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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Point Loma Tradition

Point Loma in San Diego, U.S., has played an important historical role in the Theosophical Society (Pasadena), in that there has emerged what many writers refer to as the Point Loma Tradition, represented today by Point Loma Publications.

In 1942 the Point Loma property was sold a few months after the head of the Theosophical Society (TS), Gottfried de Purucker, died. The society first moved its headquarters to Covina, California, then to Pasadena, where it currently resides. Between 1942 and 1951 there was a major split, with a majority of the members quitting or not renewing their membership, not being pleased with the new leadership of and direction that the society was taking. These members formed independent groups and projects to further Theosophy, but never organized another worldwide Theosophical Society of their own. They are known by the name of “Point Loma” since they were in accord with the society through its Point Loma days.

The current society is referred to as the TS Pasadena because that is where its headquarters is, much like the other TS is referred to as the TS Adyar, having headquarters at Adyar, India. One project of the Point Loma group was Point Loma Publications, Inc. [PLP], established by Iverson L. Harris in January 1971. Harris was President until his death in 1979. He was succeeded by W. Emmett Small through 1992 when Carmen H. Small became President.

PLP is a publisher of theosophical books and a networking activity, but not a membership organization. Its charter is to carry on the Point Loma Tradition (e.g., to continue the theosophical work initiated by Katherine Tingley and Gottfried de PURUCKER.) Point Loma Publications served as the flagship of the Point Loma Tradition. This was done through republishing and making available theosophical literature that had gone out of print. It was also done by keeping the scattered ex-members and emerging front of groups and projects networked. The networking was supported by the exhaustive personal correspondence engaged in by Harris, the Smalls, and others, and through the PLP periodical, The Eclectic Theosophist, which continued in print until 1995.

E.B.T.

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