I could leave this one at: I have not studied their work enough to say anything substantial about them. Which is true. I’ve read most of Blavatsky and lots of Jiddu Krishnamurti, but very little Besant or Leadbeater.
I think it’s clear that Annie Besant was a unique and wonderful person. She stood up for the underprivileged, helped bring about India’s independence, organized the Theosophical Society and brought it to prominence. She also saw the start of it’s demise with the defection of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Personally I think her theosophical teachings are the least interesting aspect of her life. But since in the Theosophical Society Adyar people are free to study what they want, there are of course members who do still like her books. Personally I think her style stands the test of time less well than that of Blavatsky or Leadbeater.
Priest, theosophical laborer and then back to being a priest. In between C.W. Leadbeater wrote books about clairvoyance and chakras that were pioneer work for what’s now the wider spiritual movement. He coined popularized the Sanskrit word ‘chakra’ for instance. I cannot ignore his contribution.
This is a controversial blog, so here goes:
I don’t think Leadbeater was a saint. In fact, there are some serious questions to be asked about his dealings with underage boys. Also, I don’t think the Liberal Catholic Church is that useful an organization. Christianity will, or will not, slowly reform as new ways of looking at Jesus emerge. The Liberal Catholic Church was an attempt at getting to a spiritual church in a hurry. I know many people appreciate that, but it’s not for me. Nor do I think it’s destined to be big or even sizable.
Furthermore: the controversy about having or not having women as priests ticks me the wrong way. I’m never going to join an organization where women don’t have the same rights as men. I’m very glad that at least some of the Liberal Catholic Churches world wide (The Dutch one for starters) DO allow women in the clergy.