Theosophical Society

Formed in 1875, the Theosophical Society is an organization whose members’ beliefs are based in large part on elements of occultism, Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Zoroastrianism, incorporating a variety of concepts related to reincarnation, mysticism, and spiritualism. At the time of its inception, the group was dedicated to studying and explaining the nature of psychic mediums and to investigating ancient teleportation 294 The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phemomena mysteries, including the location of lost worlds and the reason behind the Egyptian pyramids. The driving force behind this work was mystic, occultist, and selfprofessed psychic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who founded the society with psychic investigator Henry Steel Olcott. Blavatsky promoted the group’s teachings through such writings as Isis Unveiled (1877), The Secret Doctrine (1888), and Key to Theosophy (1889). In The Secret Doctrine, she claims that spirits of the Orient had told her that an advanced civilization exists within a hollow Earth, populated by beings from two lost worlds, Atlantis and Lemuria. According to Blavatsky, for centuries these beings have acted as benevolent caretakers of Earth and its people. Blavatsky named her group the Theosophical Society because the word theosophy refers to philosophical systems that rely on mystical knowledge of the nature of God. The group continues in existence today, though various disputes have divided it into three factions. One is based in India, where Blavatsky moved her headquarters in the late 1880s. Another was established in the United States after Blavatsky’s death in 1891 by William Quan Judge, who had helped Blavatsky and Olcott found the original society. The third, also in the United States, is the result of a 1909 dispute within Judge’s version of the Theosophical Society.


  • Alien Abduction Experiences
  • Atlantis
  • Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna
  • Lemuria


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

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