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October 7th, 2004


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04:07 pm - I have a new favourite crazy man!
Recently, I've been reading about Theosophy in my New Age and New Religious Movements class. Let me tell you, it's a riot.

Anyway, we came across this guy by the name of James I. Wedgwood. He lived from about 1892-1950. The guy was pretty well a wacko, and his name appears to occasionally be spelled "Wedgewood".

He was consecreated into the Old Catholic Church, and then decided to make his own church, the Liberal Catholic Church. Of course, there's apparently an amusing question about his consecration (done in 1916), which I'm trying to get the official word from the OCC about. Then he joined the Theosophical Society and a number of other little tiny organizations.

The man appears to have been a "jumper", the kind of person who jumps from religious organization to religious organization, collecting titles and (occasionally) being generally destructive within them. Add that to his pedophilia and his cocaine addiction, and he's a model citizen.

And that's why I like James I. Wedgwood.

The following quotes are ones I read last night in the book, "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon", which I highly recommend to anyone:

"Wedgwood [had] the same taste for magic, ceremony and boys, and the same inexplicable influence over middle-aged women [as Leadbeater]."

"Wedgwood, trailed by the [Theosophical] Society's own private detective, had been seen to visit no less than 18 public lavatories in two hours. When question, he told police that he was searching for a friend he had known in a previous life."

"Now disowned by the [Theosophical] Society and on the run from the police because of criminal charges including drug abuse and buggery, Wedgwood had left England on very short notice, briefly taking refuge with Gurdjieff at Fantainebleau before setting up with his minions in Paris, where he indulged in a riot of promiscuity and drugs."

"When money ran low he turned to the long-suffering Annie Besant for help and she put him in touch with Duch Theosophists. But it was not long before their patience or their funds ran out, and Bishop Wedgewood was reduced to paying bills by smuggling cocane in the head of his episcopal crozier."



You'll find Wedgwood in the center-left of that picture. He's in the crazy-freaking-but-cool outfit.

[Leadbeater is another TS member who was crazy, and he's my second favourite Theosophist. I use the term "favourite" in a very loose manner.]
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "The Great Filling Station Holdup", -JB

(20 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:ninian_dp
Date:October 8th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Well, Apostolic Succession wasn't really in response to Gnostics per se. In fact, I'd say that's downright erroneous information. Some Gnostic sects rejected the need for Apostolic Succession entirely while others (like the Valentinians) saw it as necessary even though they held meetings outside of the orthodox order. Christian Gnosticism is extraordinarily diverse in that regard.

The ancient canons of the Christian Church state that two or three bishops shall consecrate a new bishop. That is what was in response to the Gnostics. It's a safeguard for orthodoxy. In reality, one bishop can ordain another person a bishop; it's considered irregular but still valid.

Wedgewood is an interesting fellow. The stories I've heard about him (from old guard LCC bishops) are um... morosely hillarious.

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