In 1878 an attempt was made to amalgamate it with an Indian Society that was believed — mistakenly, as was afterwards proved — to be working on similar lines. When the mistake was discovered, the attempt was, of course, abandoned; but it led indirectly to the removal of the founders to India, a step they had long wished to take, and to the remodelling of the objects of the Society. From this time its activity greatly increased, its membership was rapidly enlarged, and Branches were soon formed in various parts; until, at the present time, about twenty-seven years after its formation, it has about four hundred Branches in different parts of the world.
Its influence has made itself felt in all directions in helping to broaden religious thought and to check the materialistic scepticism that is even still so widely spread.
Its objects, as remodelled, were three, and they are now worded as follows:
1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science.
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
Its platform has thus been made far more definite and comprehensive than it was at first; and the psychic, or occult, side of its work has been made of secondary importance as compared with the practical and religious.
It is not that the importance of psychic phenomena is underrated.