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Thomas Maughan

Thomas Maughan fut le 5e Grand Maître. (1975-1976)


En bref

Il fut également Druide en chef de l'Angleterre dans l'Ordre des Druides (Druid Order). Thomas Maughan connaissait bien la magie Énochienne, Abramelin le mage, etc. Il rencontra et connut beaucoup de membres et de dirigeants de la Golden Dawn avec son mélange de franc-maçons et de rosicruciens, dont Aleister Crowley. Les deux seuls groupes dont il a admis être membre étaient l’Aurum Solis et l'Ordre des Druides.

L'Ordre des Druides (Duird Order), dont il était le chef, est un groupe initiatique hiérarchique et n'est pas une religion, même si son activité peut être qualifiée de religieuse.

Nous sommes en train de traduire la biographie et les articles présentant l'oeuvre de notre passé Grand Maître.

Si vous pouvez lire l'anglais, vous pouvez les découvrir d'ores et déjà en cliquant ici.

Brief biographical details

Thomas Maughan was born in Heath Town, Wolverhampton, Staffs, 27 October, 1901. The family then moved to Glasgow in c1908-9, living in the Gorbals. His father, George Maughan, was a Tax Officer, and his `mother a Theosophist'. He is reputed to have had 6 brothers and sisters (Ludwinski, 1993), though I can find no trace of them in Births Registers. He went in the Royal Navy in c1917, left Navy ?? It is said that he went to fight in the Spanish Civil War c1936 and `spent several years there fighting fascism' (ibid). He had a scar on his back `from climbing out of a Spanish brothel in a hurry one day!' (ibid)

He was in Naval Intelligence during WW2 and was also a tank commander at some point in WW2 in Glasgow. He learned homoeopathy in the 1930's from Dr WW Rorke at RLHH, and worked there for 20 years.

William Wilson Rorke, c1886-1962, MB ChB Glas 1909, consultant physician for nervous disorders & tutor RLHH, FFHom, (Med Dir 1948). He retired to Deal in Kent between 1941-48 (Med Dir 1948). He died in 1962. obit BHJ 51, p220.

Maughan was also associated at the Faculty with Drs Foubister (dc1989), Blackie (d1970) and Tyler (d1948).


He met John Da Monte in N.Africa in WW2, who was also working for British Intelligence and keen to learn homoeopathy (?). Maughan encouraged Da Monte to come to the UK for this purpose. On return to UK Maughan worked as a homoeopath in Dulwich. Then 'in late (?) 50's he hitched up a caravan to travel through Turkey and Afghanistan into India. He went to Himalayas and Tibet, struck up a relationship with the Dalai Lama and helped in the evacuation of monks from Tibet into India. He was reputedly instrumental in that movement (Ludwinsky, 1993). This event can be dated accurately as March 1959. He also noticed that the monks wore Camphor moth-balls round their necks to prevent Cholera, which fascinated Maughan as it is a homoeopathic remedy for Cholera. He travelled on from India to Australia, taught homoeopathy there, had many students, also a son in Oz who was 'drawing his pension' (Ludwinski, 1993). He got holes in his legs from bites, stings and thorns while trekking through the bush of the Northern Territories; took Lachesis - too much - and suffered ill-effects. (Davidson, 1992 quoted by Ludwinski)

On his return to UK in early 60's, Maughan met Jennifer Derham and they married. They had one son, Zahari and a daughter, Katriona. Maughan taught and practised homoeopathy again from Dulwich. Many of his Oz students visited him in London. From 1964 (until his death) he became the Chief Druid and Da Monte his assistant. He is listed in the London Telephone Directory for August 1966 as "Dr T Maughan, 77 Calton Ave, Dulwich, SE21"; not listed for 1962, 64 or 65. Later UK students - from late 60's until his death in 1976 - almost all Druids and include most of the founders of the Society of Homoeopath and directors or lecturers at several Colleges of Hom. These include Ernest Roberts, Robert Davidson, Barbara Harwood, Martin Miles, Peter Chappell, Jerome Whitney, Misha Norland, Julian Carlyon, Bob Withers, Patrick Derham, Mary Titchmarsh, Kaaren Whitney, Sarah Richardson. Maughan died in May 1976 of cancer after several strokes that he had `treated himself with meditation and Arnica' (Ludwinski). At that time, many people believed he was easily in his 80's or 90's. Tomkins expressed this view, as did Jerome Whitney. This may well be one small aspect of Maughan as folk-hero.

Like so many aspects about his life, we are left wondering precisely when Maughan learned homoeopathy, took his DSc and when he undertook his train ing in the Druid Order. These events must have occurred before the post-war period and certainly before 1964, for him to become the Chief Druid by the latter date. Yet he must have learned homoeopathy before that as Dr Rorke - allegedly Maughan's main teacher and confidante - retired from the Faculty between 1941-1948. Perhaps therefore Maughan was already a homoeopath in 1939. If so, then how could he have been fighting Fascism in Spain from 1936-39?? There just does not seem to be room in his life for all the things he is supposed to have done.


Thomas Maughan's Beliefs about Therapy

Maughan's views on homoeopathy were quite complex, as they were tinged heavily with his other interests, including Eastern philosophies, psychotherapy and Druidism. He held the view that homoeopathy was far more than just a system of therapy, and that as a system of therapy, homoeopathy was offering humankind much more than just the alleviation of ill-health or the cure of physical diseases. That it could certainly do these things he had no doubt whatever. But to understand his deeper views it will be necessary to refer to many aspects of the "spiritual" paradigm that both he and John Da Monte immersed themselves in.

This paradigm holds that illness is not just a random event, but that it is part of an individual's personal spiritual make-up, and that the diseases you suffer from - mental and physical - derive from an ancient pattern that corresponds to your own past spiritual decisions, errors, actions, etc. You get the illness you need, you attract it to you as part of your life-path and this forms part of the life-lessons that you need to experience and learn from. This also assumes a continuity of consciousness, the indestructibility of mind and continuous rebirth into and out of this physical realm. Illness is seen as the result of `punitive karma' and is like a punishment for past errors and painful episodes. These must be worked through in life-experience and that is the main spiritual `function' or purpose of disease. Disease also follows a pattern that can guide the individual towards greater spiritual enlightenment (self-understanding), once its underlying pattern is unlocked by therapies, spiritual practice, etc. I have referred elsewhere in this thesis in greater detail about this approach to understanding disease.

Maughan undoubtedly borrowed the ideas of the subtle body, chakras, rebirth, karma and cyclic existence from the philosophical traditions of India, most notably Buddhism and Hinduism. And he probably borrowed the concepts of the astral body, the etheric realm and spirits from spiritualism, theosophy and anthroposophy. These also form part of the corpus of the teachings of the Wetsern Esoteric Orders, of which he was a prominent member. To what extent he personally amalgamated these ideas together or whether he had received them from others - separately or otherwise - is not made clear, and would, in any case, be very difficult to establish with any certainty.

Maughan and Da Monte clearly thought it was perfectly valid to yoke all therapies and spiritual traditions into the grand task of unearthing and working through the spiritual legacy of undigested negative events and thought-processes they consider an individual is heir to and so releasing people into more meaningful, satisfying and endurable life-situations. They had no doubt that homoeopathy was one tool that could greatly assist in this process.

In this view, therapies like homoeopathy become of unusual interest to the spiritually-minded, as they appear able to push a person along the spiritual path much quicker, rather than having to progress very slowly along paths containing pain, frustration, illness and physical suffering. This is the unstated aim of Maughan's spiritualised form of homoeopathy, his 'hidden agenda'. Maughan is reputed to have actually stated that with homoeopathy a person can


'more quickly burn up a lot of negative karma that might be the equivalent of travelling several lifetimes on the slow paths of pain and suffering'. Miles 1993

Much of what he said or did cannot be confirmed or substantiated, but if this quote is accurate, then clearly it provides us with a powerful insight into what Maughan was doing and saying to his students and why so many of them felt a deep sense of mission surrounding him and his activities, and also a deep personal debt towards him on a spiritual level. They tended to see him as a father figure, a teacher, a guide, a therapist (homoeopath), a psychotherapist and a guru (spiritual mentor) all rolled into one. He was a rock in their storm and a shoulder to cry on - or to cry at them - as needs be. All of these impressions come over very clearly from the students he taught in the 1970's and the statements they have made about the man since his death. To them all he was wonderful but also very hard and demanding of his students. He drove them hard in order to push them to their utmost limits and so to bring out what they were truly capable of.

Maughan certainly believed homoeopathy was capable of a `deep spiritual awakening' in people, as I have said, but this really concerns a quite specialised form of homoeopathic treatment. It also sought to achieve therapeutic goals that are far wider than those of most homoeopaths, let alone most doctors. These therapeutic goals really meant cure of all illness and accelerated movement towards spiritual awakening, leading ultimately , no doubt, towards the `Golden Age' referred to above.

The form of homoeopathy Maughan practised and which he taught and promul gated to his students was not of the `nux vomica for tummy upsets and arnica for bruises' variety. On the contrary, it consisted of deep constitutional treatment for months and years rather than weeks, using deep-acting polychrests often in high potencies supplemented with low potencies of tissue salts, etc. In this sense he could be seen - in part - as a metaphysical homoeopath, but not as a classical, purist or Kentian prescriber. In his prescribing - as in his life - he was pragmatic, experimental, undogmatic and often iconoclastic. `If it works, use it, if it doesn't, then cast it out' was his motto. There are theoretical objections to this empirical approach to homoeopathy from the purists, (eg that it is palliative and uncurative). Polypharmacy and mechanistic prescribing were frowned upon by Hahnemann and all important homoeopaths since.

Maughan also instilled in his students the ancillary views and beliefs of the `mystical paradigm' touched on above, and disapproved quite strongly of those who only wished to attend the saturday morning homoeopathy classes without also attending the friday evening ones on Druidism. He wanted you to have the whole package.

'...meetings are held at the above address at 7.15pm for meditation, instruction and discussion, on alternate Fridays - bring your friends.' p20 Druid Booklet

He taught his spiritualised form of homoeopathy to students and guided their practice and knowledge very strictly, making sure they did not dilute his ideas down with any others, and making sure they stuck to his every word. In this way he came to influence them all very strongly indeed, ensuring that both their background beliefs and their knowledge and practice of homoeopathy came to be a very close facsimile of his own. Nothing else would satisfy him. He wanted - and got - total control of the teaching process.

According to accounts given by his students, the meetings were very formal affairs with the students sat at desks in neat rows writing notes while he lectured. Very few questions were asked and only rarely invited. These sessions were permeated by a strict air of discipline akin to a Victorian classroom. Maughan's tiny white-haired and white-bearded figure and strong Scottish accent must have added to the atmosphere of Calvinis Puritanism. Yet he also claimed to want them to think for themselves and develop their intuitive faculties to the full. This was a strange mixture of didactic authoritarianism and free-thinking apparently typical of Druidism.

Maughan felt he was imparting to his students in this way a potent, secret and highly spiritualised form of homoeopathy known only to a few; a special esoteric training reserved only for those few who could take this `strong medicine' and learn and transform themselves with it as they went along. Students were also his patients and vice-versa.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, for us to learn that Maughan is rumoured to have spent many years travelling, both in the Near East and in the Orient. He had studied with gurus in India and the Himalayas, with Sufi Dervishes in Turkey and Afghanistan and he had been highly instrumental - reputedly - in getting the Dalai Lama safely out of Tibet and down into India in 1959, following the Chinese invasion. He also travelled in Central America and Australia, where some of his relatives live. Maybe some of his students believed these stories. They were certainly meant to. They added to his credibility, authority and mystique. Are they True? No-one seems to know; the facts always seem very vague and shrouded in mystery of some kind.

Likewise, his alleged Doctor of Science in Biochemistry. Some people say it was from London University's School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, others say he got in Mexico. On my request, London University have checked all their postgraduate records from 1925-1976 and there is no record of any doctorate for a Thomas Lackenby Maughan.

'the roll-call of Chosen Chiefs is distinguished... the present Chief is Dr T.L.Maughan D.Sc.' Druid Booklet p15


Does it really matter whether the stories are true or false? Probably not. Whether real or self-created fictions, all these stories about Maughan do of course, form important parts of the same pattern - they all add to the lure and attractiveness of a highly charismatic and multi-faceted person, who students both greatly feared and deeply loved. If his DSc was a fraud then there is little doubt that anyone would have questioned it because of his confident, intelligent and forceful personality. He may even have printed a forged degree on his attic printing press! Ludwinski (1993, pp?) mentions seeing his DSc degree mounted on the wall when visiting Jennifer Maughan to interview her.


Druid Influence

It is instructive for us to briefly consider the nature of Druidism, insofar as this enables us to judge more fully its influence upon Maughan's teachings, upon the homoeopathy he practised and his students.

Druidism as we see it today, is the revived form of an extinct religion of the ancient Celts, both in the British Isles and in Gaul, and thus Druids were that priestly class of people within Celtic society who performed the various rituals associated with that religion. This simple definition holds true for ancient Celts, but is unfortunately dogged by a long and complicated history, which includes a great deal of invention and wishful thinking upon the part of those people who have tried to revive - or re-invent? - Druidism in the last 250 years. Nevertheless, we can draw out certain specific features of the religion as it is practised today and relate these to the things Maughan said to and did with his students.

Like many other animistic or pagan religions, Druidism appears to be an attempt by people to come to terms with the less pleasant realities of our existence vis-a-vis nature and the elemental forces within nature and within human life. Again, the theme is one of living in harmony with the natural world and respecting its many members and their right to live. It is close to the religions of the Amerindians. There is worship of nature, certain trees (eg. holly, oak, misletoe, rowan), streams, rocks, places, forests, natural spirits and unseen pixies and goblins, and there is also supplication to the wider infinite of the universe in the sense that we should place ourselves - ecologically perhaps? - below the created world and the greater importance of the whole over any sets of apparent parts.

Then there are also the magical parts: the attempts to appease and manipulate the natural forces for our benefit and to ward off disaster, pestilence, crop failure, bad weather, etc by appealing directly to the spirit world or the spirits of nature. Also the performance of fertility rituals to produce better crops and stronger offspring. Thus Druidism consists of a basic underlying philosophy and a series of rituals or practical magic applied to daily affairs of the people and their livelehood. It also included sacrifice, and, according to Roman sources, this included human sacrifice. Piggott (1971, pp98-99) suggests this is the main reason the Druids fell foul of the Roman invaders as they had outlawed human sacrifices and many violent sports only a few decades before they invaded Brit ain. According to Piggott (1971, p109) this was in 97 BC. He also mentions other cultural and political reasons for the clash.

Maughan (c1974) was in no doubt what Druidism meant:

'...annual gatherings in a megalithic circle of people dressed in archaic robes and performing unusual ceremonies... not a matter of mere sentiment, nor a wish to return to the past, but of a living tradition... that goes back... beyond any record of civilisation itself... there are links with the Aryan and early Hindu cultures and what is now the witch-cult; reverence for both sun and moon, five fold and threefold bases of teaching, ritual circular dancing, burning of the dead, the existence of a priest-ruler caste, transmission of teaching by lengthy memorized poems... a cult of the dead (setting sun) as well as a life-cult (rising sun), male and female elements, instruction in the forces and faculties of man... a brotherhood.' pp8-9 Druid Leaflet

As a Druid - indeed the Arch Druid from 1964-76 - Maughan will certainly have believed in rebirth, many realms of existence, the astral plane, continuity of consciousness, spirits of trees, streams, rocks and places, leprechauns and fairies, pixies and goblins, numerology, the quabbalah and astrology, etc. He must also have held views akin to the spiritual ladder, levels of being, other worlds, channelling of information from spirits to the living, the chakras or energy-centres of the subtle body. Western esotericists like WB Yeats, Rudolph Steiner, Aleister Crowley, AE and Alice Bailey have expounded extensively upon these topics. Being a strongly orthodox organisation, the Druid Order will certainly have insisited on conformity of beliefs and to have almost enforced beliefs of this kind.

All of this must have been supplemented by his knowledge of symbolism, Jungian archetypes, magic, ritual, folklore and herbal medicine. He appeared to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of homoeopathic materia medica. It is clearly a very rare combination to have all this knowledge and skill alongside his metaphysical beliefs and the parallels he drew between homoeopathy and animistic religions like Druidism. This potent combination probably led him towards his mature views on the spiritual nature and purpose of illness and healing. Thus he would certainly have held to the view that homoeopathy when properly practised was a very powerful spiritual force in people's lives. And it seems to have been this above all else that Maughan was able to deeply and indelibly impress upon his students.

The Druid Order consists of an Outer Order, Inner Order and Inner Sanctum. Only the Outer Order is ever exposed to public gaze, the others being entirely secret. The Outer Order comprises three sections, The Gatehouse, The Seven Kings and the Ovate Og, meaning sapling or young plant. These are collectively called the Groves of the Outer Order and represent what we might term teaching groups. As Atkinson (1979, p180) indicates, a `grove' in the original Druidism of the Celts, was a clearing in the forest used for `worship and observance'. An aspirant progresses through these Orders by practice and selfless service.

'The Druid Order...was formed... to maintain the unity of Druidic activity and an obligation to ensure that the Groves selflessly observed their pledge to further the cultivation of the noblest and best in man and thus to work for the restoration of the Golden Age.' p4 Druid Leaflet

The Inner Order is also divided into 3 sections, but their details are undisclosed. Until an aspirant attains the required standard of character and integrity,

'..they cannot even be considered as a candidate for the Inner Order, where the Druid training proper begins, and this training can take quite a long time.' p5 Druid Leaflet

The following quotes from Maughan's Druid Leaflet, give some indication of his strong views and the kind of atmosphere he liked to create:

'The Druid Order...was formed... not of regal authority, but of duty and obligation...It preserves the Ancient Wisdom... and provides instruction... Only those who have received the appropriate training in the relevant Grade of the Inner Order... are able to give effect to an initiation ceremony. Without the Hierophant the ceremony is no more than a mere charade... the aspirant begins to study and tackle the forces at work within himself, which the Hierophant has quickened during his second initiation... Not until he has caught up with himself can he even approach the portal of the Order proper - until he measures up to the required standard, he must remain in the seed-bed or nursery... there is no short-cut to the balanced development of man's latent forces, faculties and powers... The Druid... practices induce the development of man's transcendent powers, those which come from, and are in constant contact with, the Central Sun of the Cosmos. They may themselves be called the inner sun, or divine light.' Druid Booklet p4-6 (my emphases)

The Druid Order is intensely hierarchical, as is clear from the above passage. They are given to extreme secrecy, sworn on oath never to reveal teachings to the uninitiated, never to bring the Order into disrepute and never to undertake tasks for which they are not trained or initiated to perform, etc. The Hierophant or Chief Druid has to be obeyed at all times. It is also clear from the accounts of Maughan's students that Maughan could only operate within this very strict and authoritarian framework and was quite unable to cope with any kind of challenge to his authority and status, whether in matters homoeopathic or Druidic. He would become very angry if challenged and had the air of a very authoritarian figure. A lot of ego-bashing occurred generally, but especially to anyone who asked questions (Miles, 1992). Miles also relates some of the amusing confusion of roles that Maughan faced once when his bossy sister came to stay with them (in London) and Maughan was shame-faced into shutting up and running errands for her instead of giving out all the orders as he was used to doing!

Certainly Maughan felt his purpose - his high mission - was to pass on to them this torch of certainty, just as would a guru to his disciples in the spiritual traditions of India, or in Western Esoteric Orders.

'...the Druidic wisdom... has been handed down in the form of triads: God is of necessity three things: the greatest part of life, the greatest part of science and the greatest part of force..three things are continually increasing: fire or light, intelligence or truth, and spirit or life; and these things will end by predominating over all others. Abred (the plane of material life and cyclic incarnation) will be destroyed.' p6-7 Druid Leaflet

Indeed this parallel between the spiritual traditions of India and the West is one Maughan himself explicitly makes in the Druid Booklet:

'...the Enlightened One entered into both the Sacred Bull and the White Elephant...Wisdom has made a parallel entry into west and east, the White Bull of Britain...and the White Elephant of India.' p18


Homoeopathic Knowledge

His students have repeatedly confirmed that his knowledge of remedies was totally faultless and capacious and he could at will reel off pages of talk about a particular remedy and quote verbatim from all the main texts. This impressive talent was also matched by an uncanny ability to get right to the heart of a case and penetrate to the deepest levels of any patient who came before him, which included - of course - all his students. What is even more impressive is the ability he had to guide a case and slowly and patiently watch the layers of suffering and symptoms unfold and dissipate as the remedies did their work. Combine all of this with his amazing skill in winning over his students, of infecting them deeply and irreversibly with his intense enthusiasm for homoeopathy and the high mission of the healing art. It is this combination of qualities that seems to come over strongly and repeatedly in everything that has been written and said about him. He taught students to get the essence or pattern of illness in its briefest, simplest and yet most accurate terms from the patient and then match it with similar essence-patterns of the remedies.

He was always taking remedies himself to investigate their precise effects on health. He also recommended his students to do this, both in order to improve their health and to deepen their knowledge of remedies. Especially towards the end of his life, he frequently used mixtures of remedies in low potency, many of them based upon his own experiments.

Five examples of these mixtures include:

  1. Rhus tox, Chelidonium, Gelsemium and Argentum nitricum for anticipatory fears, exam fears, driving test, etc;

  2. Carbo Vegetabilis, Sulphur and Silica for cleansing the blood, suppurations, ear problems, acne and tinnitus;

  3. Cypripedium, Scutellaria and Valeriana, which was Maughan's `happy pill' for depressed spirits;

  4. Ambra grisea, Anacardium and Argentum nitricum for confidence and peace of mind; cutting off negative thoughts about self by resolving suppressed negative emotions from the past. (analogous to some Bach Flower remedies)

  5. Natrum phos, Ferrum phos, Kali phos and Magnesium phos 6x to relax the nervous system and aid sleep.

All these remedies were to be used frequently in 3x or 6x potency, until stable improvements occurred. It is quite likely that he got some of these mixtures from members of the Faculty, as some of them have been in use throughout this century and are still used by clinicians at the RLHH today. They consist of several remedies brought together from close study of symptom-patterns in the materia medica (eg. `ABC': Aconite, Belladonna and Chamomilla for fevers in childhood). Some mixtures he undoubtedly did develop on his own. Many of these low potency combination remedies are popular in homoeopathic prescribing in Germany and France. They are also similar to some of the mixtures used in Steiner's anthroposophical medicine.

Maughan believed that 'evolutionary homoeopathy' was what people needed, which should help people to evolve along a spiritual path, not just alleviate illness. He believed that a high potency remedy primarily affects the mind and spirit and must often be accompanied by low potencies of the same or related remedies to support the physical body while the high potency acted. He believed the remedy would only act if the patient was willing to change, ie. to move from negative to positive mental states. This held true particularly of the higher potencies, which, like Kent, he seemed to regard as highly spiritualised substance.

He might give a patient a single (or triple split) dose of Calc carb 10M, say, and then calc phos 3x twice daily for a month or so, to support the physical body. He believed that the high potency of a remedy (especially a mineral remedy) would accelerate the expulsion of that element from the physical body and thus the lower potency was required to supply the body's needs in low potency form. He claimed that this was important, as these mineral remedies in high potency can cause the teeth to move, re-grow and cause dental fillings to fall out. To avoid such effects, he supplied the body with the low potency as well. In some cases it would not be the same remedy in low potency but a different, though related, one. This practice may have been derived from doctors at the Faculty, or it may have appealed to the Druid in him and notions like forces at work in the different realms and levels of existence. Perhaps both influences were at work.

He used drainage and organ remedies (after Rademacher) and used the Bowel Nosodes very frequently, especially Morgan and Gaertner. It is hard for us to separate his metaphysical beliefs from his homoeopathic ones as they overlap such a lot and he appears to have let the one influence the other to a high degree. He believed in the etheric planes and of evolution of spiritual beings through the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms before we became human, applying this theory to disease and amalgamating it with Hahnemann's theory of the miasms. He also welded to this idea a classification of remedies as mineral, animal or vegetable. He held that the bad karma a person has with them - and which causes their illness - predominantly came from one of these realms and so too would the remedy they need to clear it. He held that we come to this life with a lot of `spiritual baggage', most of it unsavoury. It is this that all therapies address. He believed that Sulphur and Morgan act so well and so universally because they clear `karmic rubbish' from the base chakra. These were his two most commonly used remedies. `If in doubt give Morgan 200 or 10M or Sulphur high and wait for the picture to clear' was one of his guiding aphorisms to students.

He also frequently used the Tissue Salts of Schuessler (c1820-1890), which, again, he used in low potency to `support the physical body' while higher potencies were at work on a higher plane. This could also be a modified Kentian notion that he got from colleagues at the Faculty. Many of the `leading lights' (before 1920) in the Faculty were trained in the USA under Kent in Chicago and tended to revere somewhat indiscriminately anything the Master had suggested. In this way, the Faculty came to be heir to a peculiar blend of Kentian and Continental influences combined with the admirable pragmatism of doctors like John Henry Clarke, who mainly used lower potencies and often remedies in combination, though he was also very keen on nosodes like Tuberculinum. Thus by the 1930's and 1940's the Faculty contained all sorts of different approaches to homoeopathic practice. No single philosophy - other than a loose Kentianism - dominated the Faculty where a `try it and see' approach seemed to prevail. It is not unreasonable to assume that Maughan will have picked much of this up himself and extended it through his own yen for experiment.

Maughan also made rather frequent use of a combination of Nux vomica on waking and Sulphur at night, both in low potencies like 6x or 12x. He claimed this was successful in clearing drug taints and helped to clear up an overly-drugged case if used for several weeks before deeper case-taking could commence. This applied to all allopathic drugs, alcohol, excessive coffee drinkers as well as Tobacco, Cannabis or harder drugs.


Teaching methods

As already stated, Maughan's classes were strict and formal, modelled presumably on the Victorian classrroom. Maughan also worked with great speed, was impatient to pass on everything, as if he was in a great hurry, needed more time, was watching the clock, perhaps he knew death was near. This drove him on. He worked late into the night printing papers on Druidism in his attic, rose early, travelled a lot, saw many patients all day and then took classes at night. He was self-propelled and self-possessed, working to some hidden imperative. He wouldn't stop for a minute, kept covering the same ground over and over again until his students had got it from every angle; testing them, checking on their knowledge, until he was certain they knew things the way he knew them. They kept staying on at the classes even when they had acquired a complete set of all the notes. Still they went round again, stayed on and listened to it all over. Slightly different things came out each time, subtle nuances and fresh insights were delivered with every class. They were also being driven and subtly guided and their own spiritual path unveiled by him. They were mesmerised by him and caught up in this fever that consumed them.

From a purely homoeopathic standpoint, his very formal teaching method involved sustained bombardment and saturation of the students with detailed knowledge of materia medica, laced liberally with anecdotes and stories from his past and case histories. This became the primary foundation of all their later work, including the evaluation of case-histories and the management of a case as it progresses. He demanded from them an encyclopaedic knowledge of remedies similar to his own and a total commitment to the study of homoeopathy and the paradigm that went with it. This method - also used in a less rigorous way in the Faculty of Homoeopathy and in Kent's Chicago School of Homoeopathy - has come to be widely accepted as the basis for teaching in the British Colleges of Homoeopathy.

So why was Maughan so influential? Probably because he made a profound, sustained and intense impact upon his students. He was totally certain and self-possessed, knew them inside-out, impressed them with his knowledge and skill and lured them into a life of secret study and promise of wondrous achievements. He could get to the heart of a case and a person very quickly. In this sense certainly he was a cult-figure and `demonised' his students, taking them over completely. But it was in the end apparently a totally benign and fatherly adventure. He is rumoured also to have bedded many of his female students in the process and this was seen (by men?) as an amusing aspect both of the man and the Druid teaching. It was as though he captured them and secretly imparted to them a bright light they had never seen before. Or perhaps he nurtured them into finding their own `inner light' so they could find themselves in a self-transforming way. They willingly followed in his footsteps and after his death did everything in their power to create conditions wherein they could do to others what he had done to them - pass on that light, transmit those powerful insights about health and healing. Perhaps he ruthlessly dominated his students. There is certainly an element of that, but it could not have lasted had he not had so much knowledge and skill to offer them all: his encyclopaedic knowledge of homoeopathy and his great skill in dealing with people. These must be his ultimate legacies for homoeopathy itself.


Atkinson, R.J.C (1979) Stonehenge Archaeology and Interpretation, Penguin.
Boericke, William (1927) Compact Materia Medica of Homoeopathic Medicines with Repertory, Boericke & Runyon, Philadelphia
Chappell, Peter (1990) Letter to P. Morrell
Davidson, Robert (1992) interviewed by Kaen Ludwinski
Derham, Patrick (1990) Taped Monologue about Thomas Maughan for P Morrell from New Zealand
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1980) Druidism, Celts and Celtic Religion
Evans-Wentz, W. Y (1911) The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, OUP
Ludwinski, Karen (1993) Thomas Maughan, His Life and Teachings, unpublished thesis, London College of Classical Homoeopathy
Maughan Jennifer (1992) Interview with Karen Ludwinski (transcript)
Maughan, T.L (c1974) The Ancient Druid Order History & Organization, Lotus Press, Dulwich, London
Maughan, Thomas (1973) Talking with Dr Laundy, tape
Miles, Martin (1990) Letter to P Morrell
Miles, Martin (1992) Interview with Karen Ludwinski (transcript)
Norland, Misha (1990) Taped Telephone conversation with P.Morrell
Phatak, S (1978) Materia Medica of Hom Medicines, Delhi
Piggott, Stuart (1971) The Druids, Penguin
Whitney, Jerome (1990) Letters and Interview, Dulwich
Withers, Bob (1990) Taped Telephone conversation with P Morrell

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