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Tillet extract

Jun 19, 1997 06:11 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

>From ~The Elder Brother~ by Gregory Tillet [1982]:

Leadbeater later claimed that much of the evidence against him in
   the transcript of the 1906 hearing had been 'fabricated' or was
   the result of transcription errors. However, in the custody case
   over Krishnamurti in Madras in 1913, Leadbeater again admitted
   that he had taught boys masturbation (the precise meaning of the
   word 'taught' was never fully explored). He denied touching the
   boys, but in answer to one question talked about a case in which
   he had done so. He declared that he gave specific sexual advice
   to boys on the basis of the thought forms he could see hovering
   about them, indicating their sexual arousal and emotional

Claims that he had initiated sexual activities were specifically
   made by two of his pupils in the USA in relation to the 1906
   'troubles', when it was claimed that he had indulged in mutual
   masturbation, alleging that this would promote physical vigour
   and have occult results as well. Hubert van Hook also alleged,
   in later years, that Leadbeater had engaged in sexual relations
   with him. But other than these three boys, and one in Australia,
   none of his pupils ever offered any public suggestion of sexual
   irregularities. Mrs Besant had stated that sex was not
   permissible for an Initiate, and the pupils all repeated that
   Leadbeater stressed the importance of purity. There were,
   however, a few things which might have led the suspicious to
   wonder. Why did Leadbeater invariably sleep with a young boy in
   his bed? And why did he invariably have a boy in the bath with
   him? It has been argued that his weak heart necessitated such
   companionship for fear he might have some sort of attack whilst
   alone; but does companionship require mutual nakedness in close
   proximity? And why did Leadbeater insist on communal bathing for
   his pupils at The Manor, with all of them in the bathroom,
   naked, at the same time? He was given an enema every morning by
   one or other of his pupils, in the presence of the others whilst
   they bathed. This, said the close associate of Leadbeater's who
   told of the morning ritual, may have given rise to
   misinterpretations. One could understand why.

Furthermore, there was a strange occult relationship between
   Leadbeater and some of his pupils, which seemed to have
   unhealthy implications. In his article 'A modem Socrates', A.J.
   Hamerster recalled that the pupil-teacher relationship often
   employed 'spiritual induction' whereby the pupils not only
   receive something from their teacher, but give 'something from
   their vital energy whereby the ancient Teacher was enabled to
   recuperate some of his failing strength'. In his own copy of
   this article, bound in with his Collected Articles in the Adyar
   Library, Hamerster has noted, in handwriting: 'Often was this
   phenomena observed by me in C.W Leadbeater's latter days in
   Adyar and many times I heard it from the lips of his young
   disciples how they actually felt their strength being drained
   from them.'

There were those who defended Leadbeater's 'teachings' (popularly
   assumed in the TS to have been condoning masturbation) on
   grounds which suggested the teachings involved more than was
   commonly known. Some suggested the teachings were given occultly
   in Mrs Besant's The Pedigree of Man. Others argued that it was a
   necessary means for humanity to return to the hermaphroditic
   state, and yet others said that it was too esoteric a system for
   anyone other than a disciple to understand. The O.E.  Library
   Critic even suggested that Leadbeater's book, The Monad,
   included a reference to some form of 'psychic orgasm'.

Eventually evidence was found that Leadbeater had taught a sexual
   technique, other than masturbation in the sense understood by
   the 1906 enquiry, to a highly select group of his closest
   pupils, and that he gave an occult and spiritual basis for this
   teaching. Details of the teachings were contained within the
   diaries of one of Leadbeater's closest pupils. Unfortunately
   access to this material was closed almost immediately it had
   been given; it does, however, provide a solution to the mystery.
   That Leadbeater promulgated these teachings was later confided
   by one of his closest associates, who was reluctant to give the
   information, feeling that it would be misunderstood. He did not
   regard Leadbeater's teaching as 'immoral' or improper, but, as
   Leadbeater claimed, occult. In simple terms, Leadbeater taught
   that the energy aroused in masturbation can be used as a form of
   occult power, a great release of energy which can, first,
   elevate the consciousness of the individual to a state of
   ecstasy and, second, direct a great rush of psychic force
   towards the Logos for His use in occult work. Leadbeater
   declared: 'The closest man can come to a sublime spiritual
   experience is orgasm.' During masturbation, the mind should
   gradually be elevated towards the Godhead and, in his words, 'as
   soon as the seed can be felt in the tube', the consciousness
   should be so exalted that the great release of physical and
   psychical energy is directed to the Logos or to an image of Him.
   This occult knowledge of sex was regarded as too dangerous to
   give to the average person, or, indeed, to the average pupil of
   Leadbeater's. It was reserved for the select few, who were sworn
   to secrecy, and told that they were justified in not telling the
   truth about this highly occult matter should they be questioned.
   It was so secret and sacred a matter that a dual standard of
   morality - that of the ordinary man, and that of the spiritually
   evolved occultist - applied. The select pupils, on rare
   occasions, engaged in group ritual masturbation which was
   intended to send out especially powerful emanations.

Once the sexual passions were aroused, Leadbeater taught, they
   should be properly directed, and not wasted. Such sexual
   exercises could lead to the development of psychic powers and
   experiences of 'Nirvana' and the higher worlds. One thus
   re-reads a passage in his book, Clairvoyance, with a somewhat
   different understanding:

Let a man choose a certain time every day - a time when he can rely
   upon being quiet and undisturbed, though preferably in the day
   time rather than at night - and set himself at this time to keep
   his mind for a few moments entirely free from all earthly
   thoughts of any kind whatever and, when that is achieved, to
   direct the whole force of his being towards the highest
   spiritual ideal that he happens to know. He will find that to
   gain such perfect control of thought is enormously more
   difficult than he supposes, but when he attains it it cannot but
   be in every way most beneficial to him, and as he grows more and
   more able to elevate and concentrate his thought, he may
   gradually find that new worlds are opening before his sight.

Does this, on its 'inner side', have reference to anything more
   than meditation in an intellectual sense?

>From this sexual teaching of Leadbeater's two interesting themes
   can be followed. The first is that it fits in with a
   considerable 'movement' in aesthetic and religious circles at
   the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth
   century in which a spiritual relationship, with sexual
   implications, between Teacher and Pupil was exalted to a sacred
   degree. Timothy d'Arch Smith, in his study of 'Uranian' poets,
   began by noting:

between the eighteen nineties and the nineteen thirties a boy was a
   very quiet, self-effacing and unobtrusive creature indeed.  The
   Uranians' adoration of such a person was not therefore
   immediately suspect as it is in modern society where the state
   is intolerant of any intrusion into her prerogative of wet-nurse
   or where certain Sunday newspapers are as thoughtlessly swift to
   condemn such relationships as they are immorally prompt to
   arouse their young readers' erotic ardour with pictures of near
   nude females, and it is probable that the Uranians' love of boys
   gave genuine help and affection where no official organization
   or counsel existed outside the home or school.

The term 'Uranian' was coined, d'Arch Smith notes, by those who
   advocated 'boy love' in the period from the 1880s to the 1930s,
   and included such figures as Oscar Wilde, Edward Carpenter, John
   Addington Symonds, William Johnson Cory and Ralph Nicholas
   Chubb. Of the last named, it was said he endeavoured 'to raise
   paederasty to a form of religious devotion'. Amongst the
   religious figures d'Arch Smith includes Fr. Ignatius of
   Llanthony, George Reader, Frederick Widdows, Frederick Samuel
   Willoughby (who consecrated Wedgwood), and Leadbeater. Obviously
   Wedgwood and some of his associates should also have been
   included. Many of the Uranians were characterized by a
   retrospective longing for the days of classical Greece, when the
   teacher-pupil relationship, including a sexual relationship
   between an older and a younger man, was held to be the pinnacle
   of culture. One recalls the irony in Leadbeater's frequent
   reference to his own last incarnation in ancient Greece, as the
   pupil of One of Pythagoras' disciples. And one wonders whether
   Leadbeater felt as d'Arch Smith suggests Ralph Nicholas Chubb
   did: 'This spiritualizing of paederasty absolves him from the
   guilt which makes him hate society and turn into a recluse. His
   is no longer a common human weakness, for he has felt the
   cleansing fire of divinity.'

But his sexual teachings did not only link Leadbeater with an
   aesthetic and religious 'movement'. they also relate directly to
   an occult and magical tradition which employed sexual activities
   In a ritual context. Even more relevant, the magical use of
   masturbation is not unknown in some traditions of western
   occultism. The theories of sexual magic can be summarized:

(1) Man possesses hidden powers (often identified with the
   subconscious mind) which give him greater perception, raise him
   to states of ecstasy, expand his consciousness, stimulate
   increased physical, emotional and mental powers;

(2) These powers lie 'buried' beneath some 'barrier' which
   conscious control cannot penetrate, but which can be overcome by
   a variety of techniques, including to some extent drugs and

(3) This 'barrier' can be penetrated through heightening the
   physical, emotional and intellectual focus of the body by sexual
   stimulation', leading to a 'break through' at the point of
   orgasm, at which energy is released.

Techniques employed are heterosexual, homosexual or autosexual.

In the case of autosexual techniques, the aim was usually to
   heighten the consciousness of the magician and focus and
   stimulate his magical power, culminating in the release of
   energy at the point of orgasm. The English artist and magician
   Austin Spare employed a technique of 'magical masturbation' as a
   means of concentrating, releasing and directing magical energy.
   Aleister Crowley also employed magical sexual techniques - of
   every imaginable variety - in his occult work, and in the Ordo
   Templi Orientis, of which he was a member, 'magical
   masturbation' was taught as the technique of one of the higher
   degrees. Precisely how, or indeed if, Leadbeater's teachings
   related to or derived from any of these traditions is unknown,
   since the sources of information are now effectively closed.


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