Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:41 am

Buddhist Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/9/19



-- The 90th Anniversary of The Buddhist Society 1924–2014, by The Buddhist Society
-- Tibet Relief Fund: About Us, by Tibet Relief Fund
-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine
-- The Office Of Tibet London, by The Office of Tibet
-- Tibet House US: Overview, by Tibet House US
-- Tibet Society: Our Story, by
-- Tibetan Friendship Group, by
-- 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, by Staffordshire Gardens & Parks Trust (
-- The English Sangha Trust: History, by
-- Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]: The First British Emissary of Buddhism [Excerpt], by Elizabeth J. Harris
-- Charles Henry Allan Bennett, by Wikipedia
-- Convert to Compassion: Allan Bennett, from Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, Missionary and Colonial Experience in Nineteenth Century Sri Lanka [Excerpt], by Elizabeth J. Harris
-- Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a new Buddhist Movement, by Sangharakshita [Dennis Lingwood]
-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by Richard Arthure
-- Edwin Arnold, by Theosophy Wikipedia
-- The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions: H.N. Spalding's Pioneering Vision, by Edward Hulmes

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.”

So I saw that, and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square -- and I didn’t think of phoning. I thought, “Well, I’ll go in person to see what happens.” ...

[S]o I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place ... 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

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

The Buddhist Society is a UK registered charity with the stated aim to:

[...] publish and make known the principles of Buddhism and to encourage the study and practice of those principles.

The Buddhist Society
Formation 1924
Founder Christmas Humphreys

Type Buddhism in the United Kingdom
Headquarters 58 Eccleston Square,
London SW1V 1PH
United Kingdom

The Buddhist Society is an inter-denominational and non-sectarian lay organization. It offers talks and classes on the teachings of all the different major mainstream Buddhist schools and traditions, as well as a structured programme of courses on general Buddhism, for both the public and members. It has a publishing programme and in its premises houses one of the main libraries in Britain on Buddhism. It is managed by an elected council and its patron is the 14th Dalai Lama.

Among other publications, it produces The Buddhist Directory, a reference book which lists the vast majority of Buddhist groups, centres and other related organisations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and The Middle Way, a quarterly journal (referring to the Buddhist concept of a Middle Way).[1]


The Society was created in 1924 in London as an offshoot of a Theosophical Lodge by Christmas Humphreys, a British judge and convert to Buddhism.[2] It became an independent body in 1926 and Humphreys remained its president until his death in 1983. In 1961 the 14th Dalai Lama became patron of the Society, the first organisation in the West to be so honoured.[1]

The Buddhist Society was one of the first Buddhist organisations outside Asia and remains one of the oldest in Europe to date.


The Buddhist Society runs a number of classes, courses and lectures, many of which are open to the general public. This includes Saturday meditation classes and popular Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime sessions. More specific members classes are offered in the Zen, Theravadan and Tibetan traditions. The Society is open on occasional Sundays to the public for 'Zen Sundays', 'Theravadan Sundays' and a Pure Land class.

Three courses are taught at the Society representing three levels of Buddhist study, the first of which, ‘Introducing Buddhism’, is free and open to the public. This can be followed by the Intermediate and advanced, 'Great Way' courses. A Correspondence Course is also available to those who are unable to study at a Buddhist centre.

Free public lectures are held at least once a month on a Wednesday evening. Topics are varied and concern not only the practical application of Buddhism but its cultural and historical aspects too. The guest speakers include academic as well as spiritual scholars of Buddhism. Special function days are held four times a year on Saturdays and are intended for those who do not live in London. A Summer School is held annually in August, too. This one-week residential course is open to members of all Buddhist schools and explores the major aspects of the Buddha’s teachings and their practice. The Summer School is highly popular and is now in its 63rd year (2014).


For more than 50 years The Buddhist Society has published Buddhist works and continues to do so today. The Buddhist Directory is a comprehensive directory of Buddhist groups and organisations in the UK and Ireland. It also gives details of sizeable library collections, publishers and retailers of Buddhist literature and items.

The Society continues to print a selection of Buddhist classics and important new works including some titles by its founder Christmas Humphreys. Books can be bought by mail-order or in person at the Society.

The Middle Way is the quarterly journal of the Buddhist Society and has been in print since 1926 originally under the title Buddhism in England.[2] The journal is respected worldwide and contains news and articles on Buddhist practice and history as well as details of the Society’s programme. Non-members can take out a subscription without joining the society.


In 1956 the Buddhist Society moved to its present location at 58 Eccleston Square in south-west London. The library on the ground floor, which began with just a few volumes in 1926, is now a collection in excess of 4,500 volumes. Members can request books by post and renew them by email and there is an online catalogue on the Society's website. The library also houses a small bookstall and offers items such as incense and cards for sale.

The Society’s Audio Department offers CDs and tapes of public lectures and courses for sale at a small cost and there is a free tape library for the registered blind.

The building also has a lecture hall and two shrine rooms and is a treasure house of Buddhist statuary and artefacts presented to the Society by donors from around the world.


Membership includes subscription to The Middle Way, access to all lectures, classes and courses and full use of the library services.

The Buddhist Society is located close to Victoria Station and is open to all Monday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm and on Saturdays until 5pm.

See also

• Network of Buddhist Organisations
• Zen Centre


1. "The Buddhist Society: History". The Buddhist Society. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
2. Bluck, Robert (2006). British Buddhism: Teachings, Practice and Development. Routledge. pp. 7–9. ISBN 978-0415483087.

External links

• Official website
• Charity Commission. Buddhist Society, registered charity no. 1113705.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:48 am

Clan na Gael
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/10/19



Francis Cunliffe Owen, the officer heading the Home Office agency in New York, had become thoroughly acquainted with George Freeman alias Fitzgerald and Myron Phelps, the famous New York advocate, as members of the Clan-na-Gael.

-- Hindu–German Conspiracy, by Wikipedia

The Clan na Gael (in modern Irish orthography: Clann na nGael, IPA: [ˈklˠan̪ˠ n̪ˠə ˈŋeːlʲ], family of the Gaels) was an Irish republican organization in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries, successor to the Fenian Brotherhood and a sister organization to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.[1] It has shrunk to a small fraction of its former size in the 21st century.


As Irish immigration to the United States of America began to increase in the 18th century many Irish organizations were formed. One of the earliest was formed under the name of the Irish Charitable Society and was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. These new organisations went by varying names, most notably the Ancient and Most Benevolent Order of the Friendly Brothers of Saint Patrick, founded in New York in 1767, the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants in Philadelphia in 1771, and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick also formed in New York in 1784.

In the later part of the 1780s, a strong Irish patriot (rather than Catholic) character began to grow in these organisations and amongst recently arrived Irish immigrants. The usage of Celtic symbolism helped solidify this sense of nationalism and was most noticeably found in the use of the name "Hibernian." (Hibernia is the Latin name for Ireland.)

In 1858, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) had been founded in Dublin by James Stephens. The initial decision to create this organisation came about after Stephens consulted, through special emissary Joseph Denieffe, with John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny, members of a precursor group called the Emmet Monument Association.

In response to the establishment of the IRB in Dublin, a sister organization was founded in New York City, the Fenian Brotherhood, led by O'Mahony. This arm of Fenian activity in America produced a surge in radicalism among groups of Irish immigrants, many of whom had recently emigrated from Ireland during and after the Great Hunger. In October, 1865, the Fenian Philadelphia Congress met and appointed the Irish Republican Government in the US. But in 1865, in Ireland, the IRB newspaper The Irish People had been raided by the police and the IRB leadership was imprisoned. Another abortive uprising would occur in 1867, but the British remained in control.

After the 1865 crackdown in Ireland, the American organization began to fracture over what to do next. Made up of veterans of the American Civil War, a Fenian army had been formed. While O'Mahony and his supporters wanted to remain focused on supporting rebellions in Ireland a competing faction, called the Roberts, or senate wing, wanted this Fenian Army to attack British bases in Canada. The resulting Fenian Raids strained US–British relations. The level of American support for the Fenian cause began to diminish as the Fenians were seen as a threat to stability in the region.

The Irish were still seen as a foreign people within the borders of the American state by anti-Catholic Americans such as members of the Know-Nothing Party; their existence within America was seen primarily as temporary camps of immigrants who planned to stay in America only as long as the British stayed in Ireland. Upon the British withdrawal from Irish soil, it was believed, the Irish immigrants would return to their native land. The Fenian Raids were seen as an astonishing example of immigrant activity in US history and Irish nationalism has itself become something of an exception among the American melting pot. Very few US immigrants concerned themselves with their mother country as did the Irish; in March 1868, 100,000 Fenian supporters held an anti-British demonstration in New York.

Creation of Clan na Gael

After 1867, the Irish Republican Brotherhood headquarters in Manchester chose to support neither of the existing feuding factions, but instead promoted a renewed Irish republican organization in America, to be named Clan na Gael.

According to John Devoy in 1924, Jerome James Collins founded what was then called the Napper Tandy Club in New York on 20 June 1867, Wolfe Tone's birthday. This club expanded into others and at one point at a picnic in 1870 was named the Clan na Gael by Sam Cavanagh. This was the same Cavanagh who killed the informer George Clark,[2] who had exposed a Fenian pike-making operation in Dublin to the police.

Collins, who died in 1881 on the disastrous Jeannette Expedition to the North Pole, was a science editor on the New York Herald, who had left England in 1866 when a plot he was involved in to free the Fenian prisoners at Pentonville Prison was uncovered by the police. Collins believed at the time of the founding in 1867 that the two feuding Fenians branches should patch things up.[3]

Catalpa rescue

After arriving in America in 1871 John Devoy indicated he joined the Clan na Gael early on and attempted several times at Clan conventions to get the Clan to adopt a plan to free the military prisoners held by the British in Fremantle Australia. In 1874 John Devoy, with some oratorical help from Thomas Francis Bourke, was elected Chairman of the Executive Board of the Clan and was also chosen to execute the rescue of the prisoners. Bourke warned Devoy that there would be "kickers" and he would have to have a heavy hand to control the Clan na Gael and succeed in the project.[4] John Devoy devoted all his time to this project and oversaw the purchase of the bark Catalpa and the outfitting of this ship as a whaler. The Clan engaged an American Captain George S Anthony as its Captain with New Bedford whaling crew. John received considerable help in running the Clan from Dr. William Carroll who was elected Executive Board Chairman in 1875 and between them they controlled Clan activity until 1882. Carroll was of Ulster Protestant stock and brought in others to the Clan from the upper middle class such as Simon Barclay Conover, Senator from Florida. Devoy's nemesis during the fund raising for the enterprise was John Goff, an aspiring Clan member who later became a New York Supreme Court Judge and who, perhaps, resented the influence of Bourke and Devoy in the Clan. Devoy did in fact take a strong hand and began tossing out Clan members for malfeasance in office and violation of Clan rules as is shown in "General Circular No. 2" dated 15 January 1875.[5] The success of the rescue in 1876 resulted in the Clan na Gael replacing for all practical purposes the Fenian Brotherhood as the spokesman of Irish-American nationalism.

Under the leadership of John Devoy, Clan na Gael would eventually be successful in educating Americans about the movement.

New Departure 1879

In 1879, Devoy promoted a "New Departure" in Irish republican thinking, by which the "physical force party" allied itself with the Irish Parliamentary Party under the political leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell, MP; the political plans of the Fenians were thus combined with the agrarian revolution inaugurated by the Irish National Land League. The arrangement was cemented at the first Irish Race Convention held in Chicago in 1881.

By 1880, more aggressive men within the Clan na Gael were chafing at the slow pace of Devoy and Carroll and these men were able to take control of the organization in 1882 when two "action men", Alexander Sullivan and Michael Boland took over the reins and ran the clan as a dictatorship along with an inactive Mr. Feeley. The new leadership ignored the Revolutionary Council set up by Carroll to coordinate between the IRB and the Clan and began to operate in total secrecy from even the membership of the Clan. These three men called themselves the "Triangle" and began making bombing runs into England in what was called the "Dynamite War". This infuriated the IRB in Ireland which cut ties with the Irish-Americans. Michael Boland was later pointed out as a British spy which might have explained why the majority of the bombers were caught and jailed before they could strike.[6][7][8]

The 1880s saw the solidification, at least within America, of Irish ideological orientations, with most nationalist sentiment finding its home within Clan na Gael, rather than organisations such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The more agrarian-minded found their ideological brethren within the Irish Federation of America. The third ideological strand was connected to the union and socialist movement and found support with the Knights of Labor. In the late 1880s a financial scandal in the Chicago branch of the Clan led to a successful conspiracy to murder whistle-blower Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin. John Devoy, who worked with Cronin, also began carrying a gun and expected to be assassinated by Alexander Sullivan's henchmen. The Cronin case, prosecuted by State's Attorney Joel Minnick Longenecker achieved international attention. Neither the prosecution nor the defense were concerned with the Clan's ties to the Fenians, trying the case simply as a conspiracy to commit murder.[9] The Clan na Gael had split into pro and anti Sullivan/Boland branches, but was re-united by John Devoy around 1900.

In Ireland the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) achieved electoral success in the 1880s, and was supported by the British Prime Minister William Gladstone who introduced the unsuccessful Government of Ireland Bill 1886. Gladstone's party then divided over home rule, and the IPP also divided for a decade over Parnell's marriage to Mrs. O'Shea.

In 1891, a moderate offshoot of the Clan na Gael broke away and formed an organization under the name of Irish National Federation of America with T. Emmet as president. The federation supported the National Party in Ireland, a splinter group of Parnell's Home Rule Party. Rising to prominence within the Clan from the 1890s were Daniel Cohalan (later to be a Judge of the New York Supreme Court) and Joseph McGarrity.

In the 20th Century

The objective of Clan na Gael was to secure an independent Ireland and to assist the Irish Republican Brotherhood in achieving this aim. To this end, the Clan was prepared to enter into alliances with any nation allied against the British; with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Clan found its greatest ally in Imperial Germany. A delegation led by Devoy met with the German Ambassador in the US Count Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff and his aide Franz von Papen in 1914. This was followed by an emissary John Kenny, sent on a mission to Berlin to discuss how the German war effort and Irish Nationalism could cooperate. Devoy, along with Roger Casement and Joseph McGarrity, was able to bring together both Irish-American and German support in the years prior to the Easter Rising. However the German munitions never reached Ireland as the ship Aud carrying them was scuttled after being intercepted by the Royal Navy.

Clan na Gael became the largest single financier of both the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence. Imperial Germany aided Clan na Gael by selling those guns and munitions to be used in the uprising of 1916. Germany had hoped that by distracting Britain with an Irish uprising they would be able to garner the upper hand in the war and affect a German victory on the Western Front. However, they failed to follow through with more support. Clan na Gael was also involved via McGarrity and Casement in the abortive attempt to raise an "Irish Brigade" to fight against the British.

Some Sikhs held talks with Clan Na Gael, which led to authorities in Great Britain and India fearing Irish-Americans and Sikhs uniting against the British Empire.[10] Clan Na Gael supported the primarily Sikh Ghadar Party, and played a supportive role in the Hindu German Conspiracy in the United States during World War I,[11] which led to the Hindu German Conspiracy Trial in San Francisco in 1917–18.

Clan Na Gael largely controlled the Irish Race Conventions from 1916, and its affiliated group the Friends of Irish Freedom. The Irish War of Independence led to a split in Clan na Gael which was precipitated in June 1920 by Éamon de Valera, who as President of the Irish Republic became involved in a dispute with Devoy and Judge Cohalan over lobbying US Presidential candidates on the issue of American recognition for the Irish Republic. To punish Woodrow Wilson for his apparent lack of support, the Clan backed Harding in the United States presidential election, 1920. In October, 1920, Harry Boland stated that the IRB in Ireland had terminated connections between the Clan and the parent body in Ireland until the will of Dáil Éireann was mirrored in Clan na Gael. Devoy and Cohalan refused to accept this but McGarrity disagreed, believing that without IRB support, the Clan was not legitimate, which led to a split. McGarrity, whose faction went by the name Reorganized Clan na Gael, supported the Anti-Treaty forces during the Civil War while Devoy and Cohalan supported the Free State. After 1924, when the IRB and the Devoy-Cohalan Clan na Gael both voted to disband, McGarrity's faction became the sole Clan na Gael. In 1926, the Clan na Gael formally associated with the reorganized Irish Republican Army in the same fashion as it had with the IRB.

McGarrity continued to provide support and aid to the IRA after it was outlawed in Ireland by de Valera in 1936 but became less active in the 1940s and 1950s following McGarrity's death in 1940. However the organization grew in the 1970s. The organization played a key part in NORAID and was a prominent source of finance and weapons for the Provisional IRA during "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland in 1969–1998.

The Clan na Gael still exists today, much changed from the days of the Catalpa rescue and as recently as 1997 another internal split occurred as a result of the IRA shift away from using physical force as a result of the 1998 Good Friday peace accords, and before that over the abandonment of the policy of abstentionism in 1987. The two factions are known to insiders as Provisional Clan na Gael (allied to Provisional Sinn Féin/IRA) and Republican Clan na Gael (associated with both Republican Sinn Féin/Continuity IRA and 32 County Sovereignty Movement/Real IRA, though primarily the former).[12] These have been listed as terrorist organizations at various times by the UK Government.

Presidents of the Clan na Gael

From its founding in 1869, although heavily influenced by founder John Devoy over the years, the organization was nominally under the control of an executive committee headed by a national Executive Board Chairman. This executive committee was elected at yearly, later ever other year, conventions. At the convention held in Chicago during 1881, the committee was reduced to five members making it easier to control. The committee then came under the domination of Michael Boland, D.S. Freely and national executive chairman Alexander Sullivan who together were known as "the Triangle".

The first Chairman perhaps should be Jerome Collins as the man who founded the first Club (D1) of what would later be called the Clan na Gael (these clubs later were called "Camps"). The club was named Napper Tandy after an Irish patriot. From the beginning, according to John Devoy in the Gaelic American, the secretary of Napper Tandy and later of the Clan na Gael was William James Nicholson. He was secretary from 1867 to 1874 when he was dismissed for loaning Camp Funds which were not repaid. According to a descendant of the John Haltigan the foreman printer of the Irish People, James Haltigan son of John Haltigan was Executive Board Chairman in 1871.

In 1873 James Ryan was Executive Board Chairman.[13] In 1874 John Devoy was chosen Executive Board Chairman at the Baltimore Convention. From 1875 until he resigned in 1879, John Devoy's trusted friend and ardent nationalist Dr. William Carroll of Philadelphia was Executive Board Chairman. James Reynolds of Connecticut temporarily held the post from Carroll's resignation until 1881 (there was no convention in 1880) when the Triangle of Sullivan, Feeley and Boland assumed command. Although Devoy supporters Reynolds and Treacy remained on the Executive Board, they were left out of the decision-making process by the Triangle. The Triangle's bombing campaign split the organization into two factions in the mid-1880s. After the murder of Cronin, the Clan na Gael united once again under John Devoy in 1900. John Kenny served as president of the Napper Tandy branch in 1883 and again in 1914.


1. Buescher, John. "What Happened to the Fenians After 1866?", accessed 8 October 2011
2. Gaelic American, 7 January 1905
3. Much of the preceding is found in the Gaelic American, 29 Dec 1906, in an article entitled "The Inside Story of the Jeanette Horror". Both John O'Mahony and William R Roberts, opposing leaders of fighting branches of the Fenians, belonged to the Napper Tandy Club, according to Devoy in the aforementioned article.
4. Proceedings of the United Brotherhood Convention, Cleveland Ohio September 1874 held at the Fenian archives at the Catholic University of America.
5. NLI MS. 18,015(1): John Devoy Papers. For more on the Catalpa rescue see Sean O'Lung "Fremantle Mission", Philip Fennell and Marie King (Eds.) "John Devoy's Catalpa Expedition", a transcription of John Devoy's Catalpa Story in the Gaelic American, and ZW Pease's "The Catalpa Expedition" the latter published by George Anthony the Captain aboard the ship.
6. McGee, Owen. The IRB. Four Courts Press, Dublin. 2006 pp 105-8
7. Devoy, "Story of the Clan na Gael," Gaelic American 29 November 1924
8. Whelehan, Niall (2012). The Dynamiters: Irish Nationalism and Political Violence in the Wider World. Cambridge.
9. McEnnis, John T. The Clan na Gael and the Murder of Dr. Cronin. (The original book had no publisher information, however a preliminary subscriber list indicates it was to be published in 1889 by John W Liff & Co. of Chicago, Illinois)
10. Mount, Graeme Stewart (1993). Canada's enemies: spies and spying in the peaceable kingdom. Dundurn Press Ltd. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-1-55002-190-5. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
11. Plowman, Matthew Erin. "Irish Republicans and the Indo-German Conspiracy of World War I," New Hibernia Review 7.3 (2003) 81-105
12. Ed Moloney, Clan na Gael split a worry for Sinn Féin Published 9 May 2006. Accessed 17 March 2008.
13. Devoys PostbagBP Vol. I p. 87–88. was he from Lawrence, Mass? (Devoy in the Gaelic American said the man who preceded him was from there and was a nonentity.)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:09 am

The Untold Story of Gandhi and Theosophy
by David Livingstone
Sun, 12/15/2013 - 20:32




According to Gandhi:

The soul of religions is one, but it is encased in a multitude of forms. The latter will endure to the end of time. Wise men will ignore the outward crust and see the same soul living under a variety of crusts... Truth is the exclusive property of no single scripture.

These ideas mirror those of a "universal brotherhood," expressed by H. P. Blavatsky, an avowed Luciferian and the leading figure of the nineteenth century Occult Revival, and the "godmother" of the New Age movement, which aspires to create a one-world religion based on the teachings of Freemasonry.

(the following is an excerpt from Black Terror White Soldiers)

In India, Blavatksy’s Theosophical Society evolved into a mixture of Western occultism and Hindu mysticism, and also spread western ideas in the east, aiding a modernization of eastern traditions, and contributing to a growing nationalism in the Asian colonies. The Theosophical Society had a major influence on Buddhist modernism and Hindu reform movements, and the spread of those modernized versions in the west. During the nineteenth century, Hinduism developed a large number of new religious movements, partly inspired by the European Romanticism, nationalism, scientific racism and Theosophy. With the rise of Hindu nationalism, several contemporary Indian movements, collectively termed Hindu reform movements, strove to introduce regeneration and reform to Hinduism.

The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united from 1878 to 1882, as the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.

Arya Samaj monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875. Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols. Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.

-- Arya Samaj, by Wikipedia

And, along with H. S. Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala, Blavatsky was also instrumental in the Western transmission and revival of Theravada Buddhism. Dharmapala (1864 – 1933) was a pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries. Along with Olcott and Blavatsky, Dharmapala was also a major reformer and revivalist of Ceylonese Buddhism and very crucial figure in its Western transmission. Dharmapala also believed that Sinhalese of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) are a pure Aryan race, and advised that Sinhalese women should avoide miscegenation by refraining from mixing with minority races of the country.[1]

The Aryan Hindu belongs to the oldest races now on earth; the Semite Hebrew to the latest. One is nearly one million years old; the other is a small sub-race some 8,000 years old and no more....

Human crossing may have been a general rule from the time of the separation of sexes, and yet that other law may assert itself, viz., sterility between two human races, just as between two animal species of various kinds, in those rare cases when a European, condescending to see in a female of a savage tribe a mate, happebs to choose a member of such mixed tribes. Darwin notes such a case in a Tasmanian tribe, whose women were suddenly struck with sterility, en masse, some time after the arrival among them of the European colonists. The great naturalist tried to explain this fact by change of diet, food, conditions, etc., but finally gave up the solution of the mystery. For the occultist it is a very evident one. "Crossing", as it is called, of Europeans with Tasmanian women -- i.e, the representatives of a race, whose progenitors were a "soulless" and mindless monster and a real human, though still as mindless a man -- brought on sterility. This, not alone as a consequence of a physiological law, but also as a decree of Karmic evolution in the question of further survival of the abnormal race...

It is a most suggestive fact -- to those concrete thinkers who demand a physical proof of Karma -- that the lowest races of men are now rapidly dying out; a phenomenon largely due to an extraordinary sterility setting in among the women, from the time that they were first approached by the Europeans. A process of decimation is taking place all over the globe, among those races, whose "time is up" -- among just those stocks, be it remarked, which esoteric philosophy regards as the senile representatives of lost archaic nations. It is inaccurate to maintain that the extinction of a lower race is invariably due to cruelties or abuses perpetrated by colonists. Change of diet, drunkenness, etc., etc., have done much; but those who rely on such data as offering an all-sufficient explanation of the crux, cannot meet the phalanx of facts now so closely arrayed. "Nothing", says even the materialist Lefevre, "can save those that have run their course .. It would be necessary to extend their destined cycle ... The peoples that have been spared ... Hawaiians or Maories, have been no less decimated than the tribes massacred or tainted by European intrusion." (“Philosophy,” p. 508.)

True; but is not the phenomenon here confirmed of the operation of CYCLIC LAW difficult to account for on materialist lines? Whence the “destined cycle” and the order here testified to? Why does this (Karmic) sterility attack and root out certain races at their “appointed hour”? The answer that it is due to a “mental disproportion” between the colonizing and aboriginal races is obviously evasive, since it does not explain the sudden “checks to fertility” which so frequently supervene. The dying out of the Hawaiians, for instance, is one of the most mysterious problems of the day. Ethnology will sooner or later have to recognize with Occultists that the true solution has to be sought for in a comprehension of the workings of Karma. As Lefevre remarks, “the time is drawing near when there will remain nothing but three great human types” (before the Sixth Root-Race dawns), the white (Aryan, Fifth Root-Race), the yellow, and the African negro — with their crossings (Atlanto-European divisions). Redskins, Eskimos, Papuans, Australians, Polynesians, etc., etc. — all are dying out. Those who realize that every Root-Race runs through a gamut of seven sub-races with seven branchlets, etc., will understand the “why.” The tide-wave of incarnating EGOS has rolled past them to harvest experience in more developed and less senile stocks; and their extinction is hence a Karmic necessity.

-- The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena P. Blavatsky

An important influence on western spirituality was Neo-Vedanta, also called neo-Hinduism, a modern religious movement inspired by the ecstatic visionary experiences of Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) and his beloved disciple Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902). It was Vivekananda who coined the term “Hinduism” to describe a faith of diverse and myriad beliefs of Indian tradition. Also a Freemason, Vivekananda was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. Vivekananda taught the doctrine of the unity of all religions, and is perhaps best known for a speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. Vivekananda quoted two passages from the Shiva mahimna stotram: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!” and “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me.”[2]

In addition to Vivekananda, the Parliament of the World’s Religions was dominated by the Theosophists and their counterparts among the representatives of neo-Vedanta and Buddhist Modernism. According to K. Paul Johnson, the Parliament gave Theosophists “a breakthrough into public acceptance and awareness which had hardly seemed possible a few years before.”[3] Colonel Olcott shared his sentiments in Old Diary Leaves, “How great a success it was for us and how powerfully it stimulated public interest in our views will be recollected by all our older members.” Several of the World Parliament’s speakers on behalf of international religions had been Theosophists, such as Dharmapala and Kinza Hirai, who represented Buddhism, Mohammed Webb for Islam, and Chakravarti for the Hindus. In his 1921 history of the Theosophical movement, René Guénon wrote that after the 1893 Parliament, “the Theosophists seemed very satisfied with the excellent occasion for propaganda afforded them in Chicago, and they even went so far as to proclaim that “the true Parliament of Religions had been, in fact, the Theosophical Congress.”[4]

At the Parliament, Vivekananda’s speech also made a profound impression on Annie Besant (1847 – 1933), who had assumed the leadership of the worldwide theosophical movement when Blavatsky had passed away in 1891. Born in London into a middle-class family of Irish origin, Besant was proud of her heritage, and became involved with Union organizers including the Bloody Sunday demonstration, which she was widely credited for inciting. During 1884, Besant had developed a very close friendship with Edward Aveling, who first translated the works of Marx into English. He eventually went to live with Marx’s daughter Eleanor Marx, whose network was being spied on by Theodor Reuss. Besant was a leading speaker for the Fabian Society. The Fabians were a group of socialists whose strategy differed from that of Karl Marx in that they sought world domination through what they called the “doctrine of inevitability of gradualism.” This meant their goals would be achieved “without breach of continuity or abrupt change of the entire social issue,” and by infiltrating educational institutions, government agencies, and political parties.

After a dispute, the American section of the Theosophical Society split into an independent organization. The original Society, then led by Henry Steel Olcott and Besant, based in Chennai, India, came to be known as the Theosophical Society Adyar. Besant’s partner in running the Theosophical Society was Charles Leadbeater, a known pedophile. In 1909, Leadbeater claimed to have “discovered” the new Messiah in the person of the handsome young Indian boy named Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti gained international acceptance among followers of Theosophy as the new Savior, but the boy’s father nearly ruined the scheme when he accused Leadbeater of corrupting his son. Krishnamurti also eventually repudiated his designated role, and spent the rest of his life travelling the world and becoming in the process widely known as an unaffiliated speaker.

As President of the Theosophical Society, Besant became involved in politics in India, joining the Indian National Congress, and during World War I helped launch the Home Rule League, modeling demands for India on Irish nationalist practices. This led to her election as president of the India National Congress in late 1917. As editor of the New India newspaper, she attacked the colonial government of India and called for clear and decisive moves towards self-rule. In June 1917 Besant was arrested, but the National Congress and the Muslim League together threatened to launch protests if she was not set free. The government was forced to make significant concessions, and it was announced that the ultimate aim of British rule was Indian self-government.

After the war, a new leadership emerged around Mohandas K. Gandhi, who was inspired by the ideals of Vivekananda, and who was among those who had written to demand Besant’s release, and who had returned from leading Asians in a non-violent struggle against racism in South Africa. In 1888, he had travelled to London, England, to study law at University College London, when he met members of the Theosophical Society. They encouraged him to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita. As a result, despite not having shown any interest in religion before, Gandhi began his serious study of the text, which was to become his acknowledged guide throughout his life. According to Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi’s approach to the Gita was theosophical.[5] Gandhi later credited Theosophy with instilling in him the principle of the equality among religions. As he explained to his biographer, Louis Fischer, “Theosophy… is Hinduism at its best. Theosophy is the brotherhood of man.” The organization’s motto inspired Gandhi to develop one of his central principles, that “all religions are true.”[6]

Gandhi had met Blavatsky and Besant in 1889.[7] And when Gandhi set up his office in Johannesburg, among the pictures he hung on his walls were those of Tolstoy, Jesus Christ and Annie Besant, and in a letter he wrote to her in 1905 he expressed his "reverence" of her.[8] Besant bestowed on him the title by which he became famous, "Mahatma,” a Hindu term for "Great Soul,” and the same name by which Theosophy called its own masters. Besant's distinctive influence on Gandhi was through her contribution to theory was the “Law of Sacrifice,” which was set out most fully in Esoteric Christianity. The Law of Sacrifice was derived from a Fabian reading of the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna's selfless activity brought the world into existence and continues to sustain it. Action performed in this “sacrificial” spirit, says Krishna, is free from Karma. From this Besant developed the notion of the Law of Sacrifice, a form of “spiritual alchemy,” through disinterested action, “cast upon the altar of duty.” The man who acts in harmony with the divine selflessness animating the universe becomes:

..a force for evolution… an energy for progress, and the whole race then benefits by the action which otherwise would only have rough to the sacrificer a personal fruit, which in turn would have bound his Soul, and limited his potentialities.[9]

Despite his popular image as holy man, Joseph Lelyveld’s Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India, according to his reviewer, reveals Gandhi was a “sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist—one who was often downright cruel to those around him. Gandhi was therefore the archetypal 20th-century progressive intellectual, professing his love for mankind as a concept while actually despising people as individuals.”[10] According to Lelyveld, Gandhi also encouraged his ­seventeen-year-old great-niece to be naked during her "nightly cuddles,” and began sleeping with her and other young women. He also engaged in a long-term homosexual affair with German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi at one point left his wife in 1908.[11]

Though Gandhi was concerned for the plight of the Indians of South Africa, he shared the racist beliefs of the Theosophists. Of white Afrikaaners and Indians, he wrote: “We believe as much in the purity of races as we think they do.” Gandhi lent his support to the Zulu War of 1906, volunteering for military service himself and raising a battalion of stretcher-bearers. Gandhi complained of Indians being marched off to prison where they were placed alongside Blacks, “We could understand not being classed with whites, but to be placed on the same level as the Natives seemed too much to put up with. Kaffirs [Blacks] are as a rule uncivilized—the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”[12]

[T]he astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which preceded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on Globe D. [215] “Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and (other extinct) animals of the wheel before,” or the previous Third Round — as Stanza 24 tells us. Hence, while the nondescript “animals” that preceded the astral man at the beginning of this life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure, to man again. Moreover, the “ancestor” of the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of an animal….

Ay, but that “primeval man” was man only in external form. He was mindless and soulless at the time he begot, with a female animal monster, the forefather of a series of apes….

Perchance in these specimens, Haeckelians might recognize, not the Homo primigenius, but some of the lower tribes, such as some tribes of the Australian savages. Nevertheless, even these are not descended from the anthropoid apes, but from human fathers and semi-human mothers, or, to speak more correctly, from human monsters — those “failures” mentioned in the first Commentary. The real anthropoids, Haeckel’s Catarrhini and Platyrrhini, came far later, in the closing times of Atlantis. The orang-outang, the gorilla, the chimpanzee and cynocephalus are the latest and purely physical evolutions from lower anthropoid mammalians. They have a spark of the purely human essence in them; man on the other hand, has not one drop of pithecoid blood in his veins.….

These “Men” of the Third Race — the ancestors of the Atlanteans — were just such ape-like, intellectually senseless giants as were those beings, who, during the Third Round, represented Humanity. Morally irresponsible, it was these third Race “men” who, through promiscuous connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the tertiary period only) the remote ancestor of the real ape as we find it now in the pithecoid family. [150]...

A naturalist suggests another difficulty. The human is the only species which, however unequal in its races, can breed together. “There is no question of selection between human races,” say the anti-Darwinists, and no evolutionist can deny the argument — one which very triumphantly proves specific unity. How then can Occultism insist that a portion of the Fourth Race humanity begot young ones from females of another, only semi-human, if not quite an animal, race, the hybrids resulting from which union not only bred freely but produced the ancestors of the modern anthropoid apes? Esoteric science replies to this that it was in the very beginnings of physical man. Since then, Nature has changed her ways, and sterility is the only result of the crime of man’s bestiality….

But this was when Africa had already been raised as a continent. We have meanwhile to follow, as closely as limited space will permit, the gradual evolution of the now truly human species. It is in the suddenly arrested evolution of certain sub-races, and their forced and violent diversion into the purely animal line by artificial cross-breeding, truly analogous to the hybridization, which we have now learned to utilize in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, that we have to look for the origin of the anthropoids. In these red-haired and hair-covered monsters, the fruit of the unnatural connection between men and animals, the “Lords of Wisdom” did not incarnate, as we see. Thus by a long series of transformations due to unnatural cross-breeding (unnatural “sexual selection”), originated in due course of time the lowest specimens of humanity; while further bestiality and the fruit of their first animal efforts of reproduction begat a species which developed into mammalian apes ages later....

For surely, it was not in or through the wickedness of the “mighty men” . . . . men of renown, among whom is placed Nimrod the “mighty hunter before the Lord,” that “god saw that the wickedness of man was great,” nor in the builders of Babel, for this was after the Deluge; but in the progeny of the giants who produced monstra quaedam de genere giganteo, monsters from whence sprang the lower races of men, now represented on earth by a few miserable dying-out tribes and the huge anthropoid apes….

The monsters bred in sin and shame by the Atlantean giants, “blurred copies” of their bestial sires, and hence of modern man (Huxley), now mislead and overwhelm with error the speculative Anthropologist of European Science…

[T]he bestiality of the primeval mindless races resulted in the production of huge man-like monsters — the offspring of human and animal parents. As time rolled on, and the still semi-astral forms consolidated into the physical, the descendants of these creatures were modified by external conditions, until the breed, dwindling in size, culminated in the lower apes of the Miocene period. With these the later Atlanteans renewed the sin of the “Mindless” — this time with full responsibility. The resultants of their crime were the species of apes now known as Anthropoid

On the data furnished by modern science, physiology, and natural selection, and without resorting to any miraculous creation, two negro human specimens of the lowest intelligence — say idiots born dumb — might by breeding produce a dumb Pastrana species, which would start a new modified race, and thus produce in the course of geological time the regular anthropoid ape….

-- The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena P. Blavatsky

Gandhi and Mussolini became friendly when they met in December 1931, with Gandhi praising the Duce's "service to the poor, his opposition to super-urbanization, his efforts to bring about a coordination between Capital and Labour, his passionate love for his people." He also advised the Czechs and Jews to adopt nonviolence toward the Nazis, saying that "a single Jew standing up and refusing to bow to Hitler's decrees" might be enough "to melt Hitler's heart."[13]



[1] Wijesiriwardhana Sunil, Purawasi Manpeth (Published by: FLICT/ First Print 2010) p. 222-223.

[2] John R. McRae, "Oriental Verities on the American Frontier: The 1893 World's Parliament of Religions and the Thought of Masao Abe,” Buddhist-Christian Studies (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991), pp. 7–26.

[3] K. Paul Johnson, Initiates of Theosophical Masters (State University of New York Press, 1995) p. 97

[4] Guénon, Theosophy.

[5] Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006) p. 63

[6] Mitch Horowitz, Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation, (New York: Bantam Books, 2009), p. 189.

[7] Charles Freer Andrews (Hrsg.): Mahatma Gandhi, Mein Leben. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 1983.

[8] Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006) p. 60-61.

[9] Ibid., p. 63.

[10] Andrew Roberts, "Among the Hagiographers,” Wall Street Journal, (March 26, 2011)

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:11 am

Parliament of [the] World Religions
by David Livingstone
Tue, 12/24/2013 - 20:18



Displaying the degree of penetration of Theosophy's goal of creating a one-world religion into the mission of the UN, the Parliament of World Religions of 1893, as mentioned in the article, was reestablished by the UN in 1983. Here's is an excerpt from my book on the subject:

According to [Robert] Muller [who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN for forty years], "We must move as quickly as possible to one-world government, a one-world religion, under a one-world leader."[1] Muller’s ideas about world government, world peace and spirituality led to the increased representation of religions in the UN, especially of New Age Movement. He was known by some as “the philosopher of the United Nations.”[2] Muller, who won the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1989 for his World Core Curriculum, said, "The underlying philosophy upon which The Robert Muller School is based will be found in the teaching set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher, Djwhal Khul."[3]

In the 1980’s, numerous projects were sponsored by the United Nations to promote notions of a universal religion
and global citizenship, such as World Healing Day, World Instant of Cooperation, World Peace Day, Annual Global Mind Link, Human Unity Conference, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Provisional World Parliament. In 1995, the UN asked the Temple of Understanding, founded by Bailey’s Lucis Trust, to host the 50th Anniversary of its founding, and to organize two inter-faith services. The Temple of Understanding is located in Manhattan’s historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, dedicated to St. John, traditionally revered by Freemasons according to the Johannite creed. The completion of the cathedral was such a prized accomplishment for the Freemasons that it was featured on the front page of Masonic World of March 1925. The Cathedral is replete with occult symbolism and often features unusual performances.

The presiding bishop of the cathedral was the bisexual Bishop Paul Moore, whose family were heirs to the Nabisco company fortune, and as a priest in Indianapolis he gave Jim Jones’s People’s Temple cult its start. Having been dormant for several years, the Temple of Understanding was revived at the cathedral in 1984 at a ceremony presided over by Moore and the Dalai Lama. While the chairman of the Temple was Judith Dickerson Hollister, those involved with its founding included: Dame Margaret Mead, Robert Muller, who had been involved as well with the Lucis Trust, and Winifred McCulloch, leader of the New York-based Teilhard de Chardin Society.

The Cathedral also houses the Lindisfarne Center, founded in 1972 with funding from Laurance Rockefeller, brother to David Rockefeller, by cultural historian William Irwin Thompson, a former professor of humanities from MIT and Syracuse University. Lindisfarne functioned as a sponsor of New Age events and lectures, as well as a think tank and retreat, similar to the Esalen Institute, with which it shared several members, like Gregory Bateson and Michael Murphy. Their aim is participate in the emerging planetary consciousness, or Noosphere. In addition to Teilhard de Chardin, Thompson is influenced by Alfred North Whitehead, Rudolf Steiner, Sri Aurobindo and Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher of communication theory, who is also celebrated in [url=Parliament of [the]World Religions
by David Livingstone]Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy[/url]. Lindisfarne has also been supported by the Lilly Endowment, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Rockefeller Foundation, and lists among its faculty members Amory Lovins, Gaia theory biologist James Lovelock, and Luciferian adept and New Age author David Spangler. Lindisfarne was founded in 1972 by New Age philosopher William Irwin Thompson, a former professor of humanities from MIT and Syracuse University. Thompson said: “We have now a new spirituality, what has been called the New Age movement. The planetization of the esoteric has been going on for some time… This is now beginning to influence concepts of politics and community in ecology… This is the Gaia [Mother Earth] politique… planetary culture.” Thompson further stated that, the age of “the independent sovereign state, with the sovereign individual in his private property, [is] over, just as the Christian fundamentalist days are about to be over.”[4]

Held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Temple called together leaders of the world’s religions to offer prayers, and invited the world’s leading artists to perform music, poetry and dance. In 1997 and 1998, with the Interfaith Center of New York, the Temple of Understanding held an Interfaith Prayer Service at St. Bartholomew Church to pray for the work of the General Assembly and the Secretary General of the UN [United Nations].
It was also at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine that the controversial “Islamic feminist” preacher named Amina Wadud led a Muslim Friday prayer in 2005, breaking with the tradition of having only male Imams, and conducted without the traditional separation between male and female sections.

The Temple of Understanding promotes the “Interfaith Movement” with its centennial celebration of the World’s Parliament of Religions. The first Parliament of World Religions Conference, as a successor to the first Parliament of World Religions Conference, in effect the Theosophical Congress, gathered in Chicago in 1883. It had been founded by Reverend Dr. John Henry Barrows, according to whom, “The best religion must come to the front, and the best religion will ultimately survive, because it will contain all that is true in all the faiths.”[5] The Parliament was dominated by Theosophists, such as Annie Besant, Dharmapala and the Hindu universalist Vivekananda who, in his famous speech, called for an end to religious conversions, and instead for each to "assimilate the spirit of the other," and said, "The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each religion must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve its own individuality and grow according to its own law of growth."[6] Commenting on the Parliament, Max Müller told an audience at Oxford University:

Such a gathering of representatives of the principal religions of the world has never before taken place; it is unique, it is unprecedented; nay, we may truly add, it could hardly have been conceived before our own time… It established a fact of the greatest significance, namely, that there exists an ancient and universal religion, and the highest dignitaries and representatives of all the religions in the world can meet as members of one common brotherhood, can listen respectfully to what each religion had to say for itself, nay, can join in a common prayer and accept a common blessing, one day from the hands of a Christian archbishop another day from a Jewish Rabbi, and again another day from a Buddhist priest.[7]

The recent one-world-religion agenda has been pushed with the re-establishment of the Parliament of World Religions Conference, the United Religions Initiative (URI) and United Religions Charter. The URI was founded in 1995 by Episcopalian bishop William Swing and dedicated to promoting inter-faith cooperation. The URI, which aspires to have the stature of the United Nations, was established to, “promote enduring, daily inter-faith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.”

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was reconvened again in the city of Chicago in 1993. The Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was one of the co-sponsors of the Parliament, along with the Muslim World League, which was originally founded by Said Ramadan and Mufti al Husseini with the assistance of the CIA. Prince Muhammad al-Faisal bin Turki, former director of Saudi intelligence, who had worked closely with bin Laden and the CIA during the fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, was one of its speakers. The first address was delivered by Robert Müller, titled “Inter-faith Understanding,” who said:

There is one sign after the other, wherever you look, that we are on the eve of a New Age which will be a spiritual age… We are entering an age of universalism. Wherever you turn, one speaks about global education, global information, global communications—every profession on Earth now is acquiring a global dimension. The whole humanity is becoming interdependent, is becoming one… this Parliament and what is happening now in the world… is a renaissance, a turning point in human history. So even the astrologers begin to tell us that there will be a fundamental change.[8]



[1] Dwight L. Kinman, The World’s Last Dictator (Woodburn, Oregon: Solid Rock Books, 1995), p. 81.

[2] “Schweitzer - Robert Muller.” Star-News (March 17, 1993).

[3] Terry Melanson, “Lucis Trust, Alice Bailey, World Goodwill and the False Light of the World" (Last Update: May 8th, 2005) Conspiracy Archive []

[4] William F. Jasper, “A New World Religion,” The New American Magazine (October 19, 1992).

[5] “World Parliament of Religions (1893)” Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology.

[6] quoted in Celia and David Storey, eds., Visions of an Interfaith Future (International Interfaith Centre, 1994) p. 39.

[7] quoted in Gomes, The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, p. 17; cited in Lee Penn, False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, And The Quest For A One-World Religion (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004) p. 41.

[8] Carl Teichrib, “Global Citizenship 2000: Educating for the New Age,” Hope For The World Update, 1997, p. 10.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:50 am

Terrorism and the Illuminati: A Three Thousand Year History [EXCERPT]
by David Livingston



Chapter Twenty-Two: One-World-Religion

The Aspen Institute and the Club of Rome

Part of the indoctrination process sought for through the Aquarian conspiracy was not only to degrade morals and immerse the public in numerous diversions, but also to inculcate the basic principles of the New Age cult, towards establishing a one-world-religion. The means of achieving this objective has been the Environmental movement. This movement was spearheaded by the Aspen Institute, who, together with the United Nations, the Club of Rome, the Tavistock, and other such organizations originating from the Round Table, began propagandizing around the issue of nuclear energy. [1] The reason being that proliferation of nuclear energy as an alternative posed a threat to the oil interests that were dominated by the Rockefellers and the Saudis. However, they claimed deceptively that it was the environment that was being destroyed, and therefore instead rallied against “industrialization” and for “limits to growth”.

The American oilman, Robert O. Anderson, was a central figure in this agenda. Anderson and his Atlantic Richfield Oil Co. funneled millions of dollars, through their Atlantic Richfield Foundation, into select organizations to confront nuclear energy. Robert O. Anderson’s major vehicle to spread his propaganda strategy among American and European establishment circles, was his Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. The Aspen Institute was founded in 1949, by Aldous Huxley, and John Maynard Hutchins, in commemoration of the 200th birthday of German philosopher and author of Faust, and a member of the Illuminati, Goethe.

Robert O. Anderson also contributed significant funds to a project initiated by the Rockefeller family, together with Aurelio Peccei and Alexander King, at the Rockefeller’s estate at Bellagio, Italy, called the Club of Rome. In 1972, this Club of Rome, and the U.S. Association of the Club of Rome, gave widespread publicity to their publication of the notorious “Limits to Growth.”. Supported by research done at MIT, this report concluded that industrialization had to be halted to save the planet from ecological catastrophe.

These organizations were exploiting the panic induced when Paul Ehrlich, a biologist at Stanford, and admirer of Bertrand Russell, in 1968, wrote his Malthusian projections in a best-selling book called The Population Bomb. In it, Ehrlich suggested, “a cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.... We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.” [2] Ehrlich also advocated placing birth control chemicals into the world’s food supplies.

The chief individual in this agenda is director of the Aspen Institute, Canadian multi-millionaire Maurice Strong. Strong is being heralded as the “indispensable man” at the center of the U.N.’s global power.
He has served as director of the World Future Society, trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and Aspen Institute, and is a member of the Club of Rome. Strong is now Senior Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Senior Advisor to World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Chairman of the Earth Council, Chairman of the World Resources Institute, Co-Chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum, and member of Toyota’s International Advisory Board.

However, Strong also now heads the Golden Dawn, operates an international drug ring, and is a top operative for British Intelligence. [3] He was a founding member of both the Planetary Citizens. Strong and other luminaries, like Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter Ustinov, Linus Pauling, Kurt Vonnegut, Leonard Bernstein, John Updike, Isaac Asimov, Pete Seeger, are listed as original endorsers of Planetary Citizens. Founded by Donald Keys, a disciple of Alice Bailey and former UN consultant, and presided over for many years by the late Norman Cousins (CFR), the Planetary Citizens organization supports the expansion of UN power and institutions. In Earth At Omega, Keys maintains:

We have meditations at the United Nations a couple of times a week. The meditation leader is Sri Chinmoy, and this is what he said about this situation: “The United Nations is the chosen instrument of God; to be a chosen instrument means to be a divine messenger carrying the banner of God’s inner vision and outer manifestation. One day the world will ... treasure and cherish the soul of the United Nations as its very own with enormous pride, for this soul is all-loving, all-nourishing, and all-fulfilling”. [4]

Maurice Strong also sits on the board of directors, and serves as director of finance, for the Lindisfarne Center. Lindisfarne was founded by New Age philosopher William Irwin Thompson, a former professor of humanities from MIT and Syracuse University. Thompson said:

We have now a new spirituality, what has been called the New Age movement. The planetization of the esoteric has been going on for some time... This is now beginning to influence concepts of politics and community in ecology... This is the Gaia [Mother Earth] politique... planetary culture.” Thompson further stated that, the age of “the independent sovereign state, with the sovereign individual in his private property, [is] over, just as the Christian fundamentalist days are about to be over. [5]

The Lindisfarne Center is located in Manhattan’s historic Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, dedicated to St. John, traditionally revered by Freemasons of the Johannite creed. Maurice Strong is the Finance Director. The center is supported by the Lilly Endowment, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and lists among its faculty members Amory Lovins, Gaia theory biologist James Lovelock, and Luciferian adept and New Age author David Spangler. According to Spangler, in Reflections on the Christ:

Lucifer, like Christ, stands at the door of man’s consciousness and knocks. If man says, “Go away because I do not like what you represent, I am afraid of you,” Lucifer will play tricks on that fellow. If man says, “Come in, and I will give to you the treat of my love and understanding and I will uplift you in the light and presence of the Christ, my outflow,” then Lucifer becomes something else again. He becomes the being who carries that great treat, the ultimate treat, the light of wisdom.... [6]

Located at the same Cathedral of St. John the Divine that houses the Lindisfarne Luciferians is the Temple of Understanding. It was founded by Lucis Trust, and is the controlling authority for World Goodwill of Alice Bailey. Launched in the early 1960s as the “spiritual counterpart of the United Nations,” its founding sponsors included: John D. Rockefeller IV; then-Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, IBM president Thomas J. Watson, Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, Eleanor Roosevelt, Time-Life president James A. Linen, author Christopher Isherwood, columnist Max Lerner; and entertainer Jack Benny. The Temple organization, which works closely with the UN Secretariat, the World Council of Churches, and the World Conference on Religion and Peace, promotes the “Interfaith Movement” with its centennial celebration of the World’s Parliament of Religions.

Maurice Strong is also a member of the Bahai World Faith. With Haifa, in Israel, as the site of its international headquarters, the Bahai movement now exercises a strong presence in the United Nations and its One-World Religion agenda. Its involvement in the UN dates back to its founding in 1945. In 1948, the Bahai community was recognized as an international non-governmental organization. In May 1970, they were granted consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and later with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Bahai organization has a working relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), is associated with the UN Environment Programme, as well as many other religious, environmental and social programs.

In 1978, Strong bought the Colorado Land & Cattle Company, which owned 200,000 acres of San Luis Valley in Colorado, from Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. [7] A mystic had informed Maurice and his wife Hanne, that the ranch, which they call “the Baca”, “would become the center for a new planetary order which would evolve from the economic collapse and environmental catastrophes that would sweep the globe in the years to come.” The Strongs say they regard the Baca, which they also refer to as “The Valley Of the Refuge Of World Truths”, as the paradigm for the entire planet.

The first groups to join the Strongs in setting up operations at the desert site were the Aspen Institute and the Lindisfarne Association. The Baca is replete with monasteries, and Ashram, Vedic temple, Native American shamans, Hindu temple, ziggurat, and subterranean Zen Buddhist center. Shirley MacLaine’s astrologer told her to move to the Baca, and she did. She is building a New Age study center there where people can take short weeklong courses on the occult. Another of Strong’s friends, Najeeb Halaby, a CFR member, former chairman of Pan American, and father of the Queen of Jordan, wife to Freemason King Hussein, has built an Islamic ziggurat at the Baca. Apparently, the Kissingers, the Rockefellers, the McNamaras, the Rothschilds also make their pilgrimage to the Baca. [8]

Few areas in the US are as rife in paranormal activity as Baca. The modern history of unexplained occurrences began in the 1950s when green fireballs were reportedly seen by thousands, and even before that were rashes of “UFOs” that sound like what the Natives called “spirit lights.” So frequent are such reports in the valley that a UFO “watchtower” was erected. “From the fall of 1966 through the spring of 1970 there were hundreds of unidentified flying object sightings and many of the first documented cases of unusual animal deaths ever reported,” notes Christopher Obrien, in The Mysterious Valley, a website dedicated to a study of the strange occurrences and sightings in the region. “During peak “UFO” sighting waves in the late 1960s dozens of cars would literally “line the roads” watching the amazing aerial displays of unknown lights as they cavorted around the sky above the Great Sand Dunes/Dry Lakes area.” [9]

In an interview, titled The Wizard Of the Baca Grande, which Maurice Strong conducted with West magazine of Alberta, Canada, in May 1990, he provides details which elucidate the reasons behind the Illuminati’s support of the environmental movement. Strong concluded with a disturbing apocalyptic scenario he would include in a novel he says he would like to write:

Each year the World Economic Forum convenes in Davos, Switzerland. Over a thousand CEOs, prime ministers, finance ministers, and leading academics gather in February to attend meetings and set the economic agendas for the year ahead.

What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principle risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? Will the rich countries agree to reduce their impact on the environment? Will they agree to save the earth?

The group’s conclusion is “no.” The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?

This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about a world collapse. It’s February. They’re all at Davos. These aren’t terrorists – they’re world leaders. They have positioned themselves in the world’s commodity and stock markets. They’ve engineered, using their access to stock exchanges, and computers, and gold supplies, a panic. Then they prevent the markets from closing. They jam the gears. They have mercenaries who hold the rest of the world leaders at Davos as hostage. The markets can’t close. The rich countries...?” and Strong makes a slight motion with his fingers as if he were flicking a cigarette butt out of the window. [10]

The Earth Summit

One of the more important achievements of the Aspen Institute was a conference on Technology: Social Goals and Cultural Options, held in 1970, that paved the way for the UN’s Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972, chaired by Aspen board member, Maurice Strong. As remarked Engdahl, the Stockholm conference created the necessary international organizational and publicity infrastructure, so that by the time of the Kissinger orchestrated oil crisis, an intensive antinuclear propaganda offensive could be launched, aided through the millions of dollars made available from oil-linked channels of the Atlantic Richfield Company, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other such elites.

Among the groups that were funded were organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, then chaired by Prince Bernard, and later by Royal Dutch Shell’s John Loudon. As Engdahl noted:

It is indicative of this financial establishment’s overwhelming influence in the American and British media that, during this period, no public outcry was launched to investigate the probable conflict of interest involved in Robert O. Anderson’s well-financed anti-nuclear offensive, and the fact that his Atlantic Richfield Oil Co. was one of the major beneficiaries from the 1974 price increase for oil. Anderson’s ARCO had invested tens of millions of dollars in high-risk oil infrastructure in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and Britain’s North Sea, together with Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell and the other Seven Sisters. [11]

Strong was Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held at the June 1992 UN Earth Summit in Brazil. It was hoped that an Earth Charter would be the result of the Earth Summit, but it was not the case. Nevertheless, an international agreement was adopted, named Agenda 21, which laid down the international “sustainable development” necessary to form a future Earth Charter agreement. Maurice Strong hinted at the overtly pagan agenda proposed for a future Earth Charter, when in his opening address to the Rio Conference delegates he said, “It is the responsibility of each human being today to choose between the force of darkness and the force of light.” And, he said, “We must therefore transform our attitudes and adopt a renewed respect for the superior laws of divine nature”. According to Strong, “The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments.” [12]

The summit was described by Time magazine as a “New Age carnival.” On the eve of the UNCED, a midnight-to-dawn homage to the “Female Planet” was held on Leme Beach. After dancing all night, the worshipers followed a Brazilian high priestess to the water’s edge, where they offered flowers and fruits to the Voodoo mother goddess, “Iemanje, mae orixa, mother of the powers, queen of the seas,” known in Western mythology as Aphrodite or Venus, and then invoked the blessings of the sea goddess upon the summit’s deliberations. At the culmination of the program, a group calling itself the “Sacred Drums of the Earth”, performed a ceremony by which they would “maintain a continuous heartbeat near the official site of the Earth Summit, as part of a ritual for the healing of our Earth to be felt by those who are deciding Earth’s fate.” [13]

Thus, the environmental movement, while helping to advance the cause of the oil industry, is an extension of the Aquarian conspiracy, incepted by Alice Bailey, designed ultimately to foster the acceptance a one-world-religion, based on the occult, or the New Age, as it is called. The Union for Natural Environment Protection, an environmental group based in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, declared the following about the work of the summit:

A world-wide citizens’ movement is born around the UN system and will be in the years ahead a central focal point for the New World Order which Alice Bailey wrote about many decades ago and which is going to be politically free, socially fair, economically efficient and environmentally sustainable. [14]

The environmental movement is being used as a cover to promote return to the creed of the Ancient Mysteries, in the form of the worship of mother-nature, a pagan notion that equates the goddess with earth, known among the ancient Greeks as Gaia. Originally, she is the Babylonian Ishtar, known to the Bible as Astarte, or the Egyptian Isis. This pantheistic idea has its origins in ancient paganism, and is central to the Kabbalah and all Western occult tradition, including Freemasons and the Illuminati. Plato wrote: “We shall affirm that the cosmos, more than anything else, resembles most closely that living Creature of which all other living creatures, severally or genetically, are portion; a living creature which is fairest of all and in ways most perfect.” [15] Known as Anima Mundi, the “Soul of the World”, it is related to the concept of the Neoplatonists, the Logos, or the Word, also known as the “Son of God”, or the ancient dying-god.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:32 am

Mrs. Carlo Robins
Excerpt from Both Sides of the Circle: The Autobiography of Christmas Humphreys
by Christmas Humphreys



March 28, 1977, the day of her death, was an interesting one....

Throughout the day many people spontaneously turned up to visit Freda, many of them from the Tibetan Friendship Group that Freda had founded. She greeted them all warmly and told them about her new project to sponsor Tibetan children in top Indian public schools, especially girls, who had less chance of receiving a good education than boys....

At six p.m. Freda and Pema Zangmo went for a walk, after which Freda settled down to some letter writing. She then took out some of her own childhood photographs and those of her children, taken in Lahore, before Partition. At ten p.m. Freda woke Pema Zangmo to give her instructions about certain gifts and money she wanted her to pass on to specific people. She brought out some yellow fabric as a gift for her faithful attendant to make into a nun's blouse, and told her to practice Dharma faithfully. Freda then dressed herself in her finest robes, telling the curious Pema Zangmo, "I will need them tomorrow." She then put on a tape recording of H.H. Karmapa, which he had sent her from New York, and sat down to meditate.

Pema Zangmo, who had gone back to sleep a few feet away from Freda, was awakened by the sound of "louder breathing." She got up and went over to Freda, who was still sitting bolt upright in the meditation position, and tapped her on the shoulder. Freda did not move, nor open her eyes. Peering closer, Pema Zangmo could detect no sign of outer life at all. In total panic she ran out into the hotel corridor screaming for help. A doctor was quickly summoned, who officially pronounced Freda dead. The cause: cardiac arrest....

Tributes began to pour in acknowledging her many achievements....

Christmas Humphreys, founder of the Buddhist Society in London, wrote a glowing tribute in their magazine, The Middle Way:

Freda Bedi showed what a Buddhist life should be. For twenty-five years she gave her life with immense and ceaseless energy to all in need of help, whatever their creed or caste or color. She never relaxed or hesitated. If the job was there to do she began it and relied, never in vain, on the needed support to appear. I saw much of the results of her labor when I was myself in India for the Dalai Lama in 1962, and endorse a remark by Mrs. Carlo Robins: "Freda Bedi is an example to all those adherents to any religion who readily regard their religion as being their life and not merely a department of it." Freda Bedi was a great woman, a great Buddhist and an inspiration to all Buddhists East and West to work unceasingly in the service of mankind.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

The visit of their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand to the Society on September 14, 1966. L. to R. standing: The Librarian, Miss Pat Wilkinson; the Editor of The Middle Way, Miss Muriel Daw; the vice-President, Mr. Tom Harris; Mrs. Humphreys; the General Secretary, Mrs. K. Phelps; myself; the Treasurer, Miss Florence Stacey and Mrs. Carlo Robins.

The Visit of H.H. the Dalai Lama to the Society in November 1973. Standing L. to R: The General Secretary, Mr. Burt Taylor; Mrs. Carlo Robins; Dr. Edward Conze; myself; the Vice-President, Col. Roger Gunter Jones.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:55 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/10/19

Maurice Strong is also a member of the Bahai World Faith. With Haifa, in Israel, as the site of its international headquarters, the Bahai movement now exercises a strong presence in the United Nations and its One-World Religion agenda. Its involvement in the UN dates back to its founding in 1945. In 1948, the Bahai community was recognized as an international non-governmental organization. In May 1970, they were granted consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and later with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Bahai organization has a working relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), is associated with the UN Environment Programme, as well as many other religious, environmental and social programs.

-- Chapter Twenty-Two: One-World-Religion, Terrorism and the Illuminati: A Three Thousand Year History, by David Livingston

Born `Abbás
23 May 1844
Tehran, Persia
Died 28 November 1921 (aged 77)
Haifa, Palestine
Resting place Shrine of `Abdu'l-Bahá
32°48′52.59″N 34°59′14.17″ECoordinates: 32°48′52.59″N 34°59′14.17″E
Religion Bahá'í Faith
Nationality Persian
Spouse Munírih Khánum (m. 1873)
Children 4 (incl. Ḍíyá'íyyih Khánum)
Parents Bahá'u'lláh (father)
Ásíyih Khánum (mother)
Relatives Shoghi Effendi (grandson)

`Abdu’l-Bahá' (/əbˈdʊl bəˈhɑː/; Persian: عبد البهاء‎, 23 May 1844 – 28 November 1921), born `Abbás (Persian: عباس‎), was the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh and served as head of the Bahá'í Faith from 1892 until 1921.[1] `Abdu’l-Bahá was later canonized as the last of three "central figures" of the religion, along with Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, and his writings and authenticated talks are regarded as a source of Bahá'í sacred literature.[2]

He was born in Tehran to an aristocratic family. At the age of eight his father was imprisoned during a government crackdown on the Bábí Faith and the family's possessions were looted, leaving them in virtual poverty. His father was exiled from their native Iran, and the family went to live in Baghdad, where they stayed for nine years. They were later called by the Ottoman state to Istanbul before going into another period of confinement in Edirne and finally the prison-city of `Akká (Acre). `Abdu’l-Bahá remained a political prisoner there until the Young Turk Revolution freed him in 1908 at the age of 64. He then made several journeys to the West to spread the Bahá'í message beyond its middle-eastern roots, but the onset of World War I left him largely confined to Haifa from 1914–1918. The war replaced the openly hostile Ottoman authorities with the British Mandate, who knighted him for his help in averting famine following the war.

In 1892 `Abdu'l-Bahá was appointed in his father's will to be his successor and head of the Bahá'í Faith. He faced opposition from virtually all his family members, but held the loyalty of the great majority of Bahá'ís around the world. His Tablets of the Divine Plan helped galvanize Bahá'ís in North America into spreading the Bahá'í teachings to new territories, and his Will and Testament laid the foundation for the current Bahá'í administrative order. Many of his writings, prayers and letters are extant, and his discourses with the Western Bahá'ís emphasize the growth of the faith by the late 1890s.

`Abdu'l-Bahá's given name was `Abbás. Depending on context, he would have gone by either Mírzá `Abbás (Persian) or `Abbás Effendi (Turkish), both of which are equivalent to the English Sir `Abbás. He preferred the title of `Abdu'l-Bahá ("servant of Bahá", a reference to his father). He is commonly referred to in Bahá'í texts as "The Master".

Early life

`Abdu'l-Bahá was born in Tehran, Iran on 23 May 1844 (5th of Jamadiyu'l-Avval, 1260 AH),[3] the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh and Navváb. He was born on the very same night on which the Báb declared his mission.[4] Born with the given name of `Abbás,[2] he was named after his grandfather Mírzá `Abbás Núrí, a prominent and powerful nobleman.[5] As a child, `Abdu'l-Bahá was shaped by his father's position as a prominent Bábí. He recalled how he met the Bábí Táhirih and how she would take "me on to her knee, caress me, and talk to me. I admired her most deeply".[6] `Abdu’l-Bahá had a happy and carefree childhood. The family’s Tehran home and country houses were comfortable and beautifully decorated. `Abdu'l-Bahá enjoyed playing in the gardens with his younger sister with whom he was very close.[7] Along with his younger siblings – a sister, Bahíyyih, and a brother, Mihdí – the three lived in an environment of privilege, happiness and comfort.[5] With his father declining a position as minister of the royal court; during his young boyhood `Abdu’l-Bahá witnessed his parents' various charitable endeavours,[8] which included converting part of the home to a hospital ward for women and children.[7]

`Abdu'l-Bahá received a haphazard education during his childhood. It was customary not to send children of nobility to schools. Most noblemen were educated at home briefly in scripture, rhetoric, calligraphy and basic mathematics. Many were educated to prepare themselves for life in the royal court. Despite a brief spell at a traditional preparatory school at the age of seven for one year,[9] `Abdu'l-Bahá received no formal education. As he grew he was educated by his mother, and uncle.[10] Most of his education however, came from his father.[11] Years later in 1890 Edward Granville Browne described how `Abdu'l-Bahá was "one more eloquent of speech, more ready of argument, more apt of illustration, more intimately acquainted with the sacred books of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muhammadans...scarcely be found even amongst the eloquent."[12]

When `Abdu'l-Bahá was seven, he contracted tuberculosis and was expected to die.[13] Though the malady faded away,[14] he would be plagued with bouts of illness for the rest of his life.[15]

One event that affected `Abdu'l-Bahá greatly during his childhood was the imprisonment of his father when `Abdu'l-Bahá was eight years old; the imprisonment led to his family being reduced to poverty and being attacked in the streets by other children.[4] `Abdu'l-Bahá accompanied his mother to visit Bahá'u'lláh who was then imprisoned in the infamous subterranean dungeon the Síyáh-Chál.[5] He described how "I saw a dark, steep place. We entered a small, narrow doorway, and went down two steps, but beyond those one could see nothing. In the middle of the stairway, all of a sudden we heard His [Bahá’u’lláh's]…voice: 'Do not bring him in here', and so they took me back".[14]


Bahá'u'lláh was eventually released from prison but ordered into exile, and `Abdu'l-Bahá then eight joined his father on the journey to Baghdad in the winter (January to April)[16] of 1853.[14] During the journey `Abdu'l-Bahá suffered from frost-bite. After a year of difficulties Bahá'u'lláh absented himself rather than continue to face the conflict with Mirza Yahya and secretly secluded himself in the mountains of Sulaymaniyah in April 1854 a month before `Abdu'l-Bahá's tenth birthday.[16] Mutual sorrow resulted in him, his mother and sister becoming constant companions.[17] `Abdu'l-Bahá was particularly close to both, and his mother took active participation in his education and upbringing.[18] During the two-year absence of his father `Abdu'l-Bahá took up the duty of managing the affairs of the family,[19] before his age of maturity (14 in middle-eastern society)[20] and was known to be occupied with reading and, at a time of hand-copied scriptures being the primary means of publishing, was also engaged in copying the writings of the Báb.[21] `Abdu’l-Bahá also took an interest in the art of horse riding and, as he grew, became a renowned rider.[22]

In 1856, news of an ascetic carrying on discourses with local Súfí leaders that seemed to possibly be Bahá'u'lláh reached the family and friends. Immediately, family members and friends went to search for the elusive dervish – and in March[16] brought Bahá'u'lláh back to Baghdad.[23] On seeing his father, `Abdu'l-Bahá fell to his knees and wept loudly "Why did you leave us?", and this followed with his mother and sister doing the same.[22][24] `Abdu'l-Bahá soon became his father's secretary and shield.[4] During the sojourn in the city `Abdu’l-Bahá grew from a boy into a young man. He was noted as a "remarkably fine looking youth",[22] and remembered for his charity and amiableness.[4] Having passed the age of maturity `Abdu'l-Bahá was regularly seen in the mosques of Baghdad discussing religious topics and the scripture as a young man. Whilst in Baghdad, `Abdu'l-Bahá composed a commentary at the request of his father on the Muslim tradition of "I was a Hidden Treasure" for a Súfí leader named `Alí Shawkat Páshá.[4][25] `Abdu'l-Bahá was fifteen or sixteen at the time and `Alí Shawkat Páshá regarded the more than 11000 word essay as a remarkable feat for somebody of his age.[4] In 1863 in what became known as the Garden of Ridván Bahá'u'lláh announced to a few that he was the manifestation of God and He whom God shall make manifest whose coming had been foretold by the Báb. On day eight of the twelve days, it is believed `Abdu'l-Baha was the first person Baha'u'llah revealed his claim to.[26][27]


`Abdu'l-Bahá (right) with his brother Mírzá Mihdí

In 1863 Bahá'u'lláh was summoned to Constantinople (Istanbul), and thus his whole family including `Abdu'l-Bahá, then nineteen, accompanied him on his 110-day journey.[28] The journey to Constantinople was another wearisome journey,[22] and `Abdu'l-Bahá helped feed the exiles.[29] It was here that his position became more prominent amongst the Bahá’ís.[2] This was further solidified by Bahá’u’lláh’s tablet of the Branch in which he constantly exalts his son's virtues and station.[30] The family were soon exiled to Adrianople and `Abdu'l-Bahá went with the family.[2] `Abdu’l-Bahá again suffered from frostbite.[22]

In Adrianople `Abdu’l-Bahá was regarded as the sole comforter of his family – in particular to his mother.[22] At this point `Abdu'l-Bahá was known by the Bahá'ís as "the Master", and by non-Bahá'ís as `Abbás Effendi ("Effendi" signifies "Sir"). It was in Adrianople that Bahá’u’lláh referred to his son as "the Mystery of God".[22] The title of "Mystery of God" symbolises, according to Bahá'ís, that `Abdu'l-Bahá is not a manifestation of God but how a "person of `Abdu'l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized".[31][32] `Abdu'l-Bahá was at this point noted for having black hair which flowed to his shoulders, large blue eyes, rose-through-alabaster coloured skin and a fine nose.[33] Bahá'u'lláh gave his son many other titles such as Ghusn-i-A'zam (meaning "Mightiest Branch" or "Mightier Branch"),[a] the "Branch of Holiness", "the Center of the Covenant" and the apple of his eye.[2] `Abdu'l-Bahá ("the Master") was devastated when hearing the news that he and his family were to be exiled separately from Bahá'u'lláh. It was, according to Bahá'ís, through his intercession that the idea was reverted and the family were allowed to be exiled together.[22]


Prison in `Akká where Bahá’u’lláh and his family were housed

At the age of 24, `Abdu'l-Bahá was clearly chief-steward to his father and an outstanding member of the Bahá’í community.[28] Bahá’u’lláh and his family were – in 1868 – exiled to the penal colony of Acre, Palestine where it was expected that the family would perish.[34] Arrival in `Akká was distressing for the family and exiles.[2] They were greeted in a hostile manner by the surrounding population and his sister and father fell dangerously ill.[4] When told that the women were to sit on the shoulders of the men to reach the shore, `Abdu'l-Bahá took a chair and carried the women to the bay of `Akká.[22] `Abdu'l-Bahá was able to procure some anesthetic and nursed the sick.[22] The Bahá’ís were imprisoned under horrendous conditions in a cluster of cells covered in excrement and dirt.[4] `Abdu'l-Bahá himself fell dangerously ill with dysentery,[4] however a sympathetic soldier permitted a physician to help cure him.[22] The population shunned them, the soldiers treated them the same, and the behaviour of Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani (an Azali) did not help matters.[5][35] Morale was further destroyed with the accidental death of `Abdu'l-Bahá’s youngest brother Mírzá Mihdí at the age of 22.[22] His death devastated the family – particularly his mother and father – and the grieving `Abdu'l-Bahá kept a night-long vigil beside his brother’s body.[5][22]

Later in `Akká

Over time, he gradually took over responsibility for the relationships between the small Bahá'i exile community and the outside world. It was through his interaction with the people of `Akká (Acre) that, according to the Bahá'ís, they recognized the innocence of the Bahá'ís, and thus the conditions of imprisonment were eased.[36] Four months after the death of Mihdí the family moved from the prison to the House of `Abbúd.[37] The people of `Akká started to respect the Bahá'ís and in particular, `Abdu'l-Bahá. `Abdu'l-Bahá was able to arrange for houses to be rented for the family, the family later moved to the Mansion of Bahjí around 1879 when an epidemic caused the inhabitants to flee.

`Abdu'l-Bahá soon became very popular in the penal colony and Myron Henry Phelps a wealthy New York lawyer described how "a crowd of human beings...Syrians, Arabs, Ethiopians, and many others",[38] all waited to talk and receive `Abdu'l-Bahá.[39] He undertook a history of the Bábí religion through publication of A Traveller's Narrative (Makála-i-Shakhsí Sayyáh) in 1886,[40] later translated and published in translation in 1891 through Cambridge University by the agency of Edward Granville Browne who described `Abdu'l-Bahá as:

Seldom have I seen one whose appearance impressed me more. A tall strongly built man holding himself straight as an arrow, with white turban and raiment, long black locks reaching almost to the shoulder, broad powerful forehead indicating a strong intellect combined with an unswerving will, eyes keen as a hawk's, and strongly marked but pleasing features – such was my first impression of 'Abbás Efendí, "the master".[41]

Marriage and family life

`Abdu'l-Bahá at age 24

When `Abdu'l-Bahá was a young man, speculation was rife amongst the Bahá’ís to whom he would marry.[4][42] Several young girls were seen as marriage prospects but `Abdu’l-Bahá seemed disinclined to marriage.[4] On 8 March 1873, at the urging of his father,[5][43] the twenty-eight-year-old `Abdu’l-Bahá married Fátimih Nahrí of Isfahán (1847–1938) a twenty-five-year-old from an upper-class family of the city.[44] Her father was Mírzá Muḥammad `Alí Nahrí of Isfahan an eminent Bahá’í with prominent connections.[ b][4][42] Fátimih was brought from Persia to `Akká after both Bahá’u’lláh and his wife Navváb expressed an interest in her to marry `Abdu’l-Bahá.[4][44][45] After a wearisome journey from Isfahán to Akka she finally arrived accompanied by her brother in 1872.[4][45] The young couple were betrothed for about five months before the marriage itself commenced. In the meantime, Fátimih lived in the home of `Abdu'l-Bahá’s uncle Mírzá Músá. According to her later memoirs, Fátimih fell in love with `Abdu'l-Bahá on seeing him. `Abdu'l-Bahá himself had showed little inkling to marriage until meeting Fátimih;[45] who was entitled Munírih by Bahá’u’lláh.[5] Munírih is a title meaning "Luminous".[46]

The marriage resulted in nine children. The first born was a son Mihdí Effendi who died aged about 3. He was followed by Ḍiyá'iyyih Khánum, Fu’ádíyyih Khánum (d. few years old), Rúhangíz Khánum (d. 1893), Túbá Khánum, Husayn Effendi (d.1887 aged 5), Túbá Khánum, Rúhá Khánum and Munnavar Khánum. The death of his children caused `Abdu’l-Bahá immense grief – in particular the death of his son Husayn Effendi came at a difficult time following the death of his mother and uncle.[47] The surviving children (all daughters) were; Ḍiyá'iyyih Khánum (mother of Shoghi Effendi) (d. 1951) Túbá Khánum (1880–1959) Rúḥá Khánum and Munavvar Khánum (d. 1971).[4] Bahá'u'lláh wished that the Bahá'ís follow the example of `Abdu'l-Bahá and gradually move away from polygamy.[45][46][48] The marriage of `Abdu’l-Bahá to one woman and his choice to remain monogamous,[45] from advice of his father and his own wish,[45][46] legitimised the practice of monogamy[46] to a people who hitherto had regarded polygamy as a righteous way of life.[45][46]

Early years of his ministry

After Bahá'u'lláh died on 29 May 1892, the Will and Testament of Bahá'u'lláh named `Abdu'l-Bahá as Centre of the Covenant, successor and interpreter of Bahá'u'lláh's writings.[c][49][1]

Bahá'u'lláh designates his successor with the following verses:

The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsán, the Afnán and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: ‘When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.’ The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. Thus have We graciously revealed unto you Our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful. Verily God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch [Muḥammad ‘Alí] to be beneath that of the Most Great Branch [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. He is in truth the Ordainer, the All-Wise. We have chosen ‘the Greater’ after ‘the Most Great’, as decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

— Bahá'u'lláh (1994) [1873-92]. "Kitáb-i-`Ahd". Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-174-4.

This translation of the Kitáb-i-'Ahd is based on a solecism, however, as the terms Akbar and A'zam do not mean, respectively, 'Greater' and 'Most Great'. Not only do the two words derive from entirely separate triconsonantal roots (Akbar from k-b-r and A'zam from ʿ-z-m), but the Arabic language possesses the elative, a stage of gradation, with no clear distinction between the comparative and superlative.[50] In the Will and Testament `Abdu'l-Bahá's half-brother, Muhammad `Alí, was mentioned by name as being subordinate to `Abdu'l-Bahá. Muhammad `Alí became jealous of his half-brother and set out to establish authority for himself as an alternative leader with the support of his brothers Badi'u'llah and Diya'u'llah.[3] He began correspondence with Bahá'ís in Iran, initially in secret, casting doubts in others' minds about `Abdu'l-Bahá.[51] While most Bahá'ís followed `Abdu'l-Bahá, a handful followed Muhammad `Alí including such leaders as Mirza Javad and Ibrahim George Kheiralla, an early Bahá'í missionary to America.[52]

Muhammad `Alí and Mirza Javad began to openly accuse `Abdu'l-Bahá of taking on too much authority, suggesting that he believed himself to be a Manifestation of God, equal in status to Bahá'u'lláh.[53] It was at this time that `Abdu'l-Bahá, in order to provide proof of the falsity of the accusations leveled against him, in tablets to the West, stated that he was to be known as "`Abdu'l-Bahá" an Arabic phrase meaning the Servant of Bahá to make it clear that he was not a Manifestation of God, and that his station was only servitude.[54][55] `Abdu'l-Bahá left a Will and Testament that set up the framework of administration. The two highest institutions were the Universal House of Justice, and the Guardianship, for which he appointed Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian.[1] With the exception of `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, Muhammad `Alí was supported by all of the remaining male relatives of Bahá'u'lláh, including Shoghi Effendi's father, Mírzá Hádí Shírází.[56] However Muhammad `Alí's and his families statements had very little effect on the Bahá'ís in general - in the `Akká area, the followers of Muhammad `Alí represented six families at most, they had no common religious activities,[57] and were almost wholly assimilated into Muslim society.[58]

First Western pilgrims

Early Western Bahá'í pilgrims. Standing left to right: Charles Mason Remey, Sigurd Russell, Edward Getsinger and Laura Clifford Barney; Seated left to right: Ethel Jenner Rosenberg, Madam Jackson, Shoghi Effendi, Helen Ellis Cole, Lua Getsinger, Emogene Hoagg

By the end of 1898, Western pilgrims started coming to Akka on pilgrimage to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá; this group of pilgrims, including Phoebe Hearst, was the first time that Bahá'ís raised up in the West had met `Abdu'l-Bahá.[59] The first group arrived in 1898 and throughout late 1898 to early 1899 Western Bahá’ís sporadically visited `Abdu'l-Bahá. The group was relatively young containing mainly women from high American society in their 20s.[60] The group of Westerners aroused suspicion for the authorities, and consequently `Abdu'l-Bahá’s confinement was tightened.[61] During the next decade `Abdu'l-Bahá would be in constant communication with Bahá'ís around the world, helping them to teach the religion; the group included May Ellis Bolles in Paris, Englishman Thomas Breakwell, American Herbert Hopper, French Hippolyte Dreyfus [fr], Susan Moody, Lua Getsinger, and American Laura Clifford Barney.[62] It was Laura Clifford Barney who, by asking questions of `Abdu'l-Bahá over many years and many visits to Haifa, compiled what later became the book Some Answered Questions.[63]

Ministry, 1901–1912

During the final years of the 19th century, while `Abdu'l-Bahá was still officially a prisoner and confined to `Akka, he organized the transfer of the remains of the Báb from Iran to Palestine. He then organized the purchase of land on Mount Carmel that Bahá'u'lláh had instructed should be used to lay the remains of the Báb, and organized for the construction of the Shrine of the Báb. This process took another 10 years.[64] With the increase of pilgrims visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá, Muhammad `Alí worked with the Ottoman authorities to re-introduce stricter terms on `Abdu'l-Bahá's imprisonment in August 1901.[1][65] By 1902, however, due to the Governor of `Akka being supportive of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the situation was greatly eased; while pilgrims were able to once again visit `Abdu'l-Bahá, he was confined to the city.[65] In February 1903, two followers of Muhammad `Alí, including Badi'u'llah and Siyyid `Aliy-i-Afnan, broke with Muhammad `Ali and wrote books and letters giving details of Muhammad `Ali's plots and noting that what was circulating about `Abdu'l-Bahá was fabrication.[66][67]

From 1902 to 1904, in addition to the building of the Shrine of the Báb that `Abdu'l-Bahá was directing, he started to put into execution two different projects; the restoration of the House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran and the construction of the first Bahá'í House of Worship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.[68] `Abdu'l-Bahá asked Aqa Mirza Aqa to coordinate the work so that the house of the Báb would be restored to the state that it was at the time of the Báb's declaration to Mulla Husayn in 1844;[68] he also entrusted the work on the House of Worship to Vakil-u'd-Dawlih.[69]

During this period, `Abdu'l-Bahá communicated with a number Young Turks, opposed to the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, including Namık Kemal, Ziya Pasha and Midhat Pasha, in an attempt to disseminate Bahá'í thought into their political ideology.[70] He emphasized Bahá'ís "seek freedom and love liberty, hope for equality, are well-wishers of humanity and ready to sacrifice their lives to unite humanity" but on a more broad approach than the Young Turks. Abdullah Cevdet, one of the founders of the Committee of Union and Progress who considered the Bahá'í Faith an intermediary step between Islam and the ultimate abandonment of religious belief, would go on trial for defense of Bahá'ís in a periodical he founded.[71][72]

‛Abdu'l-Bahá also had contact with military leaders as well, including such individuals as Bursalı Mehmet Tahir Bey and Hasan Bedreddin. The latter, who was involved in the overthrow of Sultan Abdülaziz, is commonly known as Bedri Paşa or Bedri Pasha and is referred to in Persian Bahá'í sources as Bedri Bey (Badri Beg). He was a Bahá'í who translated ‛Abdu’l-Baha's works into French.[73]

`Abdu'l-Bahá also met Muhammad Abduh, one of the key figures of Islamic Modernism and the Salafi movement, in Beirut, at a time when the two men were both opposed to the Ottoman ulama and shared similar goals of religious reform.[74][75] Rashid Rida asserts that during his visits to Beirut, `Abdu'l-Bahá would attend Abduh's study sessions.[76] Regarding the meetings of `Abdu'l-Bahá and Muhammad 'Abduh, Shoghi Effendi asserts that "His several interviews with the well-known Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abdu served to enhance immensely the growing prestige of the community and spread abroad the fame of its most distinguished member."[77]

Due to `Abdu'l-Bahá's political activities and alleged accusation against him by Muhammad `Ali, a Commission of Inquiry interviewed `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1905, with the result that he was almost exiled to Fezzan.[78][79][80] In response, `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote the sultan a letter protesting that his followers refrain from involvement in partisan politics and that his tariqa had guided many Americans to Islam.[81] The next few years in `Akka were relatively free of pressures and pilgrims were able to come and visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. By 1909 the mausoleum of the Shrine of the Báb was completed.[69]

Journeys to the West

`Abdu'l-Bahá, during his trip to the United States

The 1908 Young Turks revolution freed all political prisoners in the Ottoman Empire, and `Abdu'l-Bahá was freed from imprisonment. His first action after his freedom was to visit the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahji.[82] While `Abdu'l-Bahá continued to live in `Akka immediately following the revolution, he soon moved to live in Haifa near the Shrine of the Báb.[82] In 1910, with the freedom to leave the country, he embarked on a three-year journey to Egypt, Europe, and North America, spreading the Bahá'í message.[1]

From August to December 1911, `Abdu'l-Bahá visited cities in Europe, including London, Bristol, and Paris. The purpose of these trips was to support the Bahá'í communities in the west and to further spread his father's teachings.[83]

In the following year, he undertook a much more extensive journey to the United States and Canada to once again spread his father's teachings. He arrived in New York City on 11 April 1912, after declining an offer of passage on the RMS Titanic, telling the Bahá'í believers, instead, to "Donate this to charity."[84] He instead travelled on a slower craft, the RMS Cedric, and cited preference of a longer sea journey as the reason.[85] After hearing of the Titanic's sinking on 16 April he was quoted as saying "I was asked to sail upon the Titanic, but my heart did not prompt me to do so."[84] While he spent most of his time in New York, he visited Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia. In August of the same year he started a more extensive journey to places including New Hampshire, the Green Acre school in Maine, and Montreal (his only visit to Canada). He then travelled west to Minneapolis, San Francisco, Stanford, and Los Angeles before starting to return east at the end of October. On 5 December 1912 he set sail back to Europe.[86]

During his visit to North America he visited many missions, churches, and groups, as well as having scores of meetings in Bahá'ís' homes, and offering innumerable personal meetings with hundreds of people.[87] During his talks he proclaimed Bahá'í principles such as the unity of God, unity of the religions, oneness of humanity, equality of women and men, world peace and economic justice.[87] He also insisted that all his meetings be open to all races.[87]

His visit and talks were the subject of hundreds of newspaper articles.[87] In Boston newspaper reporters asked `Abdu'l-Bahá why he had come to America, and he stated that he had come to participate in conferences on peace and that just giving warning messages is not enough.[88] `Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Montreal provided notable newspaper coverage; on the night of his arrival the editor of the Montreal Daily Star met with him and that newspaper along with The Montreal Gazette, Montreal Standard, Le Devoir and La Presse among others reported on `Abdu'l-Bahá's activities.[89][90] The headlines in those papers included "Persian Teacher to Preach Peace", "Racialism Wrong, Says Eastern Sage, Strife and War Caused by Religious and National Prejudices", and "Apostle of Peace Meets Socialists, Abdul Baha's Novel Scheme for Distribution of Surplus Wealth."[90] The Montreal Standard, which was distributed across Canada, took so much interest that it republished the articles a week later; the Gazette published six articles and Montreal's largest French language newspaper published two articles about him.[89] His 1912 visit to Montreal also inspired humourist Stephen Leacock to parody him in his bestselling 1914 book Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich.[91] In Chicago one newspaper headline included "His Holiness Visits Us, Not Pius X but A. Baha,"[90] and `Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to California was reported in the Palo Altan.[92]

Back in Europe, he visited London, Paris (where he stayed for two months), Stuttgart, Budapest, and Vienna. Finally, on 12 June 1913, he returned to Egypt, where he stayed for six months before returning to Haifa.[86]

On 23 February 1914, at the eve of World War I, `Abdu'l-Bahá hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine.[93]

Final years (1914–1921)

`Abdu'l-Bahá on Mount Carmel with pilgrims in 1919

During World War I (1914–1918) `Abdu'l-Bahá stayed in Palestine and was unable to travel. He carried on a limited correspondence, which included the Tablets of the Divine Plan, a collection of 14 letters addressed to the Bahá'ís of North America, later described as one of three "charters" of the Bahá'í Faith. The letters assign a leadership role for the North American Bahá'ís in spreading the religion around the planet.

Haifa was under real threat of Allied bombardment, enough that `Abdu'l-Bahá and other Bahá'ís temporarily retreated to the hills east of `Akka.[94]

`Abdu'l-Bahá was also under threats from Cemal Paşa, the Ottoman military chief who at one point expressed his desire to crucify him and destroy Bahá'í properties in Palestine.[95] The surprisingly swift Megiddo offensive of the British General Allenby swept away the Turkish forces in Palestine before harm was done to the Bahá'ís, and the war was over less than two months later.

Post-war period

The elderly `Abdu'l-Bahá

The conclusion of World War I led to the openly hostile Ottoman authorities being replaced by the more friendly British Mandate, allowing for a renewal of correspondence, pilgrims, and development of the Bahá'í World Centre properties.[96] It was during this revival of activity that the Bahá'í Faith saw an expansion and consolidation in places like Egypt, the Caucasus, Iran, Turkmenistan, North America and South Asia under the leadership of `Abdu'l-Bahá.

The end of the war brought about several political developments that `Abdu'l-Bahá commented on. The League of Nations formed in January 1920, representing the first instance of collective security through a worldwide organization. `Abdu'l-Bahá had written in 1875 for the need to establish a "Union of the nations of the world", and he praised the attempt through the League of Nations as an important step towards the goal. He also said that it was "incapable of establishing Universal Peace" because it did not represent all nations and had only trivial power over its member states.[97][98] Around the same time, the British Mandate supported the ongoing immigration of Jews to Palestine. `Abdu'l-Bahá mentioned the immigration as a fulfillment of prophecy, and encouraged the Zionists to develop the land and "elevate the country for all its inhabitants... They must not work to separate the Jews from the other Palestinians."[99]

`Abdu'l-Bahá at his knighting ceremony, April 1920

The war also left the region in famine. In 1901, `Abdu'l-Bahá had purchased about 1704 acres of scrubland near the Jordan river and by 1907 many Bahá'ís from Iran had begun sharecropping on the land. `Abdu'l-Bahá received between 20-33% of their harvest (or cash equivalent), which was shipped to Haifa. With the war still raging in 1917, `Abdu'l-Bahá received a large amount of wheat from the crops, and also bought other available wheat and shipped it all back to Haifa. The wheat arrived just after the British seized control, and the wheat was widely distributed to allay the famine.[100][101] For this service in averting a famine in Northern Palestine he received a knighthood at a ceremony held in his honor at the home of the British Governor on 27 April 1920.[102][103] He was later visited by General Allenby, King Faisal (later king of Iraq), Herbert Samuel (High Commissioner for Palestine), and Ronald Storrs (Military Governor of Jerusalem).[104]

Death and funeral

Funeral of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa, British Mandate-Palestine

`Abdu'l-Bahá died on Monday, 28 November 1921, sometime after 1:15 a.m. (27th of Rabi' al-awwal, 1340 AH).[105]

Winston Churchill telegraphed the High Commissioner for Palestine, "convey to the Bahá'í Community, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, their sympathy and condolescence." Similar messages came from Viscount Allenby, the Council of Ministers of Iraq, and others.[106]

On his funeral, which was held the next day, Esslemont notes:

... a funeral the like of which Haifa, nay Palestine itself, had surely never seen... so deep was the feeling that brought so many thousands of mourners together, representative of so many religions, races and tongues.[107]

Among the talks delivered at the funeral, Shoghi Effendi records Stewart Symes giving the following tribute:

Most of us here have, I think, a clear picture of Sir ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá ‘Abbás, of His dignified figure walking thoughtfully in our streets, of His courteous and gracious manner, of His kindness, of His love for little children and flowers, of His generosity and care for the poor and suffering. So gentle was He, and so simple, that in His presence one almost forgot that He was also a great teacher, and that His writings and His conversations have been a solace and an inspiration to hundreds and thousands of people in the East and in the West.[108]

He was buried in the front room of the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. His interment there is meant to be temporary, until his own mausoleum can be built.


`Abdu'l-Bahá left a Will and Testament that was originally written between 1901-1908 and addressed to Shoghi Effendi, who at that time was only 4-11 years old. The will appoints Shoghi Effendi as the first in a line of Guardians of the religion, a hereditary executive role that may provide authoritative interpretations of scripture. `Abdu'l-Bahá directed all Bahá'ís to turn to him and obey him, and assured him of divine protection and guidance. The will also provided a formal reiteration of his teachings, such as the instructions to teach, manifest spiritual qualities, associate with all people, and shun Covenant-breakers. Many obligations of the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause were also elaborated.[109][1] Shoghi Effendi later described the document as one of three "charters" of the Bahá'í Faith.

The authenticity and provisions of the will were almost universally accepted by Bahá'ís around the world, with the exception of Ruth White and a few other Americans who tried to protest Shoghi Effendi's leadership.

During his lifetime there was some ambiguity among Bahá'ís as to his station relative to Bahá'u'lláh, and later to Shoghi Effendi. Some American newspapers reported him to be a Bahá'í prophet or the return of Christ. Shoghi Effendi later formalized his legacy as the last of three "Central Figures" of the Bahá'í Faith and the "Perfect exemplar" of the teachings, also claiming that holding him on an equal status to Bahá'u'lláh or Jesus was heretical. Shoghi Effendi also wrote that during the anticipated Bahá'í dispensation of 1000 years there will be no equal to `Abdu'l-Bahá.[110]


The total estimated number of tablets that `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote are over 27,000, of which only a fraction have been translated into English.[111] His works fall into two groups including first his direct writings and second his lectures and speeches as noted by others.[1] The first group includes The Secret of Divine Civilization written before 1875, A Traveller's Narrative written around 1886, the Resāla-ye sīāsīya or Sermon on the Art of Governance written in 1893, the Memorials of the Faithful, and a large number of tablets written to various people;[1] including various Western intellectuals such as August Forel which has been translated and published as the Tablet to Auguste-Henri Forel. The Secret of Divine Civilization and the Sermon on the Art of Governance were widely circulated anonymously.

The second group includes Some Answered Questions, which is an English translation of a series of table talks with Laura Barney, and Paris Talks, `Abdu'l-Baha in London and Promulgation of Universal Peace which are respectively addresses given by `Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris, London and the United States.[1]

The following is a list of some of `Abdu'l-Bahá's many books, tablets, and talks:

• Foundations of World Unity
• Memorials of the Faithful
• Paris Talks
• Secret of Divine Civilization
• Some Answered Questions
• Tablets of the Divine Plan
• Tablet to Auguste-Henri Forel
• Tablet to The Hague
• Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá
• Promulgation of Universal Peace
• Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
• Divine Philosophy
• Treatise on Politics / Sermon on the Art of Governance[112]

See also

• Bahá'u'lláh's family
• Mírzá Mihdí
• Ásíyih Khánum
• Bahiyyih Khánum
• Munirih Khánum
• Shoghi Effendi
• House of `Abdu'l-Bahá

Explanatory notes

1. The elative is a stage of gradation in Arabic that can be used both for a superlative or a comparative. Ghusn-i-A'zam could mean "Mightiest Branch" or "Mightier Branch"
2. The Nahrí family had earned their fortune from a successful trading business. They won the favor of the leading ecclesiastics and nobility of Isfahan and had business transactions with royalty.
3. In the Kitáb-i-`Ahd Bahá'u'lláh refers to his eldest son `Abdu'l-Bahá as Ghusn-i-A'zam (meaning "Mightiest Branch" or "Mightier Branch") and his second eldest son Mírzá Muhammad `Alí as Ghusn-i-Akbar (meaning "Greatest Branch" or "Greater Branch").


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100. McGlinn 2011.
101. Poostchi 2010.
102. Luke, Harry Charles (23 August 1922). The Handbook of Palestine. London: Macmillan and Company. p. 59.
103. Religious Contentions in Modern Iran, 1881-1941, by Mina Yazdani, PhD, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, 2011, pp. 190-191, 199–202.
104. Effendi 1944, p. 306-307.
105. Effendi 1944, p. 311.
106. Effendi 1944, p. 312.
107. Esslemont 1980, p. 77, quoting 'The Passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá", by Lady Blomfield and Shoghi Effendi, pp 11, 12.
108. Effendi 1944, pp. 313-314.
109. Smith 2000, p. 356-357.
110. Effendi 1938.
111. Universal House of Justice (September 2002). "Numbers and Classifications of Sacred Writings texts". Retrieved 20 March 2007.
112. Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Texts Vol. 7, no. 1 (March 2003)


• Afroukhteh, Youness (2003) [1952], Memories of Nine Years in 'Akká, Oxford, UK: George Ronald, ISBN 0-85398-477-8
• Balyuzi, H.M. (2001), `Abdu'l-Bahá: The Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh (Paperback ed.), Oxford, UK: George Ronald, ISBN 0-85398-043-8
• Bausani, Alessandro (1989), "'Abd-al-Bahā' : Life and work", Encyclopædia Iranica.
• Blomfield, Lady (1975) [1956], The Chosen Highway, London, UK: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, ISBN 0-87743-015-2
• Effendi, Shoghi (1938). The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-231-7.
• Effendi, Shoghi (1944), God Passes By, Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, ISBN 0-87743-020-9
• Browne, E.G. (1918), Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
• Esslemont, J.E. (1980), Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era (5th ed.), Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, ISBN 0-87743-160-4
• Foltz, Richard (2013), Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present, Oneworld Publications, ISBN 1-85168-336-4
• Gail, Marzieh; Khan, Ali-Kuli (31 December 1987). Summon up remembrance. G. Ronald. ISBN 978-0-85398-259-3.
• Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (2006), New and Alternative Religions in America, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-275-98712-4
• Kazemzadeh, Firuz (2009), "'Abdu'l-Bahá 'Abbás (1844–1921)", Bahá’í Encyclopedia Project, Evanston, IL: National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States.
• McGlinn, Sen (22 April 2011). "Abdu'l-Baha's British knighthood". Sen McGlinn's Blog.
• Momen, M. (editor) (1981), The Bábí and Bahá'í Religions, 1844–1944 – Some Contemporary Western Accounts, Oxford, UK: George Ronald, ISBN 0-85398-102-7
• Momen, Moojan (2003). "The Covenant and Covenant-Breaker". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
• Phelps, Myron Henry (1912), Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, New York: Putnam, ISBN 978-1-890688-15-8
• Poostchi, Iraj (1 April 2010). "Adasiyyah: A Study in Agriculture and Rural Development". Baha'i Studies Review. 16 (1): 61–105.
• Van den Hoonaard, Willy Carl (1996), The origins of the Bahá'í community of Canada, 1898–1948, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, ISBN 0-88920-272-9
• Smith, Peter (2000), A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, ISBN 1-85168-184-1
• Hogenson, Kathryn J. (2010), Lighting the Western Sky: The Hearst Pilgrimage & Establishment of the Baha'i Faith in the West, George Ronald, ISBN 978-0-85398-543-3
• Ma'ani, Baharieh Rouhani (2008), Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees, Oxford, UK: George Ronald, ISBN 0-85398-533-2
• Smith, Peter (2000). A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 169–170. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
• Taherzadeh, Adib (2000). The Child of the Covenant. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-439-5.

Further reading

• Smith, Peter (2008), An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-86251-6
• Zarqáni, Mírzá Mahmúd-i- (1998) [1913], Mahmúd's Diary: Chronicling `Abdu'l-Bahá's Journey to America, Oxford, UK: George Ronald, ISBN 0-85398-418-2

External links

• Works by `Abdu'l-Bahá at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about `Abdu'l-Bahá at Internet Archive
• Works by `Abdu'l-Bahá at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
• Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas
• Abbas Effendi-`Abdu'l-Bahá
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:12 am

Papers of Lois Lang-Sims
Archive Collection
Accessed: 4/11/19



For more information, email the repository
Advice on accessing these materials cite this description Bookmark:

This material is held at Women's Library Archives
Reference: GB 106 7LLS
Former Reference: GB 106 7/YY14; 7/YYY14
Dates of Creation: 1985
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.5 A box (1 folder)

Scope and Content:

The archive consists of a photocopy of a typescript memoir (28 pages). In 1985 Lois Lang-Sims wrote this memoir about her aunt, Agnes Maude Royden (see also 7AMR) the suffragist and campaigner for the ordination of women.

Administrative / Biographical History:

Lois Lang-Sims (fl. 1936-1995) was a distant relation of Agnes Maude Royden and a member of her congregation at the Guildhall in 1936. Through this, the two became friends until the latter's death. Lang-Sims had a strong interest in spiritual matters, which was exhibited in a number of books which she published over a series of decades from 'One Thing Only: A Christian Guide to the Universal Quest for God', to 'The presence of Tibet' in 1963 and 'Canterbury Cathedral' in 1979. She also had a brief friendship with the writer Charles Williams whose letters to her were published as 'Letters to Lalage' in 1989.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

The copy of Lois Lang-Sims's memoir of Agnes Maude Royden was given to the Women's Library by her in 1995.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)

Related Material

The papers of Agnes Maude Royden are also held by the Women's Library (ref. 7AMR).


Womens participation

Personal Names

Sims Lois Lang- fl 1936 writer
Royden Agnes Maude 1876-1956 suffragist and preacher
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:14 am

Lois Lang-Sims (1917-2014)
by Grevel Lindop
The Charles Williams Society
March 12, 2014



The small Delhi flat was now crammed to overflowing. Lois Lang-Sims, in The Presence of Tibet, summed up the flavor of the warm, eccentric, and chaotic Bedi household when she went to stay there while gathering information on the Tibetan refugee situation for the Tibet Society in London:

A tall, fair-haired Englishwoman with a face that was both soft and strong, looking remarkably Anglo Saxon despite the rumpled sari which she wore as if she had never known any other kind of dress, stood i n the doorway of the ground floor flat to which I had found my way. She was smiling warmly in welcome. There seemed to be a great many people in the room in which I found myself, (including young monks, another fair-skinned woman in a sari and Freda Bedi's husband). They were all seated around a low table on the floor with the exception of an elderly Tibetan monk who was sitting apart from the rest on a raised seat.

The time was half past ten in the evening, but I could see the working day had only just finished. I began to look around the room which had a dingy beauty of its own .... There were no chairs, only cushions and mats, and the hard bed-seat covered by a Tibetan rug. In one corner of the room was a Tibetan shrine glowing with lighted butter lamps. As my eyes turned to the level of the ground, I saw a large brown rat sidling along the wall on soft feet.

At last I was shown the place where I was to sleep and the tap under which I was expected to wash. After a week in an Indian household I was still defeated by the sight of a cold tap splashing water onto a stone floor, a mug by which I realised I was expected to douche myself, nowhere to lay my clothes and no inch of floor space that was either dry or clean beneath my bare feet. The bed was of wood with no mattress; but at this I had become accustomed so that I even liked it. As a concession to my foreign habits I had been given a pair of sheets. I was sharing a room with an American woman while the other members of Freda's huge household disposed themselves to sleep either on the hard bed-seats or on the floor all over the rest of the flat. I was kept awake for most of the night by lights, snores, spiritual exercises, and campaigns against the bed bugs by the American.

The room in which I slept was used for meditation classes throughout the day and for part of the night so I could not enter it even to fetch a handkerchief. In Freda I had an example of an Englishwoman who had successfully Indianized herself, but I could not get behind the barrier of her total self-dedication, her all-pervading sense of social responsibility, her blind indifference to her comfort and convenience.

Scores of refugees came straggling down from the camps and appearing on Freda's doorstep, without money, food or decent clothes, and frequently in an advanced stage of sickness. Freda, being less concerned with categories than with individuals, never turned away a single Tibetan who came to her for help.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Lois Lang-Sims, whom we know as a corespondent of Williams, and co-author of ‘Letters to Lalage‘, died recently. Below is a remembrance by Society member Grevel Lindop.

LOIS LANG-SIMS (1917-2014)

Lois Lang-Sims, who died on March 11 at the age of 97, was perhaps the last of Charles Williams’s ‘disciples’ – those who, for a time, took him as their spiritual teacher. She will be known to members of the Society as the co-author of Letters to Lalage, in which she added her own commentary and reminiscences to Williams’s letters to her, written in 1943 and 1944.

Charles Williams grew up in the time that spawned these orders, and spent a period of his life involved with one branch of what he personally termed the 'Golden Dawn,' but was technically an offshoot of that order called 'The Fellowship of the Rosy Cross' founded by A.E. Waite.

The Golden Dawn, originally initiated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers and others, attracted prominent members, including Waite, W.B. Yeats, Evelyn Underhill, and Aleister Crowley. Yet members differed on the focus of the order. When Yeats published a tract entitled 'Is the (Golden Dawn) to Remain a Magical Order?' Waite aligned himself with those whose answer was that it should not, and assumed power when Yeats and his supporters were outvoted. He later founded a subsect, the Salvator Mundi Temple of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross on July 9, 1915, patterning the order on the Rosicrucian manifesto of 1614. Charles Williams joined this order on September 21, 1917.

-- Biography of Charles Williams, by Mitch Harding

Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien...

According to C.S. Lewis, everyone who met Williams fell in love with him—including many young women who became his disciples and with whom he practiced semi-sexual, semi-magical rituals of transference to heighten his creativity....

He was a member of A.E. Waite’s occult secret society, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, for ten formative years. He rose high in the ranks, leading initiates in practicing alchemy, astrology, Cabalism, conjuration, divination with tarot cards, and meditation on the Sephirotic Tree...

He was fascinated by the mystical body of Christ: he believed that sex is an act of co-inherence and that every romance corresponds to Jesus’ earthly life. In his Arthurian poetry, he carried the simple doctrine of Christian unity into a multi-layered symbolism infused with occult significance....

He may have had more common theological ground with the Anthroposophist Owen Barfield, the fourth important writer in the group.

-- An Introduction to Charles Williams, by Sørina Higgins

But Lois Lang-Sims was more than simply a follower of Charles Williams. She was a writer and spiritual seeker of considerable stature. Another of her teachers was the Buddhist scholar Marco Pallis with whom, as with Williams, she eventually broke – for Lois was nothing if not independent-minded. One of the first English people to become aware of the sad plight of the Tibetan refugees who fled to Nepal and northern India after the Chinese invasion of 1959, she helped to found the Tibet Society, the first charity dedicated to helping them, becoming a friend of the Dalai Lama and other senior Tibetan lamas.

Her Tibetan adventures are depicted in a beautifully-written volume of autobiography, Flower in a Teacup
. This, and an account of her earlier life in A Time to be Born, form one of the finest British autobiographies of the twentieth century and richly deserve to be reprinted. Having worked as a guide for visitors to Canterbury Cathedral, she was also the author of Canterbury Cathedral: Mother Church of Holy Trinity, a discursive account of the Cathedral, its history and its significance, as well as of One Thing Only: A Christian Guide to the Universal Quest for God and The Christian Mystery: An Exposition of Esoteric Christianity.

I met her in 2001, when I went to record her memories of Charles Williams. She lived in a care home in Hove, where, as a devout mystical Christian, she spent much of her time in prayer and contemplation. She was surrounded by her books, and by the photographs of people from her childhood who had become, for her, archetypal figures of deep spiritual significance: her mother and father, her beloved nurse ‘Old Nan’, and an adored elder brother who had died during her infancy.

She was still beautiful; and her mind was clear and incisive, as it remained to the end. We stayed in touch, and she eagerly read every draft chapter of my biography of Charles Williams, responding with helpful comments and fascinating discussion. She continued to write essays, and to read widely. Biography was her favourite genre: she was something of an expert on Gandhi’s life, and in the last few months was carefully reading Ian Kershaw’s recent life of Hitler, developing her own theories about the psychological forces which had led Gandhi to good and Hitler to terrible evil.

Towards the end she grew too weak to write, so we talked on the telephone. (I like to think that she was able to read the chapter in which I described Charles Williams’s death, which I sent her on 13 February.) Asked about her health in those last months, she would exclaim ‘Oh, I’m crumbling away! But don’t worry, my dear, I’m looking forward to death. I really can’t wait!’

Hypersensitive, opinionated and argumentative at times, she nonetheless radiated love and intelligence. I found her a delight and an inspiration. And she has probably left much literary work greatly deserving of publication. I hope that a late essay of hers, ‘The Simplicity of Faith’, will be published in Temenos Academy Review in 2015.


Lois Lang-Sims: Spiritual seeker, writer and founding member of the Tibet Society
by Emma Martin

Lois Lang-Sims was a mystic (who studied Buddhism with Marco Pallis) and a writer. She witnessed the distress of Tibetans arriving in Nepal and northern India as they fled from Tibet in 1959. As a result she helped to found the Tibet Society, a UK society that continues to support the call for an independent Tibet. Her autobiography, Flower in a Teacup recounts her time with Tibetan communities.

She gave, what curator Elaine Tankard called, a series of 'political paintings' to the Tibet Society sometime around 1964. She hoped they would raise funds for the Tibet Society. It is noted in the museum's archives that they were given to her when she was in India in 1962. Elaine Tankard bought the series for Liverpool Museum for £2.0.0. in 1964.


Lois Lang-Sims
by Stratford Caldecot
Sunday, 22 June 2014

Recently a friend of mine, the writer and mystic Lois Lang-Sims, who could be called the last of the Inklings, died in a nursing home on 11 March aged 97, surrounded by patients suffering from dementia. According to Grevel Lindop, the biographer of Charles Williams, asked about her health in those last months, she would exclaim "Oh, I’m crumbling away! But don’t worry, my dear, I’m looking forward to death. I really can’t wait!"

She was a friend and for a time the disciple of Williams, and the co-author of Letters to Lalage, in which she added her own commentary and reminiscences to Williams’s letters to her. For a time she was also a friend of Marco Pallis and helped to found the Tibet Society. She wrote her own mystical/ metaphysical books after breaking with Williams, including One Thing Only and The Christian Mystery, and a detailed study of Canterbury Cathedral, but many will agree that her most impressive writings were autobiographical -- including several volumes about her childhood.

As a long-time friend, I corresponded with her for years right up to her death, as far as she was able. My memories of her correspond to what Grevel Lindop says. She was looking forward to death -- to her meeting with the Lord. Towards the end, through reading booklets from the Catholic Truth Society, including a biography of her beloved Pius XII, catechisms, and other books, and pastoral visits from the chaplain, she could be said to have reconverted to Catholicism. This was what she told me.

She had no interest in anything else, or in the republication of her books, although as Grevel writes Flower in a Teacup and A Time to be Born, "form one of the finest British autobiographies of the twentieth century and richly deserve to be reprinted", along with a third volume and other essays not yet published. She was sweet and intelligent to the end, and full of faith. The was no ego left. All who knew her will miss her.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:44 am

An Introduction to Charles Williams
by Sørina Higgins
Posted on 5 June 2013



Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He was a British poet, novelist, literary critic, editor, lecturer, biographer, Anglican Christian, and occult master. This strange mix makes him The Oddest Inkling, and this blog exists to discuss CW’s life, works, ideas, oddities, and excellencies.

There is no other literature quite like that by Charles Williams: his writings are startling, convoluted, beautiful, unpredictable, and obscure. Their obscurity is partly due to his love of esoteric allusions, partly to his creation of a layered mythology, and partly to his sinewy syntax. Thomas Howard calls his sentence structure “agile”; I call it “labyrinthine.” Every sentence is thrilling, dangerous, sinuous, and demanding.

By all accounts, Williams himself was like his writing: charismatic, saintly, loquacious, and inspiring—but complex and confusing. He was a passionate teacher, explicating texts clearly with enthusiasm and reciting massive passages of poetry from memory. According to C.S. Lewis, everyone who met Williams fell in love with him—including many young women who became his disciples and with whom he practiced semi-sexual, semi-magical rituals of transference to heighten his creativity. Yet he also motivated many people to practice their Christianity more seriously and founded the Companions of the Co-inherence in order to carry one another’s burdens.

The strange combination of Christian and Magician in Williams’ personal life is hard to reconcile. He was a member of A.E. Waite’s occult secret society, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, for ten formative years. He rose high in the ranks, leading initiates in practicing alchemy, astrology, Cabalism, conjuration, divination with tarot cards, and meditation on the Sephirotic Tree. Yet he remained a committed Anglican all his life, writing works of lay theology. For the last six years of his life, he was a member of the Inklings, whose qualifications, according to C.S. Lewis, were “a tendency to write, and Christianity” (CSL letter to CW 11 March 1936).

This unusual combination of Christianity and the occult finds expression in a bizarre, exciting mix of the everyday and the supernatural in his writing. He pushes his fantasies further than either of the other famous Inklings by setting his metaphysical stories in ordinary, 20th-century England rather than in Narnia, Perelandra, or Middle-Earth. This makes his spiritual thriller plots feel more uncanny because they are closer to home.

His signature doctrine, co-inherence, is also an odd blend of the natural and the supernatural. Co-inherence is the idea that Christ’s risen life inhabits believers so that they share the divine interrelationship of the Trinity and live as members of one another. This is based in the Trinitarian theology of perichoresis, the mutual indwelling and love of the three members of the Godhead, from which all human love and co-operation are made possible. Williams’ own order, the Companions of the Co-inherence, voluntarily carried spiritual, emotional, or medical burdens for each other and anyone else—living, dead, or unborn—by Substitution or Exchange. He was fascinated by the mystical body of Christ: he believed that sex is an act of co-inherence and that every romance corresponds to Jesus’ earthly life. In his Arthurian poetry, he carried the simple doctrine of Christian unity into a multi-layered symbolism infused with occult significance.

Furthermore, Williams held a kind of skepticism about his own faith that also made him the odd man out in the Inklings, compared to the staunch “Mere Christian” Lewis and the solid Roman Catholic Tolkien. He may have had more common theological ground with the Anthroposophist Owen Barfield, the fourth important writer in the group.

Barfield became an anthroposophist after attending a lecture by Rudolf Steiner in 1924.[13] He studied the work and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner throughout his life and translated some of his works, and had some early essays published in anthroposophical publications. This part of Barfield's literary work includes the book The Case for Anthroposophy containing his Introduction to selected extracts from Steiner's Riddles of the Soul.[14] A study of Steiner's basic texts provides information on some of the ideas that influenced Barfield's work,[15] but Barfield's work ought not be considered derivative of Steiner's. Barfield expert G. B. Tennyson suggests the relation: "Barfield is to Steiner as Steiner was to Goethe".[16] But though Barfield's writing was profoundly original and not derivative, he would not have agreed with Tennyson's characterization. Barfield considered Steiner a much greater man and mind than Goethe. From that point of view, Tennyson's analogy implies that Barfield was much greater than Steiner. But Barfield considered himself very small beside Steiner, or Goethe. (Tennyson may have meant the analogy to suggest influence, rather than relative stature.)

-- Owen Barfield, by Wikipedia

But Williams’ brand of mysticism made for some hot debates among the group: a minor Inkling, Charles Wrenn, at one Inklings meeting “almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams, or at least maintained that conversation with Williams enabled him to understand how inquisitors had felt it right to burn people…. Williams is eminently combustible” (letter of C.S. Lewis to his brother, 5 Nov. 1939). If even his best friends occasionally wanted to burn him at the stake, it is no stretch to say that his ideas were the oddest among them.

All these factors, then, make Williams “The Oddest Inkling.”

And they make his works absolutely riveting: even before you read any further in this blog, you should start reading his writings! You can start with his most popular works: the seven “metaphysical thrillers”: War in Heaven, Many Dimensions, The Place of the Lion, The Greater Trumps, Shadows of Ecstasy, Descent into Hell, and All Hallow’s Eve. They are available online. In each novel, sacramental objects or occult adepts unleash spiritual forces that threaten destruction. Preservation is achieved by the imperial mastery of a person surrendered to divine will. Williams’ progressive narrative technique resembles stream-of-consciousness, and anticipates (but far surpasses) contemporary Christian thrillers. Then, if you are an intrepid reader, you can move on to the Arthurian poetry, then the theology or literary criticism, as your taste guides you.

In my opinion, his two greatest contributions are his Arthurian poetry—of which much, much more as we proceed in this blog—and his interpretation of Dante in The Figure of Beatrice, which brought Dante to many people for the first time and inspired Dorothy Sayers to learn Italian and translate Dante afresh. A recent resurgence of interest in Williams has led to imitative fiction, analysis of his life and work, and a wider readership. His virtuosic poetry and brilliant insights should earn him a place among the greatest literary masterpieces of the early 20th century.

It is high time to dig more deeply into the works of Charles Williams, The Oddest Inkling. Please tune in each Wednesday (and sometimes more often) for a discussion of each of the points mentioned in this post, and many more.
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