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Home: Religion: Theosophy: William Quan Judge.

William Quan Judge

William Quan Judge was a mystic, esotericist, and occultist, and one of the founders of the original Theosophical Society.



William Quan Judge (April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896)
William Judge was born in Dublin, Ireland. When he was 13 years old, his family emigrated to the United States. He became a naturalized citizen of the USA at age 21 and passed the New York state bar exam, specializing in commercial law.

Although merely a young man, he was among the seventeen people who first put the Theosophical Society together. Like H.P. Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, he stayed in the organization when others left. When Olcott and Blavatsky left the United States for India, Judge stayed behind to manage the Society's work, all the while working as a lawyer.

Judge wrote theosophical articles for various theosophical magazines, and also the introductory volume, The Ocean of Theosophy in 1893. He became the General Secretary of the American Section of the Theosophical Society in 1884, with Abner Doubleday as President.

After Blavatsky died in 1891, Judge became involved in a dispute with Olcott and Annie Besant over his allegedly forging letters from the Mahatmas. As a result, he ended his association with Olcott and Besant during 1895 and took most of the Society's American Section with him. He managed his new organization for about a year until his death in New York, whereupon Katherine Tingley became manager. The organization originating from the faction of Olcott and Besant is based nowadays in India and known as the Theosophical Society - Adyar, while the organization managed by Judge is known nowadays simply as the Theosophical Society, but often with the specification, "international headquarters, Pasadena, California". In 1898, Ernest Temple Hargrove, who had initially supported Tingley, left with other members to form the Theosophical Society in America (Hargrove) Branch. Other new organizations fissioned from his, including the Temple of the People (whose library bears his name) during 1898 and the United Lodge of Theosophists or ULT during

Books by Willaim Quan Judge

  • The Ocean of Theosophy
  • Letters That Have Helped Me
  • Echoes from the Orient
  • Bhagavad-Gita combined with Essays on the Gita
  • The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
  • Occult Tales
  • Practical Occultism: >From the Private Letters of W. Q. Judge
  • Articles of William Q. Judge
  • Answers to Questions
  • An Epitome of Theosophy
  • The Path Magazine (1886 - 1896)
  • Sunrise Special Issue 1996: William Q. Judge (1851 - 1896)


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