The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
The Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society, Mutual Life Buildings, Queen Street, Auckland. The Theosophical Society was formed at New York on the 17th of November, 1875, by Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky. Its founders believed that the best interests of religion and science would be promoted by the revival of Sanskrit, Pali, Zend, and other ancient literature, in which the sages and initiates had preserved for the use of mankind truths of the highest value respecting man and nature. page 238 The objects of the Society are: (1) to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour; (2) to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; and (3) to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. No person's religious opinions are asked upon his joining, nor is interference with them permitted, but every one is required, before admission, to promise to show towards his fellow members the same tolerance in this respect as he claims for himself. As a body, the Society eschews politics and all subjects outside its declared sphere of work, and the rules stringently forbid members to compromise its strict mentality in these matters. The headquarters are at Adyar, a suburb of Madras, India. Up to the 27th of December, 1899, 570 charters for branches had been issued. Each branch frames its own by-laws and manages its own local business without interference from headquarters, provided that the fundamental rules of the Society are not violated. In New Zealand an attempt was made to establish a branch in 1888, at Wellington, but it ultimately became inactive. A more successful effort was made in Auckland in November, 1891, and since then the work and teachings of the Society have spread over the whole Colony. The general secretaries for New Zealand are Messrs C. W. Sanders and F. Davidson.