Charles Webster Leadbeater

CWL World: A Primary Source Archive for the Life and Work of C. W. Leadbeater

CWL Speaks - full text

Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, in a photograph of 1884, in London, the year she first met CWL.

Dedication written by H. P. Blavatsky on the copy of her book The Key to Theosophy, which she presented to C. W. Leadbeater in London.

A young Charles Webster Leadbeater with his mother, Emma.

T. Subba Rao was an initiated Chela of the Mahatmas. CWL was a member of his esoteric group in Madras in the mid-1880s.

A. P. Sinnett, through whose agency CWL joined the Theosophical Society in 1883.

Betrand Keightley, who prosecuted CWL at the Advisory Board meeting in London, May 1906, presided by Col. Olcott.

A young J. Krishnamurti in Madras,1910,
after his First Initiation.

Letter from Mahatma K. H., one of the inner Founders of the Theosophical Society, accepting C. W. Leadbeater as his Chela (disciple). It was received in London, at midnight of 31st October 1884, through the occult agency of Madame Blavatsky. He would later travel with her to India.

Charles Webster Leadbeater was a well-known clairvoyant and theosophist who dedicated his life to the dissemination of Theosophy. He left his position as a clergyman in the Church of England in 1884, travelling with Madame Helena Blavatsky to India to help her in her work for the Theosophical Society. He was accepted as a chela (disciple) by Mahatma K.H., one of HPB’s Adept-Teachers, in a letter (part two) written by him to the young Leadbeater while the latter was still in England.

His investigations into the unseen dimensions of life have had a far-reaching influence on the contemporary world, one of them being the discovery of the young J. Krishnamurti on the Adyar beach in Madras, India, in April 1909, who would later become one of the most respected and insightful spiritual teachers of the twentieth century.

This website makes available aspects of CWL’s vast literary output as well as biographical information, some of which hitherto unpublished in academic works about him. Also included are the charges and accusations against him, his work for the Theosophical Society and the Liberal Catholic Church, and a comprehensive list of his books, written over a period of several decades. CWL World also shows a number of photographs, letters, rare archival material and key testimonies, by those who knew and worked with him, about his life, his character and his helpfulness.


C. W. Leadbeater and AI NEW

Can Women Become Adepts? Damodar K. Mavlankar  NEW

On the Mahatma K.H.’s Retreat: Extracts from The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett NEW

Krishnamurti’s Experiences in Ojai, California, 1922 NEW

The Higher Psychism by James I. Wedgwood NEW

Reminiscences about the Beginnings of The Liberal Catholic Church by Bishop Leadbeater NEW

“Ask the Master plainly whether I am abandoned and fallen, and see what is the reply”:
 A Letter from C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant

Can a Theosophist Be a Christian?

Harming Someone by Thought?
An Essay on Theosophical Fiction

A Wise Elder Brother - Testimonies about C. W. Leadbeater
by Those Who Knew Him (104 pages, with photographs)


The Theosophic Life by Annie Besant

A (Pathless) Truth Beyond all Religions?

After Listening to Krishnaji by Dr C. Kunhan Raja
(The Theosophist, April, 1934)

H. P. Blavatsky on the Nature of Magic

Occult Chemistry by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater (online edition)

Reminiscences About Adyar by N. Sri Ram

A Day in the Life of Adyar (2009)

The Stable Mind

A Path that Cannot Be Sought

A Noite Escura da Alma

Animals and Their Qualities

An Enduring Vision

Krishnamurti and St. Paul

Light on the Path: Paradoxes of the Mystical Life

The Mahatmas and the TS

Understanding Self-Centredness

The Occultism of Southern India by T. Subba Rao
(from The Theosophist, January 1889)

Karma and Grace by Virginia Hanson

The Esoteric School of Theosophy

CWL on Magic

The Way to Seership

Messages from the Unseen

On God and Evil: An Extract from The Mahatma Letters 

Thought-Forms by Annie Besant (1896)

Radhaji: A Tribute by Sri S. Harihara Raghavan 

Memory in the Dying by Madame Blavatsky 

How to End Obsession by Rt. Rev. C. W. Leadbeater 

A Recent Conversation with the Mahatmas by Col. Henry S. Olcott 

Col. Olcott’s Last Letter to C. W. Leadbeater - January 1907

Col. Olcott, Annie Besant and CWL at Adyar, 1905

How are we influenced by public opinion by C. W. Leadbeater

A Mahatma’s Visit to a Medium

The Catholic and the Puritan Spirit in the TS by Annie Besant

Places of Pilgrimage in India by T. Subba Row

Understanding Violence by Pedro Oliveira

The Spiritual Path and the Phoenix Mystery by Linda Oliveira 

Blavatsky and Krishnamurti: A Timeless Dialogue

Annie Besant in India - online edition 

The Battle of Theosophy by Pedro Oliveira 

The Failure Archetype by Pedro Oliveira 

Magic and the Left Hand Path: from the writings of Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater 

Articles Written by the Masters and Published in The Theosophist
Mary K. Neff 

The Hidden Side of The Theosophist: Mary K. Neff 

Interview with S. S. Varma

Annie Besant and The Secret Doctrine

Why do we Belong to the Theosophical Society? by Linda Oliveira 

Introduction to Annie Besant in India

‘Drawn into the Vortex of Probation’ (as described in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett) 

Theosophy and Psychism

Authority in Theosophy?

Is Theosophy an Ideology?

Episodes of a Living History

Who was Djual Khool?  by Pedro Oliveira

Annie Besant in India - Book Review by Michelle Osborne 

Why is Religion part of the Second Object of the Theosophical Society?

Elementals and Elemental Essence by C. W. Leadbeater and Betrand Keightley


Has Theosophy Become a Creed?
The Future of the Theosophical Society 
Annie Besant, J. J. van der Leeuw and C. W. Leadbeater 

On Gossip: A Harmful Habit?

Fragments of Autobiography of Russell Balfour-Clarke 
An old associate of C.W. Leadbeater recollects aspects of his own life and his work with CWL. 

The Attitude of the Enquirer by C. W. Leadbeater

Conversations with Radha Burnier

The Octagonal Bungalow at Adyar, where CWL developed clairvoyance.


The Leadbeaters: Brief Biographical Information by Pedro Oliveira

The Birth of a Clairvoyant: Charles Webster Leadbeater by Ricardo Lindemann, Ph.D.

CWL in Brazil: Further Evidence 

Dora van Gelder Kunz and Fritz Kunz audio recording about C. W. Leadbeater

Connection with Madame Blavatsky

HPB in Tibet


Madame Blavatsky and C. W. Leadbeater: A Timeline

T. Subba Rao, Col. Olcott, Mohini Chatterji, CWL and others at the 1885 TS Convention at Adyar.

What HPB Thought of CWL

When C. W. Leadbeater Met Madame Blavatsky: First Impressions

CWL Travels with Madame Blavatsky

At Cairo and Madraby Isabel Cooper-Oakley (On the Coulomb Case)

Charles Webster Leadeater’s Essays and Lectures on Freemasonry:  

Letters from the Master

First Letter of Master K.H. to CWL (1884) - with facsimile of the original document

The Turning Point in CWL’s Life: Second Letter from Master K.H.

CWL Receives his third Letter from Master K.H.

CWL, the Mahatma and God

The Maha-Chohan’s Letter - historical renderings

A ringing chorus by Gounod (from Thought Forms, 1901.)


T. Subba Row, CWL and Esoteric Teachings

The Mystery of C. W. Leadbeater’s Clairvoyance

An Hour with Mr Leadbeater by Ernest Wood

Death of T. Subba Row - Article by H. S. Olcott

A Mysterious Manuscript


My First Flight

The Akashic Records (1897)

The Aura by C. W. Leadbeater (1895)

G. R. S. Mead’s Review of Man Visible and Invisible by CWL 

Work for Buddhism in Ceylon with Col. Olcott

                                             Col. Olcott, CWL, and Buddhist leaders in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), 1889.

The Buddhist Curate: C.W. Leadbeaters Contribution to Buddhist Education in Ceylon by Pedro Oliveira

Writing and Lecturing

Two Leading Students of HPB Review C. W. Leadbeater’s Books

CWL’s Books in the Digital Age

C. W. Leadbeaters Teachings by Alfred Taylor

A Comprehensive List of C. W. Leadbeater’s Books

Occult Chemistry

‘Occultism and the atom: the curious story of isotopes’ by Jeff Hughes 
(the influence of 
Occult Chemistry

                                                             (reproduced by permission)

The Story of Occult Chemistry by Elizabeth W. Preston

Occult Chemistry by Annie Besant 

Accusations and Allegations

Views on E. L. Gardner’s Criticisms of C. W. Leadbeater

A Few Hours at Adyar And What They Were Made to Reveal by T. H. Martyn 

CWL Speaks: a few praises and criticisms

The Cipher Letter: Historical Background by Pedro Oliveira

Facts and Testimony concerning Bishop Leadbeater by E. L. Gardner

1906 and 1908 - A letter from Annie Besant to the Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

From Exile: C. W. Leadbeater’s letter to Fritz Kunz, August 1906 

C. W. Leadbeater - The Received Tradition 

Freedom of Thought by Dr Hugh Shearman

C. W. Leadbeater: Various Testimonies

The book CWL Speaks – C. W. Leadbeater’s Correspondence concerning
 the 1906 Crisis in the Theosophical Society
is now online. You can read it here

The Discovery of Krishnaji

Testimony of One of Krishnamurti’s Tutors at Adyar, 1909

Krishnamurti: Ninety Years of Theosophical Ripples

Krishnamurti Speaks About His Discovery

Krishnaji and CWL

                                                     A group at Taormina, Italy, 1912

The Custody Case

Ernest Wood’s letter regarding C.W. Leadbeater (1913)

When Leadbeater went to Court

For Private Circulation (1913 Madras Court Case)

Moving to Australia

The World Mother

The Liberal Catholic Church

Police Investigation

Sydney Police Investigates C. W. Leadbeater

                                                                                     A group at Mackays residence, Sydney, 1922.

At the Request of Annie Besant, Moves to Adyar

C. W. Leadbeater’s letter to a correspondent: Annie Besant, HPB Centenary (1931)
 and the “Back to Blavatsky” movement, plus Bertram Keightley at Adyar

Dies in Perth, 1 March 1934

Harold Morton: CWL’s Last Days

                         A Requiem Eucharist for Bishop Leadbeater, Perth, Western Australia, March 1934.


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