The Danger and Deception of Channelling

Flowing Water in Nature

In the middle of the 19th century a new spiritual craze swept through the Western world. It was called Spiritualism and it encouraged the practice of mediumship. “Medium” was the term used by the Spiritualists to describe someone who was able to enter into a very passive and receptive condition or state, in order to become the mouthpiece or vehicle of manifestation for unseen entities. Spiritualists believed that these entities which spoke and transmitted other types of messages through mediums were departed souls or spirits, often using the two terms “soul” and “spirit” in a very loose and undefined way, as many people still do.

Mediumistic and spiritualistic séances began to be held in just about every city and town across the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe. Often the entities speaking through the medium would purport to be the souls or spirits of departed loved ones of those in attendance at the séance or gathering, while on other occasions entities speaking through mediums would make all sorts of important claims about their identity. Even Jesus Christ – or, rather, unseen entities calling themselves Jesus Christ – transmitted messages . . . usually of a highly sentimental, unphilosophical, immature, and even foolish nature.

Great figures from spiritual history and world history put in appearances, from Krishna Dvaipayana or Vyasa (the Hindu writer of the Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita) to Saint Peter to Buddha to Napoleon to George Washington.

The fact that these beings, giving forth speeches and messages through their mediums, seemed entirely ignorant of even basic facts and information which they would have known during their lifetime – and that their views and messages about certain vital matters were now largely contradictory to those which history and record shows them to have held while they were on earth, in many cases now taking on a distinctly Westernised or Christianised nature, just like the nature and views of the mediums themselves – seemed not to daunt or faze the Spiritualists, who were so overwhelmed with all the sensational claims and messages that they willingly abandoned their faculties of rationality, reason, common sense, and discernment.

The equally alarming fact that a “Jesus” speaking through a medium at one end of the street was expressing entirely different views and sentiments to the “Jesus” speaking through a medium at the other end of the street was also often conveniently overlooked by the Spiritualists, as was the tragic fact that a disconcerting number of mediums often ended up going insane, becoming alcoholics, descending into a life of crime and exploitation, or even committing suicide.

Enter a Russian noblewoman, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, sent to the United States by her Eastern spiritual Teachers in Tibet and the Trans-Himalayan region to found the present Theosophical Movement, which she did in 1875. In the teachings of Theosophy, the actual nature of such messages and entities is explained, in the thorough and complex detail which such a matter requires. H. P. Blavatsky’s Teachers – known as the Masters or Masters of the Wisdom – were unequivocally opposed to Spiritualism and mediumship and, foreseeing a dire and calamitous fate for the West if it was allowed to continue unabated, instructed her to reveal the truth behind the phenomenon.

First, apart from a very small number of exceptions, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a departed soul to communicate with those on Earth through a medium or even to see or have any knowledge whatsoever of what is going on here. Even without going into complex metaphysical explanations, the truth of this assertion can easily be seen if we consider the following…

The place (or rather the state) of Heaven – called by the Tibetan name of Devachan in Theosophy – is one of supreme and perfect bliss and paradise. As such, logic tells us that no sorrow or even the slightest shade of pain can be experienced therein. But if departed souls are able to “look down” or “return in spirit” and see all that’s going on on Earth and especially in their homes, what kind of bliss or paradise can that be? Thus, according to the doctrine of the Spiritualists, we unfortunate human beings are not liberated from the sorrows of this life even by death! Imagine a departed mother looking down upon, or invisibly visiting, or automatically being attuned with, her former home, in the days, weeks, months, and years after her passing and observing and feeling – completely helplessly – the sorrows, the sadness, the suffering, the mistakes etc. of her dear loved ones, from whom she is now severed by death and unable to help, comfort, or contact. Or what about her eventually witnessing her widowed husband finding new love in the arms of another woman? Can any of this be bliss?!? That would be even more hellish than life on earth.

Thankfully, Nature is kind enough to create an impassable chasm between the Heaven state and the Earth state, so that those who have passed on are entirely out of the reach of physical existence and of individuals on the physical plane. A further and more expanded explanation of this is given in the articles Death and The Afterlife and When We Die which can be read by clicking on the title links.

Second, the “small number of exceptions” hinted at above consists mainly of those who have committed suicide and those whose death has been in some way the result of accident, violence, or murder. The suicide victim – the individual who has murdered himself or herself – remains within the psychic atmosphere and attraction of our Earth for the entire remaining duration of the life they had been destined to live. For example, someone who commits suicide at the age of 20 but who had been destined by their Karma to live to the age of 90, must spend those 70 remaining years in what some have called the “astral plane” before they are able to undergo the complete death process and enter into the Heaven state. The person who commits suicide finds themselves just as alive afterwards, only now in even more of a “trapped” state than before. Often filled with regrets and longing to get back in touch with Earth life, it is relatively easy for them to either initiate contact with a medium or for a medium to seek them out.

But this is the worst thing the suicide victim can do, as it is spiritually unlawful for it to reinitiate contact with the life of which it has purposely deprived itself. The Masters and HPB taught that the suicide victim who does this will often lose their soul forever as a result, when their natural life term finally reaches its end. A dark fate will also naturally be in store for the medium who enabled such a thing to happen, as they will have created terrible Karma for themselves.

A variety of different states are initially in store for the soul whose life has come to a premature end through accident, violence, or murder. The nature of the state will depend on the inner nature of the individual. In one of the letters written by the Master Kuthumi (Koot Hoomi) to early Theosophists, it is explained in this regard that the truly good and pure enter into a “state of rosy dreams” for the rest of the duration of their natural life term and then enter into the Heaven state. The average person – neither very good nor very bad – may or may not be easily attracted by mediums but either way must remain in the Kama Loka (the atmosphere and attraction of our Earth; the unseen psychic plane that surrounds the physical plane) until the expiration of the natural term.

The bad, sinful, and sensual victims of accident, violence, or murder end up wandering about desperately in the Kama Loka until their natural death hour comes about and these individuals are easily enticed by the opportunities offered by mediums. In many cases they become truly demonic in their behaviour and in their abuse of the medium and of others through the medium. A truly terrible fate is eventually in store for such entities when their natural life term reaches its close.

Third, everyone who dies leaves behind what can be called an “astral shell” which is the remnant of the least spiritual, the most mundane, and the most sensual portions of themselves from the lifetime just ended, these particular aspects and characteristics naturally being unsuited and unable to enter into the spiritual heavenly state which Theosophy calls “Devachan.” This is not the actual individual soul but is simply a senseless subjective form which eventually disintegrates, usually within a few decades at the most. This “shell” contains a large portion of memories and knowledge which the individual possessed during that lifetime but these are merely discarded and gradually fading remnants, without any actual individual consciousness behind them, as the actual soul will now have entered into Devachan and be beyond the reach of anyone on the physical plane.

These astral shells or “Kama Rupas” roam senselessly around in the Kama Loka and are easily contacted by those with mediumistic tendencies or psychic sensitivity. Since they are able to senselessly repeat and recite certain pieces of information and knowledge which the individual possessed during its life on earth, they are easily mistaken by many to actually BE the real departed soul.

It is these astral shells, these Kama Rupas, which comprise the majority of the entities contacted by mediums and in Spiritualistic gatherings. 

Fourth, the Masters taught that all genuinely high and spiritually pure beings – including the Masters themselves – are “forbidden” by “wise and intransgressible laws” to ever allow themselves to be channelled through mediums. It was also pointed out that like only ever attracts like and that the Law of Attraction and Repulsion is always in operation. This means that a medium can never attract or become a conduit of entities which are of a significantly higher or more spiritual nature than himself or herself, but only those of a similar or lower nature.

It can thus be seen that it is foolish and even dangerous to naively apply simplistic and positive explanations for mediumistic messages and phenomena. The matter is far more complex and far darker than many people have guessed. In light of this, the Master Morya and Master Koot Hoomi (the two main Adepts behind H. P. Blavatsky and the founding of the Theosophical Society) stated that “we oppose so strongly Spiritualism and mediumship” and described it as “the most insane and fatal of superstitions.”

We have said all that in order to say this: the modern craze of CHANNELLING is nothing other than MEDIUMSHIP under a new name.

In fact, “medium” and “channel” are synonyms, literally meaning something or someone which allows something or someone else to flow through it. The New Age Movement places high emphasis and great importance on channelling and channelled messages. A brief visit to YouTube or simple search on Google will reveal an abundance of channelled messages, all purporting to be from highly important and powerful spiritual beings. Thousands of people around the world believe themselves to be channels for the “latest messages” from the Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Krishna, the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Michael, other Archangels and Angels, alien overlords and extraterrestrial queens and princesses, deceased spiritual teachers of recent times, and particularly from so-called “Ascended Masters,” some of whom bear the same names as the living and physically incarnated Masters with whom HPB was associated.

In fact, the term “Ascended Master” is probably the most popular buzzword in the New Age movement today.

Almost every time that the names Morya or Kuthumi (variously spelt Kuthumi, Koot Hoomi, or Koot Humi) are mentioned nowadays, it is in connection with the idea of “Ascended Masters” and it is claimed that these two and many others are not actually here physically on our physical planet but are living in the spiritual realms above the earth, in spiritual bodies, almost like demi-gods . . . a notion which is refuted again and again and again by their own words in their published letters, which even include references to the Master M. having to prepare his evening meal and the Master K.H. feeling exhausted after a long journey on horseback!

It may be useful to become aware of the origins of the “Ascended Masters” idea . . .

In the 1930s, an American man named Guy Ballard – a well known fraud and enterprising businessman – published a series of books describing dramatic experiences and encounters he had purportedly had with “Ascended Masters” (he was the one who coined this term), primarily “Saint Germain,” who supposedly revealed to him the “guaranteed cosmic laws of wealth manifestation.” Ballard certainly succeeded in manifesting wealth for himself and his family, who the supposed Saint Germain stated were the highest and most important family on the planet and the only genuine messengers and spokespersons for God, acquiring it by various means of exploitation from the gullible masses who believed his childish stories. He in fact only narrowly escaped going to prison, once the details of his schemes came to light, and a book written at the time by a concerned American citizen about his movement – known as “The I AM Activity” – described it as “psychic dictatorship in America.”

Taking the names and basic identities of the Masters involved with the Theosophical Society as his base work and inventing from scratch numerous other Masters besides, Ballard – and his successors in the increasingly expanding Ascended Master movements, such as Geraldine Innocente (Bridge to Freedom) and most notably Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet (The Summit Lighthouse/Church Universal and Triumphant) – turned them into infallible, omnipotent, godlike figures, purportedly living in the heavenly realms, happy and ready to come in contact with anyone who would pray to them and willing and waiting to shower untold blessings of wealth, health, and happiness upon anyone who would ask them to. According to Ballard, the “Ascended Masters” also required that anyone desirous of such blessings should regularly donate as much money as possible to The I AM Activity.

In light of the unsavoury origins of the “Ascended Masters” concept, it should be immediately apparent to the individual of discernment that anyone – repeat, anyone – who claims to have been in touch with Ascended Masters matching the descriptions given by Ballard, Prophet, or other self-proclaimed “Appointed Messengers” is either unwittingly deluded and misled (as is usually the case) or intentionally deceitful.

Not only do the channelled teachings and messages given forth by these “Ascended Masters” rarely agree with those given out through other channels who purport to be channelling the same Masters but in all cases they are radically different and contradictory to the actual teachings expounded by the actual Masters themselves in their own writings. Researchers and writers who have studied the contents of the Mahatma Letters from a scholarly perspective have concluded that the Masters K.H. and M. along with the Maha Chohan and others, such as the chela (disciple) of the Masters known as Djwhal Khul, are distinctly Buddhist, such is the strong Buddhist nature and content of the letters, not to mention the fact that the Masters were affiliated with the Tashilhunpo Monastery at Shigatse, Tibet. If we are to believe the claim that these Masters are now “ascended” and living and teaching and working from the heavenly realms as the “Ascended Master” followers (usually identified as ascensionists or lightworkers) would have us accept, then we are also required to believe that the Masters have become shockingly less intelligent and philosophically minded, have forgotten 95% of their original teachings, and are now choosing to propagate a bizarre form of quasi-Christian New Age gibberish. That’s when we’re not being asked to believe that the Masters are now flying around the universe in spaceships and paying frequent and friendly visits to alien queens in the Andromeda galaxy!

In the 1980s a spiritual teacher in Arizona conducted an experiment or rather an exposé to show the true nature of channelling; its utter unreliability, inherent deceptiveness, foolishness, and delusion.

He invited three channellers to come and give channelled messages and teachings at his spiritual centre one Sunday. These three individuals, who had never met one another before, all claimed – and sincerely believed – that they were channels for one and the same entity. The teacher had the three to take it in turns to come onto the platform and give a channelled message followed by channelling answers to questions from those in attendance. The channellers were kept separate from one another backstage and were each unaware of the nature and content of what the other had channelled, from their “mutual Source.” After the third person had completed their act, the preceding two channellers were brought out onto the stage to join the third. They had been so naïve and gullible, as most channellers are, that it came as a real shock to them to be informed that each had delivered an entirely contradictory message to the others and that the supposed identical entity they were channelling had expressed thoroughly different and opposing views about numerous matters, despite reminding the audience through each of the channellers of what a great and mighty being he was. In fact, this entirely unproven and unprovable claim to spiritual supremacy was about the only area of real similarity between the three channellings.

The channellers left in a mindset of mutual dismay, confusion, and questioning and from then on began to realise just how foolish it is to blindly believe the claims of an unseen entity and to submit oneself to that entity as a channel or medium.

Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of people never stop to question such things or even to use their minds at all in regard to such important matters. Books encouraging people to start channelling and explaining how to do it are some of the most popular in the New Age genre, as are books which contain messages and teachings given through channellings. Just as the Spiritualist movement notably failed to produce anything in the way of profound spiritual teaching, high philosophy, reliable revelations or accurate facts, neither has the New Age channelling movement.

What it has produced is a mass of:

(a) Simplistic and sentimental messages which, while purporting to come from some of the highest and most powerful spiritual beings in the universe, are often even more ludicrous, childish, and poorly expressed than things a 5 year old might say.

(b) Sensationalist announcements, pronouncements, and pseudo-revelations, not one of which has ever been proven to have come to pass. Channelled messages often turn out to be hopelessly wrong, such as the multitudes of “impending disaster” prophecies that have cropped up in channellings over the past few decades, and the incredible mass of erroneous claims made about what would happen to the world and humanity in the much hyped year of 2012. When none of these things materialised, the channellers assured their followers that things had actually happened exactly as they said they would, but that they had happened on the unseen spiritual level . . . a time tested excuse used throughout history by frauds and charlatans of all varieties. The entities speaking through the channellers also repeatedly fail to foresee or predict serious and important things that do happen in the world.

(c) Meaningless buzzwords (often sounding more suited to the realm of science fiction novels), catchphrases, and pseudo-scientific theories such as “Ascended Masters,” “angel therapy,” “Galactic Federation of Light,” “DNA activation code,” “crystalline emerald matrix release,” “planetary ascension,” “11:11 awakening,” “archangelic attunement,” “starseeds,” “Ashtar Command,” “earth angels,” “ascension symptoms,” “underworld Buddha of the Ruby Ray,” and so on and so on, ad infinitum.

(d) Self-centred teachings and practices which glorify materiality and encourage everyone to become rich, successful, and manifest all their desires – financial, physical, emotional, material, and even sexual – through using so-called “Law of Attraction” techniques. Channellers would have us believe that even Buddha, whose message and teaching was distinctly anti-desire and who repeatedly stressed that “desire is the cause of all suffering,” is now spending his time urging channelling fanatics to visualise their way to a millionaire lifestyle! Such teachings and practices are nothing but black magic in the true sense of the term and have always been warned against and condemned as such throughout history. The fact that these “Law of Attraction” and desire manifestation teachings have their greatest appeal and audience to people here in the West, and hold very little attraction for the (generally) spiritually wiser people of the East, shows just what a poor state we are in.

(e) Channelling fanatics; people who often end up viewing channelling as the be all and end all of spirituality and who not only take channelled messages seriously but in many cases also unquestioningly view them as more or less infallible. There are some people who find it difficult to get through the day without hearing the latest YouTube channelling from Kwan Yin or Lady Nada or the Sacred Guardian of Sirius and others who feel their day is incomplete if they don’t receive a message from their supposed “angel guide.”

A woman who we will call G. was an avid listener and reader of channellings. One day, while meditating, she heard a voice which informed her that a group of angels wished to use her as a channel. Assuring her that she had nothing to fear and that their direct overseer was the Archangel Gabriel himself, the voice asked her to submit herself and her mental and spiritual faculties to these beings. Not even doubting the validity or genuinity of the claims for one moment, and having never read or heard anything warning against channelling, she joyously and immediately complied. Over the next few days she was instructed to write a number of lengthy messages which the voice channelled through her but she found that their tone and content became increasingly disturbing and that the messages were beginning to contain a number of very serious and sensational prophecies about the future of humanity. Next time the unknown entity wanted G. to channel for it, she declined and ignored it. That night she had the most horrendous nightmares and awoke feeling as if lots of small insects were crawling all over her body and devouring her. The next day the entity became more forceful in its commands and G. informed it that she had changed her mind and no longer wanted to be the channel for whoever or whatever it was. This enraged the entity, causing G. to be affected in such a way that she tried to jump off her apartment balcony and is now locked away in a secure psychiatric hospital.

This tragic tale of G. is also the story of many other individuals who, lacking the vitally important faculty of discernment and discrimination, have fallen into the pernicious snare of channelling. In light of what the Masters and HPB taught, we can safely conclude that channelled messages are, and can be, from either . . .

* The channeller’s own imagination, with the channeller either not realising this or alternatively realising it perfectly well, as there are many channellers who are nothing but frauds looking to exploit gullible people.

* Deceased human beings whose death was brought about through suicide, accident, or murder and are thus currently stuck in Kama Loka. If during their preceding lifetime they had particular spiritual, religious, or metaphysical interests they may feel inclined to try to promulgate these on Earth through a medium/channel. Their teachings and ideologies may be entirely mistaken but naturally they believe that they are correct. Such excarnate entities often speak with an air of forceful authority or adopt important sounding names or personas in order to get people on the physical plane to give more attention and credence to what they have to say. Thus, the hypothetical “Ra-Ra-Om of the Pleiades” with all his theories of “astro-chakra electromagnetics” may in fact be a John Jones, late of Los Angeles, who wants people to pay attention to the various theories and ideas which he had during his lifetime which was cut short 30 years previously when he was killed at his home by intruders. Other deceased human beings trapped in the Kama Loka (which we can call the astral plane) may simply wish to deceive and delude people on Earth and to wreak havoc and mischief. Any of these types may also wish to use their channel as a means of enabling them to gratify certain desires and appetites which they would otherwise be unable to do, such as in the case of a famous and now deceased female channel who would often find herself seized with the uncontrollable urge to start smoking and drinking and eating certain types of meat whenever channelling a particular entity, with whom she had initially come in contact through a ouija board session.

* Astral shells or Kama Rupas (mentioned earlier in this article) which are able to senselessly recite and repeat certain bits of information and knowledge but which are literally nothing more than a decaying soulless shell. They can easily be mistaken by the unwary for actual individual beings . . . and if someone has a specific desire and ambition to become the channel for Archangel Raphael, for example, they can very easily delude themselves into believing that the Kama Rupa they have managed to make contact with is in fact that Archangel. Ambition and desire are great snares, in this as in every field of life.

* Elemental beings, such as certain types of “nature spirit,” who may find it entertaining to animate and vitalise the thought forms of the channeller and thus make it seem as if the Ascended Masters or Archangels, etc. that he or she believes in and has been thinking about, are now actually communicating with and through him or her. There is also a particular advanced group of elementals, termed the “Star Rishis” by H. P. Blavatsky, who deliberately pose as high spiritual beings and give “dazzling experiences” to mediums and channellers so as to get their attention and co-operation.

* Evil human beings, in some cases belonging to what has been called the Dark Brotherhood or Black Lodge or “Brothers of the Shadow,” whose intention is simply to destroy the usefulness and potential benefit that spiritual people can bring to the world and to deceive, to delude, and to divert people’s attention away from solid spiritual truth and into the chaotic realms of sheer fantasy and fiction. Such beings as these will use anyone they can – and especially voluntary victims – to fulfil their aims and will have no qualms about passing themselves off as holy Masters, archangels, or as Buddha himself!

Why do so many spiritual people today have such an aversion to ancient and ageless Wisdom? Why do so many listen excitedly and eagerly to spurious channelled words attributed to Buddha or Krishna but express no interest whatsoever in reading the Dhammapada or the Bhagavad Gita, where they can find the sublime, profound, deep and timeless truths that the actual Buddha and actual Krishna actually taught? If people truly have honour and respect for the Masters, why do they purposely refrain from reading and studying the actual teachings of the actual Masters that they gave out to the world through H. P. Blavatsky and instead only read channelled words from some unknown entities claiming to be the Masters, whose messages and teachings invariably seem like the product of a slobbering infant when compared with the works they co-wrote with HPB, most prominently “The Secret Doctrine“?

If someone wants to know what the Master K.H. says about something, why do they turn to the mass of ever-contradictory and childish assertions and statements made by a collection of channelled pseudo-K.H.s when they can instead read the actual words of the actual, original, one and only real K.H., a living human being who stated categorically that he can never and will never be “channelled” by anyone?

Why do most spiritual people never even think of researching into the origins behind different teachings, ideas, and practices so that they can discover the true nature and legitimacy of things? And, more to the point, why are people who are otherwise highly intelligent, sensible, and educated, nonetheless gullible and naïve enough to blindly swallow the rubbish churned out daily by the world’s channellers? Perhaps the answer is that there is a mass epidemic of mental inertia sweeping the globe today, a general aversion to THINKING, a common mistaking of the psychic for the spiritual, and a thirst for fantasy rather than reality. The Master K.H. states in a letter that those who would make true spiritual progress must cross over from their “land of dream and fiction” to “our Truth land of stern reality and fact.” He also stated elsewhere that 99% of all supposed spiritual communications are false, i.e. they are not what they seem to be.

In his 1993 article for the “Aquarius” Newsletter, titled “Channelling and Ascension in the Light of Theosophy,” the prominent English Theosophist Geoffrey Farthing (1909-2004) wrote the following . . .

“We must ask seriously, can that be possible whatever channellers say? We have to bear in mind the suspect nature of the channelled transmissions. Somewhere the Masters gave us a sign which, they said, would be included in any genuine message received from them. This became necessary because, even during H.P.B.’s life, many spurious messages from Masters were broadcast. Could we not reasonably ask that the channellers give us this sign if they are really in touch with these Masters who must know it as they gave it specifically to prevent spurious messages in their name?

“Those members of the Theosophical Society who have taken the trouble to read the grand original literature wherein the teachings of Theosophy were first promulgated, have a background knowledge which is validated by reason of the fact that it not only fits all the facts of their experience but also gives a yardstick by which to measure the truth or otherwise of other teachings. Theosophy is like the Kabala, of which it is said that if a statement or teaching does not fit onto the ‘Tree of Life’ it cannot be true. Should not others who have not yet made the study of what was given us do that first before accepting what is now described as exciting new ideas? Why not do some honest work to discover the feasibility of those ideas before being hopelessly entangled in them?”

There is also the important factor that the actual Masters and their actual agents and disciples repeatedly made clear that it is only in the closing quarter of a century that the Masters are permitted to give out further teachings and knowledge to the world. This is explained and addressed in some detail in the article The Closing Cycle.

One of the original main aims of the Theosophical Movement was to bring about, to whatever extent possible, a spiritual and intellectual awakening of humanity and to provide mankind with a deep, detailed, solid, philosophical spiritual teaching so that they would not fall prey to, or be attracted by, unsavoury psychic influences (such as channelling, supposed angel communications, etc.) that the Masters and HPB knew would be released into the world in the 20th century.

The very fact that HPB and the Masters knew what was going to happen in regards to channelling and today’s “angel mania” and specifically warned against it as an impending future event and tried to do whatever possible to sow the seeds in a completely different direction to it, surely goes to show that she and the Masters knew exactly what they were talking about and can be taken far more seriously and reliably than the channellers and the channelled.

Channellers and their channellings may repeatedly announce and herald the New Age but the sobre truth is that in daily breeding superstition, ignorance, delusion, and mediumship, they hinder the practical dawning of a New Age for humanity more than almost anything else. We close with some pertinent statements from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky . . .

“Spiritualists believing in communications with disembodied spirits, and that these can manifest through, or impress sensitives to transmit “messages” from them, regard mediumship as a blessing and a great privilege. We Theosophists, on the other hand, who do not believe in the ‘communion of spirits’ as Spiritualists do, regard the gift as one of the most dangerous of abnormal nervous diseases. . . . the sight and the hearing of that which if seen in its true nature would have struck the medium’s heart cold with horror, now fills him with a sense of beatitude and confidence. He really believes that the immeasurable vistas displayed before him are the real spiritual world . . . We maintain – that on the whole, mediumship is most dangerous; and psychic experiences when accepted indiscriminately lead only to honestly deceiving others, because the medium is the first self-deceived victim.” (“Psychic and Noetic Action”)

“The phantom-world of Hades, or Kama-loka, had burst in a muddy torrent into ten thousand séance-rooms, and created most misleading notions of man’s post-mortem state.” (“Pertinent Queries”)

“Among the numberless hosts of spirits – men that were, and those who will be men – there are those immeasurably superior to the human race, higher and holier than the highest Saint on Earth, and wiser than any mortal without exception. And there are those again who are no better than we are, as some are far worse and inferior to [the most degraded of human beings]. It is the latter classes that command the readiest communication with our earth, who perceive and sense us, as the clairvoyants perceive and sense them. The close proximity of our respective abodes and planes of perception are in favour of such inter-communication unfortunately, as they are ever ready to interfere with our affairs for weal or woe.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 370)

“The more I see of mediums – for the United States is a true nursery, the most prolific hot bed for mediums and sensitives of all kinds, genuine and artificial – the more I see the danger humanity is surrounded with. . . . You remember, Vera, how I made experiments for you at Rugodevo, how often I saw the ghosts of those who had been living in the house, and described them to you, for you could never see them. . . . Well, it was the same daily and nightly in Vermont. I saw and watched these soulless creatures, the shadows of their terrestrial bodies, from which, in most cases, soul and spirit had fled long ago, but which throve and preserved their semimaterial shadows, by feeding on the vital energies of the hundreds of visitors that came and went, as well as of the mediums. . . .

“It was ghastly to watch the process! It made me often sick and giddy, but I had to look at it, and the most I could do was to hold the disgusting creatures at arm’s length. But it was a sight to see the welcome given to these umbrae by the spiritualists! They wept and rejoiced around the medium, clothed in these empty materialized shadows. . . . It made my heart bleed for them. “If they could but see what I see,” I often wished. If they only knew that these simulacra of men and women are made up wholly of the terrestrial passions, vices, and worldly thoughts of the residuum of the personality that was; for these are only such dregs that could not follow the liberated soul and spirit, and are left for a second death in the terrestrial atmosphere that can be seen by the average medium and the public.” (Letter from H. P. Blavatsky to her sister in Russia)

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RELATED ARTICLES: The Psychic is not the Spiritual, Death and the Afterlife, What happens to people who commit Suicide?, Beware of the Star Rishis, True Materialism and True SpiritualismThe Whitewashing of Black Magic, Who are you, Madame Blavatsky?, Words from The Masters about H. P. Blavatsky, The Masters and Madame Blavatsky, Masters of Wisdom: Outwardly Mortal, Inwardly ImmortalWho Wrote “The Secret Doctrine”?12 Things Theosophy Teaches, Being Sensible about Past Lives, We do not have Guardian Angels, and Original Theosophy and Later Versions.

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H.P. Blavatsky

19 thoughts on “The Danger and Deception of Channelling

  1. Hi, in another article i’ve read on Astral travel it is stated that ‘Nothing can or does or will happen to us outside of our own karmically predetermined lot in life, for the Law of Karma is the law of self-created destiny and in the past we created our present and in the present we are creating our future’, I have read similar assertions in the Garuda purana, for example, that nothing can change karmic laws that govern destiny. So how is it possible that lives can end prematurely; before they were karmically pre-determined to do so, like has been suggested in this article? As the notion appears to contradict certain affiliated sources regarding karma and destiny.
    Could you please clarify the nature or cause of this discrepancy?

    1. Thank you very much for your question!

      As you say, it does appear at first to be a contradiction. Sometimes these things can be somewhat difficult to understand and Karma is something very intricate and subtle as well as being a truly vast subject.

      I think the answer lies in the fact that although everything is unfailingly under the Law of Karma, nevertheless some things are specifically DESTINED by our Karma and other things are PERMITTED by our Karma.

      In some cases a person’s own Karma or self-created destiny brings them face to face at some point in their life with an opportunity to follow a certain line of thought or action or decision, which may then potentially result in their life coming to an end before it was actually meant to.

      Although they died “before they were karmically pre-determined to do so” that premature death was still part of their Karma…the possibility of it was included in their own Karma and certain actions or decisions they took, with their own free will, eventually resulted in it.

      It’s possible that the short article “A Right Understanding of Karma” at may help to elaborate further on this.

      1. That was a genuinely very helpful answer and link. I was wondering what is the true theosophical outlook on the saying: “there is no such thing as a perfect plan?”

        Also would you regard karma to be a perfect law, in ABSOLUTE terms or rather a perfect law relative to the current yuga we live in and the highest law that governs only the current order of the universe?

        Without being disrespectful to sacred laws of any kind, that benefit spiritual evolution, I ask because there are certain doctrines that suggest otherwise such as: “Obeisance to karma which forces Brahma to work like a potter in the bowls of cosmos, by which Vishnu was cast into distress of ten incarnations; by which Rudra was compelled to beg for alms with a skull in his hand and at the behest of which the sun goes round and round in the sky.”

        Even if theosophy is at odds with such assertions, I did read on the article that: ‘….Such are the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature.’

        Speaking collectively here, and this is the main query of my post, am I correct if I was to say that just as an individuals karma dictates his individual future, then collectively, it is the previous misdeeds of man as a species that results in the consumerist turmoil we face today?
        A man, may feel what he is doing is correct, however as you’ve said in your article on whitewashing black magic – he may invariably be leading himself down a path of black magic, but doing so unconsciously. In such circumstances, and especially considering the influence of decadence and materialism of the “everyday life” in the modern world that surround him, how is he to ever determine whether a particular course or action is the right one? Isn’t it merely the “fault” of the age; the present environment one lives in, which overbears the unwitting individuals subconscious with relentless suggestions via marketing etc, making the individual a mere victim?

        1. According to Theosophy, Karma is an absolute and immutable Law, “the Ultimate Law of the Universe,” “the power which controls the Universe,” and one with the Absolute Divine Principle.

          So although we live in an imperfect age, as you rightly say, Karmic Law is itself perfect.

          The phrase “the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature” is from the section titled “The Two Paths” in the book “The Voice of the Silence.” When read in context with the whole text it becomes apparent that it is not actually the nature or essence of the Karmic Law itself which falls or rises but rather we ourselves who tend to fall and rise over and over again as a result of the inevitable Karmic reactions and readjustments to our own actions and causes set in motion. Our own Karma falls and rises because it is the result and expression of Law.

          You are right about collective Karma. Everything is part of something bigger than itself and humanity is inseparably united on inner levels…so the individual Karma of each of us combines to form the collective Karma of the human race.

          It was said by the Masters that “motive is everything.” Our guiding motive and intention in any course of action is always extremely important. A good, noble, sincere, altruistic motive may lead a person to act in an unwise, detrimental, harmful way “at odds with true spiritual evolution from a theosophical perspective” although he may not realise it.

          The Law of Karma is such that sooner or later he will have to face the effects flowing from the causes set in motion but his experience and suffering will not be as severe and unpleasant as it would be if his actions had been from a consciously selfish or bad motive.

          Karma itself never punishes or rewards anyone. It is simply the universally inherent Law of cause and effect. It is we ourselves who punish or reward ourselves, since the effect is contained within the cause, like two sides of one and the same coin. And as the energy emitted through a cause or action is coloured and shaped by every single factor involved, including the motive, so the Karmic effect and reaction will be too.

          I hope this explains some of these points, which are admittedly quite complex and intricate!

  2. Just to add, regarding the last point: if an individual is essentially hypnotised by his societal norms to the point he feels his course of action is correct and spiritually beneficial, though at odds with true spiritual evolution from a theosophical perspective, then how, according to the laws of karma, can it be justified to punish such an individual?

  3. Thank you for your thorough and articulate response. I ask because I find myself in such a predicament, as you’ve mentioned: I am unsure whether my actions be good or bad since my subjective beliefs or either may diverge from actual truth. Due to this, in addition to my previous preconceptions of karma being entirely fatalistic, I have found myself in a state of mental inertia, a highly frustrating place to find oneself, in this case, would you say it’s best if I just try my best to keep my intentions pure and hope for the best?

    1. Causes already set in motion cannot be undone or erased. But by living in the present and looking ahead to the future we are creating, we can begin to live a more effective and worthwhile life. We realise that we are the creators of our own destiny and that everything we think, say, or do, also affects others, even if we have no knowledge or idea about this. Realising our tremendous responsibility and also our unity with all other beings, mental inertia gives way to mental focus and a higher, purer, more expansive and altruistic outlook on life.

  4. Hi, I have a question concerning Mme Blavatsky. If the theosophical litterature and Blavatsky herself were against mediumship and séances, then why was Mme Blavatsky considered a spirit medium by some (including a certain Société Spirite with Emma Cutting) ? Was she ever involved in mediumship and séances as we know them ? Furthermore, I have come across a John King related to Blavatsky ; a name also related to other mediums. Could you please clarify this for me ?
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Dean, thank you for your comment.

      You’re not the first visitor to this site to ask such questions. This is part of an answer that was given to someone else:

      “It’s not true that HPB engaged in seances, other than attending a number of them in the couple of years between her moving to the USA in 1873 and founding the Theosophical Society there in 1875.

      “Her purpose in attending such seances, which was during the height of Spiritualism when visible manifestations and tangible signs of so-called “spirits” were almost guaranteed, was for the purpose of both exposing those particular mediums who were deliberately fraudulent and charlatans and to demonstrate that with her own will power she could alter and control the various phenomena and “spirit appearances” that were produced by the mediums. This wasn’t for purposes of self-promotion but an attempt to demonstrate that people were misguided in their naive and sentimental views and ideas as to what they were seeing and experiencing at seances and such events.

      “I’ve noticed that many completely false and unfounded things are said and written about HPB and gain credence and lasting acceptance simply by someone making a fallacious statement – either through ignorance or malice – which is then accepted and believed by others, who quote it and refer to it as “fact” and “evidence” and these in their turn are later quoted by others as “experts” on the matter and so on. This is one reason why I recommended Sylvia Cranston’s biography of her, as it presents the real facts, is thoroughly documented and highly referenced, and does away with the ridiculous lies and prevailing false ideas about her.”

      In regard to the Société Spirite you mentioned, this lasted less than two weeks and existed for the purpose of mediums coming to give demonstrations of their faculties and abilities, whereafter HPB would then provide an explanation of what was really happening in such cases, based on the teachings she had received from the Masters. As you may be aware, Emma Cutting later became Emma Couloumb, who along with her husband Alexis later turned against HPB and Theosophy, making many assertions in the process which have been proven to be absolute lies. So anything she said should be taken rather cautiously.

      I have researched and studied the life and work of HPB in great depth and have yet to find any reference, evidence, or even statement (except those made after her death on sheer hearsay, such as referred to above) that she ever practised “mediumship and séances as we know them.” More misinformation and misconceptions exist and circulate about her than almost anyone else in modern history, it seems!

      As for John King, this name appears quite a lot in Victorian Spiritualistic literature. “John King” was an adopted name and was used by and applied to several different entities, both by the Spiritualists and by HPB. One of the “John Kings” was an elemental that was “employed” by the Masters for various purposes, whilst in other cases HPB used the name “John King” or “J.K.” in private writings and correspondence when referring to one or more of the Masters, in order to protect their identities and prevent anyone except those “in the know” from discovering which of the Masters she was referring to. One of the Adepts, seemingly the Master Hilarion, appeared in his astral body at some seances in order to perform various feats, and did so under the name of John King.

      So the whole John King matter is far more complex than may first appear. This name was never used again by HPB or the Masters after she left the USA and relocated to India three years after the founding of the Theosophical Movement.

      1. Thank you so much for your detailed and helpful answer. I hope that these misconceptions concering the extraordinary life and work of Mme Blavatsky will one day be clarified for good. Your site is a precious guide for all students of Theosophy. Thanks.

  5. I’d like to share my experiences and everything that happened to me some years ago when I used to read channelled messages assumed to be from an “Ascended Master”. The purpose of this true story is to serve as a warning for others as well as to help clarifying the nature of these so-called channellings. I’m not an English speaker so excuse any grammatical mistake I may commit.
    Some unusual circumstances led me to fix my attention on a series of books that circulate on the Internet. It was a complete program with a female “channeller” writing a long text each month (sometimes there was a long delay between one and another). This was thought to be a total of seven books, each one of them with twelve long texts for each month of the year, ie seven years of mental programming. (I spent a total of four years of my life reading these books).
    The writing style couldn’t be more attractive: the “Ascended Master” just spoke to you in a very personal way. He seemed to be aware of all your efforts of the last years. Concepts were handled like “the law of attraction”, the “ascension of the earth” and many other misconceptions. Perhaps the most amazing of all was that the texts promised some interactivity between reader’s daily life and those messages and In fact I think that interactivity really existed.
    At first some synchronicities were produced, it was still something apparent but quite strong. On several occasions I detected this interactivity in a way that I consider more objective: I did not agree with those teachings, so I mentally raised the “Ascended Master” seven or eight very specific questions for he to answered me. And “voilà”, in the next long message there were the seven or eight answers, without having come in contact with the channeller, neither orally nor in writing.
    With what I know now, I think that usually the process of creating the texts consisted of the ideas and preferences of the channeller herself animated by elementals. But on a few occasions your questions were answered so precisely and with such degree of intelligence! that I think there was something more than an elemental involved in the process.
    Now, you can imagine what it means for a person to think that one has direct contact with a real Master. You end up just fully engaged and dependent. It took me a long time to realize that it all was a big mistake. And just when I was about to definitely leave this situation, It happened to me a synchrony so amazing and unquestionable (in the sense that those teachings were true) that made me doubt for some time more.
    I decided to go to see a doctor, and you can imagine what he might have thought about me with all this story. He was (and is) one of the best known psychiatrists in Spain. But somehow he realized that my mind was not entirely lost although I was terribly confused and damaged.
    He said that I could go on with my life as my job had not been affected, but that what was left in my life were those channellings.
    He was a follower of Jung (In a contrary way to Theosophy, by the way) and later he invited me to one of his talks. This did nothing but add more confusion in my mind because it was not what I wanted. From that day I never went back to the therapy. It was terrible that no one could understand what I needed! No one could help me!
    Just then I discovered “Blavatsky Theosophy” website. It was incredible, exactly what I needed! It rescued my spiritual life and mental balance. This is why I have shown my gratitude in some opportunities, perhaps in a little vehement way.
    I met other readers of these channellings that didn’t take them as seriously as I did, and so they weren’t so harmed. The downside is that they still keep reading channellings, so I guess sometimes it’s preferable a complete mistake rather than a halfway one in order to learn our lessons.
    Goodbye friends, and dare to challenge your own convictions as often as necessary!

    1. Yes they are lying although perhaps due more to ignorance than deliberate intent to mislead. Anyone can claim anything but as you may notice the article you linked to provides no references, evidences, or direct quotations, in regard to her supposed “seances” at New York, Adyar, etc. None can be given because it is not true.

      The following is part of an email reply we once sent to another visitor to this site who asked a similar question to yours:
      – – –

      It’s not true that HPB engaged in seances, other than attending a number of them in the couple of years between her moving to the USA in 1873 and founding the Theosophical Society there in 1875.

      Her purpose in attending such seances, which was during the height of Spiritualism when visible manifestations and tangible signs of so-called “spirits” were almost guaranteed, was for the purpose of both exposing those particular mediums who were deliberately fraudulent and charlatans and to demonstrate that with her own will power she could alter and control the various phenomena and “spirit appearances” that were produced by the mediums. This wasn’t for purposes of self-promotion but an attempt to demonstrate that people were misguided in their naive and sentimentalistic views and ideas as to what they were seeing and experiencing at seances and such events.

      I’ve noticed that many complete false and unfounded things are said and written about HPB and gain credence and lasting acceptance simply by someone making a fallacious statement – either through ignorance or malice – which is then accepted and believed by others, who quote it and refer to it as “fact” and “evidence” and these in their turn are later quoted by others as “experts” on the matter and so on. This is one reason why I recommended Sylvia Cranston’s biography of her, as it presents the real facts, is thoroughly documented and highly referenced, and does away with the ridiculous lies and prevailing false ideas about her.

      – – –

      The biography referred to is “HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky” by Sylvia Cranston. Unfortunately it is not available to read online but if you can get a copy you will greatly appreciate it, if you are interested in knowing the actual facts and understanding properly who HPB was and what she did for humanity.

  6. Thank-you for clarifying my understanding so I may not be entangled in deception d samson

  7. It is surprising such a site as this would be so ignorant of the Madame’s actual life.
    Blavatsky worked as a medium to make money. She has admitted to this.
    Her entire corpus is a medium-istic revelation. This is self-evident. The Masters were channeled.
    If you do the research you will find she was once busted with rigged devices at her seance shows.
    Her response was more or less “sometimes the spirits don’t cooperate”, and well, the show must go on.

    Personally I learned a lot from Isis Unvelied and Secret Doctrine. She opened my mind to many things.
    So much so I bought and read everything she has ever written.
    But to say she was not a medium, or that she was not a business woman, is plain and outright ridiculousness.
    Why not just say the truth?

    1. Because none of that is true! “Ignorance emboldens,” wrote HPB and the untruthful one here is yourself, boldly and authoritatively making all these assertions which have no basis in fact.

      Perhaps you would like to prove your assertions, both from the peculiar claim that her work is mediumistic and that the Masters were channelled to the more libellous assertions about her being a self-confessed fraudulent money-making medium. On a side note, IF this were true, how anyone could maintain respect and admiration for her is itself a big question from an ethical perspective.

      But you apparently have neither genuine respect nor genuine admiration, seeing as if you truly believe what you are saying it means that you have willingly accepted some very old lies which originate primarily with a few people who had personal vendettas against her and who are known to have been in the employ of the Christian church for the purpose of trying to destroy her reputation, namely the Coulombs and Vsevolod Solovyov.

      We are not aware of any respected biographer (Theosophist or otherwise) of HPB in the past decade or more making such claims as these, other than to demonstrate how such old claims were false and malicious. You advise us to “do the research.” We have done much of it; apparently you have done very little, other than from anti-Theosophical sources. Perhaps you should try reading “HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky” by Sylvia Cranston, which is so far the most extremely detailed, referenced, and researched, biography of her that has been published.

      If you truly have “bought and read everything she has ever written” and yet arrived at the conclusion that “her entire corpus is a medium-istic revelation. This is self-evident,” this only sadly goes to show that reading does not automatically equal understanding. We know of many students (students, not mere readers) of her vast writings and do not know of a single one of them who has ever arrived at the same conclusions as yourself. If you ever happen to be near a Lodge or centre of the United Lodge of Theosophists we encourage you to go in and discuss these matters with people who have devoted their whole lives to study and application of HPB’s works; you may be pleasantly surprised…if indeed you do want the real facts of the matter. If you do not want the real facts – which is your perfect right – then you are of course perfectly welcome to continue subscribing to such false and absurd notions as the above. But as long as you do so you cannot expect any servile or submissive responses from any genuine Theosophical students.

      1. This is some kind of joke right? Maybe you don’t understand speaking with spirits of ascended masters is channeling? Let me make this quick, rather than reply line by line to your wrong guesses and insinuations about my character. How about “we” return you to the matter at hand, and wave off this sidetrack often used by new age fairy tale proponents.

        I probably finished my study of Blavatsky before you were born. I say this only because your pomposity and holier-than-thou attitude will not serve you well in the future. Your assumptions are unbecoming a student of any spiritualist philosophy, and your exaggeration and hyperbole is anything but scientific.

        Methodology aside every biographer knows Blavatsky made a living as a psychic. While others were charlatans, she was of course genuine. You must know of her seance-gone-wrong incident, do you not?
        Metaphysically, or shall we say in this case, Theosophically, much of her work has been shown to be plagiarized. This information does not come from scientists, or critics, or even jealous competitors, but that is another story.
        Now frankly, I cannot fathom why anyone would spend their life studying Blavatsky, but that’s your prerogative. You can study mold all your life also.
        Finally, let me only restate ALL that I said, in case you cannot read old posts. I like her for certain reasons, she made me think and research in a certain direction. If you claim channeling is bad, then you claim everything she received from the ascended masters is bad. Easy enough for you?

        PS: Show me where I said that I “bought and read everything she has written”. You scholarship and integrity is looking pretty lax.

        1. In your earlier comment, above on this very page and dated 31st December, you specifically stated: “So much so I bought and read everything she has ever written.” Anyone can see that for themselves. Now (15th January) you say “Show me where I said that I “bought and read everything she has written”. You scholarship and integrity is looking pretty lax.” Whose scholarship and integrity – or at least competence and trustworthiness – is looking bad now?

          As said on our “Contact” page: “Please be aware that although reader comments are welcome on this website we reserve the right to decline comments of an offensive, aggressive, or unnecessarily argumentative nature. The site exists to be of help and service to people who are interested in Theosophy; we are not here to respond to lengthy attacks or participate in endless debates. Disagreement and differences of opinion are welcomed but we ask it to be kept respectful and intelligent.”

          We’ve posted your latest comment just as a sort of object lesson for people.

          In our first response we wrote: “Ignorance emboldens,” wrote HPB and the untruthful one here is yourself, boldly and authoritatively making all these assertions which have no basis in fact.” The same holds true for this latest comment of yours too.

          Absolutely, “speaking with spirits of ascended masters is channeling.” But “Ascended Masters” were an invention of Guy Ballard in the 1930s and there is a massive difference in nature, character, intent, and teaching, between the “Masters of Wisdom” or “Mahatmas” spoken of by HPB and the “Ascended Masters” of the New Age Movement. This article “The Masters in Theosophy” summarises it very briefly and with plenty of references and exact quotations: And by the way, that article is an excerpt from a much longer article we wrote (“Theosophy: An Explanation and Overview” – which was published in a university textbook used by religion and philosophy students. Even non-Theosophist university professors are sufficiently informed nowadays to know that the old claims such as you make are false and have been disproven quite some time ago.

          IF you were right about HPB having said that the Masters she spoke of and communicated with were disembodied, otherworldly, unverifiable, “Ascended Masters,” then the points you’re making would be much more valid. But as we show, she repeatedly wrote, stated, and emphasised, just the opposite, and some of those Masters were also met with by others in their physical bodies.

          In our earlier comment we said: “Perhaps you should try reading “HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky” by Sylvia Cranston, which is so far the most extremely detailed, referenced, and researched, biography of her that has been published.” If you were to do so, you would know that “much of her work has been shown to be plagiarized” is fallacious also. Certainly she was *accused* of being a plagiarist, but Cranston’s work has demonstrated that it is not a valid accusation. See “Was Blavatsky a Plagiarist?” at – which also shows how Coleman himself (the main originator of the plagiarism accusation) was also accused of great plagiarism in some of his own work.

          Perhaps that fact about Coleman helps to shed some light on the strange psychological phenomenon that we see here: people like to loudly, boldly, and even viciously, accuse others of the very same things that they are guilty of, but which for some reason they seem incapable of perceiving and acknowledging within their own characters. On that point we shall quote your own exact words again and are sure that the vast majority of our readers will agree that these apply with far more force to yourself than to those to whom you directed them: “. . . your pomposity and holier-than-thou attitude will not serve you well in the future. Your assumptions are unbecoming a student of any spiritualist philosophy, and your exaggeration and hyperbole is anything but scientific.”

          Any further responses from yourself will be going automatically into the “spam” folder, as befits the work of internet “trolls.” Nonetheless we do sincerely wish you a very good 2019.

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