Published by Blavatsky Study Center.


On Pseudo-Theosophy and Pseudo-Adepts
Compiled from the writings of H.P. Blavatsky


"Look around you and observe. While two-thirds of civilized society ridicule the mere notion that there is anything in Theosophy, Occultism, Spiritualism, or in the Kabala, the other third is composed of the most heterogeneous and opposite elements."

"Some believe in the mystical, and even in the supernatural (!), but each believes in his own way. Others will rush single-handed into the study of the Kabala, Psychism, Mesmerism, Spiritualism, or some form or another of Mysticism."

"Result: no two men think alike, no two are agreed upon any fundamental occult principles, though many are those who claim for themselves the ultima thule of knowledge, and would make outsiders believe that they are full-blown adepts. . . . "

"Some limit ancient wisdom to the Kabala and the Jewish Zohar. . . . .Others regard Swedenborg or Boehme as the ultimate expressions of the highest wisdom; while others again see in mesmerism the great secret of ancient magic. One and all of those who put their theory in practice are rapidly drifting, through ignorance, into black magic."

"Happy are those who escape from it, as they have neither test nor criterion by which they can distinguish between the true and the false. . . . "

"A portion of the true [esoteric] sciences is better than a mass of undigested and misunderstood learning. An ounce of gold is worth a ton of dust. . . . " (1)


"With the spread of the spiritualistic cult, the Messiah craze has vastly increased, and men and women alike have been involved in its whirlpools. Given, a strong desire to reform somehow the religious or social aspect of the world, a personal hatred of certain of its aspects, and a belief in visions and messages, and the result was sure; the 'Messiah' arose with a universal panacea for the ills of mankind. If he (very often she) did not make the claim, it was made for him. Carried away by the magnetic force, the eloquence, the courage, the single idea of the apostle pro tem, numbers, for very varied reasons, accepted him or her as the revelator of the hour and of all time."

". . . To distinguish the white rays of truth from influx from the astral sphere, requires a training which ordinary sensitives, whether avowed spiritualists or not, do not possess. Ignorance emboldens, and the weak will always worship the bold."

"Some of these apostles denounce alike Spiritualism and Theosophy; some accept the latter, but weave it anew into a version of their own; and some have apparently arisen, independently of any other cult, through the force of their own or somebody else's conviction...."

"There is an avowed re-incarnation of Buddha in the United States, and an avowed re-incarnation of Christ. Both have followers; both have been interviewed and said their best. They and others like unto them have had signs, illuminations, knowledge not common to men, and events pointing in a marked way to this their final destiny. There has even been a whisper here and there of supernatural births. . . . And the result is sorry to behold, for each seems to be putting the crown upon his own head."

"Wherever [genuine] Theosophy spreads, there it is impossible for the deluded to mislead, or the deluded to follow. It opens a new path, a forgotten philosophy which has lived through the ages, a knowledge of the psychic nature of man, which reveals alike the true status of the Catholic saint, and the spiritualistic medium the Church condemns. It gathers reformers together, throws light on their way, and teaches them how to work towards a desirable end with most effect, but forbids any to assume a crown or sceptre, and no less delivers from a futile crown of thorns."

"Mesmerisms and astral influences fall back, and the sky grows clear enough for higher light. It hushes the 'Lo here! and lo there!' and declares the Christ, like the kingdom of heaven, to be within. It guards and applies every aspiration and capacity to serve humanity in any man, and shows him how. It overthrows the giddy pedestal, and safely cares for the human being on solid ground. Hence, in this way, and in all other ways, it is the truest deliverer and saviour of our time."

"To enumerate the various 'Messiahs' and their beliefs and works would fill volumes. It is needless. When claims conflict, all, on the face of it, cannot be true. Some have taught less error than others. It is almost the only distinction. And some have had fine powers imperilled and paralyzed by leadings they did not understand." (2)


"Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of the Masters [Koot Hoomi and Morya] have been subjected. There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have seen them."

"Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by 'Masters' often supposed to be far higher than ours! Many and heavy are the sins of those who advanced these claims, prompted either by desire for lucre, vanity, or irresponsible mediumship . . . ."

"The sacred names of Occultism and the holy keepers thereof have been dragged in this filthy mire, polluted by being associated with sordid motives and immoral practices, while thousands of men and women have been held back from the path of truth and light through the discredit and evil report which such shams, swindles, and frauds have brought upon the whole subject." (3)


". . . A new and rapidly growing danger. . . is threatening . . . the spread of the pure Esoteric Philosophy and knowledge. . . . I allude to those charlatanesque imitations of Occultism and Theosophy. . . . "

"By pandering to the prejudices of people, and especially by adopting the false ideas of a personal God and a personal, carnalized Saviour, as the groundwork of their teaching, the leaders of this 'swindle' (for such it is) are endeavoring to draw men to them and in particular to turn Theosophists from the true path."

". . . A close examination will assuredly reveal. . . materials largely stolen . . . from Theosophical writings. . . [and] distorted and falsified so as to be palmed off on the unwary as revelations of new and undreamed of truths. But many will neither have the time nor the opportunity for such a thorough investigation; and before they become aware of the imposture they may be led far from the Truth."

". . . Nothing is more dangerous to Esoteric Truth than the garbled and distorted versions disfigured to suit the prejudices and tastes of men in general." (4)


"….save us from the impudent distortion of our theosophical teachings…."

"....deliver us. . . from . . . the 'Solar Adepts' as they dub themselves, and their sun-struck followers. . . ."

". . . . They plagiarized from our books, set up sham schools of magic, waylaid seekers after truth by deceiving them with holy names. . . [and] misused and desecrated the sacred science…."

"….Before the appearance of modern Theosophical literature it was 'Spirits' and 'Controls' that were ever in the mouths of these folk; now the living 'adepts' are served up with every sauce. It is ever and always Adepts here, Hierophants there. . . ."

"The angels from the 'Summer Land' are going out of fashion just now, for Spiritualists begin to know better and to discriminate. But because the 'adept' idea, or rather their philosophy, begins to gain ground, this is no reason why pretenders of every description should travesty in their . . . productions the teachings, phraseology, and Sanskrit terms out of theosophical books; or why, again, they should turn round and make people believe that these were given them by other 'Hierophants,' in their opinion, far higher, nobler and grander than our teachers."

"The great evil of the whole thing is, not that the truths of Theosophy are adopted by these blind teachers, for we should gladly welcome any spread, by whatever means, of ideals so powerful to wean the world from its dire materialism - but that they are so interwoven with mis-statements and absurdities that the wheat cannot be winnowed from the chaff, and ridicule, if not worse, is brought to bear upon. . . [the Theosophical] movement. . . ."

"How shall men discern good from evil, when they find it in its close embrace?"

"The very words, 'Arhat,' 'Karma,' 'Maya,' 'Nirvana,' must turn enquirers from our threshold when they have been taught to associate them with such a teeming mass of ignorance and presumption. . . ."

"Though false coin is the best proof of the existence of genuine gold, yet, the false deceives the unwary. . . ." (5)


"….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."

"… We do not believe in allowing the presence of sham elements in Theosophy, because of the fear, forsooth, that if even 'a false element in the faith' is ridiculed, the latter 'is apt to shake the confidence' in the whole…."

"…However it may be, let rather our ranks be made thinner, than the Theosophical Society go on being 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…."

"….One . . . such [bogus Esoteric and Occult Society] just sprung up . . . is now being nipped in the bud and exposed by our own Theosophists."

"These are the 'Solar adepts' . . . No event could vindicate the policy of our journal [Lucifer] better than the timely exposure of these pseudo-adepts, those 'Sages of the Ages' who bethought themselves of trading upon the public hunger for the marvellous ad absurdum. "

". . . . For we have averted thereby a great and new danger to the Society--namely that of unscrupulous charlatans being taken for Theosophists.  Misled by their lies and their publications filled with terms from Eastern philosophy and with ideas they had bodily stolen from us only to disfigure and misapply them--the American press has already referred to them as Theosophists. . . ."  (6)


(1) Blavatsky, H.P. The Key to Theosophy, original 1889 edition, pp. 21-22.

(2) Blavatsky, H.P. "Modern Apostles and Pseudo-Messiahs," Lucifer (London), July, 1890.

(3) Blavatsky, H.P. The Key to Theosophy, original 1889 edition, p. 301.

(4) Blavatsky, H.P. E.S. Instruction No. I., 1889.

(5) Blavatsky, H.P. "The Year Is Dead, Long Live The Year!," Lucifer (London), January, 1889.

(6) Blavatsky, H.P. "On Pseudo-Theosophy,"  Lucifer (London), March, 1889.