Norman Astley Naturalization, 1897

As History of the Adepts enters its tenth year, the ongoing investigations that generated most of the posts for nine years have come to a conclusion. The literary partnerships between Thomas Henry Burgoyne and Sarah Stanley Grimke, and between Norman Astley and Genevieve Stebbins, have been my primary interests underlying years of work on the Thomas Moore Johnson correspondence.  The one hour presentation I gave to The Church of Light conference in June connecting these two inquiries was condensed into a ten minute video presentation in absentia, shown two weeks ago in Athens, Greece to a Theosophical history conference. Eventually this will be available online giving readers of this site a concise summary of the evidence and my conclusions. Next month I will present a final report in Missouri where the Johnson letters shed so much light on both the early Theosophical Society and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in the US.

Regarding Burgoyne and Astley, a distinction needs to be made between two kinds of “aliases”– a pseudonym used only for literary purposes under which no person actually lived as shown by any public records, and a name change that left an abundant paper trail.  The above documentation of Norman Astley’s US citizenship is the latest of dozens of such pieces of evidence I have gathered of a man living more than fifty years as Norman Astley, leaving traces in five states as well as the UK.  Thomas Henry Burgoyne, on the other hand, leaves no such traces, being recorded as name of an author of books and letters but appearing in no public documents except a single ship register of his US arrival in 1886.

Burgoyne was perceived as a complete villain by Theosophists, and an innocent hero by some in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, with the antagonism surrounding him in the 1880s still reverberating among some Hermetic and Theosophical believers today. But my years of research lead me to the conclusion that Burgoyne (meaning the man who wrote as such) was neither heroic nor villainous (or perhaps both) and felt as badly used by Hermetic leaders as by Theosophists.

Beginning in 2020 future posts here will be quarterly, detailed natal chart reports of various significant figures in history mentioned in the Brotherhood of Light lessons or elsewhere by Elbert Benjamine, using the latest astrological software created by Paul Brewer.  My historical investigations, no longer to be focused on either the Theosophical Society or the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor,  will henceforth be reported on This blog will change from a monthly report of a page or less to a quarterly report of several pages, the first of which will be on the April 14, 1855 natal chart of Thomas Henry Burgoyne, which is also the birth date of record for both Thomas Henry d’Alton and Norman Astley.