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The Identities of the Theosophical Masters Series: Case of the Unknown Superiors Behind the Theosophical Movement



Of your own accord, somehow you stumbled into the complex library and history of “Theosophy.” You have numerously come across the names “Morya” and “Koot Hoomi,” and the term “Adepts.” The Identities of the Theosophical Masters is not about one person, K.H. It is about an entire History of Adepts and Initiates, and their existence in every Age, including great legends of myth, literature and semi-history. You may have an idea of what is meant by the terminology, or perhaps you have done research and have some notion about the topic. Perhaps, you have been introduced to these names through other spiritual groups in the last century, and particularly New Age and neo-Theosophy “ascended masters” or spirit beings. What I want to do is provide a better understanding of the role and history of the “Theosophical Masters” or Mahatmas who were the sponsors and guides behind the Theosophical Movement with activities notably in South Asia, America and Western Europe. We will both come to understand certain theories and critiques put forth regarding the identities of these secretive individuals.


There is sufficient personal accounts and meetings with theosophists about these individuals so often not detailed to those first coming to learn of the history of the Modern Theosophists. This has been detailed in several cases of encounters. Firstly, one must know that we must distinguish “New Age” and later “neo-Theosophy” influences from Theosophy proper. This is in regards to the systematic body of philosophy provided and explained by those “Adepts” or “mahatmas” to whom Helena P. Blavatsky and themselves in The Mahatma Letters asserted were historical human beings, men of flesh and blood, and not disembodied spirits or jinn; nor the mere fictitious creations of H.P.B. to conceal their true identities under a political conspiracy.

This pertains to a second issue – K. Paul Johnson’s hypotheses, assumptions and interpretations about the real identities of the Theosophical Masters. K. Paul Johnson is a former member of the Theosophical Society who joined the Church of Light in 2005 and retired from his position as head librarian at the Halifax County-South Boston Regional Library in 2008. For many years the author has encountered numerous persons not Theosophists who through some means were introduced to K. Paul Johnson’s claims identifying the Masters as either fictitious inventions of H.P. Blavatsky, or fictitious inventions but based on the real historical identities of political figures. A while back, I had wrote, that “Besides Dr. Wernekke of Germany, the Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas, and Ramalingam Pillai’s insight, Charles J. Ryan and famous Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov defended the existence of masters (Vladimir Solovyov and Charles J. Ryan: ‘H.P.B. did not invent the Tibetan Brotherhood and Chelas’).

Namely, in this case in K. Paul Johnson’s research, he asserted that H.P.B.’s portrayal of Master Morya and Koot Hoomi was designed to mislead in order to protect the privacy of the real identities, i.e., that the personae of the Masters are covers for other people. There are problems with this, as will be shown. This article was originally meant to supersede, or be a revision of The Identity of Koot Hoomi of Kashmir, and College and Travels by discussing more about Morya as well. Instead, lets deal with some misunderstandings, and expand the scope on the influences underlying the Theosophical Movement, and the profiles of a number of adepts and sponsors, including K.H. and Morya.


A number of researchers have demonstrated undoubtedly, that K. Paul Johnson contradicts his suspicions, and the logic of his arguments were not consistent. For now, we are only discussing partial work from the case study of Daniel H. Caldwell in this paper.

To read K. Paul Johnson’s theories about the Theosophical masters, and then adopt them as conclusive ignores this issue and other testimony when it disagrees with K. Paul Johnson’s speculations. The non-Theosophical scholar commonly views the Theosophical masters as the fanciful inventions of H.P. Blavatsky – some simply because. . .; and others, having come across K. Paul Johnson’s theories adopt them on no criteria besides pure skepticism. K. Paul Johnson seemed only to believe testimonies when they agreed with his speculations. Among scholars, this subject has been considered too outré, weird or far-out to be satisfyingly solved.

Clearly however, the issue about the existences of the mahatmas has remained unsatisfactorily closed to both Theosophists and scholars; and precisely because the brotherhood never wanted to be found. In the case for the Theosophists who believe that H.P.B.’s masters and their federations of fraternities existed, including myself, yes, this is convenient. Though, we have as one can tell, far more than faith to go on, as we are not dealing with ghosts. Sure, one can be skeptical of the non-physical means of communication, such as telepathy, but of the physical encounters, no.

Other researchers have tried to interpret the history of the Theosophical Movement through a racial lens as conjectural as K. Paul Johnson’s speculations, concluding, that (1) the masters were inventions of these Europeans through their romantic and colonial imaginings about the Orient; and (2) the introduction of the concepts “Black and White Magic” linked to light and dark by European esotericists is rooted in racism, and were developed in the context of the justification for slavery, “an example of intentional and explicit white supremacy” (Brandy Williams, White Light, Black Magic: Racism in Esoteric Thought). In one sense, the proponents of the second position are partially correct, given that the concept has been used by a certain number of esotericists to connect to racial theory. These positions hold, so long as its defendant continues to assert, that the “mahatmas” are the fictitious inventions and romanticizations of these Europeans. However, it ought to be noted, that these “adepts” as said are of various nationalities and ethnicity, and they are not inventions of a colonial imagination. It is rather a story of real and difficult interactions and communication obstacles, both physically and culturally, during the colonial periods.

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