Theosophy in Yugoslavia
A. M. Aseyev

Okkultizm i Yoga, No. XIV.

Our readers already know that in December 1947 Yugoslavian Theosophical Society was unexpectedly closed by the governmental order [1]; all property, library, archive, money, etc. were confiscated, meetings were prohibited (see Okkultizm i yoga No. XI).

5 years passed since then but in spite that Marshal Tito turned his face to the West, the situation didn't change to the better. Leadership of the T.S. not once applied to the authorities for return of its property and permission to renew its activity but unfortunately had no success.

Theosophical Society in Yugoslavia is still closed and prohibited. According to our information all its activity was reckoned to private meetings of tiny groups of some members in homes for friendly intercourse at the cup of tea; sometimes small theosophical lectures were read there. There are no general meetings due fear of repressions.

In summer 1953 in Huizen EFTS [European Federation of the Theosophical Societies], congress took place, and the former president of the Yugoslavian T.S., A. Piltaver, wanted to go there but authorities declined to give him a foreign passport. Only M. G. [2], former president of the Belgrade Lodge succeeded to attend the congress. She outlined the state of affairs and asked: can International T.S. apply before Yugoslavian government for renewal of T.S. activity in Yugoslavia, but she was strictly rejected. It was said to her: “Since T.S. in Yugoslavia is prohibited you cannot meet even in the small groups - let everyone sits at home and studies theosophy privately. For T.S. considers every government as given from Above, consequently you should obey the laws of the country.” So the majority act accordingly...

Sic! Only the hare’s souls do so. Do our correspondents really think that if the first Christians, on hearing the Good News, hid into their mouse holes, without daring even meet in small circles, not saying about openly confessing their faith, could the light teaching of Christ penetrate worldwide?

The whole question is what theosophy is. If it is not a multifaceted teaching of Life but a dead dogma created for consumption by the small, fruitless souls, then there will be no big loss in ceasing of the theosophical movement in Yugoslavia. But if theosophy brings light to the world, then to hide it under the jar and into the mouse holes is not the way the creators of new life should act!

Of course, we don’t set to criticize deeds of T.S. leaders. We just don’t understand their motives which dictated their reply to the Yugoslavian theosophists. It seemed to us that they should interfere, widely inform the world community about suppression of freedom of creed declared by Yugoslavian constitution, apply to UNESCO and UNO and make the government to abolish the unjust prohibition. To save the drowning one, not to give him a wise advice - go to the bottom...

Asuncion, 17. XII. 1954.

Note: The article is taken from a Russian magazine Occultism and Yoga which was a remarkable phenomenon by itself. Started in the early 1930’s in Yugoslavia by a Russian emigrant Dr. A. M. Aseyev, [3] it was renewed and continued in 1950’s in Paraguay, to where Aseyev fled from the communist rule. The last issues were printed in the late 1970’s. It was one of the best and surely the most long lived Russian occult magazine. While being at its start a thin brochure, in its best times of late 1950’s and 60’s it was 160-200 pages thick and was issued twice a year.

Translation and note by Konstantin Zaitzev.


[1] This theme will be elaborated in separate article.

[2] Most probably Mrs. Mila Grubačević who was a wife of high governmental official and enjoined the advantages, as that to have the possibility to travel abroad. She claimed, when she strived to take over the office of the President of the T. S. in Yugoslavia in 1969, in private letters, that she was Link-Officer and Head of the Esoteric School for Yugoslavia since 1953.

[3] Russian theosophists who escaped from Russia, formed under the leadership of Mrs. Anna Kamensky, who established in Geneva under the patronage of the Council of the European Federation the International Theosophical Centre, “The Russian Section outside Russia”. This was composed out of 9 lodges and 7 centres scattered all around the world. One of these lodges was established also in Belgrade under the name “Jaroslav Mudri” - Jaroslaw the Wise. This lodge was very active and was functioning till the fall of 1940, when because of war in Europe broke the connections with Mrs. Anna Kamensky. Half of its members joined, in the early 1941, the Theosophical Society in Yugoslavia and established their own lodge “Bratstvo” - Brotherhood. But this lodge worked only till the beginning of April when Germany occupied Yugoslavia and the T. S. in Yugoslavia was dissolved. More: Memoirs about the lodge Jaroslav Mudri.

Last update: January 2009
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