Mead, G(eorge) R(obert) S(tow) (1863–1933)
Theosophist, scholar, and writer on Gnosticism and early
Christianity. Born March 22, 1863, he was educated at St.
John’s College, Cambridge (M.A., 1885). In 1884 Mead joined
the Theosophical Society, and in 1889 he gave up his work as
a teacher to be closely concerned with the Theosophical Society
and its cofounder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Mead became
her private secretary for the last three years of her life and subedited
her monthly magazine Lucifer, which he renamed the
Theosophical Review on becoming editor. Mead was one of the
few of Blavatsky’s associates to have a realistic view of her complex
character. He believed her to be a racy personality as well
as a powerful medium, and not simply a charlatan, as alleged
by her critics.
In 1890 Mead was appointed general secretary of the Theosophical
Society, a position he held for eight years. Among his
first tasks, he helped to edit the second edition of Blavatsky’s
massive text, The Secret Doctrine (1890).
In 1908 he resigned from the society (with some 700 other
members) in protest against the sexual scandals concerning C.
W. Leadbeater. In March of the next year, Mead founded the
Quest Society, which he saw as a group of sincere seekers after
spiritual wisdom without taint of charlatanism. He edited the
Quest, a quarterly review, for over 20 years (1909–30). After the
death of his wife, Mead became actively interested in psychic
science and sat with several mediums. He died September 28,
1933, and is remembered for the many books he wrote and edited.
Sources
Mead, George R. S. Apollonius of Tyana. 1901. Reprint, New
Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1966.
———. Did Jesus Live 100 B.C. 1903. Reprint, New Hyde
Park, N.Y. University Books, 1968.
———. The Doctrine of the Subtle Body. 1919. Reprint, London
Stuart & Watkins, 1967.
———. Echoes from the Gnosis. 1907. Reprint, Hastings, E.
Sussex, England Chthonius Books, 1987.
McMoneagle, Joseph Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
1006
———. Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. 1900. Reprint, New
Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1960.
———. Pistis Sophia. London Theosophical Publishing Society,
1921.
———. Simon Magus. London Theosophical Publishing Society,
1892.
———. Thrice Greatest Hermes. London Theosophical Society,
1906.

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