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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Temple of the People

After the death of Helena P. Blavatsky in 1891 there was a short period of leadership confusion in the Theosophical Society (TS) in America which eventually resulted in the formation of a separate organization in America under the leadership of William Q. Judge. After Judge’s death in 1896 leadership of this American group was assumed by Katherine Tingley but a certain number of members rejected her appointment and William H. Dower (1866-1937) and Francis A. LaDue (1849-1922) chose to be independent, forming The Temple of the People in 1898.

The organization bought land at Halcyon in California and moved there in 1903. Dower and LaDue claimed to have received communications from certain Masters instructing them to carry on the work begun by H. P. Blavatsky. Subsequent work included a number of publications, notably Theogenesis, said to be a third volume of the Stanzas of Dzyan, following on from the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine written by H. P. Blavatsky in 1888. Dower opened a sanatorium in 1904 for the treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts which achieved considerable success for many years.

The first members of “The Temple” expected the birth of a new Avatar and that they were to be the spearhead of the Messianic Age. The focus of the community’s work continues to be at Halcyon where about 100 persons are in residence. It has been estimated that about 350 people participate worldwide in the work of the organization. A periodical entitled The Temple Artisan is published at regular intervals.

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