History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Stations/2GB Sydney

Overview edit

Theosophical Society edit

In Australia in the 1920s, as elsewhere in the western world, there was a greater interest in and acceptance of spiritualism / occultism / reincarnation. It was not considered incongruous for a bible to be placed alongside and occult text. Even so, the grant of a high powered commercial broadcasting licence to a group closely aligned with the Theosophical Society must have raised eyebrows in many quarters. It perhaps reflects best the difficult economic times and the dearth of groups prepared to invest substantial sums in the operation of such stations. But the company granted the licence was aligned most closely with a recently established Lodge of the Society which followed in the wake of a major schism in the group.

The Theosophical Society was established in New York in 1875 by Madame H. P. Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott.

Licence Issue edit

Callsign Origin edit

Most Australian callsigns have a clear origin, whether it be the location of the station itself, the initials of the station proprietor or the name of the licensee company. But the origin of callsign 2GB, fittingly for a station with strong links to mysticism, is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Literally, the "GB" of 2GB stands for Giordano Bruno, the Italian philosopher who was burned at the stake in 1600 for denial of several core Catholic doctrines and who was well thought of in the Theosophist hierachy. Dr. Annie Besant was a leader of the Theosophical Society and considered herself to be a reincarnation of Giordano Bruno. Besant visited Australia several times and in practical effect, the "GB" was a tribute to her.

Prior to the formal allocation of callsign 2GB, a number of other possible callsigns were mentioned.

Transcriptions and notes edit

1910s edit

1910 edit

1911 edit

1912 edit

1913 edit

1914 edit

1915 edit

1916 edit

1917 edit

1918 edit

LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Church of St. Alban, Regent-street, next door to the Mortuary Station. Holy Eucharist — Low Celebration at 9 a.m., High Celebration at 10.30 a.m. Sunday. All Welcome.[1]

LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Church of St. Alban, Regent-street, next door to the Mortuary Station. Holy Eucharist — Low Celebration at 9 a.m., High Celebration at 10.30 a.m. Sunday. All Welcome.[2]

LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. High Celebration at the Church of St. Alban, Regent Street (next door to Mortuary Station) will take place THIS SUNDAY, at 10 o'clock, because of an Ordination to the Priesthood.[3]

LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. High Celebration at the Church of St. Alban, Regent-street (next door to Mortuary Station), will take place THIS SUNDAY at 10 o'clock, because of an ordination to the priesthood. All are welcome.[4]

1919 edit

AT THE KING's HALL. HUNTER-STREET (near Macquarie-street), TO-MORROW, SUNDAY, at 7.15 p.m. Mr. IRVING COOPER, National Lecturer for the Theosophical Society in the United States, continues his Series outlining the STORY OF EVOLUTION. No. 2: The Theosophical Ideal of God. Inquiries into Theosophy specially invited.

AT ST. IVES. Redmyre-road, 7.15 p.m., Sunday, 26th inst. Usual Meeting of the Strathfield Lodge of the Theosophical Society will be held. Mrs. Cox will deliver, her second address on Jesus and Theosophy.

AT THE LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Church of St. Alban, Regent-st., next door to Mortuary station, 5 minutes' walk from Central-sq. Every Sunday. Low Celebration at 9 a.m. and High Celebration at 10.30 a.m. All are welcome. Special Services on MONDAY, January 27. Morning Celebrations as above, and in addition Vespers and Solem benediction at 8 p.m. CITY MISSION, Elizabeth-st, opp. Railway.— TO-MORROW, 7.30 p.m. Preacher, Mr. J. M. MAIN. Special Singing.

CHATSWOOD THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY. Right Reverend Bishop Wedgwood. 2nd Feb.— "The Sixth Sense." 23rd Feb.— "The Mastery of the Mind."[5]

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AT LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Church of St. Alban, Regent-st., next door to Mortuary Station. Services on Sunday, St. Alban's Day, Low Celebration at 9 a.m.; High Celebration at 10.30 a.m. Services on Tuesday, St. John Baptist's Day; High Celebration, 10.30 a.m.; Vespers and Benediction at 8 p.m.[6]

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1920s edit

1920 edit

BOLSHEVISM NOT DEMOCRACY. Mr. E. George Marks delivered a lecture last night at the King's Hall, to the members of the Theosophical Society on "The Evolution of Modern Democracy, Traceable to the Napoleonic Wars." The lecturer drew a parallel between the French Revolution and the Bolshevik upheaval in Russia and declared that all great revolutions had ended in chaos, where centralising influences were absent. Two successful upheavals — the English revolution of 1688 and the French Revolution of 1789-1796 — were turned to practical and utilitarian purposes, primarily through the instrumentality of the centralising influences of Cromwell and Napoleon, both of whom were deeply imbued with the vital necessity of an ordered society as contra-distinguished from the maelstrom of disorders which follow revolutions promoted by visionaries and fanatics. Mr. Marks further asserted that the Bolshevik revolutionaries were destructionists and visionaries of the school of Robespierre, Danton, and Marat, and, like that bloody triumvirate, sought to foist their pernicious doctrines, not only on the Russian proletariat, but the world, through the medium of terror and unlicensed destruction. Bolshevism was utterly devoid of the true democratic principle embodied in the Napoleonic dictum that career should be open to talent, irrespective of class.[7]

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY'S CONVENTION. The Australasian section of the Theosophical Society opened its twenty-fifth convention yesterday at the King's Hall. Delegates attended from all parts of Australia, and there were also visitors from New Zealand. Mr. C. Jinarajadasa was elected chairman. The growth of Morven Garden Co-educational School, Gore Hill, was the chief subject of the day's discussion. The chairman related the story of the movement for national education which Mrs. Besant had inaugurated in India. It had begun with the Theosophical Society, but, growing rapidly, had been handed over to the nation as a whole, with Sir Rabrindranath Tagore as chancellor of the national university. Mr. Jinarajadasa urged upon the convention a similar objective for the Australian Theosophical educational trust.[8]

The Menace of Spiritism. BY MAY BATEMAN. Spiritualism — or Spiritism, as it should rather be called — is rapidly strengthening its hold on popular imagination, writes a book reviewer in the London "Universe." Spiritualists tell us so, and the present writer knows it to be true. Catholics who do not mix much with non-Catholics do not always realise this, but most of us who, like myself, daily meet men and women of differing creeds and ways of thought, are fully alive to the growing peril of a belief which interests even the younger members of the nation. Within the week I have been asked to oppose a debate on Spiritualism held under the auspices of a college, of which the audience would be mainly composed of former pupils of eighteen and nineteen years age. Less than five weeks ago I was told by a well-known woman writer, a Spiritualist and clairvoyante, that persons in the British Isles professing Spiritualism reached a number which I am afraid to quote without verification, but which was alarming. The reason is obvious. Nothing but faith and prayer can vanquish Spiritualism, and both faith and prayer are wanting nowadays. An unhinged world is too engrossed with diplomatic quarrels and labor problems to concern itself about its soul's salvation; and individuals, like the world, have lost poise and balance after the five years' mental and physical ravage of war. The dangers of Spiritualism cannot be dismissed in a flippant phrase, nor can we necessarily assume that all those who are drawn to it are charlatans. Spiritualism is the successful profiteer of blood and tears. The world-war gave it an opportunity it had never had before in all its hundreds upon hundreds of active years; it was quick to take advantage of the chance afforded. Only the initiates of mystic pain know what its fruits may be; only steadfast faith can endure the prolonged tests of suffering. Catholics have an incomparable help in their knowledge of what prayer for the dead can do both for the dead and for ourselves. We forget, in nine cases out of ten, to visualise the blankness of loss as it shows for those who have not that unfaltering confidence. In his book, "The Menace of Spiritualism," Mr. Elliott O'Donnell, in what Father Bernard Vaughan calls in his foreword his "spirited exposure of Spiritualism," gives personal experiences of seances, automatic writer's messages, and other phenomena. In his description of one seance which took place near Piccadilly Circus, his sense of humor has legitimate play. 'There must have been about sixty persons present,' he tells us, 'and it is no exaggeration to say that the medium, according to her own statements, saw quite as many spirits as there were people. . . . . She rattled off descriptions of them with as much ease and nonchalance as if she had been counting chickens. . . . The medium, pointing energetically at a rather stout gentleman in the centre of the second row: 'I see a spirit standing behind you, sir. . . . Medium height, not too fat nor yet too thin, but just comfortable. It is of medium coloring, neither very fair nor very dark; its hair is beginning to go grey. It has a moustache and answers to the name of George. Do you know anyone of that name, sir' "Rather Stout Gentleman: 'Dozens, and your description might suit any one of them.' "Medium (rather angrily): Well, it's one of them, sir, and he is looking at you very earnestly, as if he were anxious to tell you something.' "Rather Stout Gentleman: 'Then it must be George Hammond! I believe I once borrowed half-a-crown from him, and he wants to remind me of it, I suppose.' "There is slight laughter, and the medium at once turns to someone else. . . . . "There is a very old lady standing behind you. She is of moderate height — neither very tall nor very short. Rather pale, with grey hair. She answers to the name of Mary. Have you ever known any old lady of that name, madam?" The point is obvious. Directly the inquirer demands further proofs of identity the "spirit" is called away. Automatic writers who have professed to give Mr. O'Donnell messages from dead friends have merely transmitted messages "elastic enough to fit anyone, and identified only by such names as Jack or Dick or Mary." The "modus operandi" at private sittings he describes as closely resembling those of public seances. Generally several spirits are seen, and their description is so vague that it is bound to fit in with someone. Moreover, the medium can always count on receiving no inconsiderable amount of help from the client.' Mr. O'Donnell calls himself an "undenominational Christian," and Father Bernard Vaughan points out in his preface that he cannot "subscribe to all the doctrines and teachings expressed" in the brochure. But the author is sensitive to the blasphemy of spiritualistic writers who teach as to the new revelation that "Jesus of Nazareth" is to be regarded as "a mediumistic man." Leon Denis calls Him "an inspired medium"; and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The New Revelation," would give as an alternative reading to St. Peter's words at the Transfiguration, "Let us build three booths or cabinets." "After such profanity," says Mr. O'Donnell, "one is not surprised at anything a spiritualist asserts." Regarding the danger to health arising from these practices, he quotes from a telling report of Dr. Robertson's, the Superintendent of the Royal Asylum of Morningside, Edinburgh: "I would remind inquirers into the subject that if they would meet those who are hearing messages from spirits every hour of the day, who are seeing forms, angelic and human, surrounding them, that are invisible to ordinary persons, and who are receiving other communications of an equally occult nature, THEY ONLY REQUIRE TO GO TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL TO FIND THEM." The capitals are mine. It is an amazing proof of the inconsequence of human character and the innate love man has for the forbidden, that we are at less pains to protect ourselves from the possible frauds of pseudo-mystics than we should have used to ensure a between-maid's trust-worthiness in pre-war days. And this in spite of the fact that with the solitary exception of Home, who, according to Dr. Barthez, was detected in manipulating handbells with his toes, and was saved from public exposure through Imperial intervention alone, almost every medium of repute has been publicly or privately convicted of fraudulent practices. The Fox Sisters, Dr. Slade, the Davenport Brothers, William Eglinton, Foster, Mrs. Guppy, Florence Cook, Harry Bastian, Annie Eva Fay, Eusapia Palladino, are examples. And a student of literature can have little belief in the claims of a modern medium, in spite of Sir Oliver Lodge's confidence, who represents the spirit of "George Eliot" as "having met" her own creation of "Adam Bede," without expressing any surprise. Mr. O'Donnell speaks of Spiritualism as being "possibly, in the beginning, merely an offshoot of 'Theosophy,' " whereas it actually dates back to ancient times. The modern movement took its great impetus at the time of the Fox Sisters in 1848, while the Theosophical Society was only founded by Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott and Mr. A. P. Sinnett, in 1875. "The real basis of Spiritualism," as Mr. O'-Donnell says, "is a positive confidence in the ability of man belonging to this material plane to conjure up the denizens of the spiritual world . . . to converse with them at will . . . to keep them preparing all kinds of phenomena for the gratification of his own whims and pleasures." "Whims and pleasures" seems too severe a term to apply to the longing of the bereaved to get in touch with the be-loved, however wrongly directed, but Mr. O'Donnell unfortunately does often use a flippant phrase where one more dignified would serve his purpose better. Catholics know evocation of the dead to be nothing less than the necromancy of the ancient races of Persia, Chaldea, Babylonia, Greece and Rome, prohibited in the Old Testament in the strongest possible terms as 'abominations." In old days it was often punished by death. The punishment is not less severe today. For, as Father Bernard Vaughan says in his foreword to "The Menace of Spiritualism": "It looks as if the penalty of trying to force the hand of God . . . was total loss of that childlike and clinging faith which is the priceless inheritance of the sons of God."[9]

QUERIES AND ANSWERS. [So many questions have to be dealt with that correspondents who do not get immediate replies should not be impatient.] The "Liberal Catholic Church." Student: The "Liberal Catholic Church" of Sydney, seems to be a branch of the Schismatical Old Catholic Church — a small body that fell away from Catholicism at the time of the Vatican Council, and later on fraternised with an older schism in Holland. Prussia and some other Continental Governments kept the sect going. In 1908 an apostate priest in England named Arnold Harris Mathew was consecrated Bishop by the Old Catholic Bishop of Utrecht, and set up a branch church in London. The Sydney branch is not of long standing. It seems to be a focus for the Theosophical movement.[10]

1921 edit

THEOSOPHICAL CONVENTION. From all parts of Australia delegates totalling 92 are flocking to the annual convention of the Australian section of the Theosophical Society, which opens at the King's Hall at 10 o'clock on Good Friday. The society has upwards of 1200 branches widely scattered in some 30 or 40 countries, together with a vast literature in many languages, and more than 50 magazines representing the various sections and countries engaged in the movement.[11]

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY. CONVENTION IN SYDNEY. Delegates from all over Australia met yesterday in the King's Hall for the 26th annual convention of the Theosophical Society. There were 54 delegates from outside Sydney and a number of visitors from overseas. The last-mentioned included Mr. and Mrs. St. John, London, Mr. James, South Africa, Mr. A. P. Warrington, last general secretary of the society in America, Professor de Leeuw, from Holland, and Mr. van der Ley, of Java. The visitors were officially welcomed by the president of the Sydney section, Mr. L. W. Burt. In his address as retiring president Mr. T. H. Martin stated that the past year had been most successful. Three new lodges had been formed, he said, and there had been a record increase in membership. The Rev. C. W. Leadbeater delivered an address, and Mr. S. Studd, of Melbourne, was elected president for the coming year. The convention will be in session tomorrow. Meetings connected with it will last until Wednesday.[12]

THEOSOPHISTS MEET. "THE KEY OF LIFE." SYSTEMISING GUIDANCE. The Theosophical Society's Conference was opened in the King's Hall yesterday. Mr. L. W. Burt (president of the Sydney League) welcomed the visitors, amongst whom were Mr. and Mrs. St. John, from London; A. P. Warrington, general secretary of the section in Australia; Professor de Leeurd, from Holland; and Van der Ley, from Java. In all there were 95 delegates, of whom 45 were from outside Sydney. They came from all over Australia. Mr. T. H. Martin, the retiring president, announced that three more lodges were formed during the last year. The increase in membership was comparatively greater than during any other same period of time. Mr. S. Studd was elected chairman and president for the ensuing 12 months. Rev. C. W. L. Leadbeater read a letter from Mrs. Besant, in which it was stated that Sir Baden-Powell had appointed her to a position as "the highest commissioner" next to the Viceroy of India in connection with the Boy Scouts. The general secretary, in his report, stated that various lodges found it necessary to strike off their rolls a good many unfinancial members, but "few if any of them regarded philosophically, are really lost to our work. They have become theosophised, and will do valuable missionary work for us amid environments usually unreachable by the declared Theosophist. If we are really convinced that Theosophy is the key to life, and holds the world's future in its grasp, then obviously we must organise not only to spread theosophic theory, but to theosophise outside bodies engaged in reconstruction work. One's conception is a faint, far-off reflection of the Great White Lodge, a body sending out its trained workers as "messengers" to theosophise the world's reconstructionists; to sit, if possible, on the committees of all the most effective existing organisations of reform so as to guide them along lines based on our first principles. No doubt they do so sit and guide to a great extent even now, but an organisation along the lines sketched above would systematise and centralise all this, and render it enormously more effective."[13]

EDUCATION. DUTCH PROFESSOR'S VIEWS. In the course of an address to delegates of the Theosophical convention yesterday Professor van der Leeuw, doctor of law, of a Dutch university, referred to the teacher as the principal factor in all educational reform. Children and schools were necessary in all schemes of education, but unless the right types of people were secured as teachers all labour was in vain. A teacher could be trained to a great extent but not made. Most teachers were not born educators, and many educators were not in the teaching profession, the difficulty being to obtain sufficient to carry out the new principles in education. In a scheme of education, Professor van der Leeuw remarked, the first point to be borne in mind was the training of children to be citizens in the social order of tomorrow, and not in that of today. It was a mistake to perpetuate an old social order by training children for it. Co-operation was the keynote of the new order, and nowhere could the spirit of it be better found than in the works of John Ruskin.[14]

THEOSOPHICAL CONVENTION. Further sessions of the 26th annual convention of the Theosophical Society were held at the King's Hall yesterday. Sydney has been the venue of the convention for the past five years, but it was decided that next year delegates will meet in Melbourne. At the educational conference, at which Senator Reid presided, Miss Arnold, of the Morven Garden School, introduced a discussion on the new theosophical ideals in education by reading a paper entitled "The Future in the Light of Education." A notable contribution to the subject was made by Professor Van der Leewu, of Holland, who stressed the importance of the teachers' vocation. Mr. T. W. Macro was in the chair at the conference of workers. Mr. K. Van Gelder, director of the society's publicity department, outlined his proposals for the forthcoming year's work in reaching the various classes of the community. This included increased activities in the dissemination of literature, which will be printed by a recently-acquired press. The election of officers resulted: General secretary, Dr. J. Bean; assistant general secretary, Mrs. John; treasurer, Mr. T. H. Martyn; sectional council, Senator Reid, Mrs. Martyn, Messrs. T. H. Martyn, K. Van Gelder, R. Perdriau, M.L.A., John Mackay, and T. W. Macro.[15]

1922 edit

THE QUESTION OF INDIANS' STATUS within the Empire. raised by the Secretary for India, Mr. Montagu, recalls the work performed, and still being carried out, by that marvel of energy, Mrs. Annie Besant, who may shortly visit Australia. Mrs. Besant is now 75 years of age, but it is doubtful if she were ever more active. Her work as president of the Theosophical Society constitutes but a small part of the sum total of her activities. She has for many years been the mainspring of the movement to raise the Hindoos to what she believes to be the status to which they are entitled. A task which involves beyond the writing and editing of books and magazines relating to the Theosophical science, the editing of a daily newspaper. Mrs. Besant has set out to make India a self-governing Dominion in the British Empire, as is Australia. In the new reforms which she has obtained, after much struggle, India has not secured complete Home Rule, but the Indian people have been given some control at last over the Government. Mrs. Besant has latterly been engaged in a great crusade against Gandhi and the destructive forces of his non-co-operation movement.[16]

THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY. In an address given at King's Hall last evening, under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Dr. Donald Fraser said that the new psychology sounded the great deeps of human personality, now known as the unconscious or the sub-conscious. Its methods embraced psycho-analysis and dream analysis, whereby mind itself could now almost be dissected. The mind was now regarded as having a structure, activities, distinct parts, and functions; like the body, the mind had under-gone a process of evolution. The unconscious, said Dr. Fraser, was the bearer of the racial past of the mental vestiges, and it ever competed with consciousness for the control of conduct. The study of the abnormal was assisting to-day in the understanding of the normal. The new psychology was now proving us usefulness in mind measuring, and commercial establishments were employing psychologists to sort out their would-be employees. Surely, said the doctor, it was time that Australia used that method throughout the whole Civil Service, and made prospective members of Parliament, show that they possessed a normal amount of intelligence and capacity for the job.[17]

THEOSOPHY. ANNUAL CONVENTION. The 30th annual convention of the Australian section of the Theosophical Society began yesterday at the King's Hall, Hunter Street. It was presided over by Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, M.A. (Cantab.), who is vice-president of the International Society. Visitors were present from England, America, India, and New Zealand, as well as delegates, numbering 120, from all the Australian States. The main subject of discussion was the Theosophical ideal of education and the future of the Morven Garden School, which is the expression in Sydney of this ideal. A vital programme of educational work will be given effect to in the forthcoming year. The conference will be continued today and on Monday. Various social fixtures are also part of the convention, and the social side of the inter-State gathering is in the hands of the Sydney lodge. The discussion on Monday will deal with various aspects of world-reconstruction and problems arising out of post-war conditions, in the light of the Theosophical philosophy.[18]

GRAVE ALLEGATIONS. "LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH." Theosophist Cleavage — Most Serious Charges — "Bishop" Leadbeater's Position — Searching Inquiry Demanded — Mrs. Besant Replies to Charges. What is the real object of the visit to Sydney of Mrs. Annie Besant, president of the Theosophical Society? Mrs. Besant stated in an interview with a representative of "The Daily Telegraph" that her mission chiefly concerned the business of the society, and was not of a public nature. The addresses which she would deliver would be merely incidental. That a grave scandal concerning the "Liberal Catholic Church," and its relation to the Theosophical Society, is what is chiefly engaging Mrs. Besant's attention, is being asserted. Copies of charges against a certain prominent member of the "Church" have been distributed among members of the Theosophlcal Society, and are of such a serious nature that a most searching inquiry is called for. If untrue, they are most cruel and damaging. Gross immorality is alleged against at least one man and it is asserted that the orders of the "Church" are bogus. As the Theosophical Society has been made the recruiting ground for members and officers of the "Church," a demand has arisen that the society shall be entirely dissociated from it, and it is understood that it is with this that Mrs. Besant's visit is mainly concerned. BISHOP LEADBEATER. The head of this Liberal Catholic Church here is Bishop Leadbeater. He is a well-known figure in Sydney, and is often seen with a following of boys. "Dawn," the official organ of the Theosophical Society Loyalty League, has just launched a very strong attack upon "Bishop" Leadbeater, and quotes Mr. Justice Bakewell, in the Madras High Court in 1913, as describing Mr. Leadbeater's opinions as "immoral." What is the Liberal Catholic Church. It started its Australian career in Sydney in a back room in the Penzance Chambers, Elizabeth Street, and later took over the old Wesleyan Church at Redfern. It has a local following of some 200 people, two bishops, and about 14 priests, who observe elaborate ceremonial and wear gorgeous robes. Reports of the ugliest character, some of them charging gross immorality, have been in circulation in regard to a person closely associated with this institution. Many persons of unquestionable moral worth are members of the "church" — but, without doubt, the charges made have cast a shadow over the whole organisation. POLICE INQUIRIES. Certain grave charges have reached the police, and the Criminal Investigation Department men have made inquiries. There is a big police department file in the Crown Law offices at this moment concerning a member of the "Liberal Catholic Church." Here follows some of the history of this "Church," as stated by the Sydney publication, "Dawn":— "A cablegram received recently announced the resignation of Mr. J. I. Wedgwood from the Liberal Catholic Church, the Theosophical Society, and co-Masonry. The resignation followed a sensational written confession made by one of the earlier ordained of the Liberal Catholic Church priests, which mentioned two Liberal Catholic Church bishops and others by name. What the ultimate effect of this development will be time will show; but we are advised that 'official' circles will endeavor to hush the matter up, and there are evidences that the secret service is already busy in this direction. Mr. Wedgwood was the founder of the Liberal Catholic Church, and at the time of his resignation was known as 'the presiding bishop.' "In 1915 Mr. Wedgwood first visited Australia. After consultation with Mr. Leadbeater in Sydney he returned to England in the same year, with the intention of persuading Bishop Mathew, head of the Old Catholic Church in England, to consecrate him with a view to his succeeding to the headship of that Church. Bishop Mathew, however, had other plans, and declined all overtures. Mr. Wedgwood persevered, and approached certain Continental bishops, but they also declined to pass on the coveted 'Apostolic Succession.' "Then, in desperation, the candidate for episcopal honors had recourse to a man named Willoughby, who made claim to be a bishop of the Old Catholic Church, and, arrangements having been made with this gentleman, Mr. Wedgwood returned to our shores in the middle of 1916, garbed and titled in the full regalia of the coveted prize. With an informality quite refreshing, he in turn laid his episcopal hands on the person of Mr. Leadbeater, and so the world became the richer for still another bishop, and there were two. The ceremony accomplished, a message was conveniently received, so it is stated, from the Lord Maltreya, who wished these gentlemen to start what was afterwards described as a 'Theosophical Church.' The co-operation of Mrs. Besant was secured by representations which were made to her in India, and she wrote up the new 'activity' in the 'Theosophist' for October and November, 1916. It was not until early in 1917 that the new Church got going in Australia." Allegations against Messrs. Leadbeater and Wedgwood are given in a letter to Mrs. Besant from Mr. T. H. Martyn, a well-known Sydney man, who has held office as president of the Sydney Lodge and general secretary of the Australian section of the Theosophical Society, and has been in close touch with Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. EARLIER TROUBLES. "In 1906," says Mr. Martyn, "I was in London fighting your cause and Leadbeater's. Police proceedings against the latter were seriously threatened. One of his boys, in desperate trouble, urged me to try and prevent them being proceeded with. . . . The police proceedings did not eventuate. I went away to Africa soon after, and on returning I tried to forget what this confession involved — to explain it away; and succeeded. In 1914 Leadbeater came to live with us in Sydney. As time went on I certainly got many little shocks." Mr. Martyn then proceeds to make statements of a very grave character, reflecting upon leaders of this "Liberal Catholic Church." This letter was recently published in newspapers in America, where it caused a sensation. A confession by Reginald Farrar, a priest of the "Liberal Catholic Church," dated in London February 28, 1922, is as follows:— "It is with infinite regret that I tender you my resignation. . . . I am impelled to this extreme decision because I am no longer worthy to be considered of good report. The imputation against myself, as well as against . . . . In Mr. Martyn's letter is but too true. Yet, I would have you believe that I was led astray by those whom I considered to be my superiors both morally and spiritually. . . . absolutely declines to give up the malpractice, and for the sake of those who are in the different orders, and for those who will join if the good name is untarnished, I must make this confession. Again . . . who is also addicted to this vice, has actually stood sponsor for one of his 'friends,' who was initiated into Emulation Lodge recently." It is only fair to state here that Mr. Leadbeater's name is not among those mentioned by Mr. Farrar. It is also reported that this confession has been recently "withdrawn." MRS. BESANT'S REPLY. Mrs. Besant, writing from Adyar, Madras, on March 2, 1922, replies to Mr. Martyn's statements, and deals with other allegations. "For a considerable time," she says, "attacks have been levelled against the various leaders of our society, but as they came from the outside world they were not worth considering. But during 1919 they began within the society. . . . I was surprised to find that the Liberal Catholic Church was excepted by many from the ready service which all true Theosophists render to any religion they may contact, as well as from the general benevolent neutrality which characterises the Theosophical Society as a whole. . . . It is, in fact, a very beautiful expression of Esoteric Christianity, clothed in its ancient and appropriate garments of Christian ceremonial, Christian symbolism, and Christian doctrinal language. It is sure of a great future, and already its leaders are receiving the seal of their apostolate by the shocking flood of venomous vituperation poured out so relentlessly upon them. . . . I do not propose to enter here into any detailed personal defence of my honored colleague, Bishop C. W. Leadbeater, or of myself, or of others specially slandered by name. The first-named was, after all the accusations had been made, cleared by a committee in England, and the lie that had admitted personal wrong-doing — the cruel lie which had led me to condemn his actions, for those who fathered it knew that I would have accepted against him only his own word — was exposed." Dealing more especially with statements by Mr. Martyn, she says that she does not believe them. "I do not discuss them," she says. "No decent person would mention them except in a court of justice, or in preparation for legal action, or, possibly, if in need of help, and if the circulators of this filth have any justification for making such accusations, they should at once place their information in the hands of the police." Speaking generally on the accusations made of crimes, she says:— "They are, as said above, matters for the courts. Accusations of immorality have been a favorite weapon against heretics. It is the easiest weapon to use, and the dirtiest, and some of the dirt sticks. We need not be surprised that it is used today by their agents and imitators against the bishops and priests of the Liberal Catholic Church." MR. LEADBEATER'S VIEW. Mr. Leadbeater's point of view is indicated in a letter from him to Mr. Fullerton in 1906, and reproduced in the O.E. Library Critic, published by the O.E. Library League, Washington, D.C., in an issue dated March 29, 1922. In this letter, Mr. Leadbeater says:— "The business of discovering and training specially hopeful younger members, and preparing them for theosophical work, has been put into my charge. . . . The majority pass through a stage when their minds are filled with such matters, and consequently surround themselves with huge masses of most undesirable thought-forms, which perpetually react upon them, and keep them in a condition of emotional ferment. These thought-forms are the vehicles of appalling mischief, since through them disembodied entitles can and constantly do act upon the child. The conventional idea that such thoughts do not matter, so long as they do not issue in overt acts, is not only untrue, it is absolutely the reverse of the truth. I have seen literally hundreds of cases of this horrible condition, and have traced the effects which it produces in after life. Now all this may be avoided by periodically relieving that pressure, and experience has shown that . . . . he can comparatively easily rid his mind of such thoughts." In justice to "Bishop" Leadbeater, no less than to the Theosophical Society, the whole matter calls for a searching investigation. "WESAK DAY." Referring to Mrs. Besant's visit, "Dawn" says:— "As the visit is declared to be a private and not a public one, speculation has been rife as to its true inwardness. One story is that the president hopes to clear up some matters that are causing trouble in her theosophic kingdom. Another, that she wishes to do some research work with Mr. Leadbeater; a third, and this is perhaps nearer the mark, is to the effect that Mr. Leadbeater has declared the time to be ripe for himself and the president to assume a still higher place in the Occult Hierarchy than hitherto they have claimed, and that an important announcement will be made after the full moon of May. This particular full moon is the chief holy-day of the Buddhists, and Mr. Leadbeater has worked it in to the theosophic consciousness, so far as possible. . . . Wesak day, from Mr. Leadbeater's association with Buddhism, has now many traditions in certain circles, and the coming one will, if rumor is true, bring joy to many faithful hearts looking forward to some sort of reward from the one they regard as the earthly agent of the hierarchy."[19]

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Transcriptions and Notes edit

Almost xxx key articles relevant to 2GB, mainly from the NLA's Trove Digitised Newspapers have been transcribed for ease of reference here: 2GB Transcriptions and Notes

  1. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,243): p. 11. 30 November 1918. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15813404. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  2. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,255): p. 11. 14 December 1918. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15815639. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  3. "Advertising". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (12360): p. 2. 21 December 1918. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article239576455. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  4. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,261): p. 2. 21 December 1918. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15816615. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  5. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,290): p. 3. 25 January 1919. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15821748. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  6. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,416): p. 16. 21 June 1919. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15849875. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  7. "BOLSHEVISM NOT DEMOCRACY.". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (12,723): p. 7. 20 February 1920. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article239661302. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  8. "THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY'S CONVENTION.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,661): p. 12. 3 April 1920. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15877756. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  9. "The Menace of Spiritism". Freeman's Journal (New South Wales, Australia) LXXI, (3709): p. 9. 15 April 1920. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115587245. Retrieved 11 September 2018. 
  10. "QUERIES AND ANSWERS.". The Catholic Press (New South Wales, Australia) (1269): p. 4. 22 April 1920. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105976034. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  11. "THEOSOPHICAL CONVENTION.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,963): p. 11. 23 March 1921. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15949016. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  12. "THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,966): p. 5. 26 March 1921. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15944862. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  13. "THEOSOPHISTS MEET.". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (13065): p. 13. 26 March 1921. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article239722443. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  14. "EDUCATION.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,968): p. 6. 29 March 1921. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15946107. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  15. "THEOSOPHICAL CONVENTION.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (25,968): p. 7. 29 March 1921. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15946181. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  16. "THIS MORNING'S GOSSIP". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (13,343): p. 6. 15 February 1922. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246450437. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  17. "THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales, Australia) (26,290): p. 10. 10 April 1922. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28082912. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  18. "THEOSOPHY". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (13,394): p. 12. 15 April 1922. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246460661. Retrieved 2 September 2018. 
  19. "GRAVE ALLEGATIONS". The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (13,421): p. 7. 17 May 1922. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245726208. Retrieved 2 September 2018.