The Unavoidable Facts about C.W. Leadbeater

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Some Theosophists take offence when they see C.W. Leadbeater being written about in seemingly negative, critical, or condemning tones by other members of the Theosophical Movement. They object to him being referred to as a fraud, a liar, or a fake or being charged with wrecking the Adyar Theosophical Society. This is quite understandable, since they are in most cases entirely unacquainted with the facts of the matter.

Sometimes they respond by attempting to draw people’s attention to written defences and validations of Leadbeater, such as that written by the late Geoffrey Hodson.

There are some vitally important things, however, which are always unmentioned by Geoffrey Hodson and other Leadbeater supporters and defenders, perhaps in many cases because they are simply unaware of them. Yet these are things which are documented and supported by enough reliable and consistent evidence from various sources as to be unquestionable. These include…

* The fact that Leadbeater admitted under oath in 1906 to having performed sexual acts on young boys in his care on numerous occasions and often in ongoing circumstances. This confession, which he made after complaints and allegations from several boys, quite rightly resulted in his being forced out of the Theosophical Society in shame and disgrace, only to later be invited back and readmitted by Annie Besant, much to the disgust of many other Theosophists.

* The fact that he consistently lied about his age and date of birth throughout all his Theosophical career, claiming to have been born in 1847 whereas it was actually 1854, in order to make Annie Besant and others believe that both he and she had incarnated in the same year (she was born in 1847) in order to work together to fulfil a supposed “joint mission.”

* The fact that the Adyar Theosophical Society lost 15,000 members around the world during the period of Leadbeater’s greatest influence.

* The fact that all his teachings and every single book he ever wrote seriously and repeatedly contradict the teachings found in the works of H.P. Blavatsky, not to mention in the Masters’ own Letters which are found to be entirely in accord with HPB’s teachings, seeing as she was – as they themselves said – their “brother” and “direct agent” and that there was “no chance” of them finding anyone better to transmit their Message.

* The fact that HPB’s teachings, reputation, and work were purposely subtly depreciated and not so subtly suppressed, ignored, rejected, and pushed into the background under the joint influence of he and Besant, with them happily allowing “The Secret Doctrine,” “Isis Unveiled,” “The Key to Theosophy” etc. to go out of print and to remain forever unmentioned so as to divert attention to their own radically different teachings.

* The fact that he was secretly a member of a sexual magic group in Australia during the latter part of his life when he lived there, having been introduced to the group by James Wedgwood, his fellow co-founding “Bishop” of the Liberal Catholic Church, whose disgraceful and sickening antics and abuse of young boys are not worth repeating.

* The fact that he repeatedly fabricated stories of meetings with Masters, such as the account told with great sincerity and emotion in his book “The Masters and The Path” of having met the Master Morya physically and in person in London in 1851 when he was “four years old” and around the same time that HPB had met the Master there in London. The discovery after Leadbeater’s death that he had actually not been born until 1854 casts this tale in its true and consciously deceptive light. And if this was just a fraudulent fantasy, then why not all the others?

* The fact that he inculcated a secret teaching and practice amongst specially selected members of the Society, which was referred to as “the X. teaching,” where the select few were instructed to regularly practice masturbation whilst focussing their minds and imagination upon the “Solar Logos” and that he also taught and personally practiced such things with groups of boy pupils, who were also sworn to secrecy, although one or two of them later revealed and confessed the facts, after Leadbeater had died.

* The fact that he was frequently under investigation by the police and considered by them “a person of interest” due to both rumours and accusations of paedophilia which unfailingly arose wherever he went.

* The fact that eyewitnesses reported having seen him perform indecent acts upon the young Krishnamurti and that Krishnamurti in later years when asked about Leadbeater would only say “That man was evil.”

There is much more than that but those are some of the most important facts which are often purposely overlooked or even denied – although they can’t be denied – by Leadbeater supporters.

In our recent article Maitreya in the Light of Real Theosophy we have included a link to a document containing transcripts of various kinds regarding some of the above, including verbatim legal transcripts, court reports, confessions, and graphic letters written by Leadbeater to boy proteges.

The main and most exhaustive and thoroughly well documented source for the facts about his life is probably Gregory Tillett’s book “The Elder Brother: A Biography of Charles Webster Leadbeater” published sometime in the 1980s as well as Tillett’s over 1,000 page thesis about him online at

Numerous books and articles written during Leadbeater’s actual lifetime by concerned Theosophists and some of his ex-followers and disciples also add to the picture. Alice Leighton Cleather’s “H.P. Blavatsky – A Great Betrayal” published in the 1920s is very revelatory, as was a book titled “Neo-Theosophy Exposed” by F.T. Brooks which exposed, in its nearly 900 pages, so many of the highly unsavoury facts about Leadbeater’s activities and his incredible influence over Annie Besant that Besant had her associates purchase every available copy of the book in order to put an immediate halt to its circulation.

As of April 2016, a much lengthier and more specifically detailed article has been put online, titled The Case against C.W. Leadbeater.

However, we believe – as all students of Theosophy should – in freedom of belief and opinion, so if people want to believe in spite of all the facts and evidence against it that C.W. Leadbeater was a great man and a true messenger of the Masters, then they are more than welcome and we would never dream of denying them their right to hold an individual opinion.

It was, however, H.P. Blavatsky herself who coined the term “Pseudo-Theosophy”. In her article of that name she made some rather prophetic statements and remarked that it would be better for the Theosophical Society to lose almost all its members than to be “made a spectacle to the world through the exaggerations of some fanatics, and the attempts of various charlatans to profit by a ready-made programme. These, by disfiguring and adapting Occultism to their own filthy and immoral ends, bring disgrace upon the whole movement.”

She went on to say that “If the “false prophets of Theosophy” are to be left untouched, the true prophets will be very soon – as they have already been – confused with the false. It is nigh time to winnow our corn and cast away the chaff,” adding that both “the false prophets, the pretenders” and “their weak-minded dupes” must be challenged, because “We do not believe in allowing the presence of sham elements in Theosophy.”

The Truth will always prevail and wilful ignorance will not make it go away.

~ ~

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7 thoughts on “The Unavoidable Facts about C.W. Leadbeater

  1. Freedom of thought is still a much valued gift to the Human journey there are many men in all traditions who have been wicked who have been self serving who have taught false doctrine there is false doctrine in all traditions at some level yet The eternal light is present in each person as a practicing Roman Catholic I was deeply disappointed by the behaviour of many of its priests only hope is that I follow this Inner Light I can be deeply disappointed in all I see in all that I follow yet once again as we look towards the truth as we seek the truth the truth is made evident within a and becomes present to the world and how we live let us hold a heart of compassion for all those who sin not only against themselves against God and against us

  2. An attack like this on people is very untheosophical. The Buddha’s Nobel Eightfold Path talks about ‘Right Speech’. Better to say nothing than at all than unkindness which is not based on fact as you assert.

    1. Richard, you ought to read “The Case against C.W. Leadbeater” at if you think this information is not based on fact.

      How can it be “unkindness” to state important facts of which all Theosophists ought to be aware? Is it kinder to allow people to go on ignorance, never knowing that the man they revere was in actuality a paedophile and chronic liar who completely distorted and rewrote the Theosophical teachings?

      And those are FACTS, which no-one can legitimately deny.

      Again, read carefully and without biased preconceptions all the information at and do feel free to comment on it if you wish. If you don’t like something you can disbelieve it and dismiss it but that won’t stop it from being true.

    2. When there is an audience for any spiritual teacher, it is important for that audience to know the character of the teacher. Buddhism speaks of sexual misconduct. Mr. Leadbetter earned his unfortunate legacy.

  3. Brillliant article. Very well presented. It’s important to get to the truth whether or not it is unsavory for believers or not.

  4. Unfortunately due to the nature of sexual abuse, too many people say nothing, which is why it’s so shattering for the victims. It is also untheosophical not to search for truth. There are on record accounts from Leadbeater’s victims of his predatory sexual abuse. To bury ones head in the sand only produces an ostrich.

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