Eugen Fischer
• racial hygiene
• Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:04 pm

Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Former Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Racial Hygiene, at the Free University of Berlin

Eugen Fischer during a ceremony at the University of Berlin 1934

The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics was founded in 1927 in Berlin, Germany. When confronted with financial demands, the Rockefeller Foundation supported both the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Psychiatry and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics.[1] The Rockefeller Foundation partially funded the actual building of the Institute and helped keep the Institute afloat during the Great Depression.


Josef Mengele in 1956

In its early years, and during the Nazi era, it was strongly associated with theories of Nazi eugenics and racial hygiene advocated by its leading theorists Fritz Lenz, (first director) Eugen Fischer, and by its second director Otmar von Verschuer.

In the years of 1937–1938, Fischer and his colleagues analysed 600 children in Nazi Germany descending from French-African soldiers who occupied western areas of Germany after First World War; the children were subsequently subjected to sterilization afterwards.[2]

Fischer didn't officially join the Nazi Party until 1940.[3] However, he was influential with National Socialists early on. Adolf Hitler read his two-volume work, Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene (first published in 1921 and co-written by Erwin Baur and Fritz Lenz) while incarcerated in 1923 and used its ideas in Mein Kampf.[4] He also authored The Rehoboth Bastards and the Problem of Miscegenation among Humans (1913) (German: Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen), a field study which provided context for later racial debates, influenced German colonial legislation and provided scientific support for the Nuremberg laws.[5]

Under the Nazi regime, Fischer developed the physiological specifications used to determine racial origins and developed the so-called Fischer–Saller scale. He and his team experimented on Romani people and African-Germans, especially those from Namibia, taking blood and measuring skulls to find scientific validation for his theories.

During World War II, the Institute regularly received human body parts, including eyes and skulls, from Nazi party member Karin Magnussen who studied eye colors, and Josef Mengele (at Auschwitz concentration camp) to use in studies intended to prove Nazi racial theories and justify race-related social policies. After the German capitulation in May 1945, most of the thousands of files and lab material of the Institute were moved to an unknown location or destroyed, and never obtained by the Allies to use as evidence in war crimes trials and to prove or dis-prove the Nazi racial ideology which had motivated mass genocide in Europe. Most of the staff of the Institute were able to escape trial.

Efforts to return the Namibian skulls taken by Fischer were started with an investigation by the University of Freiburg in 2011 and completed with the return of the skulls in March 2014.[6][7][8]

See also

• Max Planck Society Archive
• Shark Island, German South West Africa
• Herero and Namaqua Genocide


1. Black, Edwin (9 November 2003). "Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
2. Bioethics: an anthology Helga Kuhse,Peter Singer page 232 Wiley-Blackwell 2006
3. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0202020339, 9780202020334.
4. A. E. Samaan (2013). From a Race of Masters to a Master Race: 1948 To 1848. A.E. Samaan. p. 539. ISBN 1626600007.
5. Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. p. 420. ISBN 0-300-08432-3.
6. "Repatriation of Skulls from Namibia University of Freiburg hands over human remains in ceremony". 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03.
7. Namibia Press Agency (7 March 2014). "NAMPA: WHK skulls repatriated to Namibia 07 March 2014" – via YouTube.
8. "Germany to send back 35 skulls". 28 February 2014.

Further reading

• Papanayotou, Vivi. "Skeletons in the Closet of German Science". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
• Schmuhl, Hans-Walter (2003). The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, 1927-1945. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 259. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4020-6599-6.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:00 pm

Kaiser Wilhelm Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut for Chemistry in Berlin, the place at which nuclear fission was detected

Former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut for Biology, Berlin

The Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science (German Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften) was a German scientific institution established in the German Empire in 1911. Its functions were taken over by the Max Planck Society. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society was an umbrella organisation for many institutes, testing stations, and research units created under its authority.


Opening of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin-Dahlem, 1913. From right: Adolf von Harnack, Friedrich von Ilberg, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Carl Neuberg, August von Trott zu Solz

The Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft (KWG) was founded in 1911 in order to promote the natural sciences in Germany, by founding and maintaining research institutions formally independent from the state and its administrations. The institutions were to be under the guidance of prominent directors, which included luminaries such as Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber and Otto Hahn; a board of trustees also provided guidance.

Funding was ultimately obtained from sources internal and external to Germany. Internally, money was raised from individuals, industry and the government, as well as through the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft (Emergency Association of German Science).

External to Germany, the Rockefeller Foundation granted students worldwide one-year study stipends, for whichever institute they chose, some studied in Germany.[1][2][3] In contrast to the German universities with their formal independence from state administrations, the institutions of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft had no obligation to teach students.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and its research facilities were involved in weapons research, experimentation and production in both the First World War and the Second World War. During the World War I, the group, and in particular Fritz Haber, was responsible for introducing the use of poison gas as a weapon.[4] This was in direct violation of established international law. During World War II, some of the weapons and medical research performed by the KWI was connected to fatal experimentation on living test subjects in concentration camps.[5] In fact, members of the KWI Anthropology Department, particularly Otmar von Verschuer received preserved Jewish bodies for study and display from Auschwitz. [6] These were provided by Dr. Josef Mengele.[7] As the American forces closed in on the relocated KWI, the organization's president, Albert Vögler, an industrialist and early Nazi Party backer, committed suicide, knowing he would be held accountable for the group's crimes and complicity in war crimes.[8]


By the end of the Second World War, the KWG and its institutes had lost their central location in Berlin and were operating in other locations. The KWG was operating out of its Aerodynamics Testing Station in Göttingen. Albert Vögler, the president of the KWG, committed suicide on 14 April 1945. Thereupon, Ernst Telschow assumed the duties until Max Planck could be brought from Magdeburg to Göttingen, which was in the British zone of the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. Planck assumed the duties on 16 May until a president could be elected. Otto Hahn was selected by directors to be president, but there were a number of difficulties to be overcome. Hahn, being related to nuclear research had been captured by the allied forces of Operation Alsos, and he was still interned at Farm Hall in Britain, under Operation Epsilon. At first, Hahn was reluctant to accept the post, but others prevailed upon him to accept it. Hahn took over the presidency three months after being released and returned to Germany. However, the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) passed a resolution to dissolve the KWG on 11 July 1946.

Meanwhile, members of the British occupation forces, specifically in the Research Branch of the OMGUS, saw the society in a more favourable light and tried to dissuade the Americans from taking such action. The physicist Howard Percy Robertson was director of the department for science in the British Zone; he had a National Research Council Fellowship in the 1920s to study at the Georg August University of Göttingen and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Also, Colonel Bertie Blount was on the staff of the British Research Branch, and he had received his doctorate at Göttingen under Walther Borsche. Among other things, Bertie suggested to Hahn to write to Sir Henry Hallett Dale, who had been the president of the Royal Society, which he did. While in Britain, Bertie also spoke with Dale, who came up with a suggestion. Dale believed that it was only the name which conjured up a pejorative picture and suggested that the society be renamed the Max Planck Gesellschaft. On 11 September 1946, the Max Planck Gesellschaft was founded in the British Zone only. The second founding took place on 26 February 1948 for both the American and British occupation zones. The physicists Max von Laue and Walther Gerlach were also instrumental in establishing the society across the allied zones, including the French zone.[9][10]


• Adolf von Harnack (1911–1930)
• Max Planck (1930–1937, 16 May 1945-31 March 1946)
• Carl Bosch (1937–1940)
• Albert Vögler (1941–1945)
• Otto Hahn (1 April 1946 – 10 September 1946 in the British Occupation Zone)

Institutes, testing stations and units

Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes

• KWI for Animal Breeding Research, founded in Dummerstorf. Transformed into a research institute of the (East)-German Academy of Sciences.
• KWI of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, founded 1926 in Berlin-Dahlem.
• KWI for Bast Fibre Research, founded 1938 in Sorau. It was moved to Mährisch Schönberg in 1941 and to Bielefeld in 1946. After its incorporation into the Max Planck Society in 1948 and two further relocations to Westheim and Niedermarsberg in 1951 it was incorporated into the Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research and moved to Köln-Vogelsang. The Institute was closed down in 1957. Its first director was Ernst Schilling 1938-1945 and 1948-1951.
• KWI for Biology, founded 1912 in Berlin and moved to Tübingen in 1943. It was then the Max Planck Institute for Biology until 2005.
• KWI for Biochemistry, founded 1912. Nowadays, there exists the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, but there is no straight relation between the institutes.
• KWI for Biophysics, formerly the Institut für Physikalische Grundlagen der Medizin of Friedrich Dessauer was incorporated into the KWG by Boris Rajewsky in 1937. The Institute is located in Frankfurt am Main. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics.
• KWI for Brain Research, founded 1914 in Berlin by Oskar Vogt. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research.
• KWI for Cell Physiology, founded 1930 in Dahlem, Berlin by Otto Heinrich Warburg and the Rockefeller Foundation.
• KWI for Chemistry, founded 1911 in Dahlem. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, also known as the Otto Hahn Institute.
• KWI for Coal Research Institute of the KWG, founded 1912 in Mülheim. It is now the Max Planck Institute für Kohlenforschung.
• KWI for Comparative and International Private Law, founded 1926 in Berlin by Ernst Rabel.[11] It is now the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.
• KWI for Comparative Public Law and International Law, founded 1924 in Berlin; the first director was Viktor Bruns.[12] It is now the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.
• KWI for Experimental Therapy, founded in 1915 by August von Wasserman.
• KWI for Fiber Chemistry, founded in 1920 by Reginald Oliver Herzog, closed in 1934.
• KWI of Flow (Fluid Dynamics) Research, founded 1925. Ludwig Prandtl was the director from 1926 to 1946. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization.
• KWI for German History, founded 1917 in Berlin. It was later the Max Planck Institute for History, now transformed a Max Planck Institute for multi-ethnic societies.
• KWI for Hydrobiological Research. One of its directors was August Friedrich Thienemann.
• KWI for Iron Research, founded 1917 in Aachen and it moved to Düsseldorf in 1921. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH.
• KWI for Leather Research, founded 1921 in Dresden by Max Bergmann. It became a part of an institute that later the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried.
• KWI for Medical Research founded 1929 in Heidelberg by Ludolf von Krehl. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg.
• KWI for Metals Research, founded 1921 in Neubabelsberg. It closed in 1933 and reopened in Stuttgart in 1934. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart.
• KWI for Plant Breeding Research, founded in Müncheberg in 1929 by Erwin Baur. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research located in Cologne.
• KWI for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, founded 1911 in Dahlem, Berlin. It is now the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG, named after Fritz Haber, who was the director 1911-1933.
• KWI for Physics, founded 1917 in Berlin. Albert Einstein was the director 1917-1933; in 1922, Max von Laue became deputy director and took over administrative duties from Einstein. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Physics; also known as the Werner Heisenberg Institute.
• KWI for Physiology of Effort (Work)/KWI for Occupational Physiology, founded 1912 in Berlin, moved to Dortmund in 1929. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund.
• German Research Institute for Psychiatry (a Kaiser Wilhelm institute) in Munich. It is now the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.
• KWI for Silicate Research, founded 1926 in Berlin-Dahlem by Wilhelm Eitel.
• KWI for Textile Chemistry
• KWI Vine Breeding

Kaiser Wilhelm Society organisations

Aerodynamic Testing Station (Göttingen e. V.) of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The testing unit Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt (AVA) was formed in 1925 along with the KWI of Flow (Fluid Dynamics) Research. In 1937, it became the testing station of the KWG.
Biological Station Lunz of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• German Entomological Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
Hydrobiological Station of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• Institute for Agricultural Work Studies in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
Research Unit "D" in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• Rossitten Bird Station of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, founded 1901 in Rossitten and integrated into the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1921. The ornithological station was ceased at the end of the Second World War, but work continues at the ornithological station Radolfzell which is part of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.
• Silesian Coal Research Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, in Breslau.

Institutions outside Germany

• Bibliotheca Hertziana, founded 1913 in Rome. It is now the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute of Art History in Rome.
• German-Bulgarian Institute for Agricultural Science founded in 1940 in Sofia.
• German-Greek Institute for Biology in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society founded in 1940 in Athens.
• German-Italian Institute for Marine Biology at Rovigno, Italy.
• Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cultivated Plant Research founded in 1940 in Vienna, Austria.


• Institute for the Science of Agricultural Work—founded in 1940 in Breslau.
• Research Unit for Virus Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biochemistry and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology
• Institute for Theoretical Physics

See also

• Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive



1. Macrakis, 1993, 11-28 and 273-274.
2. Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entries for the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Fluid Dynamics Research.
3. List of Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes Archived 2013-09-09 at the Wayback Machinein summary of holdings, Section I (Bestandsübersicht, I. Abteilung), on the website of the Max Planck Gesellschaft Archives (in German). Retrieved 2015-08-29.
4. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
5. Müller-Hill, Benno (1999). "The Blood from Auschwitz and the Silence of the Scholars". History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 21 (3): 331–365. JSTOR 23332180.
6. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
7. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
8. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
9. Macrakis, 1993, 187-198.
10. Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entries for the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Fluid Dynamics Research.
11. Kunze, Rolf-Ulrich (2004). Ernst Rabel und das Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 1926-1945. Göttingen: Wallstein. p. 13.
12. Kunze (2004), p. 47-48.


• Hans-Walter Schmuhl: Grenzüberschreitungen. Das Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Anthropologie, Menschliche Erblehre und Eugenik 1927–1945. Reihe: Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus, 9. Wallstein, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-89244-799-3
• Hentschel, Klaus (ed.) (1996). Physics and National Socialism: An Anthology of Primary Sources. Basel, Boston: Birkhäuser Verlag. ISBN 0-8176-5312-0.
• Macrakis, Kristie (1993). Surviving the swastika: Scientific research in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-507010-0.

External links

• History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the National Socialist Era - Presidential Commission of the Max Planck Gesellschaft
• KWG & MPG Presidents
• A History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research: 1929-1939, by David M. States (June 28, 2001) – compilation of articles, including several about the lives and work of Nobel laureates, on the official website of the Nobel Prize
• Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft 1911-1948 (in German) – Deutsches Historisches Museum
• Max Planck Gesellschaft – English Portal
• Documents and clippings about Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:58 pm

Eugen Fischer
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Eugen Fischer with photographs of indigenous African women, circa 1938.
Born 5 July 1874
Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden
Died 9 July 1967 (aged 93)
Freiburg im Breisgau, West Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Professor
Known for Nazi eugenics
Political party Nazi Party

Eugen Fischer (5 July 1874 – 9 July 1967) was a German professor of medicine, anthropology, and eugenics, and a member of the Nazi Party. He served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, and also served as rector of the Frederick William University of Berlin.

Fischer's ideas informed the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 which served to justify the Nazi Party's belief in German racial superiority.[1] Adolf Hitler read Fischer's work while he was imprisoned in 1923 and he used Fischer's eugenical notions to support the ideal of a pure Aryan society in his manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).[1]


Fischer was born in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden, in 1874. He studied medicine, folkloristics, history, anatomy, and anthropology in Berlin, Freiburg and Munich.[2] In 1918, he joined the Anatomical Institute in Freiburg in 1918,[3] part of the University of Freiburg.[4]

In 1927, Fischer became the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (KWI-A), a role for which he'd been recommended the prior year by Erwin Baur.[5]

In 1933 Fischer signed the Loyalty Oath of German Professors to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist State.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler appointed him rector of the Frederick William University of Berlin, now Humboldt University.[6] Fischer retired from the university in 1942. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer was a student of Fischer.[7][8]

After the war, he completed his memoirs, it is believed that in them he whitened his role in the genocidal program of the Third Reich. He died in 1967.

Early work


In 1906, Fischer conducted field research in German South West Africa (now Namibia). He studied the Basters, offspring of German or Boer men who had fathered children by the native women (Hottentots) in that area. His study concluded with a call to prevent a "mixed race" by the prohibition of "mixed marriage" such as those he had studied. It included unethical medical practices on the Herero and Namaqua people.[9] He argued that while the existing Mischling descendants of the mixed marriages might be useful for Germany, he recommended that they should not continue to reproduce. His recommendations were followed and by 1912 interracial marriage was prohibited throughout the German colonies.[10][11] As a precursor to his experiments on Jews in Nazi Germany, he collected bones and skulls for his studies, in part from medical experimentation on African prisoners of war in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide.[12][13]

His ideas expressed in this work, related to maintaining the purity of races, influenced future German legislation on race, including the Nuremberg laws.[11]

In 1927, Fischer was a speaker at the World Population Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.[14]

Nazi Germany

Eugen Fischer during a ceremony at the University of Berlin 1934

In the years of 1937–1938 Fischer and his colleagues analysed 600 children in Nazi Germany descending from French-African soldiers who occupied western areas of Germany after First World War; the children were subsequently subjected to sterilization.[15]

Fischer did not officially join the Nazi Party until 1940.[16] However, he was influential with National Socialists early on. Adolf Hitler read his two-volume work, Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene (first published in 1921 and co-written by Erwin Baur and Fritz Lenz) while incarcerated in 1923 and used its ideas in Mein Kampf.[17] He also authored The Rehoboth Bastards and the Problem of Miscegenation among Humans (1913) (German: Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen), a field study which provided context for later racial debates, influenced German colonial legislation and provided scientific support for the Nuremberg laws.[18]

Under the Nazi regime, Fischer developed the physiological specifications used to determine racial origins and developed the so-called Fischer–Saller scale. He and his team experimented on Gypsies and African-Germans, taking blood and measuring skulls to find scientific validation for his theories.

Efforts to return the Namibian skulls taken by Fischer were started with an investigation by the University of Freiburg in 2011 and completed with the return of the skulls in March 2014.[19][20][21]

In 1944 Fischer intervened in an attempt to get his friend Martin Heidegger released from service in the Volkssturm militia. However, Heidegger had already been released from service when Fischer's letter arrived.[22]:332-3


To 1909

• Fischer, Eugen. 1899. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Nasenhöhle und des Thränennasenganges der Amphisbaeniden", Archiv für Mikroskopische Anatomie. 55:1, pp. 441–478.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1901. "Zur Kenntniss der Fontanella metopica und ihrer Bildungen". Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie.4:1. pp. 17–30.
• Fischer, Eugen, Professor an der Universität Freiburg i. Br. 1906. "Die Variationen an Radius und Ulna des Menschen". Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie. Vol. 9. No. 2.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1908. Der Patriziat Heinrichs III und Heinrichs IV. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck). Fischer's PhD thesis.

1910 to 1919

• Maass, Alfred. Durch Zentral-Sumatra. Berlin: Behr. 1910. Additional contributing authors: J.P. Kleiweg de Zwaan and E. Fischer.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1913.Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen: anthropologische und ethnographiesche Studien am Rehobother Bastardvolk in Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika, ausgeführt mit Unterstützung der Kgl. preuss, Akademie der Wissenschaften. Jena: G. Fischer.
• Gaupp, Ernst Wilhelm Theodor. Eugen Fischer (ed.) 1917. August Weismann: sein Leben und sein Werk. Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer.

1920 to 1929

• Schwalbe, G. and Eugen Fischer (eds.). Anthropologie. Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1923.
• Fischer, E. and H.F.K. Günther. Deutsche Köpfe nordischer Rasse: 50 Abbildungen mit Geleitwarten. Munich: J.F. Lehmann. 1927.

1940 to 1949

• Fischer, Eugen and Gerhard Kittel. Das antike Weltjudentum : Tatsachen, Texte, Bilder. Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, 1943.[23]

1950 to 1959

• Sarkar, Sasanka Sekher; Eugen Fischer and Keith Arthur, The Aboriginal Races of India, Calcutta: Bookland. 1954.
• Fischer, Eugen. Begegnungen mit Toten: aus den Erinnerungen eines Anatomen. Freiburg: H.F. Schulz. 1959.

See also

• Karl Binding
• Racial policy of Nazi Germany
• Scientific racism
• Subsequent Nuremberg trials
• Doctors' Trial
• Anthropometry
• Fischer scale
• Fischer-Saller scale
• Shark Island Concentration Camp


1. Anderson, Ingrid L. (2016-05-26). Ethics and Suffering since the Holocaust: Making Ethics "First Philosophy" in Levinas, Wiesel and Rubenstein. Routledge. ISBN 9781317298359.
2. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft - Archive. "Fischer, Eugen". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19.
3. "Eugen Fischer".
4. Eugen Fischer (1921). "Bitte des anatomischen Instituts Freiburg i.B."
5. Schmul 2003, p. 25.
6. Lasalle, Ferdinand. "Rektoratsreden im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert – Online-Bibliographie - Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
7. Michael H. Kater (2011). "The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich". Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 85: 515–516. doi:10.1353/bhm.2011.0067.
8. Randall Hansen; Desmond King (2013). Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race, and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-1107434592.
9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
10. Holocaust Encyclopedia, p. 420
11. Friedlander 1997, p. 11
12. ... htmMedical[permanent dead link]experimentation in Africa
13. Lusane, Clarence (2002-12-13). Hitler's black victims: The historical experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi era. ISBN 9780415932950.
14. Ross, Edward Alsworth (October 1927). "Birth Control Review" (PDF). World Population Conference.
15. Bioethics: an anthology Helga Kuhse, Peter Singer page 232 Wiley-Blackwell 2006
16. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0202020339, 9780202020334.
17. A. E. Samaan (2013). From a Race of Masters to a Master Race: 1948 To 1848. A.E. Samaan. p. 539. ISBN 978-1626600003.
18. Holocaust Encyclopedia p. 420.
19. "Repatriation of Skulls from Namibia University of Freiburg hands over human remains in ceremony". 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03.
20. Namibia Press Agency (7 March 2014). "NAMPA: WHK skulls repatriated to Namibia 07 March 2014". Retrieved 19 April 2018 – via YouTube.
21. "Germany to send back 35 skulls". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
22. Safranski, Rüdiger (1999). Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil. Cambridge (MAss): Harvard University Press.
23. Das Antike Weltjudentum - Forschungen zur Judenfrage. 1944.
• Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08432-3.
• Black, Edwin (2004). War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56858-321-4.
• Fangerau H.; Müller I. (2002). "Das Standardwerk der Rassenhygiene von Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer und Fritz Lenz im Urteil der Psychiatrie und Neurologie 1921-1940". Der Nervenarzt. 73 (11): 1039–1046. doi:10.1007/s00115-002-1421-1. PMID 12430045.
• Mendes-Flohr, Paul R. (1995). The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-507453-X.
• Schmuhl, Hans-Walter. "The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human heredity and Eugenics, 1927-1945", Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science vol. 259, Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2003
• Weindling P. (1985). "Weimar eugenics: The kaiser wilhelm institute for anthropology, human heredity and eugenics in social context". Annals of Science. 42 (3): 303–318. doi:10.1080/00033798500200221. PMID 11620696.
• Friedlander, Henry. 1997. The origins of Nazi genocide: from euthanasia to the Final Solution. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2208-6 ISBN 0807846759.

External links

• Book Review of The Rehoboth Bastards in Nature (1913)
• 2004 Newspaper Article regarding The Rehoboth Bastards
• The Rehoboth Bastards (Photo Album)
• Herero and Namaqua Genocide - Galerie Ezakwantu
• Works by Eugen Fischer at Project Gutenberg
• Lusane, Clarence (2002-12-13). Hitler's black victims: The historical experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi era. ISBN 978-0-415-93295-0.
• Detailed overview of Eugen Fischer with references
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:27 pm

Buddhism in London
by Diamond Way Buddhism: Karma Kagyu Lineage
Accessed: 10/29/19



Did you know that Buddhism has had a presence in London for over 120 years? This article overviews the historical context of our current London Buddhist Centre at the Beaufoy.

Early Buddhist influences on London

Japanese Pure Land Buddhists (1840–1907) established the first Buddhist “mission” in the West in 1889 in the central London home of a pioneering Irish Buddhist, Charles Pfoundes. The mission however was short-lived, as Pfoundes emigrated to Japan three years later.

Around 1863, newly arrived in Japan, Charles changed his surname to Pfoundes, learned Japanese and developed a passion for studying Japanese customs and culture. He subsequently made a career for himself as an East-West middleman, based mainly in Japan but with a thirteen-year period (1879-1892) in London where he gave innumerable talks on Japan and other topics and in 1889 founded the ‘Buddhist Propagation Society’; the first-ever Buddhist mission to the West (Bocking et al. 2014). As far as we know Charles never met, nor indeed wanted to contact, his brother Elam or his father James after he left them in Ireland in 1854. He did however spend time, though hardly quality time, with his mother on several occasions. In 1874 Caroline travelled to Tokyo, where Pfoundes held a responsible position in a major shipping company. That visit ended, according to Caroline’s later testimony in a Dublin courtroom in 1877, with Charles forcibly taking from her all the money she had brought with her to Japan, so that she was obliged to rely on the assistance of friends to get home. Caroline was in court because Charles, who in 1877 was travelling the world prior to settling, as he planned, in London, had visited Caroline in her own home in Dublin in May 1877 when she was in her early 60s and physically assaulted her when she did not give him back some Japanese ornaments he wanted. In October he returned and threatened to attack her again if she did not give him some papers. Pfoundes only avoided jail by paying sureties to keep the peace towards his mother for 12 months (‘A Strange Case’ 1877; ‘Extraordinary case’ 1877).

-- Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes: A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King [Charles James William Pounds Pfoundes] [Excerpt], by Brian Bocking

The next figure in the introduction of Buddhism in London was Allan Bennett (1872–1923). He was the second Englishman to become a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition (the first died shortly after his ordination in 1899). Bennett inspired many Londoners to explore Buddhism. A former occultist, he was a friend of Aleister Crowley, with whom he shared an interest in Buddhism. Bennett lived in a poor area of London. He was tormented by illness, which compelled him to use morphine and other drugs. He stayed with Crowley for a short time at a flat in Chancery Lane in central London, where they pursued their passion for mysticism.

After falling out with Crowley, in 1900 Bennett took a ship to Asia to dedicate himself to Buddhism. First he travelled to Ceylon, and later Burma where he received monastic vows and the name Ananda Metteyya “Bliss of Loving Kindness”. After returning to London, in 1908 Bennett started to promote Buddhism. He faced difficulties in upholding monastic rules in London, for example he was not allowed to ride behind a horse but London’s public transport was horse-drawn; he could not handle money so could never travel alone; and couldn’t share a house with a woman. However he managed to generate much attention.

Transport in London in the early 1900s

Another key figure in Buddhism making its mark on London was Christmas Humphreys, QC (1901–1983), considered the most eminent of all 20th Century British Buddhists. A barrister, he prosecuted several controversial cases in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and later became a judge at London’s Old Bailey. Humphreys’ interest in Buddhism developed at Cambridge University, where he joined the Theosophical Society. He was influenced by Ananda Metteya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett] and other early British Buddhists, such as the Pali Text Society’s founder, T. W. Rhys Davids. Humphreys organised a group that developed into the “Buddhist Lodge” of the Theosophical Society, which by 1926 had seceded to become the Buddhist Society in London, which is now the UK’s longest-standing Buddhist institution. In Humphrey’s spirit of non-sectarianism, the Buddhist Society has promoted the teachings of all Eastern Buddhist traditions, supported the development of Buddhism in London and the UK, and has hosted many prominent teachers. Of particular relevance to the history of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism was the welcoming of H.H. the 16th Karmapa at the Buddhist Society on his visit to London in 1977.

The 16th Karmapa and Christmas Humphreys in London, 1977

Proliferation of Buddhist Centres in London

In the latter half of the 20th Century a number of actual and nominal Buddhist organisations appeared and made their mark on London’s Buddhist landscape. Theravada Buddhist institutions such as Chithurst and Amaravati Monasteries in north London gradually emerged from the fledgling English Sangha Trust, founded in London in 1956 by the English monk Bhikkhu Kapilavaddho (William Purfurst) to provide residences for monks and establish an authentically British monastic community. Temples catering predominantly for ex-patriot Buddhist communities of Sri Lanka and Thailand took shape respectively with the London Buddhist Vihara (West London) and Buddhapadipa Temple (Wimbledon). Other smaller temples and centres have similar offerings for London’s diverse Eastern Buddhist communities.

Chronology [of the English Sangha Trust]

1879 Edwin Arnold published a biographical poem about the Buddha called The Light of Asia

1881 Founding of The Pali Text Society by Dr Rhys Davids

1907 The Buddhist society of Great Britain and Ireland was formed (3rd November) in order to facilitate a visit by Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]

1908 Ananda Metteyya arrived on 23rd April, creating the first recorded Buddhist mission to England

1909 The Buddhist Review was published on the 1st January; it was the first Buddhist periodical to appear in this country (Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland)

1923 From 8th Jan to the 28th May Francis Payne gave a series of lectures at the Old Essex Hall, Strand, London, in an attempt to revive a flagging Buddhist Society

June 1924 The Buddhist Centre within the Theosophical Society was started by Christmas Humphreys later to become The [Buddhist] Lodge and then the present Buddhist Society (CH p17)

1926 On the 25th October the Buddhist Lodge within the Theosophical Society “divorced” the Theosophical Society and became independent (CH p27)

Nov 1926 The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland was dissolved (CH p28)

1928 The first Vihara connected with the birth of the British Maha Bodhi Society was founded by the Anagarika Dharmapala in Regents Park

1947 Venerable U Ṭhittila became librarian of the Buddhist Society and a leading exponent of Buddhism (CH p46)

1948 On 18th April 1948, certain members of the Buddhist Society and others founded the Buddhist Vihara Society in England with the object of expediting the founding of a Vihara in London where bhikkhus might live, teach and form a nucleus of the Theravada Sangha (CH p51) (see Sri Lankan Buddhism)

1951 The inaugural meeting of the Manchester Buddhist Society (27th May) (MBS)

Aug 1952 First Buddhist Summer School at St Anne’s College, Oxford (CH p53)

Nov 52 Samaṇera Dhammananda helped start Birmingham Buddhist Society (MBS) (MW 54/55)

Aug 1953 3 Grosvenor Square became the permanent home of the Manchester Buddhist Society (MBS)

Aug 1953 Samaṇera Dhammananda helped form Cambridge and Brighton Buddhist Societies (MBS)

May 1954 On the 17th the Sri Lankan Temple was opened at 10 Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge. The Venerable Narada Mahathera was the first incumbent

Aug 1954 Summer school held at Roehampton. Miss Horner and the Venerable Narada Mahathera attended (MBS)

Nov 1954 Venerable Kapilavaddho returned to England on the 12th, and stayed briefly in Manchester. He then moved to the London Buddhist Vihara (Sri Lankan temple) in Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge on the 15th. He was joined by Bhikkhus Guṇasiri and Mahanama, the Venerable Narada having already left. He set up the Dana fund (for the use of members in distress, for the maintenance of bhikkhus and for the expenses of lecturers) and the Buddhist summer school both of which were later taken over by the Buddhist Society (R&B)

April 55 On the 8-11th the first intensive practice course lead by Venerable Kapilavaddho. 15 attended held at Milton hall, Buxton (MBS)

Sept/Oct 55 A two week course was held at Ipping (AP)

Aug 1956 “The English Sangha Association is a new formation. It was founded at Oxford on 11/18 August 1956 by a group of sixteen people who had just completed a strenuous and continuous course in the practice of samadhi (concentration) and vipassana (insight) lasting a week under instruction of the Venerable Kapilavaddho.” (MW Nov 56) (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

10 Oct 56 Buddhist Society moves to 58 Eccleston Sq (MW-55/56) (CH p59)

Oct 1956 EST leased 50 Alexandra Rd, London N.W.8. (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

Dec 1956 First Sangha Magazine produced (S Dec 56)

28 Oct 62 131 Haverstock Hill was inaugurated. Mr Walshe, Chairman of EST (S Dec 62)

May 1963 Between February and May, Biddulph Old Hall was bought (S May and June 63)

1963 129 Haverstock Hill was purchased. The property was rented to provide an income for the Vihara

April 1964 Ananda Bodhi returned and went to Biddulph and taught samadhi and vipassana, Wat Paknam method. (S Mar 64)

April 1964 London Buddhist Vihara moved from 10 Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge to 5 Heathfield Gds, Chiswick. Venerable Saddhatissa Mahathera was the incumbent

1964 Lease of Sangha House, Alexandra Street finished

[1965/1966/1967] Venerable Ananda Bodhi returned to England in the Fall of 1961, at the invitation of the English Sangha Trust, becoming the Resident Teacher of the Camden Town Vihara. He was a special guest speaker at the Fifth International Congress of Psychotherapists in London, where he met Julian Huxley, Anna Freud and R.D.Laing, among others. For the next three years he taught extensively throughout the UK, founding the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in London and the Johnstone House Contemplative Community—a retreat centre in southern Scotland. During this period he also joined a Masonic lodge. In 1965, when he decided to move to Toronto with two of his British students, Johnstone House was entrusted to Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Akong Tulku, becoming Kagyu Samye Ling—the first Vajrayana centre to be established in the West.

-- Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche [Venerable Ananda Bodhi/Leslie George Dawson], by Dharma Centre of Winnipeg

Ananda Bodhi, senior incumbent of the English Sangha Vihara and founder of a Buddhist contemplative centre in Scotland called Johnstone House, proposed turning the direction of the House over to myself and Akong. At once the fresh air and beautiful rolling hills of Dumfriesshire invigorated me and filled me with joyous expectation. After a series of further visits, Johnstone House was finally turned over to us and we moved in, giving it the name of Samye-Ling Meditation Centre.

-- Epilogue: Planting the Dharma in the West, from "Born in Tibet," "by" Chogyam Trungpa

To celebrate 50 years of Chogyam Trungpa's arrival in the UK Rigdzin Shikpo visited Biddulph Old Hall where he received many precious teachings from Trungpa Rinpoche.

-- A Tour of Biddulph Old Hall: Rigdzin Shikpo takes us on a tour of Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire, England. Biddulph Old Hall is the site of some of Trungpa Rinpoche's early teachings in the UK, by Rigdzin Shikpo

Biddulph Old Hall. Source: Sangha Magazine, May 1963

May 1963 Between February and May, Biddulph Old Hall was bought (S May and June 63)
Nov 1963 Ananda Bodhi to Thailand
1963 129 Haverstock Hill was purchased. The property was rented to provide an income for the Vihāra
April 1964 Ananda Bodhi returned and went to Biddulph and taught samadhi and vipassana, Wat Paknam method. (S Mar 64)
10 Jan 67 Maurice Walshe asked John Garry to manage Biddulph. He also found Richard Randall (previously Mr Purfurst and Venerable Kapilavaddho) and asked him to return
Biddulph Old Hall sold (S Nov 69)

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

Well, I met him in 1966. And at that time I was married to an Irish actress named Jacqueline Ryan, or Jackie. We had rather a stormy relationship....

I began making the aspiration in my mind, “May I connect with a realized master in the practice lineage.”...

So one day in my mind I was making this aspiration, and I had this sudden thought come to my mind, “Go to the phone book and look up ‘Tibet.’” And I thought, “That’s crazy. What’s that going to do?” And I thought, “Yeah, yeah, but what have you got to lose?” So I went to the phone book, and I looked up “Tibet.” Now in London, there’s 12 million people, the phone book is in four volumes, but I looked up in the “T’s,” and there was only one entry that began with the word “Tibet.” And that was “The Tibet Society of the United Kingdom ... and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square.” ...

[S]o I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place there without having to use the reverse. And it was sort of a Victorian townhome. And I went up the steps and there was a brass plate that said, “Buddhist Society.” And I thought, “Ha, that’s a good sign.” And underneath it it said, “Tibet Society.” So I pressed that bell push, the buzzer sounded, the door opened, and I went in.

And there was an arrow pointing down to the basement. So I went down to the basement, full of anticipation that there was going to be something very esoteric -- I was sure about that – “Tibet Society!” And there was this middle-aged English woman with her hair in a bun, typing away on an old manual typewriter, looking at me at the top of her glasses and saying, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, tell me about the Tibet Society.” And she said, “Oh, it’s a charitable organization, raising money for Tibetan refugees in India. Would you care to make a donation?” I thought, “This is crazy.” And I think I gave her 10 shillings, and I was about to leave, thinking that this was a total waste of time. And at that moment, a young woman came in the door, and she kind of pulled me aside and she said, “If you don’t mind me asking, ‘what are you doing here’?” I said, “Well, it’s really hard to explain, but I’m really interested in the teachings of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.” She said, “Oh, you know there are two Tibetan lamas in this country, and they belong to that Kagyu order.” And then she reached into her purse and she pulled out a photo, and she pointed to the one on the left and she said, “That’s Trungpa. That’s the one you want to meet.” I said, “Yes. Okay.” And then she proceeded to give me the address and phone number. They were living in Oxford....

And I rushed home, and I phoned the number in Oxford, and asked to speak to Venerable Trungpa, and someone with a weird foreign accent said, “Oh, he no here right now. Better you write to him.” And then they gave me an address of some place called Biddulph in Staffordshire, Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire.

And so I sat down and wrote a letter, “Dear Venerable Trungpa. I’d very much like to come and meet you, and study under your guidance. And I’d be willing to meet you any time or place that would be suitable to you.”...

So I sent off the letter, and of course, the first day there’s no response. The second day there’s no response. The third day, now by that time you could get an answer, because in England you could send a letter one day and it would get there the next day, and you could get a reply the day after that. But on the third day there was still no answer. On the fourth day there was still no answer. Now I was getting antsy. And on the fifth day still no answer. And I thought, “Well, I can’t wait any longer. I’m just going to go.” And I had the address of this place, The Biddulph Old Hall, Biddulph, Staffordshire. And I had a road atlas. So I found this place Biddulph. It was like a dot on the map, it was just this little village. And I decided I was going to go....

And I finally found this little village called “Biddulph” in Staffordshire. It’s kind of in the middle of England. And then I stopped in the village, and got directions to the Old Hall. And it’s a beautiful stone manor house....

And this place had a kind of iron knocker on the door. And I knocked, and a young man came to the door and said, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, I came to see the Venerable Trungpa.” And he said, “Ah, you must be Richard. He told us you’d be arriving today.” And I said, “What?,” because I had not had any answer to my letter....

So I stayed there for a week, and I met with him regularly on a one-to-one basis....

So at the end of the week, I went back to London. And a day or two afterwards I was having dinner – I was with my wife Jackie – and she said to me, “I have a feeling you don’t really need me anymore.” And I said, “Yeah, maybe you’re right.” And she said, “I’m going to be leaving you.” And I said, “What?” And I didn’t really say much about it. But when I woke up the next morning – we had this big king-size bed, and there was this big empty space next to me -- she was gone. And I was kind of surprised, although she had said that, because it was so sort of sudden. And I remember calling up Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford and saying, “You’ll never guess what happened. My wife left me.” He said, “Oh, yes.” And I said, “I have the feeling that if I contacted her, and asked her to come back, she probably would.” And he said, “Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” And I said, “No, I’m not going to.”....

And then a couple of days later we set out for Scotland.

-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

In 1967, the two Rinpoches named their centre after Samye, the first successful Buddhist establishment in Tibet. They were soon joined by master-artist Sherapalden Beru and the monk Samten. By 1970, Trungpa Rinpoche had departed for the USA and His Holiness the 16th Karmapa firmly encouraged Akong Rinpoche to take a leadership role in developing Samye Ling.

-- A Brief History of Kagyu Samye Ling, by Kagyu Samye Ling

1 Aug 1966 The Thai temple opened at 99 Christchurch Road, East Sheen (S-Feb 72). Venerable Chao Khun Sobhana Dammasuddhi was the first incumbent. The King and Queen of Thailand attended, as did Bhikkhu Khantipalo (A) (CH p68)

10 Jan 67 Maurice Walshe asked John Garry to manage Biddulph. He also found Richard Randall (previously Mr Purfurst and Venerable Kapilavaddho) and asked him to return

Nov 1969 A meditation block comprising three “cells” and a shower room in the rear garden of 131 Haverstock Hill are nearly completed. In addition there is a wooden shed also used as a Kuṭi.

Biddulph Old Hall sold (S Nov 69)

4 Dec 71 “Oaken Holt Buddhist centre, Farmoor, near Oxford, opened by owner U Myat Saw: - A Buddhist Centre has been opened at Oaken Holt, Farmoor, near Oxford. The first public event, on 4th December 1971, was a lecture entitled “What Buddhism has to Offer to the West”, by V.R. Dhiravaṃsa (the former Chao Khun Sobhana Dhammasudhi) of the Vipassana Centre at Hindhead. The lecture was preceded by a religious ceremony when seven bhikkhus chanted the scriptures; there was also a Dana ceremony. Over a hundred people came for the opening day, and of these more than a half came from London and places further away.

The centre has meditation facilities for those wishing to undertake strict practice. There is also a retreat house for those who wish to spend varying periods observing Sila in a religious atmosphere and quiet country surroundings. There is a Vihara nearby, where Buddhist monks will be in residence. Those who are interested may communicate with the Secretary, The Buddhist Centre, Oaken Holt, Farmoor, near Oxford.” (MW 71/72)

“It is with great pleasure that we can now announce that Dhammapadipa (Hampstead Vihara) will shortly assume its original status as a Vihara — a place of residence of bhikkhus in the dispensation of the Buddha. Our Administrator and Meditation Master Dr Michael Clark will shortly be returning from Thailand, where he will take up residence at Wat Dhammapadipa.” (S Vol. 4 No 6 -74)

April 1979 Haverstock Hill properties were sold at auction (26th)

June 1979 The Sangha moved to Chithurst (22nd)

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravada Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

The Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon, south London

Other Western or “modern” Buddhist organisations emerged in the late 20th Century and established their centres in London, some attracting attention to Buddhism for unfortunate reasons.

Tibetan Buddhism in London

By the early 21st Century, the popularity of Buddhism amongst those from both ethnically Buddhist cultures and Western practitioners had led to a proliferation of centres, temples and groups in and around London, offering access to virtually every brand, tradition, school or lineage of Buddhism, with Eastern roots or otherwise. Among this expansion, all of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism found representation. The Gelug School of the Dalai Lama is established in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition’s (FPMT) Jamyang Centre in Lambeth; the teachings of the Sakya School are accessible through the Sakya Dechen Ling centre in Notting Hill of the British Buddhist master, Lama Jampa Thaye; the Nyingma School may be encountered at the Palyul Centre in Islington; and the Karma Kagyu School in the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in Lambeth.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:28 pm

Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes: A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King
[Charles James William Pounds Pfoundes] [Excerpt]

by Brian Bocking
University College Cork



Mrs Pounds

Caroline Pounds, (née Elam) married James Baker Pounds, apothecary, in Ireland in 1836 when she was twenty. Her first child, Joseph Elam Pounds (known as Elam) was born in 1838, followed two years later by Charles James William Pounds, who in adult life changed his surname to Pfoundes. Another brother, George St Ledger Pounds, died at six months in the Autumn of 1843. Some time in the 1840s, Caroline separated from her husband James and left home, leaving the two surviving boys in their father’s care. [FN: Two newspaper court accounts differ; one says the marriage ended in 1840, the other (partly unreadable) says 18?9. 1839 was before George St Ledger was born, so probably 1849 is meant, but both may be inaccurate.] Caroline subsequently remained in Ireland, supporting herself as a governess and then as a companion and housekeeper. She died in 1898 at the age of eighty-two. By contrast first Charles (in 1854), then Elam (in 1855) and finally their father James (around 1856) emigrated to Australia. Charles’ father James and elder brother Elam made new lives for themselves in Australia, but almost immediately upon landing at Melbourne in 1854 Charles had run away to sea.

Around 1863, newly arrived in Japan, Charles changed his surname to Pfoundes, learned Japanese and developed a passion for studying Japanese customs and culture. He subsequently made a career for himself as an East-West middleman, based mainly in Japan but with a thirteen-year period (1879-1892) in London where he gave innumerable talks on Japan and other topics and in 1889 founded the ‘Buddhist Propagation Society’; the first-ever Buddhist mission to the West (Bocking et al. 2014). As far as we know Charles never met, nor indeed wanted to contact, his brother Elam or his father James after he left them in Ireland in 1854. He did however spend time, though hardly quality time, with his mother on several occasions. In 1874 Caroline travelled to Tokyo, where Pfoundes held a responsible position in a major shipping company. That visit ended, according to Caroline’s later testimony in a Dublin courtroom in 1877, with Charles forcibly taking from her all the money she had brought with her to Japan, so that she was obliged to rely on the assistance of friends to get home. Caroline was in court because Charles, who in 1877 was travelling the world prior to settling, as he planned, in London, had visited Caroline in her own home in Dublin in May 1877 when she was in her early 60s and physically assaulted her when she did not give him back some Japanese ornaments he wanted. In October he returned and threatened to attack her again if she did not give him some papers. Pfoundes only avoided jail by paying sureties to keep the peace towards his mother for 12 months (‘A Strange Case’ 1877; ‘Extraordinary case’ 1877).

With these facts in mind, it is remarkable to note that Caroline Pounds is usually regarded as one of the pioneer female artists of Australia, her reputation based entirely on a long-lost cache of botanical, bird and other paintings found in an attic in Geelong, Victoria as recently as the 1980s, some showing oriental influences. Until very recently it was thought that around 1846 (based on an inscription on one of the paintings) Caroline had accompanied her husband to Australia, where by the 1860s he had become a quite well-known coroner, and that the long-married couple had at some point visited their son Charles, an orientalist, in Japan -- this connection accounting for the ‘oriental’ elements in Caroline’s pictures. It is only with the help of recently-available digital databases offering searchable versions of books, newspapers, shipping records, gazetteers, archival materials, family trees and all manner of otherwise un-findable (because we don’t know where to look) published and unpublished data, that we have been able to build up a more reliable picture of Caroline’s life and, for example, to observe that if the lost pictures were indeed produced in 1846, the oriental influences could have little to do with Charles’ career in Japan, for he was only six years old at the time. Moreover, there is no evidence, beyond an inscription on one painting, to suggest that Caroline ever was in Australia, and in court in Ireland in 1877 she categorically denied that she had accompanied her husband there. Whether she should be regarded as a pioneering Australian woman artist is, therefore, a moot point! [FN: The current (July 29 2017) Wikipedia entry on Caroline Pounds provides an up-to-date overview of what is known, including my own research with Laurence Cox and YOSHINAGA Shin’ichi . A comparison with the much earlier (1992) Design and Art Australia Online entry on Caroline Pounds, which remains on the web at, illustrates just how much more, and more accurate, information has emerged as a result of digital search capabilities developed since 1992.]

There is much more about Caroline Pounds that is intriguing and elusive. Her own father, Joseph Elam (1782-1829) was a military officer, the errant son of a Quaker merchant of Leeds. Elam was by all accounts a negligent father of the three children (Caroline and two brothers) he had with his first wife, Anne Elam. Of Anne, virtually nothing is known – she may be the Anne Elam who died in a London workhouse in 1833, quite possibly still legally married to Joseph Elam. Her erstwhile husband was, in the late 1820s, involved in some way in a scandalous intrigue involving the two mistresses (mother and daughter Eliza Elam and Phoebe Blakeney) of a wealthy London-based Irish rake, Lord Portarlington. In 1827 Joseph Elam contracted what seems to have been a marriage of convenience with Lord Portarlingon’s senior mistress, Eliza (formerly Blakeney). Two years later, in 1829, Joseph died, and in 1833 Eliza herself passed away while on a visit to Manchester with Lord Portarlington. Portalington himself died in 1845, and in a sensational London fraud trial, which gripped the press and public at home and overseas during late 1853 and 1854, it was alleged that, while Eliza Elam had produced a child and claimed her as Lord Portarlington’s heir, the child was neither Joseph Elam’s nor Lord Portarlington’s; Eliza, it was argued, was beyond childbearing age and had bought the child from a peasant woman before convincing Lord Portarlington that the girl was his and thus deserved a £5,000 inheritance. It was the dispute over this inheritance that brought the matter into the open. [FN: The above brief summary of the case is based on multiple newspaper reports of the time from 1953-4.]

Caroline Pounds, whose mother was Elam Pounds’ estranged wife, Anne Elam, grew up in this evidently rather volatile social milieu; she was eleven years old when her father died. It is possible that she benefited from the kind of education provided for Lord Portarlington’s own privileged children and this is where she learned to draw and paint with such style, and perhaps why she had the kind of friends who could rescue her from faraway Japan in 1874, but so far it has proved impossible to fill in many more details of her life. Caroline Pounds remains an enigmatic figure, evidently well-educated, strong-willed and able for much of her life to live independently in Dublin, where in 1877 she still maintained a house and a maidservant, had sufficient resources to make a trip to distant Japan to see her estranged son, and was prepared to take him to court when he misbehaved.

Mrs Pfoundes

Rosa Alice Pfoundes (née Hill, 1856-1936) was one of the daughters of the governor of Sandwich gaol on the South coast of England. In 1878, at the age of 22, Rosa was staying in Liverpool with her recently-married sister Kate when Charles Pfoundes arrived in England to stay. Pfoundes was 38, seemingly with a good deal of money behind him and an ambition to establish himself in London society. The couple were married by the Liverpool Registrar in March 1878 and had set up house in London by the following year. Pfoundes was a regular attendee and sometimes speaker at various literary, geographical and orientalist gatherings around London and in the early 1880s the presence of Mrs Pfoundes is sometimes noted in the audience. As time went on, Charles Pfoundes, who had been able to secure only a humble clerking job at the Admiralty despite his expensive maritime experience in the Far East, enjoyed dwindling acceptance and support from the higher echelons of London society. The couple remained childless and towards the end of the 1880s a Japanese Buddhist who had come to the U.K. to study with Max Müller at Oxford reported back to his Buddhist colleagues in Japan that Pfoundes, who lived in very modest circumstances in London, albeit surrounded by thousands of books and papers, was interested in returning to Japan and that perhaps a position as an English-language teacher could be found for his wife Rosa. It is evident however that the marriage failed; in 1892 Pfoundes sailed for Japan alone (Bocking et al. 2014) and we have found no evidence of contact between Pfoundes and his wife, nor indeed mention of her, from the time of Pfoundes’ arrival in Japan in early 1893 until his death in Kobe in 1907. Back in England Rosa Pfoundes remained in London, working as a civil servant (and eventually thereby qualified to vote), living either alone or sharing accommodation with other single or married women. In 1921, presumably still working at the age of 57, she is listed in the electoral roll at an apartment in the pleasant environment of Bessborough Gardens, Pimlico. However, in November 1936, at the age of 80, she died in a hospital for the poor in Sussex and was shortly afterwards buried in a pauper’s (unmarked) grave in Hove cemetery. Even in comparison with the mother-in-law she probably never met, the independent and cultured Caroline Pounds, there is a paucity of evidence about the life, character and opinions of Rosa Alice Pfoundes which renders her (so far) virtually invisible to history.

Back in the Future

In the futuristic part of this essay, I want to suggest some ways in which emerging technologies ̶ and, perhaps more importantly, their accessibility and their manner of use ̶ might in future help us to learn and thereby understand far more than we can currently know about ‘lost’ figures in history such as Caroline Pounds and Rosa Pfoundes. Their lives – like the lives of many women in history and unlike the lives of many men – cannot readily be accessed through published texts and records of public events because they did not live public lives in the way that Caroline’s son, Rosa’s husband, did throughout his life. There were of course prominent and powerful women who were recognised as leaders in the field of religion in late 19th century London. In the late 1880s, Pfoundes vigorously denounced the ‘Buddhist’ pretensions of the Theosophical Society (to which he had once belonged), and in doing so attracted the ire of its leading figures who included Helena Blavatsky and Annie Besant. However, powerful and well-documented female figures in the public sphere are the exception rather than the rule in this period.


‘A Strange Case’ Freeman’s Journal, 3 Nov 1877, p.2.

Bocking, B., Laurence Cox & YOSHINAGA Shin’ichi (2014) “The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892.” DISKUS 16 (3): 1 – 33. Online at ... view/51/44 (accessed 29 July 2017)

Bornet, P. (ed.) (2018) Translocal Lives and Religion: Connections between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World, Sheffield: Equinox (forthcoming) ... on-bornet/

Cheshire, Tom ‘You’re being watched and you should worry.’ Sky News, accessed 29 July 2017 ... y-10962074

‘Extraordinary Case’ Irish Times, 3 Nov 1877, p.3.

Jones, L. (ed.) (2005) The Encyclopedia of Religion (Second edition). New York, Gale Macmillan.

King, U. (2005) ‘Gender and Religion: an overview’ in Lindsay Jones (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Religion (Second edition). New York, Gale Macmillan, Vol. V, pp.3296-3310.

Weeks, J. (2017) ‘”Keeping Grandpa alive”: the internet’s photographic treasure hunt’ 26 July 2017, accessed 29 July 2017 ... asure-hunt
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:54 pm

The hidden history of Buddhism in the West [Charles Pfoundes]
by Bhante Dhammika of Australia
June 17, 2016, 9:26 pm



Charles Pfoundes in Japanese eccleastical garb.

The establishment of a previously alien religion in a new environment is bound to be one of fits and starts, successes and dead ends, and so it has been with Buddhism in the West. Until fairly recently the beginnings of Western Buddhism was thought to be fairly clear and well-known, but recent research has shed new and unexpected light on this phenomena.

It seems certain now that the first Westerner to ordain as a monk, remain so for an extended period, and have at least some influence, was Bhikkhu Dhammaloka. His early life and given name are uncertain. He reportedly gave at least three names for himself at different times; Laurence Carroll, Laurence O'Rourke and William Colvin. Born in Dublin in the 1850s, he emigrated to the United States, worked his way across the US as a migrant labourer before finding work on a trans-Pacific liner. Leaving the ship in Japan, he made his way to Rangoon arriving in the late 1870s or early 1880s, around the time of the British annexation of Upper Burma. He became a monk sometime before 1899 and started giving public talks a year later. As with some other early Western monks in Asia Dhammaloka urged Buddhists to remain true to the faith of their fathers and not be seduced by the enticements of Christian missionaries. He told the Burmese that their religion was as coherent and as valid as Christianity, if not more so. Being Irish, Dhammaloka was also decidedly anti-British and he attacked the colonial government at every opportunity, making him something of a hero to the Burmese and an irritation to the British. Touring the country huge crowds flocked to listen to the European who lauded rather than disparages the Burmese and their religion. In 1907 Dhammaloka founded The Buddhist Tract Society which during its existence published numerous books and booklets on the Dhamma. His anti-British comments eventually led to Dhammaloka and some of his supporters being charged with sedition, found guilty and fined Rupees 1000 each. Dhammaloka’s numerous Burmese admirers had no problem raising the money to pay his and the other’s fines. Dhammaloka left Burma sometime after this and disappeared from history. He is thought to have died in 1914.

Bhikkhu Dhammaloka in the early 20th century.

More well-known successors to Dhammaloka were H. Gordon Douglas (Bhikkhu Asoka) formerly head of Mahinda College in Ceylon who ordained in February 1899 and died of cholera in Burma in April 1900; the Scotsman Allan Bennett (Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya) ordained in Burma in May 1902 and founder of the International Buddhist Association and Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He died in 1923; Anton Gueth (Ven. Nyanatiloka) of German who was ordained in Burma in 1904 by Ananda Metteyya and lived much of the rest of his life in Ceylon; and J. F. McKechnie (Bhikkhu Silacara) who ordained as a novice in July 1907 in Rangoon. After disrobing in 1925 he continued as editor of The British Buddhist for many years.

However, recent research has uncovered a surprising number of other Westerners who were drawn to the Buddhist monkhood before these pioneers. In the 1870s a destitute Russian became a monk in Bangkok and in 1878 an Austrian man is reported to have ordained in Bangkok. Nothing more is known about these two individuals. In June 1892 a Mr. MacMillan arrived in Ceylon from Scotland and ordained under the name Sumangala. Records from Japan show that a Dr. Norman, "a well-known Englishman" became a monk there in 1900. A Jewish man named Arnold Abraham or Abrams who had lived in the Straits Settlements in Malaya ordained in Rangoon in June 1904 and took the name Dhammawanga. M. T. de la Courneuve was ordained as a novice by Dhammaloka under the name Dhammaratanain Singapore October 2nd 1904. He was an ex-Inspector of Police, Pahang, Straits Settlements in Malaya and his father had been a Deputy Commissioner in the Burmese Civil Service. An individual named C. Roberts, a Welshman who is said to have spoken with an American accent, ordained as a novice probably in Rangoon in 1904. He disrobed in October 1904 after receiving a remittance from parents. He may have put on the robe simply because he was without money. An American sailor whose name has not been recorded ordained in Burma and in 1905 was residing in the Tavoy Monastery in Rangoon.

Others who have come to light include Frans Bergendahl (Sunno),a 20-year-old son of a wealthy Amsterdam merchant and a German Stange (Sumano) were both ordained by Nyanatiloka in 1906. Sumano died in 1910 and Sunno died in 1915. An Irishman whose lay name is unknown took the name Bhikkhu Visuddha and was involved in mass conversions of untouchable mine-workers in Marikuppam in India in 1907-8. Nothing else is known of him. A Mr. Solomon became a novice in Burma in 1907 but was disrobed shortly after for breaking rule about drinking alcohol. The German Walter Markgraf became a novice under Nyanatiloka in 1907 and disrobed half a year later. E. H. Stevenson born in the UK in 1863 ordained under the name Sasanadhajain Burma in September 1908 and is mentioned as giving lectures in Australia on a tour as a missionary for Buddhism in 1910.

As with most of these others we have only the barest information about these pioneers, mainly from incidental sources. Because of lack of information it is difficult to know why these men took, what then was such an unusual step and why they eventually disrobed. No doubt some were at a loose end or were eccentrics, others may have developed a fascination for Asian culture and wanted to experience it from the inside. Certainly all of them would have found the climate and food in the tropics challenging, and Asian Buddhist norms so different from their own, and this probably explains why so few of them lasted in the robes for long. One who did survive and indeed flourish was Captain Charles Pfoundes.

Theosophist A. P. Sinnett, author of Esoteric Buddhism

Up until recently it has been widely accepted that the British monk Ananda Metteyya’s (Allan Bennett) founded and organized the first Buddhist mission to the West in London in 1908. Recent collaborative research by historians in Japan and Ireland however has shown that this assumption needs to be revised. In fact it was not Theravadian but rather Japanese Mahayana Buddhists who were the first to try to teach Buddhism in the West. In 1889 the Japanese-sponsored Buddhist Propagation Society (BPS) of Japan launched a mission to London led for three years by the Irish-born Buddhist Captain Charles Pfoundes. The Buddhist Propagation Society had chosen a particularly opportune time to send its mission. Gilbert and Sullivan’s Japanese-themed opera The Mikado was running to record crowds in London and several exhibitions of Japanese art in London and Paris had created a fascination in things Japanese.

Charles Pfoundes was born 1840 in Waterford in Ireland in 1840 to Protestant parents who had been bankrupted during the great Famine of 1845-50. Immigrating alone to Australia in 1854 he joined the colonial navy and later captained a Siamese ship and ever after usually prefixed his name with Captain. He came into contact first in Thailand and seems to have been fascinated by it. His travels led him to Japan in 1863 where, having quickly learned Japanese he worked in shipping, as a cultural mediator, interpreter, guide and later as a newspaper columnist. He returned to Europe in 1878 via the US, married, worked at various jobs and began giving lectures on oriental subjects, mainly Japanese culture and Buddhism. On his return to Japan 10 years later without his wife he ordained as a priest in Kobe. Throughout the 1870 the Japanese government pressured monks to marry in the belief that it would weaken Buddhism and aid to modernise the country, and many monks gave into this pressure. Thus most Japanese clergy became and remain today technically priests rather than monks. Pfoundes died in Kobe in 1907 at the age of 67.

During his three year mission in London and elsewhere in the UK starting in 1888 Pfoundes’ lectures were well attended given that he was apparently an engaging and interesting speaker. A photograph of him at this time shows him in the full regalia of a Japanese prelate, accoutrements that must have increased his authority and made him appear even more interesting. Newspaper reports of the time show that Pfoundes’ two main subjects were Buddhist doctrine and criticisms of Theosophy which he dismissed as nonsense masquerading as Buddhism.

In 1883 the Theosophist A. P. Sinnett had published his book Esoteric Buddhism which became and remains even today a seminal text of Theosophy. Sinnett claimed that his book was the gist of "psychic communication" he had had with Mahatma Koot Hoomi, one of the supposed "Great White Masters in the Himalayas". It should be kept in mind that the general public at the time knew little of genuine Buddhism and Madame Blavatsky and Sinnett’s "esoteric Buddhism", actually a mish-mash of late Victorian spiritualism and occultism with a smattering of Buddhism and Hindu, was attracting a great deal of attention. In his lectures, Pfoundes made it clear that Buddhism and Theosophy had nothing in common. Notices in newspapers of the time show that Pfoundes was determined to clarify Buddhism and distinguish it from Theosophy.

Stratford, Enterprise Hall, Great Eastern Road. Sun. December 6th, at 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Theosophy: Its frauds and follies.’

Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Rd, Sun December 13 that 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Theosophy: Is it true? – An exposé of a dangerous fallacy.’

Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Rd,–January 31st, at 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Buddhism not Theosophy: the two critically contrasted’, preceded by vocal and instrumental music.

The grave of Charles Pfoundes in Kobe, Japan

However, on several occasions Pfoundes went beyond criticizing Theosophy to pointing out the dubious behaviour of some Theosophists, calling Madame Blavatsky a charlatan, Sinnett either delusional or a liar, and Charles Webster Leadbeater a pederast. All these claims have since been shown to have some substance to them but not at that time and Pfoundes was sued for libel. He settled out of court for 550 Pounds.

Having said all this, it is right to point out that while the early Theosophists had a scant understanding of the Buddha’s Dhamma and the "Great White Masters in the Himalayas" were non-existent, they had an important role to play in the revival of Buddhism in Ceylon and elsewhere, and energised the independence movements in various Asian countries. Their esoteric Buddhism owed almost everything to Blavatsky and Sinnett’s fanciful claims and almost nothing to the Buddha. As Colonel Olcott learned more about genuine Dhamma during his stay in Ceylon he quietly distanced himself from Madame Blavatsky and her followers.

Western monks such as Ananda Metteyya and Silacara helped give Asian Buddhists a renewed confidence in their religion while at the same time explaining it to European readers. Captain Charles Pfoundes went to the West to promote it and to help distinguish it from other forms of spirituality. Buddhists both East and West owe a debt of gratitude to them all.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:43 am

Part 1 of 3

The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892
by Brian Bocking, University College Cork; Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth; and Shin‘ichi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College of Technology
The Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions (




This article challenges two general assumptions shared by scholars of Western Buddhism: (1) that the earliest Buddhist missions to the West were those established in California from 1899 onwards; and (2) that Ananda Metteyya‘s (Allan Bennett‘s) London mission of 1908 was the first Buddhist mission to London and thus to Europe. Recent collaborative research by scholars in Ireland and Japan demonstrates instead that the Japanese-sponsored 'Buddhist Propagation Society' (BPS) launched in London in 1889 and led for three years by the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles Pfoundes predates both of the above-mentioned 'first' Buddhist missions. In this article we offer a first attempt to document the nature, activities and significance of the London BPS, drawing on Japanese and UK sources to examine Pfoundes' role and that of his Japanese sponsors. We discuss the nature of Pfoundes' Buddhism, the strategy and activities of the London BPS and the reasons for its eventual demise. The conclusion examines the links between the BPS and the later 'first' Japanese Buddhist missions in California and asks what hidden connection there might be between Pfoundes' missionary campaign in London in 1889-92 and Ananda Metteyya‘s return from Burma as the 'first' Buddhist missionary to London, almost two decades later.

* * *

Early Buddhist missions to the West: the conventional history

In April 1908 the Rangoon-ordained Buddhist monk Ananda Metteyya (Allan Bennett, 1872-1923) arrived in London with a party of Burmese sponsors. Ananda Metteyya‘s very presence in the capital, as a yellow-robed, shaven-headed monk demonstrating by example that it was (just) possible for a European to follow the strict vinaya regime in Edwardian London, aroused a good deal of interest in the press and among the public. In addition to preaching by example, Ananda Metteyya -- not a gifted orator -- delivered some talks on Buddhist thought and practice and gave interviews to the press.1 Within six months he was en route back to Burma.2 This visit is commonly regarded as the epochal first Buddhist mission to Europe, and for many writers marks the 'real' beginning of Buddhism-as-a-lived-religion in the UK.3

While Ananda Metteyya‘s 1908 mission to London has long been identified as a starting-point for the story of 'Buddhism in Britain', students of Western Buddhism are by now well aware that it was not the first Buddhist mission to the West. Japanese Buddhist missions, oriented mainly towards expatriate Japanese but with active Western adherents, had developed in California from 1899 onwards4 and these West Coast missions are now considered by scholars to be the earliest Buddhist missions to the West (Tweed 2000).

In this article, we set out to demonstrate that the first London Buddhist mission was in fact established in 1889, predating even the Californian missions by a decade. From 1889 to 1892, the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles J. W. Pfoundes (1840-1907) headed an official Buddhist mission known as the 'Buddhist Propagation Society'. This was based in Westminster, operated throughout London and its suburbs and was the first and indeed only foreign outpost of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai (lit. 'Overseas Propagation Society' but normally translated 'Buddhist Propagation Society'), an initiative of a group of reformist Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) Buddhists based in Kyoto.

The Buddhist Propagation Society in London and Pfoundes' role in it were of course known to, and publicised by, his Buddhist sponsors in Japan at the time5 and at least one contemporary Japanese account6 was available to Notto Thelle, who in 1987 wrote:

The Society for Communication with Western Buddhists (Obei Bukkyo Tsushinkai) was founded in 1887; it was later reorganized as the Buddhist Propagation Society (Kaigai Senkyo Kai, literally Overseas Missionary Society), under the leadership of Akamatsu Renjo. Its purpose was to propagate Buddhism in the West, through missionaries and publications. A branch office was established in London in 1890, and a journal was published, entitled Bijou of Asia [Ajia no hōshu].

…[a]nother Western Buddhist, C. Pfoundes, also supported Japanese Buddhists against Christianity. He had first come to Japan in the 1860s as an officer in the British navy and remained for about twelve years, of which he reportedly spent seven or eight years in Buddhist temples. As an admirer of the ancient Japanese civilization and of Buddhism, he had dedicated much of his time to lecturing on Buddhism in the United States (1876-1878) and in England (1878-1893). He served as secretary of the London branch of the Buddhist Propagation Society and came to Japan again in 1893 at the invitation of his Buddhist friends. In his many meetings he appealed to the national sentiment and attacked Christian missionaries for slighting Buddhism and despising Japan as a barbarian country. Both Olcott and Pfoundes left Japan after controversies with their Japanese sponsors.

Thelle deserves credit for drawing attention to Pfoundes, who had remained unnoticed by other scholars, but Thelle had only limited information, some of which has been superseded by recent discoveries. For example, Pfoundes did not leave Japan after his return from London in early 1893 but remained there, resident and working in a variety of roles in the port city of Kobe where he died in 1907 and is buried in the foreigner‘s cemetery.7 Thelle portrays Pfoundes as little more than a transient foreigner, a pale version of the exotic Theosophical 'White Buddhist' Olcott, but in fact by 1890 Pfoundes had become a fierce opponent of Theosophy. Far from being a transient visitor like Olcott, Pfoundes spent a total of 26 years of his life in Japan and in 1899 even applied for Japanese nationality (Ruxton 2008, Bocking 2013). Ironically, it is because Pfoundes did not return to London but instead died alone in Kobe that his pioneering activities on behalf of Buddhism in the West were forgotten, while Ananda Metteyya‘s brief visit almost two decades later came to be remembered, through his later colleagues in London, as the 'first' Buddhist mission to the capital.

Beyond Thelle‘s brief depiction, Pfoundes' name has been remembered elsewhere but for a quite different reason. A collection of his newspaper columns on diverse aspects of Japanese art, folklore and customs was published by The Japan Herald in Yokohama in 1875 under the title Fuso mimi bukuro or A Budget of Japanese Notes. This work, similar to and subsequently overshadowed by Basil Hall Chamberlain's Things Japanese: Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan (1890), remains widely available and is still cited occasionally in modern scholarship, for example by Hendry (1981).

With the very recent advent of digital technologies which enable searches for lost fragments of information across thousands of local newspapers, popular magazines and archive collections, many new details of Pfoundes' remarkable life have now come to light.8 In 2013, Bocking offered a first brief biography, based on some of this new evidence (Bocking 2013). That article was however concerned mainly with Pfoundes' activities between his return to Japan from London in 1893 and his death in 1907. Of the putative 'London Buddhist Mission' Bocking could say at the time only that:

[a]bout this time [the early 1890s] Pfoundes became the London representative of the modern Jodo Shinshu-backed Japanese Buddhist missionary society the Kaigai Senkyo Kai, in which role he reportedly warned the young scholar Takakusu Junjiro away from the London Theosophists and hence towards Max Muller (Akai 2009, 190); a significant Weberian moment in the history of Japanese Buddhology, if so. The other activities, if there were any, of Pfoundes' London Japanese Buddhist outpost remain undocumented; perhaps an unwritten - and very early - chapter in the history of Buddhism in the UK.

Further research since 2013 has generated a great deal of new material specifically on the BPS in London, and the present article attempts to write that 'unwritten‘ chapter, at least in outline9.

The role of Mr Okazaki Hideki, a researcher from Matsue who had become interested in Pfoundes' connections with that city, should be acknowledged here. Mr Okazaki first found (in Nakanishi, 1892) a reproduction of the decorative 2-sided leaflet in Japanese and English used by Pfoundes in London to advertise the 'Buddhist Propagation Society‘.10 With confirmation that the English name of Pfoundes' London organisation was simply the 'Buddhist Propagation Society‘ and with his name and address indicating that the BPS had more than a nominal presence in London, we began searching new sources and were able to unearth numerous fragmentary references to the BPS in newspapers and magazines of the time and to uncover the remarkable extent of Pfoundes‘ engagement in Buddhist missionary work in London.

The main sources of information on Pfoundes' London Buddhist mission are:

• Reports from London in the magazine Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo (a journal published in Kyoto which reported on Buddhism in the West for Japanese Buddhists);
• Articles by Pfoundes and announcements and reports of his lecture meetings in The Two Worlds (UK weekly spiritualist newspaper);
• Announcements in The National Reformer (weekly secularist / radical newspaper);
• Notices in Reynolds’ Weekly Newspaper, published each Sunday with news of forthcoming public talks and events across London;
• Other local London and provincial newspapers;
• Material submitted by Pfoundes in 1902-3 to the organisers of the Lewis & Clark centennial exposition planned for Portland, 1905 ('President‘s Office Correspondence').

Who was Charles Pfoundes?

In letters written after his return to Japan, Pfoundes described himself as follows:

"Captain Charles James William Pfoundes F.R.G.S., Rl. U. Service Inst., Corr. Memb. Geog. Soc. Japan, Hon. Fel. Soc. Sc. Lit. & Art, Fel. Rl. Asiatic Soc., Fel. Rl. Historical Soc., Fel. Rl. Colonial Soc., Founder, Orientalists‘ International Union of the Pacific Hemisphere, Author, Orientalist, Lecturer, Initiated to Buddhist Sects, by Executive at Chief Monasteries, Esoteric &c., &c., Author of Fu-so mimi bukuro, Contributor to Current Literature in Japan and Abroad, Europe, America, &c., Specialist in Japanese History, Religion, Art, Literature, Olden Time Customs, Life of the People, &c."

The Royal British Colonial Society of Artists (RBC)[1] was founded in 1887 as the Royal Anglo Australian Society of Artists[2] and received its royal charter under its later name in 1907.[3]

Its members were artists from Britain (notably members of the Newlyn School), South Africa, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia.[2]

It is known to have held an exhibition at the Royal Institute Galleries in London in 1937[4] and this is believed to have been its last.[2]


1. Dale, Rodney (1997). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Abbreviations and Acronyms. Wordsworth. p. 136. ISBN 9781853263859.
2. "Royal British Colonial Society of Artists". Artist Biographies. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
3. "News in Brief: Royal British Colonial Society of Artists". The Times. 27 September 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 5 June 2016. The King has been graciously pleased to grant a charter and diploma to ... The Society, which has now been in existence 21 years ...
4. "Art Within the Empire: Characteristic examples". The Times. 8 May 1937. Retrieved 5 June 2016.

-- Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, by Wikipedia

Pfoundes' life can be divided into four fairly distinct periods: (1) early life up to age 23 when he landed in Japan; (2) his first period of residence in Japan, 1863-1876; (3) the London years, 1878-1892 and (4) return to Japan, 1893 to his death in 1907.11

Pfoundes was born Charles James William Pounds in 1840 in Waterford or Wexford, Ireland, to Irish Anglican parents bankrupted during the 1845 Famine. His father James Pounds and mother Caroline Elam separated in 1846 when Charles was 6, leaving him motherless. He emigrated alone to Australia in 1854 aged about 14 and promptly joined the colonial (Australian) navy, subsequently captaining a Siamese naval sailing ship and spending some time in China.

Pounds changed his name to 'Pfoundes', which reflects the Japanese spelling of 'Pounds'12 soon after arriving in Japan in 1863, five years before the epochal Meiji Restoration. For employment reasons he may have added some years to his age.13 He quickly became fluent in Japanese and was fascinated by Japanese customs and culture, topics that preoccupied him for the rest of his life. He also began collecting Japanese art and sculpture. Beginning as a (British) policeman in Nagasaki port, he worked in a variety of roles in different parts of Japan, finding a niche as a cultural mediator between the Japanese and foreign diplomats and as an interpreter/guide, newspaper columnist, importer and lecturer.

In 1870-71 Pfoundes accompanied some high-ranking Japanese government and business figures to Europe and America.
This was part of a wider wave of early Meijiera missions to the West, which played an important role in Japanese reflections on religion and society and relationships between Buddhism and Christianity (Hayashi et al. 2014). By the early 1870s, capitalising on his naval experience, he had been appointed to a senior (Director‘s Office) position in the embryonic native Japanese steamship industry. He lived in several parts of Japan, later listing these as ―Nagasaki 1863-4-6; Yedo (Tokyo) 1866 & 8, 71-6. Hakodate 1865 &c.; …" 14

Pfoundes left Japan in 1876, tasked with setting up an exhibition of Japanese art in America, later writing that:

I assisted in purchasing and had charge of the packing and shipping, of a very large quantity of valuable goods chiefly fabricated for Exhibition at the Philadelphia Centennial; and went with them to New York, managing their exhibition in Old Chickering Hall &c. and subsequent disposal. …15

The 'disposal' took the form of a substantial auction of 627 items16 which made Pfoundes a significant amount of money, though not enough to buy property or relieve him of the need to earn a living. By his own account Pfoundes travelled extensively in Europe during 1877-8. In March 1878 he married 22-year old Rosa Alice Hill in the Liverpool Registry Office and the newlyweds set up home in London. He secured a lowly clerical position at the Admiralty; an appropriate employer but a far lower position than he might have hoped for, given his colonial navy background and experience in the Japanese shipping industry (Bocking 2013, Cox 2013). For the next fourteen years Pfoundes worked in London as an Admiralty scribe or clerk but in his private capacity gained admission to a wide range of London‘s learned societies and made a considerable name for himself as a prolific speaker on mainly Japanese and Oriental topics and would-be organiser of various cultural projects, including a Nipon (sic) Institute or Japan Society that began promisingly in 1879 but failed to flourish.

How Captain Pfoundes became a Buddhist

Thelle says that Pfoundes 'reportedly' lived 7-8 years in Buddhist monasteries in his first period in Japan, but gives no source. This may rely on Madame Blavatsky, whose Secret Doctrine (1881) quotes Pfoundes‘ account of the Shinto creation story and asserts that "Captain C. Pfoundes studied for nearly nine years in the monasteries of Japan the religion underlying the various sects of the land. ...".17 Writing from London in 1889, Pfoundes told his potential Japanese sponsors that he had stayed in at least three monasteries ('Tozenji, Sengakuji, and Daichuji‘) in the Shiba area during his residence in Japan. However, while he may have stayed in monasteries there is no evidence that he became a Buddhist in any meaningful sense before 1875, nor indeed that he took any formal Buddhist ordination or initiation before his return to Japan in 1893.18 He did study the history of Buddhism and current religious practices during his first period in Japan, as reflected in his Japan Mail articles republished in Fuso mimi bukuro. However, there is nothing in Fuso mimi bukuro to suggest anything but the view of an attentive and curious outsider who has read up on Japanese Buddhist history and observed at first hand the day-to-day customs and practices of different classes. Pfoundes‘ approach to Buddhism in these early pieces is neutral and descriptive when talking about the past, and condescending when he refers to the condition of Buddhism amidst Japan‘s rapid modernisation. The very first item in Fuso mimi bukuro is entitled 'Superstitions‘ and includes Pfoundes‘ opinion of modern Buddhism and Buddhist priests.

A full description of the superstitions of any nation involves no easy task, and the delineation of those of such a nation as this, in such a manner as to enable the reader to realize their hold over the native mind, is more than we can expect to accomplish. In giving a sketch of some of the most common, we are only selecting exemplars from a thousand forms that are either local, temporary or of but slight consideration. An instructive and amusing essay on this subject might be written, which would throw no little light on the real depth of the religious feeling of the Japanese and of their capacity for entertaining a higher form of faith than any they now possess. There is a large class of young students growing up who sneer at anything and everything native; but the great majority still resort, as did their ancestors, to all kinds of charms, prayers, incantations, amulets &c. to bring good luck, or ward off evil. In Sintooism [sic], as we term it, there is but little room for superstition or ghost stories, so that we are thrown upon the conclusion that the Buddhist priesthood are more or less the supporters of the gross follies which, in the form of superstitions, exist among all classes in this country. (Pfoundes 1875, 1-2)

Inoue did not attempt to deny that Buddhism as it could be observed in contemporary Japan was in a degraded state and in dire need of reform. Rather, in the mode of all rhetoricians attempting to stir outrage and action, the picture he painted was exaggerated. “Present-day Buddhism is practiced among foolish laymen, it is handed down by foolish clergy, and it is full of depravities; in short it is not free of becoming a barbaric doctrine.”43 This was “nothing intrinsic to Buddhism”; Buddhism simply reflected the “corrupt customs of society.”44 Inoue’s own efforts to effect change included promoting Buddhist philanthropy and campaigning against non-Buddhist superstition, folk belief in ghosts and the supernatural.45

-- Chapter 6. Buddhist Revival and Japanese Nationalism, from "Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Columbian Exposition," by Judith Snodgrass

He recognises that Buddhism had suffered egregiously in the process of Japan‘s modernisation, with multiple reforms designed to disestablish Buddhism and marginalise the role of the clergy in the modern state:

'Until the last few years the priests drew large revenues from the Government and from high officials – latterly they have been thrown on their own resources and become beggars literally‘ (Pfoundes 1875, 132)

The old-fashioned institutional Japanese Buddhism that Pfoundes encountered at first hand before 1868 thus seems to have held little personal attraction for him and it is not until 1888, when he had been living in London for almost 10 years, that we find any suggestion of a personal engagement with Buddhist texts, ideas and practices. In an article headed 'Divyatchakchus: The "Infinite Perception" of Japanese Esotericism by C. Pfoundes (OMOIE)‘19 published in the first (May 1888) issue of the journal Theosophical Siftings, he argues that modern science has its role, but true wisdom does not change through the ages. It can be attained only by those few advanced truth-seekers who are prepared to look beyond the narrow confines of their own religious tradition and pursue a higher path.

… Passing through the stages of scientific teaching of modern times, we learn minor details, unknown of yore, it is true; but the great principles still remain absolutely unchanged. The merely mechanical sciences, chemistry, geology, and other branches give us details; of matter we have a little more knowledge, but of LIFE we have learned absolutely nothing, while of psychology we know less than the ancients.

Will it therefore not well repay the true sincere student to hearken to the wisdom of old? The attainment of Transcendent Intuitiveness is not utterly beyond the capability of some, though to many so high an ideal may be hopeless.

From the Amitabah [sic] (Sutra) we learn that there are five faculties of intellectual power. …

A comparison of the 1888 'Divyatchakchus' article with his writings on Buddhism over the following summer of 1889 throws some light on the stages in Pfoundes' transition over a 12-month period from his fairly conventional position during the 1880s, as peripatetic speaker on Japanese and other topics, to his self-declaration as an officially appointed Buddhist missionary in October 1889. 'Divyatchakchus' shows that Pfoundes did engage positively, if briefly, with Theosophical thought during the late 1880s and presumably knew some of the leading Theosophists in London.20 In fact during 1888 he contributed half a dozen other articles on topics including Genghis Khan and Japanese folklore to the Theosophical journal Lucifer. However, a final Lucifer letter on 'Is the Bud(d)hist an Atheist?‘ (June 1889, Vol. 4, 351), marked the end of any friendly relations with the Theosophist camp.

'Divyatchakchus‘ is markedly different in tone and content from Pfoundes' next significant publication on Buddhism for an English audience, produced a year later. 'Buddhism, What it was, and is‘ appeared in three parts between May and August 1889 in the Spiritualist periodical The Two Worlds and can be regarded as Pfoundes' Buddhist manifesto. The Two Worlds, a nationwide magazine owned and edited since 1887 by the renowned spiritualist Emma Hardinge Britten described itself as 'A Journal Devoted to Spiritualism, Occult Science, Ethics, Religion and Reform' and had a negative view of Theosophy from the outset.21 There is no evidence that Pfoundes was an active spiritualist himself, but evidently he found a sympathetic editor in Hardinge Britten22 and as we shall see he later used Spiritualist venues in London for talks on Buddhism which were advertised in TTW alongside the regular notices of spiritualist meetings.

In 'Divyatchakchus', Buddhism had been presented in characteristically Theosophical fashion as but one expression of a larger abstract and universalist conception of wisdom or enlightenment for which Buddhism provides a conduit. By contrast, the following year‘s TTW article seeks with increasing urgency to clarify those features of Buddhism which distinguish it from other traditions. In the first part, titled 'Buddhism, What it was, and is‘, Pfoundes argues that:

BUDHISM23 is not a religion in the strict sense of the word, though it is religious, and in many of the sects, so numerous, there is much admixture of religion. It is now so frequently alluded to by writers and speakers amongst spiritualistic circles to a very large extent, that some brief account of this ancient and wide-spread faith is offered to our readers.

Pfoundes then offers a brief historical account, with the proviso that what matters is the practical use to which Buddhism may be put today:

Buddhism must be considered a successful effort to restore the purity of religious thought, the freedom of human action in spiritual matters, and we are more concerned in knowing what has come down to us for our use, than in the discussion of the exact dates. (TTW 17 May 1889 p326)

He goes on to make a special appeal to the sympathy of ordinary Spiritualists, who constituted the readership of the journal and whose belief in ‗the two worlds‘ was for the most part conditioned by a Christian world-view.24

To spiritualists it will be of interest to know that much of what is now openly advocated by their leaders is BUDHISM pure and simple - temperance in diet, abstinence from stimulants and coarse food, vegetarianism, kindness, gentleness, courtesy, charity, all the Christian virtues included. (TTW 17 May 1889 p326)

The second part of Pfoundes' TTW article appeared in July, under the simple title 'Buddhism'. It was this time prefaced by an enthusiastic note from the editor of The Two Worlds positioning Pfoundes as a learned authority on Buddhism, uniquely placed to refute spurious representations of the tradition. This is evidently a reference to Theosophy‘s controversial presentation of itself as 'Esoteric Buddhism' and the TTW’s editorial comment reflects the widening rift with the growing body of Theosophists whose belief in reincarnation was particularly offensive to Spiritualists.

Of course, the teaching about the members of man's being, the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, are truths. But materialism has here been woven into all these truths. In Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism a genuinely spiritual outlook is combined with an eminently materialistic tendency — a combination that it was not easy to detect because there was scarcely anyone who could discern that something entirely materialistic had insinuated itself into a spiritual teaching — something that was materialistic not merely in the intellectual sense but materialistic as opposed to a spiritual view of the world. — I refer to what is said in Esoteric Buddhism about the “Eighth Sphere”. [note 3]

Here, then, are teachings which contain a great deal that is correct and into which this utterly materialistic and misleading statement about the Eighth Sphere has been woven. This culminates in the assertion made in Esoteric Buddhism that the Eighth Sphere is the Moon. Owing to its journalistic qualities and the good style in which it is written, the book was a tremendous draw and captivated many hearts. Consequently these readers imbibed, not the true teaching concerning the Eighth Sphere, but the strange assertion made by Sinnett that the Moon is the Eighth Sphere.

So there was Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism. The book was written at the time when Blavatsky, after all the happenings of which I have told you, had already been driven into the one-sided sphere of influence of those Indian occultists who belonged to the left and had special aims of their own. Hence teachings relating to the constitution of man and to reincarnation and karma are given in Esoteric Buddhism. It is therefore written in opposition to those who wanted the knowledge of reincarnation to be allowed to disappear. This will also show you how vehemently the conflict was being waged.

Blavatsky was connected with American spiritualists who wanted to let the teaching of reincarnation disappear. Mediumship was a means to this end and so that method was adopted.
As Blavatsky revolted, she was expelled and came more and more under the sway of the Indian occultists; she was driven into their hands. This led to a conflict between American and Indian views in the sphere of occultism. On the one side there was the strong tendency to let the teaching of reincarnation vanish from the scene, and on the other, the urge to bring this teaching into the world but in a form that took advantage of the materialistic leanings of the nineteenth century.

This was a possibility if the teaching about the Eighth Sphere was presented as Sinnett presented it in the book Esoteric Buddhism.
There are a certain number of other facts which are perhaps of sufficient importance to be at least indicated — because I do not want to shock you by what I am saying but to explain the spiritual principle upon which our own standpoint is based.

Two difficulties had arisen as a result of the way in which the teaching about the Eighth Sphere had been presented in Sinnett's book. One of the difficulties had been created by Blavatsky herself. She knew that what Sinnett had written on this subject was false [note 4] but on the other hand she was in the hands of those who desired that the false teaching should be inculcated into humanity. Therefore she tried — as you can read in The Secret Doctrineshe tried to correct in a certain way this conception of the Eighth Sphere and matters relevant to it. But she did this in such a way as to cause confusion. Hence there is a certain discrepancy between Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. Blavatsky corrected in a way that actually reinforced the bias of the left-wing Indian occultists. She tried by very peculiar means, as we shall presently see, to let more of the truth come to light in order to overshadow the error. She was therefore obliged, in turn, to create a counterweight, for from the standpoint of the Indian occultists it would have been very dangerous to allow the truth to be revealed in this way.

She set out to create this counterweight — we shall gradually understand it — by pursuing a definite course. She came nearer to the truth about the Eighth Sphere than Sinnett had done but she created the counterweight by giving vent in The Secret Doctrine to a volley of abuse on the subjects of Judaism and Christianity, interwoven with certain teaching about the nature of Jehovah. In this way, what she had put right on the one side she tried to balance out on the other, so that too much harm should not be done to the stream of Indian occultism. She knew that such truths do not remain theory or without effect as do other theories relating to the physical plane. Theories such as those of which we are speaking penetrate into the life of soul and colour the perceptions and feelings of men; indeed they were calculated to turn souls in a certain direction. — The whole affair is an inextricable jumble of fallacies.

H. P. Blavatsky did not, of course, know that the driving forces behind both tendencies were directed towards a special aim, namely, to foster this particular kind of error instead of the truth, to foster errors of a type that would be advantageous to the materialism of the nineteenth century — errors such as could be possible only at the high tide of materialism. — There you have one side of the situation.

On the other side, Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and, in a certain respect, Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine too, had made a great impression, especially upon those who were really intent upon seeking the spiritual world. And that again naturally alarmed those who had cause to be alarmed at the possibility that an Occult Movement with such an oriental trend would appear.

Now a number of senseless polemics have been levelled against Blavatsky, against Sinnett, against the Theosophical Movement, and so forth. But among the different attacks made upon the Theosophical Movement in the course of time there have been some which emanated from well-informed but biased quarters. The tendency of Anglican spiritual life was that as little as possible of oriental teaching, as little as possible of any teaching concerning repeated Earth-lives, should be allowed to come to the knowledge of the public.

There is no doubt that among those who, from the standpoint that here lay a danger to Christianity in Europe, set themselves in opposition to the oriental teachings, were people who may be called “Christian esotericists”. Christian esotericists connected with the High Church party set themselves in opposition with this in mind. [note 5] And from that quarter came declarations calculated to stem the current of oriental thought proceeding from Blavatsky and Sinnett, but on the other hand to foster in the outside world esotericism of a kind calculated to conceal the teaching of repeated Earth-lives. To amalgamate a certain trend of thought with the form of Christianity customary in Europe — such was the aim of this group.
It desired that the teaching of repeated Earth-lives — which it was essential to make known — should be left out of account. And a method similar to that used in the case of Sinnett was put into operation.

I must emphasise once again that those who made the corresponding preparations were probably not fully aware that they were tools of the individuality who stood behind them. Just as Sinnett knew nothing of the real tendency of those who stood behind him, neither did those who were connected with the High Church party know much of what lay behind the whole affair. But they realised that what they were doing could not fail to make a great impression upon the occultists and that determined them to lend force to the trend of those who were intent upon eliminating the teaching of repeated Earth-lives.

If after these preliminary indications we turn to consider the particular fallacy contained in Sinnett's book, we find that it is the teaching that the Eighth Sphere makes itself manifest paramountly in the Moon; that the Moon with its influences and effects upon man is, in fact, the Eighth Sphere. Expressed in this form, this is a fallacy. — Here is the essential point. If in investigating the influences of the Moon we were to start from Sinnett's assumption, we should be trapped in a grave error arising from materialistic thinking and not easily fathomed. — What, then, was necessary if the truth were to be fostered? It was necessary to point out the true state of things in regard to the Moon as opposed to the erroneous presentation in Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism.

Read Chapter IV dealing with this subject in the book Occult Science: an Outline. It was my purpose there to describe how the Moon left the Earth. I attached particular importance to the fact that the exit of the Moon should be described with the utmost clarity. It was essential to indicate the truth here as opposed to the fallacy. Thus in order to counter the Indian influence it was necessary to describe in all clarity the function of the Moon in the evolution of the Earth. That was one of the things that had to be done in my book Occult Science: an Outline.

The other thing that was necessary will be clear to you if you think of the people of whom I have just spoken, people who were also under a certain leadership and who did not wish the teaching of repeated Earth-lives to be spread among men as a truth because they considered that it would alter the form of Christianity customary in Europe and America. They went to work in a particular way, a way which we can clearly discern if we picture how these occultists set about refuting Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism. The occultists who were connected with the High Church party took upon themselves the task of refuting Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine.

In point of fact a great deal of good was done in regard to Sinnett's statement about the Eighth Sphere, for the falsity of the indications about the Eighth Sphere and the Moon was emphasised very poignantly from that side. But at the same time this was combined with another teaching. It was stated from that quarter that man is not connected with the Moon in the way described by Sinnett, but in a different way. True, this different way was not specifically described, but it could be perceived that these people had realised something about the process of the Moon's departure from the Earth as I have presented it in the book Occult Science. But now they laid great stress on the following. — They said: The Earth — and above all, man — was never connected with the other planets of the solar system ... therefore man could never have lived on Mercury, Venus, Mars or Jupiter. From that side, therefore, it was sharply emphasised that there is no connection between man and the other planets of the solar system. But this is the best way to instil yet another fallacy into the world, and to spread the greatest possible obscurity over the teaching of reincarnation. The other fallacy, Sinnett's fallacy, actually furthers the teaching of reincarnation in a sense, but in a materialistic form. The fallacy which consists in the assertion that during his Earth-evolution man has never had any connection with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and so forth — this fallacy was not actually spread abroad by those who gave it publicity, but by those who stood behind them. It was they who worked upon the souls of men in such a way that these souls could never seriously believe in reincarnation. What, therefore, was strongly emphasised from this quarter was that man had never been connected with any planet other than the Earth nor had ever had anything to do with the other planets of the solar system.

-- The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century and Its Relation to Modern Culture, by Rudolf Steiner

Hardinge Britten wrote:

We have once more the pleasure of welcoming an article by our honoured contributor, Cpt. Pfoundes, long a resident in Japan and other Eastern lands: the present paper being a brief supplement to his former treatise on the TRUTHS of original Buddhism. Capt. Pfoundes (a member of several learned societies, whose chief object is the correction of error, as well as the diffusion of knowledge) is a high authority on the real primary teachings of Buddhism, and in this day, when all sorts of vague fantastic theories and spurious doctrines are being foisted on the public under the synonyn (sic) of "Buddhism," Capt. Pfoundes' timely papers cannot be too carefully studied, or thankfully accepted by the Editor and readers of The Two Worlds.

In the first part of the article, back in May, Pfoundes had sought to find commonalities between Buddhism and Spiritualism. In the second instalment he draws the two even closer, reinforcing the main Spiritualist objection to Theosophy by stating that in Buddhism

'(t)he doctrines of transmigration and re-incarnation, were some of the mistaken ideas that true enlightenment tended to dissipate.' (TTW July 26 1889, 447)

By August 1889, when the third part of the article appeared, the title had pointedly changed to 'BUDDHISM: WHAT IT IS NOT.' Here Pfoundes is explicit in his rejection of Theosophy, but also distances himself from Christianity 'or anything else' (which, since it is diplomatically unspecified, probably includes Spiritualism). He says:

BUDDHISM is not identical with the Esoteric Buddhism, of which so much has been said and written of late, much less is Theosophy of the day Buddhism pure and simple. It is Buddhism, and that alone, that we are now dealing with, and allusion is made to Christianity, or to anything else, no more than is absolutely necessary to the elucidation of the matter in hand. The writer is neither a Buddhist, nor a Theosophist;25 certainly not a follower of the individuals now most prominent in these movements; and it may be just as well to make it clear also that he is not a hostile critic to what is true and admirable in anything put forward under these, or any other, distinctive titles. The task will be essayed, however, to present the truth, if not exhaustively as to detail, certainly not mutilated or garbled, like so much that has been put forward on these subjects. (TTW 23 Aug 1889, 494)

In closing, Pfoundes sets out his stall as someone who has Buddhist truths to impart to those who are genuinely interested and eligible. This seems to be the point at which Pfoundes, realising that he possessed a knowledge of Buddhism exceeding that of the Theosophists, first decided to make a stand for Buddhism 'pure and simple‘, perhaps even making a dig at spiritualism by distinguishing between 'the trained spiritualist' and 'mere spiritist':

… "The great Master" gathered in his hand a few withered leaves, and asked his disciples: "Are these in my hand few, and those of the forest many?"

"True, oh great teacher; the leaves in the Bhagavat's hand are few, those of the forest are innumerable," answered they.

Then said the Tathagate (sic), "My words are but as the leaves in my hand. What you have yet to learn are as the leaves of the forest."

These gleanings are but the crude ore, and the rough pebbles, bright from the inexhaustible mines, are yet to be explored. In fitting hands, the pebbles become brilliant gems; the ore precious metal wherewith to make suitable settings.

To those who seek will come knowledge; to the worthy ENLIGHTENMENT. (TTW Aug 23 1889, vol 2 n.93, p495)

In less than twelve months, then, Pfoundes had moved from publishing in Theosophical magazines through endorsing Spiritualism and finally to criticising Theosophy and distancing himself from any other tradition than Buddhism 'pure and simple'. Yet Pfoundes knew that Buddhism as actually practised in Japan or anywhere else was by no means 'pure and simple'; he identified even in his TTW articles the malign influence of both 'a theocratic class' and excessive mystification of the teachings shading into 'superstition' (TTW Aug 23 1889, vol. 2, n.93, p494). Now, as a potential apostle of Buddhism 'pure and simple', Pfoundes had to decide, like every discerning missionary, what was core and what was peripheral to the Buddhism he would propagate to a new audience and, equally, how to lend authority to the core teachings.26

The Japanese roots of Buddhist globalisation

In the history of Meiji Buddhism, the years 1885-1899 are those of "Buddhist revival", in that many Buddhist societies, journals and schools appeared, most of which were trans-sectarian and anti-Christian in their character (Yoshinaga 2009). In effect, the common enemy, Christianity, forced Buddhists to unite without regard to sectarianism. The period from 1887-1893 was distinguished by the rise of "international communication", when Japanese Buddhists came into direct contact with European or American ―Buddhists‖ or Theosophists. Numerous Theosophical articles were published in Buddhist outlets and at least three ―white‖ Buddhists or sympathisers, Henry Steel Olcott (in 1889), Lafcadio Hearn (1890) and Pfoundes (1893), came to Japan. This "globalizing" tendency was related to one of the earliest modernizing movements, the Temperance organisation Hansei kai. Hansei kai was established in Futsū Kyōkō ('Normal School'), the Western-style middle school opened by the Nishi Honganji True Pure Land sect in 1885. The Kaigai Senkyō Kai was born of this modernizing and globalizing element within Japanese Buddhism. In March 1887, Matsuyama Matsutarō, a teacher of English at the Futsū Kyōkō, and two others wrote a letter of inquiry to the Aryan Theosophical Society, USA, to ascertain the truth of a Russian newspaper article report that "Buddhism has lately been introduced into New York and Brooklyn, and its followers are increasingly in number very rapidly"27. In response to this inquiry, the Theosophist William Q. Judge wrote as follows:

"I am a Buddhist but am not of a particular sect. I was made a Buddhist by Col. H.S. Olcott, in India, under the authority of the High Priest of Ceylon, and I try in every way to spread Buddhism… The account you read in the newspaper was in part true. There is no temple in this country. But there are many Buddhists. They do not properly understand it however, because there are no teachers, and many wicked lies are told against Buddhism by Missionaries and other people. The people need that religion because their own has not succeeded in making them honest or kind to each other. They are always fighting and going to law with each other although Jesus their prophet told them not to do so, but to love one another, and although they are not very happy, because the illusions of life make them slaves of the senses. So do tell your young men not to desert the law of Buddha for this religion but to try to spread Buddhism again over the face of the world."28

Through the network of the Theosophical Society, Matsuyama‘s letter evoked responses from America, Europe, Australia, and India. The number of letters from abroad reaching Matsuyama was large enough to encourage him and some of the staff of his school to organize a new group called Ōbei Tsūshin Kai (Society for Corresponding with Americans and Europeans ) to deal with those letters, many of which asked for some guidance on Buddhism. Matsuyama contributed a series of articles from the first issue onwards of the group‘s magazine Hansei Kai Zasshi. The Ōbei Tsūshin Kai seems to have been run on its members‘ own money. On Aug 11, 1888, they enlarged their small group into the Kaigai Senkyō Kai. Though its founding members - Matsuyama Matsutaro, Dōtsu Kojiro (editor-in-chief), Hino Gien (secretary) and others - were all from Futsū Kyoko, it proclaimed itself to be a nonsectarian organization. Its aim was "to propagate Japanese Buddhism abroad"29, not just the teachings of the Jodo Shin sect. Akamatsu Renjō, a high priest of Nishi Honganji, was the society‘s first president but his role seems to have been little more than nominal as he did not contribute an article to their organ, Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo which reported on the state of Buddhism overseas.

The first issue of the association‘s English/French language magazine The Bijou of Asia was distributed in 1888 to 270 locations in America, Britain, India, Siam30 and France31. The parallel Japanese-language journal, Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo, had started in December 1888, its first issue reprinted at least three times. The early issues of Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo contained articles and letters by Buddhists and sympathisers in America, Europe, Australia and Southern Asia such as Philangi Dasa (Carl Herman Vetterling), Francesca Arundale, Charles Johnston, Laura C. Holloway, Josephine W. Cables, Elliot B. Page, Edward Wolleb, Alexander Russell Webb, Dharmapala, and so on. Over the life of the journal Philangi Dasa was the most prolific contributor; second was Charles Pfoundes.

The founders of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai were inexperienced in missionary work. "As to the propagation of our faith, we think, it would be best for us to make our friends in Europe and America, and this could be performed by correspondence and the publication of tracts and books regarding our religion"32. Sometime in the summer of 1889, Matsuyama and his colleagues received an interesting proposal from Pfoundes in London and a sample of his articles on Buddhism. The Kaigai Senkyo Kai, it seemed, had a Japanese-speaking British missionary ready and willing to set to work propagating Buddhism in London.
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Part 2 of 3

The London Buddhist mission is born

For Pfoundes, a solution to the twin problems of what constituted 'Buddhism Pure and Simple' and how to lend authority to a non-Theosophical version of Buddhism providentially appeared in the form of the reformist Buddhist Propagation Society. Bijou of Asia's 1888 appearance was noted in both the Japanese and English press33 and welcomed, initially at least, by Theosophists. The Theosophical magazine Lucifer in March 1889 had:

… great pleasure in recommending to such of our readers as are interested in Buddhism, the Bijou of Asia, particulars of which we give below. It is an encouraging sign for the future of Buddhism in Japan that it already possesses an organ of its own in English.—[Ed.]

Lucifer went on to provide readers with subscription and contact details for Bijou of Asia. Pfoundes may already have known of the founding of the BPS in Japan or himself submitted the notice to Lucifer, in which he had published half a dozen articles during 1888.34 At any rate, news of the BPS and Bijou of Asia came at just the right time to remedy his growing despair over the existing channels of communication and quality of information available for Londoners interested in Buddhism, of whom there were many.35 He was particularly concerned about the misrepresentation of Buddhism by leading Theosophists.

This growing discontent is reflected in his three-part TTW article, published over the ensuing summer of 1889. The timing is significant: Pfoundes' frustration with Theosophy‘s distortion of Buddhist teachings coincided with the launch in Japan of the BPS which, since it had no overseas agents of its own, in turn suggested the possibility that he might become its official London representative. Pfoundes seized the initiative and during the summer of 1889 wrote to Matsuyama introducing himself36 and enclosing copies of his TTW pieces on Buddhism37 in time to receive a reply by October 4th, when he wrote to Matsuyama thanking him for sending books and confirming that he wished to be the representative of the Kaigai Senkyō Kai. This letter, subsequently published in KBJ, also asked for guidance:

"I would like to start missionary work immediately, but it would be more convenient to act with the right to be the representative of your society than to do the work privately by myself. If you would give me the right to be your representative, I will immediately set up the British branch of your society here. And I will give a lecture on the prospects and the teachings you approve. If you agree with this, would you please let me know what task you think is appropriate for me."38

This letter suggests that the Japanese side had not specified the nature of any missionary work, in keeping with Matsuyama‘s comments above. There seems to have been no plan for placing missionaries overseas and this was understandable, considering how little of Japanese Buddhism was known to the West. Before Pfoundes made himself known, the idea of setting up an organized missionary society in London run by a British person must have seemed inconceivable. The London mission was 'immediately set up', as we shall see. On Saturday October 12th 188939 Pfoundes wrote to TTW to announce his new missionary role - evidently omitting, in his excitement, to provide his address:

Saturday. Dear Editor,-You will, I am sure, be pleased to hear that I have received letters from abroad where I sent copies of your paper with my articles. The Buddhists are very much pleased with my views, and like your paper; indeed, the leaders of the Buddhist revival have made very complimentary remarks, and express surprise that a foreigner has grasped the native ideas so like what they appreciate. I am desired to stand forward as a representative of Eastern (extreme Oriental) Buddhism, and to actively proceed with the propaganda. The societies of Buddhists' priests, &c., also cordially approve, so I shall take the platform as an exponent of "Pure Buddhism, the doctrine of enlightenment," and will be glad to hear from societies wishing a lecture, or individuals anxious to enquire. Buddhism has so much in common with spiritualism on the higher planes of thought, that I feel I am doing both causes good by bringing them together.

I am, truly yours, C. PFOUNDES.

[NOTE BY EDITOR.-Capt. Pfoundes, to make his offer available to societies, should send his address. Some societies, at least, might be glad of the opportunity to place a highly intelligent and travelled gentleman on their platform, if they knew where to address him.]

By the time he launched the London branch of the BPS in October 1889, Charles Pfoundes had acquired a wealth of experience and skills useful to his new role as the first Buddhist missionary to London. He had lived in Japan for more than a decade and was fluent in Japanese. Due to his undoubted intellectual curiosity and passion for Japanese culture he possessed a deep fund of knowledge about Japan, its religions, history, art and customs. He had extensive experience as a cultural mediator; the 1870-71 delegation‘s exploration of how Japan should relate to the West was paralleled by his more mundane work as a Western maritime specialist in the modernising Thai navy and the developing Japanese merchant fleet. He had written for very different publishers and audiences40 and was a seasoned public speaker, well used to lecturing either at the invitation of artistic, spiritualist, progressive, freethinking, mercantile or orientalist etc. organisations, or through planning and advertising his own lectures at one of the many public meeting halls around London which could be hired for the purpose.

If not exactly famous, Pfoundes had certainly proved himself capable of holding the attention of fairly large London audiences on a great variety of topics. While he did not completely abandon his wider role as lecturer on Japanese culture and other topics after the launch of the London BPS in October 1889, he focused his skills and energies on the propagation of Buddhism, increasingly from March 1891 onwards in the form of a criticism of Theosophy.

Visiting Pfoundes in April 1890, by which time he had been settled in London for twelve years and the BPS had been in operation for six months, the young Japanese Buddhist scholar Kobayashi [=Takakusu] Junjiro offers, in a letter published in KBJ 11 (June 1890), a rare glimpse into the home life and daily habits of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai’s sole representative in London. Takakusu reports that Pfoundes is about 50 years old and his wife 30 years and more41 and that Pfoundes is not a man of property and lives only with his wife; meaning presumably in rented accommodation with no children, servants or lodgers. Takakusu is impressed that Pfoundes not only can speak Japanese fluently and use French, Dutch and German but has in his home around 3,000 books in Japanese and more than a decade‘s worth of his own lectures.42 Relying no doubt on conversations with Pfoundes, Takakusu reports that Pfoundes is a respected authority on Japan and had attended the opening ceremony of the School of Oriental languages.43

Although Pfoundes tells Takakusu that he does not criticise Theosophy, London sources show that Pfoundes was already well known as an energetic and hostile critic of Theosophy and its leading representatives. On the vexed issue of Theosophy‘s relationship with Buddhism, Takakusu reveals that Blavatsky herself has written to Pfoundes, arguing that her thought is not Buddhism but 'esoteric Buddhism', while Pfoundes takes the different view that 'Theosophy is Theosophy, Buddhism is Buddhism' (ibid. p26). The relationship between Theosophy and Buddhism was also a live issue for the nascent Kaigai Senkyo Kai in Japan. While in the second issue of Bijou of Asia (November 1888) Matsuyama had strongly advocated setting up a Theosophical Society in Japan to foster Buddhist unity44, Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama on 25 October 1889 advising that Buddhism should dissociate from Theosophy, adding that he himself wished to come to Japan where he could - unlike Olcott - lecture without a Japanese interpreter and promote the cause of Buddhist unity (KBJ No.8, 1890, p.25).

Pfoundes‘ effort to convince his sponsors in Japan to reject any association between Buddhism and Theosophy was an attempt to influence the (Kyoto) centre from the (London) periphery. It shows that while Pfoundes was in one sense 'merely‘ the agent of the BPS in the capital he had an agenda of his own, arising from the specific circumstances of the mission field of 1890s London, namely to counter the influence of 'the Theosophic boom', as he described it in 189145. Moreover, while Pfoundes was in formal terms only the 'secretary' or 'organising agent' of a branch office of the Japanese Kaigai Senkyō Kai, the founders of the Senkyō Kai had no experience of running foreign missions. In London, a vast, sophisticated city and the hub of a global empire, the BPS was in practice largely Pfoundes' own creation – and evidently funded by his own efforts, no doubt largely through the voluntary collections which were a normal feature of public meetings. More than once, while requesting books or materials only available in Japan, Pfoundes reminds his Japanese sponsors that he does not ask for any funds.46

The world of the Buddhist Propagation Society

The London BPS leaflet has survived in at least two versions.

Fig 1 below, reproduced in Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo, shows the more decorative version, printed to Pfoundes' specification, the text surrounded by juzu rosary beads with the Buddhist swastika symbol at the top.47 It can be dated to late 1889 or early 1890. Both versions of the leaflet which have survived give Pfoundes' home address of 7, Artillery Buildings, Victoria Street, Westminster as the'Bureau‘ of the BPS. Two years later, in November 1891, Pfoundes would issue a public invitation to anyone interested in his ideas to invite him to speak on the subject, giving as his address 29 Doughty Street. This was the address of 'The Fellowship of the New Life‘, a radical communitarian group with which Pfoundes was temporarily associated, probably after separating from his wife. The BPS therefore had an address, but no headquarters building beyond Pfoundes' home. For the most part the Buddhist Propagation Society, in the person of Pfoundes, engaged face-to-face with its intended audience through public lectures, followed by discussion, at well-known public venues around London. An (upmarket) example of such venues was the 'Zephyr Hall' in Kensington, West London, advertised in The Morning Post of 2 May 1888 as follows:

ZEPHYR HALL, 9, Bedford Gardens, Kensington, W., is a fashionable Private Assembly Room, to LET, with every convenience for Concerts, Balls, Bazaars, Exhibitions, Clubs, Religious Services, &c. Terms on application.

We have so far traced at least 26 venues throughout the capital used by Pfoundes, often on multiple occasions, for lectures delivered during his time as BPS missionary. Many of the engagements we have been able to trace took place in Spiritualist meeting halls, reflecting Pfoundes' continuing engagement with a Spiritualist audience. Others were on the freethinking (atheist) circuit, such as branches of the National Secular Society (NSS) and the South Place Ethical Society. Pfoundes also mentions Socialist audiences and by this period such an audience certainly existed; we have not yet however found the relevant listings comparable to the National Reformer’s for freethought and TTW for spiritualism. In some cases the venues appear to have been 'neutral' spaces available to anyone who wished to hire them for any kind of political, religious, artistic etc. meeting. Each venue would have attracted a different clientele48 and Pfoundes' comments show his awareness of this in seeking to build an audience for Buddhism:49 "Spiritualists, socialists, free thinkers, and secularists respect me. Even some Christians agree with me." (Letter to Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo 18 November 1889; elsewhere he added Unitarians to the list).

Fig 1. Bilingual leaflet of the Buddhist Propagation Society, London, produced in Kyoto about December 1889 and used by Pfoundes from 1890. Photo from KBJ courtesy of Prof Nakanishi Naoki


B. P. S.

This Society has been established for the purpose of propagating Buddhism.

For carrying out this primary purpose, the Society takes the following work on itself: --

1. To establish Buddhist missionary work in foreign lands.

2. To publish Buddhistic books, tracts, and journals; and to translate the S__ and S__.

3. To correspond with foreign Buddhists, and all those who are interested in Buddhism; and to answer questions.

This Society does not desire to spread any special form of Buddhism, but to proclaim the great truths to the whole world.

Address ---

Honorary (Local) Secretary,
Organising Agent,
Authored Lecturer,
Care of Lecture Bureau
7, Artillery Buildings
Victoria Street,
London, S.W.

The culture of public talks was extremely widespread in the London of this day, part of a very broad process of popular self-organisation, social movements and self-education (Thompson 1968, Rose 2001; see Cox 2010). On October 27 1889, the National Reformer listed eight branches of the NSS, nine ―open-air propaganda‖ (this was the end of the open-air season) and eleven lectures. In June 1890, at the height of the outdoor season, it listed 17 outdoors events (not all NSS ones). This wide range of entertainment, education or debate was paralleled by the relatively tight organisations of spiritualists, socialists and other religious and political groups, but also by a looser world which we would today think of in terms of adult or popular education.

Shipley (1971) has examined the related world of working men‘s clubs in this period, characterised by wide reading and a culture where polemic and debate were art forms as well as participatory entertainment. Secularism and socialism were popular here: the atheist Charles Bradlaugh was elected vice-president of the national Club and Institute Union in the 1880s (Taylor 1972: 47), with a turn to socialism developing during this decade and mass working-class audiences: the NSS' central venue, the Hall of Science, had roughly 1000 members in the 1870s, while the Hackney Secular Association had 800 (Shipley 1971: 37-8). Spiritualism too was not restricted to the middle classes but had a broad working-class attraction (Barrow 1986).

Further up the social ladder, Gandhi (2006) has noted

"For those whose heterodoxy manifested itself expressly against mainstream Christianity, Theosophy and its contiguous offshoots offered a spiritual alternative in eastern religions, one that demanded a corresponding disavowal of the claims of "modern" western civilization. It was this tendency that brought the movement and its largely middle-class adherents into intimate commerce with parallel, secular, avant-garde critiques of western civilization, exemplified in the linked projects of dress and sexual reform, and homosexual exceptionalism; dietary politics, anti-vivisectionism, and vegetarianism and aestheticism, or the repudiation of bourgeois materialism and philistinism in the form of class or colonial avarice." (2006: 122).

Along with these and other social movements (most obviously the "New Unions" from the 1880s, left organisations such as the Social Democratic Federation and the Fabian Society, and organisations geared towards exile politics), London at this period also included a vast range of public talks of a more familiar kind. Pfoundes, with his substantial experience of lecturing and public speaking, had much to offer. The BPS 'propagandist' could address some important concerns for many of the thoughtful, often self-taught people who were seeking to make sense of the world in this context: how to think about religion in a changing age – in particular, how to be ethical without fear of divine retribution; how to understand the relationship between western culture and the sophisticated Asian cultures then being colonised; and how other ways of living might be possible.

What did the Buddhist Propagation Society propagate?

On 14 October 1889, just after launching himself as an apostle of 'Buddhism pure and simple', Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama that he had been lecturing recently on the differences between Buddhism and Theosophy because Theosophy was becoming unpopular. The title of a lecture he was about to deliver shows that the 'hook' used to attract his audiences in the weeks just before the London BPS was launched was the promise of a critique of Theosophy.50 In the very same issue (Friday 18th October) of TTW in which Pfoundes announced his appointment as BPS representative, TTW gave notice of a Sunday lecture two days later:

"The Occult Society, Carlyle Hall, Church Street, Edgware Road.- Oct. 20th, at 7 p.m., Capt. Pfoundes will lecture on ―Theosophy: its follies and fallacies." (TTW 1889-10-18 p.596).

The same lecture had been given on the previous Sunday 13th at the Spiritualist hall at King‘s Cross. (TTW 1889-10-11 p.ii).

The next Pfoundes lecture advertised in TTW reflects a change in approach, following his appointment to head the BPS. There is no reference to Theosophy in the title; the talk is entitled simply 'Buddhism‘. This lecture, delivered in the Beaumont Rooms, Mile End Road51 at 7pm on Sunday November 10, 1889, may be considered the very first public talk given in London – or for that matter the west - by a Buddhist missionary.

The emphasis on 'Buddhism pure and simple' was continued in a subsequent lecture delivered on the following Sunday evening:

Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Road. - November 17, at 8, Captain Pfoundes, F.R.G.S., "Buddhism: the doctrine of enlightenment". (NR 1889-11-17 p. 318)

By the following weekend Pfoundes‘ restraint in regard to Theosophy appears already to have weakened, for TTW announced two successive Sunday evening lectures in

LONDON (Notting Hill Gate, Zephyr Hall): …Nov. 24,Captain Pfoundes, on "Theosophy-the truth about it" and Dec. 1st, "Buddhism-what it is and is not;" ….

Back in the East End on December 8th, Pfoundes delivered another 'Buddhism pure and simple' lecture on behalf of the BPS. The TTW reported favourably as follows:

LONDON. Mile End. Assembly Rooms, Beaumont Street. Capt. Pfoundes lectured upon "Buddhism-the doctrine of enlightenment." A most interesting lecture. He showed that Buddhism was a direct appeal to common sense, disclaiming all inspiration from a personal God. There were many points upon which Spiritualism and Buddhism were in perfect agreement - both teaching that it was impossible to escape from the consequences of any act, good or evil. Buddhists refused to dogmatize upon any subject whatever, recognizing liberty and respect of opinion as a fundamental principle of their ethical system. -a TTW reporter. (TTW 1889-12-18 p.53)

As this sample of lectures and discussions offered between October and December 1889 indicates, Pfoundes usually lectured weekly, typically on Sunday evenings, at a variety of locations. He seems to have kept up this rate steadily until January 1892, a period of over two years, while also speaking from the floor at other events and distributing (or at least requesting hundreds of copies of) Bijou of Asia. While audiences were known to fluctuate according to speakers, it seems that Pfoundes was a reasonable draw and he was often invited back. He wrote to KBJ "Every Sunday I give a lecture. The audience is sometimes over hundreds [more than 100] in number. Respectable citizens, scholars, workers with culture."52 Even allowing for some exaggeration and a fair number of repeat listeners, the BPS must have succeeded in reaching thousands of people in this way. His talks lasted for an hour and were followed by questions and answers which could run to two further hours (undated letter reprinted in KBJ, 27 May 1890, p. 32).

On 12 November 1889, a month after his appointment as BPS representative, Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama that he had already lectured in the following venues:

Zephyr Hall, Kensington; … Sydney Hall, Wandsworth Road; … Spiritualist Hall, Kings Cross Road; … Beaumont Hall, Mile End Road; … Carlyle Hall, Edgware Road; … Progress Hall, Islington53

TTW announcements or reports offer more detail on the lectures given at all but the last, the Progressive Hall, which was a Secularist rather than Spiritualist venue. In December 1889 Pfoundes again delivered Sunday evening lectures at the Zephyr and Beaumont halls, and at the Winchester Hall, Peckham High Street. On Sunday 22 December the TWW was disappointed that Pfoundes had failed to turn up at the King‘s Cross Spiritualist hall but reported that '[ i]n his absence Dr. [Bowles] Daly54 gave an interesting sketch of Buddhism‘.

Pfoundes‘ lecturing campaign continued in the new year, with a run of Sunday evening talks at NSS venues. On January 5th 1890 the National Reformer advertised at the "Woolwich branch of the N.S.S. 'Sussex Arms‘ Assembly Rooms, 60 Plumstead Road. – … at 7.30, Captain C. Pfoundes, 'The gospel of Buddhism‘.", On 19th January at 7.30 Pfoundes addressed the "North-West London Branch of the N.S.S., Milton Hall, Hawley Crescent, Kentish Town Road" on 'Buddhism'. On 26th at the "Battersea Branch of the N.S.S., 'The Shed of Truth,' Prince of Wales‘ Road, the speaker at 7.15 was Captain Pfoundes, 'Buddhism'.

About this time, Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama describing a typical London BPS lecture as consisting of 1) the purpose of the B.P.S., 2) the difference between Buddhism and Christianity, 3) the ancient religions of Persia, India, China etc, and the going eastward of Buddhism, 4) the application of Buddhist truth to everyday lives, 5) purity of its morals and 6) the merits to all people. 55

Pfoundes probably lectured during February 1890 but we have no record of his engagements. On March 9th at the "Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Road" at 7pm, Mrs. Frederika Macdonald (a gifted writer, intellectual and exponent of Indian philosophy who three years later publicly debated Theosophy vs Buddhism with Annie Besant and then donated her share of the evening‘s takings to a poor children‘s charity)56 spoke on 'Buddhism'. Since Sunday evening at the Penton Hall was one of Pfoundes' regular slots, MacDonald may have been that rara avis, a close ally of Pfoundes and a Buddhist co-propagandist.57 On Sunday 16th March the "Ball‘s Pond Branch of the N.S.S. Secular Hall 36 Newington Green Road" heard a lecture on "Buddhism or enlightenment: its gospel and doctrines". The speaker on this occasion was identified only as "the Representative of the Propaganda‖, so could have been either Pfoundes or MacDonald. On 23 Pfoundes returned to the Beaumont Rooms, Mile End Road to expatiate on 'Theosophy; its facts, fallacies, and false pretences'.58

In late April Reynolds’ Newspaper gave notice of a lecture on 27th at the "Buddhist Propagation Society Hall, Newington-Green Road, 7.30". This might suggest the BPS had taken the significant step of investing in its own property, but an announcement for the same lecture in the NR makes clear this was really the ―Ball‘s Pond Branch of the N.S.S. at the Secular Hall, 36 Newington Green Road.‖ The speaker is described as 'An Orientalist', and the topic "Theosophy of the day: its autopsy and obsequies". Takakusu Junjiro, who was staying with the Pfoundes' during that month, confirms in a letter to the BPS in Japan that three Theosophists verbally attacked Pfoundes after the lecture, but by 11pm he had won the argument. Takakusu also reported that Pfoundes was booked up until late June. 59 The frequency of engagements and level of repeat bookings again indicate that Pfoundes was in considerable demand as a lecturer.

On May 11th, according to the NR, at the East London Branch of the N.S.S., Swaby‘s Coffee House, 103 Mile End Road, Capt. Pfoundes, F.R.G.S., was due to speak on 'Philosophic Buddhism‘." On May 25th at the "West Ham Branch of the N.S.S., West Ham Secular Hall, 121 Broadway, Plaistow," Pfoundes spoke on 'The ethics of Buddhism‘ and back in the Beaumont Assembly Rooms, Mile End Road on Sunday June 1st 'Captain Pfoundes. Member Rl. U. Service Inst., Corr. Memb. Geogr. Soc. Japan, Hon. Fel. Soc. Sc. Lit. & Art., London, Representitive [sic] of Bud(d)hist Propagation Society, etc., etc.‘ spoke on 'Ancient & modern centres of spiritual activity. Admission was free, and 'Courteous discussion invited‘ (see Fig 2 below).

On June 15, in an unusual departure from his usual London lecture circuit, Pfoundes gave three lectures in a single Sunday in the Northern industrial town of Sheffield, presumably at the invitation of the local NSS. The advertisement read:

Sheffield: HALL of science, to-morrow (SUNDAY). LECTURES by CAPTAIN PFOUNDES, F.R.G.S., Mem. Rl.U. S. Inst., Cor. Mem. Geogr. Soc. Japan, Fel. Soc. Lit and Art, Lond., etc., etc. Subjects: At 11, "The Science of Religious Philosophies and Ethics"; at 3, "Theosophy : Its Follies, Fallacies, and False Pretences"; at 7, "Bud(d)hism: What it Was, Is, and Is Not." Admission: Front Seats, 6d. (tickets for all the lectures 1s.) Back Seats, 3d.60

Fig 2. Flyer for Pfoundes‘ lecture on 1 June 1890. Reproduced by kind permission of the Oregon Historical Society (President‘s office correspondence. Mss 1609, Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Records. © Oregon Historical Society Research Library).

Beaumont Assembly Rooms,
On Sunday, 1st June,
at 8 P.M.
Member R1. U. Service Inst., Corr. Memb. Geogr. Soc. Japan., Hon. Fel. Soc. Sc. Lit. & Art, Lond., Representitive of Buddhist Propagation Society, etc., etc.

Pfoundes' missionary work in the capital resumed in September with lectures followed by discussion. Throughout the autumn of 1890 and the winter and early spring of 1891 talks were delivered, almost invariably on Sunday evenings, at the venues mentioned above and others throughout London. On October 5th Pfoundes spoke on 'Bud(d)hist Ethics‘ at the Penton Hall (below).

Fig 3. Flyer for Pfoundes‘ lecture on October 5 1890 at the Penton Hall. Reproduced by kind permission of the Oregon Historical Society (President‘s office correspondence. Mss 1609, Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Records. © Oregon Historical Society Research Library).

A Society for Ethical Culture,
Memb. R.U.S. Ins.; Cor. Mem. Geo. Soc. Japan; Hony. Fell. Soc. Sc. Lit. and Art; etc., on
Questions after Lecture, invited.
The Committee earnestly invite those who are in sympathy with the Ethical Movement to become Members. Minimum Subscription is per annum.
Admission Free. A Collection to defray Expenses.
Hon. Secretaries: George Margerison, 4, Titchfield Terrace, N.W.; Walter Wilde, 41 Canonbury Road, N.

On occasion there was visual spectacle; in January 11th 1891 the audience at the NSS 'Secular Hall‘ near Battersea Park station looked forward to:

'Captain Pfoundes (accompanied by a Buddhist Priest in his robes), a Buddhist sermon.‘61

As well as announcements of talks, we find occasional brief reports of BPS meetings, such as this for a lecture delivered the following Sunday, January 18th 1891:

LONDON. King's Cross. 182, Caledonian Road. Evening: Capt. Pfoundes gave a Buddhist sermon. There were many noteworthy points, but space does not permit as full a report as the subject and the lecturer deserve. The following precepts, known in Buddhism as "The Five Steps," must serve as a sample: "Respect for Life," "Honesty-the protection of property," "Truthfulness," "Chastity-equal purity being required of both sexes," "Temperance - total abstinence from intoxicants and injurious drugs."

For reasons unclear, Pfoundes‘ lectures on Buddhism in 1891 were suspended, after a March 18th 'Buddhist Sermon by the Propagandist‘ at the Woolwich branch of the NSS, in favour of lectures from April to the end of June devoted to India, with titles such as 'India‘s Rights and England‘s Duty' or, on June 7th, at a newly established Marylebone Spiritualist venue, a lecture on "India, 'tracing its development from 1499 under the East India Company to the present time, its invaluable literature, the population, and their rights Spiritually'."62

In August, Lloyds Weekly Newspaper, in its report on a meeting of the Bread and Food Reform League63, singled out Pfoundes‘ contribution for special mention:

BREAD AND FOOD REFORM. The closing meeting of the Reform League took place on Friday night, at the Memorial Hall, and during the three days the meetings have been largely and influentially attended. There were 34 stalls, presided over by various ladies and among the promoters were Lady Mount-Temple, Sir Spencer Wells, Mr. J.R. Diggle, and a number of medical gentlemen. Various addresses were given, among them one by Captain Pfoundes on "Food in Many Lands." In the course of his remarks he said that as the chairman had introduced him as one who had travelled in many lands, he would just say that in contrasting the people who lived on carnivorous food with those who were restricted to vegetarian diet he could testify to the amount of the physical and intellectual activity of the latter. The colonists of Australia were largely a meat-eating people, but they were not superior in endurance to some of the Oriental peoples who abhorred flesh, and among whom he would mention certain of the Chinese, Indians, and Arabs. He concluded by recommending his hearers to consider the question of food reform and cooking.64

From late September to December of 1891, there is no mention of Buddhism in the titles that have come down to us of Pfoundes‘ lectures; all are badged as criticisms of Theosophy, as discussed further below. However, we may safely assume that one of Pfoundes‘ key arguments was that Theosophy was not authentic Buddhism. After a short break in January 1892, allegedly due to a health breakdown, Pfoundes once again referred to Buddhism in the title of a lecture (this time with music) hosted by the Progressive Association at Penton Hall, one of his regular BPS venues:

January 31, at 7, Captain Pfoundes, 'Bud(d)hism not theosophy: critically contrasted‘; preceded by vocal and instrumental music."

This is the last record we have of a ‗missionary‘ lecture by Pfoundes on Buddhism. A few days later he gave a general lecture on life and customs in East Asia, no doubt similar to dozens he had delivered to audiences of all kinds between his arrival in London in 1878 and the launch of the London BPS in 1889:

Recreative Evening. –One of the numerous interesting lectures organised by the Recreative Evening School association was delivered on Tuesday evening at Mowlem schools, Bishops-road, Hackney. Captain Pfoundes gave some of his experiences of China and Japan, the lecture being illustrated with dissolving views. It was said to be a mistake to suppose Orientals illiterate – on the contrary, there is a very high ideal of intellectual life; and practical ethical standards that would do credit to the highest type of society are closely followed by a large percentage of the people.65

After this, we have no record of any public lecture by Pfoundes until September 1892, when he presented a paper on 'Buddhism in Japan' at the prestigious Oriental Congress held at London University.66 True to form, Pfoundes displayed his detailed knowledge of East Asian Buddhism partly in order to show that:

'[a]nyone who studied the teachings of the Esoteric school would see the gross mistakes made by people who called themselves Esoteric Buddhists, and professed the hotch-potch misnamed Theosophy.'67

How did the BPS propagate Buddhism?

The name of Pfoundes' mission, the 'Buddhist Propagation Society‘, was derived directly from the senkyo in Kaigai Senkyo Kai and highlights the importance of the idea of 'propagation‘ (or sometimes 'propaganda', then a term without negative connotations) as a key religious activity.68 While Western audiences today generally expect Buddhist teachers to convey teachings derived from Buddhist scriptures and to provide authoritative instruction in meditational techniques, Buddhist ethics and ritual deportment with, perhaps, some emphasis on social engagement, Pfoundes' immediate aim, like that of his Japanese sponsors, was to propagate Buddhism; to multiply its influence. The BPS leaflet identifies three ways in which the Society intended to bring this about: (1) to establish Buddhist missionary work in foreign lands, (2) to publish books, tracts and journals and to translate the scriptures and (3) to correspond and answer questions from foreign Buddhists and those interested in Buddhism. Like U Dhammaloka, who around 1904 from his Japanese-inspired 'English Buddhist Mission‘ in Singapore planned to send newly-ordained Western monks to multiply his impact in various parts of Asia (Bocking 2010), Pfoundes hoped to ignite sufficient zeal for propagating Buddhism among his hearers in London that some would become, like him, propagandists in foreign parts.69 Shortly after starting the BPS in October 1889, he wrote to Matsuyama in Japan:

"I am instructing some young men. They will go to Europe and America to teach Buddhism. And I will send them to China, Siam, Burma, Ceylon, India to do missionary work." (KBJ no.7, 25 Feb 1890. p.29)

From a historical perspective, this "propagandist" approach to Buddhism in fact aligns it more closely with an international movement like freethought, whose basic activity consisted in publications and talks. Spiritualism and socialism, the other movements Pfoundes piggy-backed on in London, both added a practical component (albeit of very different kinds), while what we would now expect to be "religious" activities played a very limited and tentative role in Pfoundes' activities. This reflected contemporary Japanese debates around Buddhist reform as well as Pfoundes' own assessment of what was feasible or even meaningful in the London context.

In any case, "propagation" did not work as hoped. There is nothing surprising about this: the Buddhists of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai were confident that the Westerners would be converted to Mahayana Buddhism without great effort because the Southeast Asian form of Buddhism – which they thought of as Hinayana and theoretically inferior to Mahayana – was apparently prevalent in Europe.70 Pfoundes observed at one point "We should learn from the failures of Christian missions" (letter to KBJ, 14 Oct 1889, p. 30). This probably refers to his earlier first-hand observations of Christian missions in Japan.71 It is perhaps unsurprising that Pfoundes could comment "There is no one who is openly committed to our movement. [However] there are many who regularly attend my meeting" (letter to KBJ, 25 October 1889).

How could interest be turned into commitment? Pfoundes attempted various strategies. On 27 July 1890 he offered lectures in "practical philanthropy" (meaning first aid), apparently in association with the St. John‘s Ambulance Brigade. On 13 November 1891 he offered a class in "spiritualist ethics". There was apparently little take-up for this: from 3 December he was offering a free Thursday class in "psychology". These could perhaps be read as attempts to translate traditional Buddhist concerns around ethics and right action into western contexts.

Another strategy was to offer ritual: as early as 25 October 1889 he wrote "At least every Sunday, we want to have Buddhist services. We want Buddhist ceremonies which satisfy those people accustomed to the ceremonies here". Later in the same letter he requested "Buddhist ceremony modified for Britain" (letter to KBJ, p. 22). In January 1891 he was able to put this into practice: on the 4th he appeared in the "Monarch" Coffee House under the auspices of the Bethnal Green branch of the NSS "accompanied by a Buddhist Priest in his robes", presumably the same individual previously mentioned with whom he appeared at the Battersea Park branch a week later on the 11th, offering "a Buddhist sermon".

Yet Pfoundes‘ mission lacked both the migrant base of the later missions to California and the BSGBI‘s later orientation towards ordination (of course neither was much more successful long-term). It would be decades before the modernist meditation trainings developed by Asian reformers for lay, urban contexts would become available in the west (e.g. Christmas Humphrey‘s 1935 manual).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 3 of 3

What kind of Buddhism did the BPS propagate?

We might also want to ask, in the spirit of Tweed‘s American encounter with Buddhism, how to interpret Pfoundes‘ own engagement with Buddhism. The discussion of Fuso mimi bukuro above suggests that he was not able to relate effectively to existing Japanese Buddhism in the 1860s and first half of the 1870s. The combination of disestablishment, reform and Theosophy perhaps made it possible to renegotiate his relationship with Buddhism and identify as a Buddhist in the late 1880s. The sequence of events between 1888-1889 which led to his emergence as Buddhist missionary suggests that at some point it dawned on him that he knew more about Buddhism – and was himself by experience and inclination more Buddhist - than the self-styled 'esoteric Buddhists‘ of the Theosophical Society and that he could (and being Pfoundes, therefore should) confront them in defence of 'Buddhism pure and simple‘. It is probably also significant in this period that he could approach Buddhism in his familiar role as cultural mediator – Orientalist interpreter of Japan for Western audiences, but also expert provider of practical services to Japanese organisations engaging with the West. By the late 1880s, with the declining power of the traditionalist Buddhism he had once decried, he could express his undoubted love for Japanese culture through a claim to knowledge of "old Japan" grounded in his pre-Meiji experience and long residence72. It was only after his return to Japan that he would claim esoteric knowledge by virtue of the initiations and ranks he collected after 1893 in a variety of sects (Bocking 2013).

This perspective may explain some of the apparent contradictions in his own approach, in particular how a hostility to priestly superstition, claim to textual knowledge and appreciation for modernist / rational readings of Buddhism73 could coexist with a later ecclesiastical positioning (in Japan) and orientation to Japanese authenticity and esoteric knowledge. However this eclecticism may also represent his position as an active mediator: rather than simply reading Buddhism within one of several pre-existing western frames, he was actively seeking in this period to engage with potential converts. Just as he explored multiple (spiritualist, freethinking, socialist, general) audiences for his talks and tried out various (lecture, polemic, practical, ritual) strategies, so too perhaps he explored different "takes" on Buddhism to see what might work in the west.74

Conclusion: Charles Pfoundes, the London BPS and the history of global Buddhism

Crisis and return to Japan

Pfoundes‘ mission proved harder than anticipated. This appears most clearly in his personal life: while in the 1880s Mrs Pfoundes was recorded as accompanying him to various cultural events, by June 1891 they were seemingly separated (the 1891 census shows her 'visiting' a female relative on the South coast) while he was living in the Doughty Street commune.75 On 15 January 1892 The Two Worlds carried the following notice:

"CAPTAIN PFOUNDES' LECTURES. - We are requested to announce that all engagements must be cancelled for the present, in consequence of breakdown of health, our climate being very trying to one who has travelled and resided so much abroad." (p.36).

By Autumn 1892 Pfoundes had lost or perhaps resigned from his Admiralty job and he left for Kobe on the Monmouthshire on November 28th, never to return to Europe. The Buddhist Propagation Society‘s mission to London was over.

Pfoundes‘ personal crisis and the failure of the BPS mission went hand in hand. The real challenge, it seems, was Theosophy; and in particular Annie Besant. This brilliant, beautiful and dramatic figure had been a leading light of freethought, feminism and socialism (she is recorded as "de-arresting" a banner during a police attack on an 1877 demonstration) before encountering Theosophy in 1890 – 91, parallel to Pfoundes‘ mission. Her future role as President of the Theosophical Society (from 1907) and Indian nationalist leader was yet to come: in this period she was using her close friendship with the NSS' leader Charles Bradlaugh to enable her to speak on Theosophy at secularist venues and use his National Reformer (of which she was temporary editor in early 1890) to publicise her books. Opposition to Theosophy remained muted within the NSS until Bradlaugh‘s death in January 1891, at which point her opponents within the Society were able to attack Theosophy publicly. She finally broke with the "Secular Platform" in September (National Reformer 13 Sept 1891, p. 164). The same issue of the Reformer carried a notice of a meeting in the NSS' main venue where Mr G W Foote spoke on "What does Mrs Besant mean?"; there were other, similarly personalised titles.

As noted, Pfoundes had already spoken against Theosophy‘s claim to represent Buddhism in 1889 but he became prolific on the subject from 1891, giving at least 17 talks with titles like "Theosophy, theology and sophistry: dangerous humbugs". On 5 November 1891, for example, he ―treated largely on the many questionable acts of the leaders of Theosophy, having much personal knowledge of them. He completely deprived Theosophy of any attractions it may have previously possessed for any of his hearers. Our [spiritualist] rooms were filled, many persons being present who do not usually attend." (TTW 13 Nov 1891, p. 629). Annie Besant was a tough opponent and present in the same networks as Pfoundes (spiritualist and socialist even after she had broken with secularism); she was also an extraordinarily popular public speaker, and an extended polemic with her was likely to be exhausting at best. However delighted Pfoundes may have been in 1891 to see Besant leave the freethought circuit, the developing conflict between Theosophy and secularism in 1891 posed a problem for Pfoundes‘ Buddhist work, which entailed carving out a "third space", one neither Theosophist nor non-religious. He remained welcome at secularist venues as an anti-Theosophical speaker as the split developed, but it is hard to imagine that many of those remaining would have been attracted to Buddhism in this context. In some ways, perhaps, the ignorance of what Buddhism really was, which he inveighed against, carried the day, with Londoners mostly content to accept either Besant‘s version or reject all such follies on secularist or socialist grounds.

Failure and continuity

The BPS certainly "failed" in a number of senses. Most obviously, Pfoundes was unable to find a mechanism to convert his audiences into "Buddhists" in any sense he, or the Kaigai Senkyo Kai, were happy with. He was also unable to break through the more powerful arguments between Annie Besant‘s Theosophy, freethinkers, socialists, and scholarly Orientalists. Secondly, of course, the BPS did not continue after Pfoundes left for Japan and it has been omitted from the "official" history of UK Buddhism for precisely this reason (Turner, Cox and Bocking 2010 and 2013): organisational survivors projected back their own history as the history, and researchers until now have largely started from these organisational sources.

This reliance on internal histories has considerably skewed our understanding of the early years of global Buddhism. Because most studies look at organisations which 'succeeded‘, in the sense of continuing, the explanations offered for this success are rarely based on any systematic comparison with those which did not continue76. On the face of it, Pfoundes' mission was better-organised than either Ananda Metteyya‘s or even Dharmapala‘s (leading to the foundation of the BSGBI and the London Maha-Bodhi societies respectively). Pfoundes was able to draw effectively on existing networks (spiritualist, secularist, socialist); he understood the world of London public meetings and was an experienced and evidently successful speaker. He had a clear strategic direction and his topics spoke to key issues of the day (Theosophy vs rationality and ethics without God). Furthermore, he put in a consistent and substantial effort over a significant period. An organisational explanation for his failure does not seem convincing.

However, the institutional lack of continuity does not mean that the BPS had no influence on UK Buddhism. There was widespread popular (Franklin 2008) as well as scholarly (Almond 1988) interest in Buddhism in this period, which also saw a number of individual converts to Buddhism and Buddhist sympathisers (see Cox 2013 for Ireland, at this point part of the UK). It is not impossible that some of these – even some who subsequently supported Ananda Metteyya‘s 1908 visit – had heard Pfoundes speak.

Pfoundes‘ own larger point – that Buddhism could not be understood within Theosophical terms – was, however, certainly forgotten, under the influence not only of Allan Bennett‘s own Theosophical past (Harris 1998) but also the positioning of Christmas Humphrey‘s later Buddhist Society as the Buddhist Lodge of the Theosophical Society. By the 1920s and 1930s, the bitter arguments within Theosophy and between Theosophists and spiritualists, Hermeticists and others (Cox 2013 ch 4) were largely forgotten and Theosophy stood as a surviving organisation, from which a new generation of Buddhists was formed.

Nonetheless, the London branch of the BPS should now be firmly reinstated in the history of Western Buddhism. Its existence is significant in itself. It also sheds light on the immense difficulties faced in developing what with hindsight seems like the 'obvious‘ structure of any Buddhist mission to the west; a focus on practice (whether meditation, chanting or ritual) rather than doctrine as a point of entry, which underpins the development of a global Buddhism in the post-WWII period. The BPS also shows the complex interactions between Buddhism and atheism, spiritualism, Theosophy and socialism in a period before Buddhism‘s identification within the categories of "world religion" was an automatic one.

From the Kaigai Senkyo Kai to the 1899 California missions

Pfoundes' mission to London is linked, indirectly at least, to the later 'first' Western Buddhist missions of 1899 in California. As it turned out, the London BPS was the only overseas operation successfully established by the Kaigai Senkyo Kai. Shimaji Mokurai, a leading intellectual in the modernisation of Jodo Shinshu, took over its presidency between August 1891 and March 1892,77 but the society had already started to decline. Nakanishi Naoki points out that the rapid demise of Kaigai Senkyo Kai had three main causes. Firstly, because it was, at least nominally, a transsectarian enterprise, Nishi Honganji could not take full responsibility for it. Secondly, the decline of Christian influence in Japan made it unnecessary for the sects to cooperate in such trans-sectarian missionary organizations. Thirdly, the Japanese economy experienced a panic in 1890 and when Kaigai Senkyo Kai faced economic difficulties it did not get enough financial support, either from the different sects or from Nishi Honganji.78

In addition, the favourable atmosphere toward foreign Buddhists turned hostile after 1890. This is clearly seen in the editorial articles of a leading Buddhist newspaper, Meikyo Shinshi, no. 3197 (1893-02-20) and no.3198 (1893-02-22) entitled "Gaikoku Bussha" (Foreign Buddhists). These severely criticised 'worship of the West' and claimed that all the Japanese needed to do for Westerners was give them the chance to learn Buddhism. In 1893 the last issue of Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo was published, and the final project was to send English books on Buddhism to the World‘s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Matsuyama seems to have left Kyoto after the Kaigai Senkyo Kai was closed; he was killed in the March 1906 Meishan earthquake in Taiwan. But if it failed as an organisation, the Kaigai Senkyo Kai was certainly a success as a hub of the networks linking Japanese and foreign Buddhists. Even after the Senkyo Kai was closed down and the related Kyoto Theosophical lodge - if it was ever more than a paper organisation - ceased to be active, personal relationships would continue, such as that between Dharmapala and young Japanese Buddhists. In addition, imported Theosophical ideas influenced some reforming Buddhists connected with Hansei Kai.79

Moreover, although the Kaigai Senkyo Kai as such had declined by 1893, the Nishi Honganji subsequently resumed the spirit and work of Buddhist propagation under new leadership, supporting not only the Hawaiian Japanese community and the later West Coast American missions but operating or planning other - as yet largely undocumented - overseas Buddhist missions elsewhere, including in Singapore where, as we know from research on Dhammaloka,80 the Japanese mission in the colony was led from ca. 1899 to at least 1904 by a 'Reverend Ocha'.81 As late as December 1902, Shimaji Mokurai and others from Nishi Honganji (by now operating from Takanawa University as the short-lived 'International Young Men‘s Buddhist Association') were envisaging missions for the Philippines (Pinan), Hong Kong, China and Australia (Brisbane) which, if successful, might have matched Pfoundes‘ achievements in London.82 It is significant that the priests who were sent abroad during this period were mostly related to, or graduated from, Futsu Kyoko (or its successor Bungaku ryo) and shared the global perspective of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai. The best example here is Imamura Emyo, who propagated Buddhism in Hawaii. He was a nephew of Satomi Ryonen and a son-in-law of Hino Gien, both of whom were founding members of Kaigai Senkyo Kai.

Afterword: Charles Pfoundes and Ananda Metteyya?

On the surface, there seems to be no connection at all between Pfoundes' 1889-92 Japanese-sponsored mission and Ananda Metteyya‘s much later Burmese-supported visit from Rangoon to London between May and October 1908. However, an analysis of the venues at which Pfoundes propagated 'Buddhism pure and simple‘ in the early 1890s shows that he lectured on Buddhism in at least three locations very close to Clapham Junction, a major railway station in South London. According to surviving records of the Theosophical Society of 1893, the youthful Allan Bennett was then living in London, in Dorothy Road, close to Clapham Junction and within easy walking distance of any one of Pfoundes' three venues (Crow 2009: 24). We have no direct evidence of Bennett being present at one of Pfoundes' BPS lectures but it seems almost inconceivable, given Bennett‘s well-documented interest in Eastern religions, that he would not have attended at least one talk by Pfoundes, whose name was well known to Theosophists. It may even be that Bennett was one of the 'young men' whom, Pfoundes reported to Matsuyama, he was instructing in Buddhism and would he hoped 'go to Europe and America to teach Buddhism. And … to China, Siam, Burma, Ceylon, India to do missionary work."83

Tracing Allan Bennett‘s interest in Buddhism to the Japanese-sponsored BPS may at first appear far-fetched, given that Bennett found Buddhism in Ceylon and was ordained in Burma. However, an intriguing and otherwise inexplicable statement made (and repeated) by Bennett‘s most devoted colleague J. F. McKechnie suddenly acquires relevance in light of Pfoundes' activities on behalf of the BPS in 1890s London. Speaking on Bennett‘s tenth death anniversary in 1933, McKechnie stated that, while he could not himself understand the reasons for it, Bennett was actually intending to go to Japan and only stopped off at Colombo.84 If Bennett first encountered 'Buddhism pure and simple' in the person of Pfoundes, then a latent ambition to visit Japan, the home of an authentic yet modern, pure and global form of Buddhism, makes perfect sense. However, without further evidence we cannot know for certain whether such a concrete link exists between Pfoundes‘ activities on behalf of the BPS and the much later 'first' Buddhist mission to London of Ananda Metteyya.


Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the ISASR (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions) 'Ireland, America and Transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world‘ conference in Dublin, May 2013 and at the BASR/EASR/IAHR ‗Religion, Migration, Mutation‘ Conference in Liverpool, September 2013. The authors are grateful for helpful comments made during the anonymous review process for DISKUS.


BPS Buddhist Propagation Society
BSGBI Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland
FMB Pfoundes: Fuso mimi bukuro
KBJ Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo
KS Kaigai Senkyo Kai
NR National Reformer
NSS National Secular Society
TS Theosophical Society
TTW The Two Worlds (online via )


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1 ‘THE SCOTTISH BUDDHIST: Arrival in London‘ Times of India 9 May 1908,13. ‘BUDDHISM: Its Mission in the West‘ Times of India 19 May 1908, 8 summarises a piece by  Ananda Metteyya in the London Daily Chronicle, while ‘WEST AND EAST‘ Times of India 25  May 1908, 6 reports on his first talk at the Royal Asiatic Society on Wednesday 6th May,  commenting that ‘The Bhikkhu surveyed the principles of Buddhism and traced the life of its  founder in a long address read from typed MSS, in slow, monotonous tones, and with an  entire absence of the force and fire we generally associate with the proclamation of a new  gospel or missionary enterprise‘.
2 Ananda Metteyya returned to London in 1914 with the intention of continuing to America. By  this time ill-health had obliged him to disrobe and he remained in the UK until his death in  1923.
3 See e.g. Harris (1998). The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland (BSGBI) was  founded by T. W. Rhys-Davids and others in November 1907 solely in anticipation of Bennett‘s  arrival and the BSGBI is similarly regarded as the first of its kind.
4 Tweed (2012) documents an intriguing musical link between the ‘other‘ Irish Buddhist U  Dhammaloka and the earliest Japanese ‘Buddhist Missions of North America‘ established in  California from 1899.
5 And to a wider Japanese public – the national Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper ran an article on  the BPS in London on July 10, 1890. Our thanks to Okazaki Hideki for this and several other  items of information.
6 Nakanishi Ushiro Shin Bukkyoron (On New Buddhism),1892.

7 Okazaki Hideki, "Meiji no airurandojin jukaiso C. Pfoundes ni tsuite" (On C. Pfoundes, an ordained Irish priest") p.6 Sekihō no.19 (Nomi Yutaka Kenkyūkai, March 2014).

8 A signal advantage to the digital researcher is that Pfoundes is the only man ever to have held that surname – he was baptised Charles Pounds but amended his name to Pfoundes soon after 1863 when he first became resident in Japan.

9 See also Cox 2013.
10 There is another version published in KBJ no.10 1890-5-27 (fig 1).
11 See Bocking (2013) for more detail on each phase of Pfoundes‘ life mentioned here.
12 On the name ‘Pfoundes‘ and his Japanese name Omoie Tetsunosuke 重井哲之助 see  Bocking 2013, 32, n.9.
13 Reports of his death in 1907 as Kobe‘s ‘oldest resident‘ put his age at 79 (the British  Consul) or 81 (the Straits Times); in fact he was 67. Bocking (2013) speculated that Pfoundes  added these years in 1893 to explain to his Japanese sponsors his (otherwise premature)  ‘retirement‘ from the Admiralty, but he may simply have been reoccupying his earlier  Japanese persona from the 1860s. Pfoundes‘ 1878 Liverpool marriage certificate shows him  (correctly) aged 38.
14 Lewis and Clark Papers, Pfoundes handbill, ca.1902.
15 Lewis & Clark papers; typescript from Pfoundes headed ‘Pfoundes, Kobe, Japan‘ and  stamped ‘Licensed Guide‘, ca. 1903.
16 Each item catalogued by Pfoundes in Japanese Art Treasures New York, 1876 with an  introduction to the various types of Japanese art (Bronzes, Keramics, Lacquer Ware, Shippo  or Cloisonne) and an appendix comprising an A-Z glossary of Japanese art and culture.
17 Blavatsky presumably got the Shinto creation material from Pfoundes‘ 1875 Fuso-mimi  bukuro (p.79ff ‘Japanese Cosmogony‘). The source of her comment that he ‘studied for nearly  nine years in the monasteries of Japan‘ is unknown.
18 The Shiba monasteries are mentioned in his first letter from London to Matsuyama (dated  Oct 4 1889, published in Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo no.5, 15 December 1889, 15). On 25 October  1889 (letter published in KBJ no.8, 1890) Pfoundes wrote asking if he needed to receive  kanjō (initiation), indicating that he lacked any such qualification.
19 Divyatchakchus (Sanskrit) is the divine eye, the first abhijñā or 'supernatural' knowledge. Omoie refers to Pfoundes‘ honorary Japanese name.
20 TTW 13 Nov 1891, p. 629 talks of Pfoundes ‘having much personal knowledge of [them]‘; see below.
21 For TTW‘s critique of Theosophy see e.g. ‘Theosophy, Occultism and Spiritualism‘ by  ‘Sirius‘ in TTW Vol 1, 13, 10 Feb 1888 pp, 198-199. A stronger refutation is offered in  ‘Spiritualism, Theosophy and Reincarnation No.1‘ in TTW Vol II, 91, 9 August 1889, 470-71.  Hardinge knew her enemy; in 1875 she had been one of the six founder members of the  Theosophical Society in New York.
22 Pfoundes may have known Hardinge Britten from New York days; he auctioned his oriental  art collection there in 1876 only a few months after the TS, initially a Spiritualist society, was  founded.
23 Sic in original; this was originally a Theosophical usage distinguishing ―universal  knowledge‖ from what might be called actually-existing Buddhism.
24 Although Barrow (1986) shows that there were competing freethought ("scientific") and  religious orientations within late C19th spiritualism, most TTW writers saw Spiritualism as  correcting the inadequacies of ‘orthodox‘ Christianity.
25 An interesting claim, given that Pfoundes began his mission to teach ‘pure Buddhism' only  a couple of months later. He probably means that as a proponent of ‘Buddhism pure and  simple‘ he stands above the sectarian fray, Buddhist or Theosophical.
26 In his first letter as BPS London representative to Matsuyama, written on 4 October 1889,  Pfoundes shows a high level of awareness of missiological issues. He identifies his problems  as ‘What part of Buddhism I should take and how to criticize Christianity' (Kaigai Bukkyō Jijō  no.7, 1890-02-25, p.28) and cautions that ‘we should learn from the failures of Christianity‘  (ibid. p.30).
27 Hansei Kai Zasshi no.1, (Aug 1887) p.32.
28 Hansei Kai Zasshi, no.1 (Aug 1887) p.33.
29 Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo, no.1 (3rd edition), 1889-03, p.129
30 In this article country names are as used in the relevant historical period.
31 Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo, no.1 (3rd edition), 1889-03, pp.133, 134
32 Bijou of Asia, no.1, p.2
33 In January 1889 regional newspapers in Birmingham and Bristol commented under the heading ‘A Japanese Buddhist Propaganda‘ on a Japan Weekly News report of the appearance of Bijou of Asia.
34 Six articles by Pfoundes are listed in The Campbell Theosophical Research Library index at
35 On Oct 25 1889 Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama ‘There are many who don‘t believe in Christianity. It is easy to have large audiences with Buddhism lectures.' Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo no.8, 1890, p.24
36 A profile of Pfoundes presumably based on this letter was published in KBJ no.3, 15 Oct  1889.
37 They were published serially in Japanese in KBJ, starting with no.3, 15 Oct 1889.
38 Letter of Pfoundes Oct. 4, 1889, published in KBJ no. 5, Dec. 15 1889.
39 The letter was published on the 18th.
40 In addition to the Japan Mail, Theosophical and Spiritualist journals, these included The  Folk-Lore Record, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Journal of the Royal  Anthropological Institute and the Young Folks’ Paper. A comprehensive Pfoundes  bibliography has yet to be compiled.
41 Pfoundes was then 50, Rosa 34.
 2 A pamphlet (undated) used by Pfoundes up to the early 1900s lists more than 160 topics on  which he was prepared to lecture. Lewis & Clark Exposition, Oregon papers, pamphlet  entitled ‘C Pfoundes; Kobe, Hiogo, Japan'
 43 Presumably the School for Modern Oriental Studies [or Languages] established by the  Imperial Institute in Union with University College and King‘s College, London, commencing in  Autumn 1889 with ‘practical rather than academic‘ classes deliberately aimed at ICS recruits  and business students. See and T. W. Rhys Davids served  on its first Managing Committee (see 
44 'A Branch Theosophical Society in Japan‘ Bijou of Asia Vol.1, no.2, 1888, p.9.
45 ‘SPIRITUALISTIC ETHICS, &c‘ TTW 1891-11-13 p.631.
46 E.g. letter of Dec. 11 1889, in KBJ no. 9 1890-04-29, p. 29.
47 On Oct 4 1889 Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama "Please send me the wood block for printing the handbill of BPS and Bijou of Asia. I propose the design of the handbill. Please put"juzu" (prayer beads) around the poster and put the mark of Buddhism on the upper area.…" (KBJ no.5 1889-12-15, p.17)
48 There is little overlap between the meetings announced in The Two Worlds and those  announced in The National Reformer; they seem to have taken their meetings listings from  information supplied by spiritualist and secularist venues respectively.
49 Pfoundes seldom followed other freethought circuit speakers in venturing outside London  (presumably because of his Admiralty job); he also avoided the outdoors venues which were  used during the summer season by those speakers with the voice and personality to handle  such events.
50 A strategy not without its risks. The Theosophical Society sued Pfoundes and several newspapers (at least two of them successfully) for libel over the Bertram Keightley affair. In the Spring of 1890 readers of Lucifer were asked to keep their eyes peeled for any comments on Theosophy and send these to the TS Press section in Harrow; Pfoundes was singled out as having already received a writ for libel. Lucifer, March to August 1890, p.521. Our thanks to Chris Heinhold for this reference.
51 The Stepney/Mile End Road area had a long-established (since the 17th century) and influential Jewish presence, augmented in the 1880s by an influx of Eastern European Jewish refugees.
52 He also noted ―The poor people in the urban area are excluded from Christianity, so it is necessary to propagate Buddhism among them‖ (letter to KBJ 14 October 1889, p. 25).
53 The names are in katakana in KBJ. Islington is rendered ‘Ailington' which suggests Pfoundes wrote to Matsuyama in English. ‘Progress Hall‘ means a venue of the Progressive Association.
54 Another Irish Buddhist in the making; he formally became a Buddhist in Colombo the following July (Birmingham Daily Post, 28 August 1890, p.6). For more on Bowles Daly see Cox (2013) pp.229ff.
55 Letter published in KBJ 10, 1890-05-27, p.32.
56 'London Correspondence: Theosophical debate‘ Coventry Evening Telegraph Friday 16  June 1893.
57 Frederika MacDonald deserves further research; she may be the first female Buddhist  missionary in the West. A report of the summer 1893 debate with Annie Besant describes her  as ‘a lady well-known as an exponent of Buddhism‘. In a lecture delivered on 9 July 1893  MacDonald castigated Theosophy as secretive and backward (Edinburgh Evening News, 11  July 1893), suggesting she may have picked up the baton from Pfoundes when he left  London in late 1892.
58 TTW 1890-03-21 p.221.
59 Takakusu also wrote from the Pfoundes home that ‘A Theosophist in Paris named Barb  (Barbu?) is applying for the Paris branch of B.P.S. but there is a trouble between Gaborieau  and Barb. So you (B.P.S. in Japan) should not take sides' (Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo no.11 1890-06-  30, p.27); a reminder that London was not the only great capital in Europe to be targeted by  the fledgling BPS.
60 Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1890-06-14 p.1. Notice in same paper 1890-05-30 “June 15,  Capt. Pfoundes”.
61 NR 4 Jan 1891, p. 15. Presumably this was one of two travelling Nishi Honganji priests who  a few weeks later on 22 February performed a Buddhist ceremony at the Musée Guimet in  Paris (‘Parisian Topics' The Standard 23 Feb 1891, p.5).
62 TTW 1891-06-12 p.366
63 This was allied to vegetarianism but campaigned in particular for wholemeal bread on  health grounds.
64 Lloyds Weekly Newspaper 1891-08-23, p.9
65 Lloyd‘s Weekly London Newspaper 1892-02-07, p.7
66 This was the start of Pfoundes' interest in oriental congresses (see Bocking 2013)
67 The Bristol Mercury, Fri 1892-09-09 p.8
68 A newspaper account of the first publication of Bijou of Asia was headed ‘A Buddhist Propaganda‘. The Latin term Propaganda originally referred to a committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. It was used in the sense of foreign missionary activity up to the 1930s when it acquired the meaning of false or biased information.
69 Pfoundes did not appear to think that London needed more missionaries in addition to  himself.
70 See Shimaji Mokurai "Kaigai senkyō kai ni tsugu" (An address to the members of BPS),  KBJ no.24 1892-03-27 pp.7, 8. This assumption was soon to be challenged by the experience  of the Japanese delegates to the Chicago World‘s Parliament of Religions in 1893.
71 Letters sent to the Japan Herald mention missionaries living the good life and the poor calibre of converts. Living modestly himself, Pfoundes valued sincere seekers after truth.
72 There are similarities to Irish Buddhist sympathiser, Lafcadio Hearn. There is as yet no  evidence of any direct connection though the two very likely knew of each other in Japan after  1893.
73 He notes "The stories of yogis or miracles seem not to be liked by people here" (letter to  KBJ 14 October 1889, p. 27).
74 While an earlier generation of scholarship (Almond 1988, Snodgrass 2003) paid particular attention to the influence of western academic interpretations of Buddhism, Tweed (2000) has  shown that even within purely western contexts this "rationalist" approach was but one among  many. Franklin (2008) shows just how ubiquitous the reference to Buddhism was within  Victorian culture (see Dolce (2006) for perceptions of Japanese Buddhism in particular), while  Cox (2013) and Bocking et al. (2014) emphasise the role of Asian agency, and individual  westerners within Asian contexts. It can be seen from the evidence presented here that Pfoundes, who was well acquainted with scholars such as Max Muller and T. W. Rhys Davids  on the London scholarly circuits, was far from simply reproducing a single, western (let alone  academic) frame of interpretation of Buddhism.
75 See Cox (2013, p 224).
76 See Bocking et al. 2014 and Cox 2013, ch 5 for a range of examples of early Buddhist  “might-have-beens”.
77 KBJ no.23 (1891-08) p.40.
78 Nakanishi Naoki, "Kaigai senkyo kai to sono jidai" (Kaigai Senkyō Kai and its era) in Reprint  Edition of Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo (Kyoto, Sannin sha, forthcoming).
79 See Yoshinaga (2012).
80 Bocking 2010
81 Bocking 2010
82 See Bocking 2010 and Ryukoku Daigaku Shuppanbu 1939, p. 822. In 1902 the KS was  superseded by the short-lived ‘International Young Men‘s Buddhist Association' formally  launched at a September 1902 ceremony in Tokyo attended by various Pure Land luminaries  - and the ‘other‘ Irish Buddhist, U Dhammaloka, visiting from Burma.
83 Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo no.7, 25 Feb 1890. p.29
84 Elizabeth Harris, ‘Ananda Metteyya: controversial networker, passionate critic'.  Contemporary Buddhism 14:1, 78-93, p.82, citing Crow 2009, p. 44.
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