Also known as the Great White Lodge, the Ascended Masters, the Himalayan Brotherhood, the Hierarchy of Shambhala, etc. A fraternal order based somewhere in Central Asia, whose members consist of the saints and sages of various religions (perhaps even dead ones, like Jesus and Buddha) working together for the sake of human spiritual evolution. The idea came from Mme Blavatsky in the 19th century, and is associated with Theosophy and its offshoots.
When I was a teenager, I found some “unsolved mysteries” type books that mentioned this. Also some books published by the Church Universal and Triumphant (Elizabeth Clare Prophet), which used paintings by Nicholas Roerich on the covers. (Apparently without the blessing of the Roerich museum in New York City, which is affiliated with a rival Ascended Masters group, the Agni Yoga Society.) These made me want to travel to Asia and bask in its spiritual profundities. (Edward Said, call your office!)
And now, at last, I’ve received initiation as a 33-degree Mystic Master at the hands of Lama Kriang of the Tibetan Monastery of Zoltar! (Thank Sanat Kumara for the invention of the internet. And credit cards.)
So, anybody else out there laboring (or have labored in the past) for Hierarchy?