Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brotherhood of the White Temple

The Brotherhood of the White Temple is a theosophical occult organization founded in 1903 in Denver, Colorado, by Maurice Doreal (d. 1963), the religious name of Claude Doggins. A lifelong student of the occult, Doreal claimed to have spent eight years in Tibet during the 1920s. He also claimed to have made contact with the Great White Lodge, the advanced beings who completed their work on earth and who now, as masters, guide the destiny of humankind. Doreal was seen as the agent for the coming Golden Age. Associated with the brotherhood is the White Temple Church.

The brotherhood was headquartered in Denver for many years, but immediately after World War II, in the atmosphere of anxiety over a possible atomic war, the brotherhood built a new headquarters complex in Sedalia, Colorado, in a valley surrounded by high mountains. The headquarters were formally moved in 1951. Two years later Doreal predicted the coming biblical Battle of Armageddon for later in the year. It did not occur, but members continued to stockpile food and other resources they might need should war break out.

The brotherhood teaches a system of Gnosticism that draws heavily on theosophical and kabalistic writings. The human soul is pictured as a spark of the divine that has devolved into matter. This experience has overwhelmed the soul, which has lost the harmony it had after being created. Teachings emphasize methods of reestablishing harmony and, with the aid of the masters, returning to the divine realms.

New members complete a series of lessons and progress through neophyte and temple grades, which can take four to five years, after which members are invited into the real inner work of the group. Some of the older members reside at the center in Colorado, but the great majority live around the country and stay in contact through correspondence. The organizations publishes a periodical, Light on the Path, and a set of booklets written by Doreal called the Little Temple Library. The more than one hundred titles in the library cover a broad range of occult topics.

Sources:
Doreal, Maurice. Maitreya: Lord of the World. Sedalia, Colo.:
Brotherhood of the White Temple, n.d.
———. Man and the Mystic Universe. Denver: Brotherhood of
the White Temple, n.d.
———. Personal Experiences among the Masters and Great
Adepts in Tibet. Sedalia, Colo.: Brotherhood of the White Temple,
n.d.
———. Secret Teachings of the Himalayan Gurus. Denver:
Brotherhood of the White Temple, n.d.

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