International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
About Archives Practices Contribute Contacts Search


Periodical: Teosophia en el Plata

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Teosofia en el Plata.
Revista Mensual. Organo Oficial de la Seccion Argentina de la Sociedad Teosofica.
1920--1931 Monthly, irregular
Buenos Aires, then Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina. Language: Spanish.
Editor: Arturo Montesano Delchi.
Publisher: Kier; Imprenta Spinelli & La Cerv.
Succeeded by: Kuntur
1/1, May 1920-10/80, May 1931.
20-32 pp., free to active members; $3. a year within Argentina and $4. beyond.

It is possible that a precursor of this journal under the same name appeared as early as 1919, and the name seems to have been resurrected in the 1940s. This was the official organ of the Argentine Section of the (Adyar) Theosophical Society, which had been started in 1919. As such, it contained notes on and news of local lodges, articles by H.P. Blavatsky, C. Jinarajadasa, Annie Besant, and by other international and Argentine Theosophists, and items of general interest (like "Sta. Lillian Harrison--Intrepida Nadadora," with a photo of Harrison in a swimming suit).

The establishment of the Argentine Section, however, was not the beginning of Theosophy in Argentina, although its embarrassing origins are never mentioned in the journal and are glossed over in the histories, which recount simply that "the first Argentine Theosophical Lodge, named Luz ('Light'), was founded in Buenos Aires on January 7, 1893. Its first president was Antonia Martinez Royo." Beneath this simple statement lies the tale of Alberto Sarak, Conde de Das (1844/1868-1919), the apostle of Theosophy in South America. After a lengthy criminal career in various frauds in Italy and France, Sarak ended up in Spain in 1887 as an "apostolo hipnotizante" and "curandero," enlightening the masses and appearing before the Queen. He impressed the a local Memphis and Misraim Masonic lodge with his own claims to exalted rank and not only was admitted as a member but managed to gain admittance for his wife at the time,Antonia Martinez Royo de Das. Martinez was a find. By all accounts she not only was extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent and vivacious but was a mesmeric "subject of the first order, a prodigy of [magnetic] sensibility." She had been born in Valencia in 1866, making her about 22 when she married Sarak, and she quickly rose in the Masonic lodge, presumably under the tutelage of Sarak, to the 16th degree, using the initiatic name of "Judit." Many of the lodge members were Theosophists and Sarak promptly set about worming his way into the Theosophical Society in Barcelona, only to be expelled in 1891 when he was convicted of fraud, and then expelled from the Society again in 1892 for various peccadilloes in Belgium. Sarak and Antonia arrived in Argentina in late 1892, where Sarak, under the name "Dr. Martinez" applied to Colonel Olcott for a charter for a branch in Buenos Aires. The "Luz" branch of the T.S., the first in South America, was inaugurated on January 7, 1893, with Antonia as president and other notables, like Alejandro Sorondo, the secretary of the Argentine Senate and the poet Leopoldo Lugones, and many other prominent Argentines as members. This came to an end in June 1893 when Olcott received evidence that "Martínez" was Sarak and again expelled him--to start a long, complicated pilgrimage through the Americas, starting Theosophical societies and journals along the way, always one step ahead of his latest exposure. He left Argentina without the fair Antonia, whom he abandoned or who, in an alternate version, ran off with one of the financial backers of Sarak's therapeutic institute. She died in 1897, still in her 20s, leaving a lonely grave on the pampas, as Mario Roso de Luna, who contributed to this journal, relates. On Sarak, see the notes under Radiant Centre, Radiant Truth, Etoile d'Orient.

This is an incomplete list of Argentine Theosophical journals:

1889: Teosofo (La Plata)(in Banner of Light)
1889: La Verdad (Rosario) (in Banner of Light)
1895: Luz Astral
1898: Philadelphia
1905: La Verdad
1912: La Estrella De Occidente
1913: La Cruz Del Sur
1917: Ondas Buddhicas
1920: Teosofia En El Plata
1928: Elevacion! (Tucuman)
1931: Bulletin Oficial
1932: Kuntur (1932-1938)
1935?: Alborea, Revista Eclectica de Teosofía
1943?: Teosofía en el Plata
1944?: Revista Teosófica Argentina
1958: Teosofía
1972: America Teosófica
1981: Informativo Teosófico
1990: Cambios

Issues:Teosofia En El Plata V2 N11-12 Apr 1922
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N23 Aug 1923
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N24-25 Oct 1923
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N26 Nov 1923
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N27 Dec 1923
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N28 Jan 1924
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N33 Jun 1924
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N34 Jul 1924
Teosofia En El Plata V3 N35-36 Sept 1924
Teosofia En El Plata V4 N40-42 Jan-mar 1925
Teosofia En El Plata V4 N43 May 1925
Teosofia En El Plata V5 N52 Jun-Jul 1926

Creative Commons License
IAPSOP materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
IAPSOP respects people's privacy and personal data rights.