Formed in 1875 in New York, with international headquarters at Adyar, South India, the Theosophical Society has branches in around seventy countries throughout the world, the Australian Section dating back to 1895. The journalists and public intellectuals associated with the TS in its early days promoted the neglected philosophies of ancient Greece, Egypt, and India, arguing that they contained an unmatched metaphysics, psychology and ethic. It was partly to uncover and promulgate that “Wisdom-Religion” that the Theosophical Society was formed.
The Theosophical Society in Perth, Western Australia
The Theosophical Society in Perth was formed in 1897 and offers regular programmes of talks and study courses on the different aspects of Theosophy, the Ageless Wisdom.
In 1908, Annie Besant visited the Perth Branch of the Theosophical Society and delivered “much appreciated” lectures to both public and members.
The Branch has had very distinguished Australians as its members, including Edith Cowan, a great humanitarian; Muriel Chase, a journalist who helped found the ‘Silver Chair’ movement, which provided assistance for the sick at home; Florence Fuller, an internationally known portrait artist; and Bessie Rischbeith, author, editor, traveller and champion of women’s rights. (Information based on an article by Noel Duzevich, a Perth Lodge Member. ‘Theosophy in Australia’. June 1997)
Freedom of Thought
As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasise the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its Three Objects is the sole condition of membership.
No teacher, no writer, from H.P. Blavatsky downwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to be attached to any school of thought which they may choose, but have no right to force that choice on any other.
Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held or because of membership in any school of thought to which they may belong. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties.
The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly exercise their own right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration of others.
The Theosophical Society in Perth is run by volunteers and is a not for profit organization.