THEOSOPHY, Vol. 23, No. 10, August, 1935
(Pages 433-445; Size: 35K)
(Number 8 of a 10-part series)

AFTERMATH(1)

VIII

But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally. We are all fellow students, more or less advanced; but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher -- one who has no right to dogmatize....

Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge. 


--H.P.B.: First Message to American Theosophists.
THE Message from which the above extract is taken was sent to the first active Convention of the "American Section of the Parent T.S., in April, 1888. Its framework of precedent and attendant circumstances should be weighed by open-minded students of to-day desirous of understanding the present situation in the Theosophical Movement.

The Parent T.S. was organized in 1875 as a wholly democratic body -- as its original By-Laws show. By April, 1885, it had become a one-man conglomerate of "Branches", ruled by Colonel Olcott, the "President-Founder", and a "General Council" appointed by himself, its members subject to dismissal at his will. At that time one of the Masters of Wisdom characterized the Society as a "soul-less corpse". H.P.B. had been disgraced before the world by the Coulomb charges; the Convention at Adyar in December preceding had refused to defend her, or even to make public declaration of confidence in her bona fides. Why? Because Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Hume, and those under their influence themselves believed H.P.B. to be an irresponsible medium, deliverer of bogus as well as genuine Messages from the Masters.

Followed two years of unrelieved chaos. H.P.B. resigned as "Corresponding Secretary", left Adyar, went to Europe, and from there to England -- deserted, so far as the leaders of the T.S. were concerned. Judge started his Path in April, 1886, and labored with might and main to restore the prestige of H.P.B., still further blasted by the full Report of the Society for Psychical Research, issued in December, 1885. He literally resurrected the T.S. in America, restored its Objects to currency, the teachings of H.P.B. to study by the Fellows. Insisting on a return to democratic principles of government in the Society so far as America was concerned, and backed by H.P.B., Judge forced a grudging assent by Col. Olcott who had already found that the T.S. without H.P.B. was a soul-less corpse indeed. Foreseeing the inevitable conflicts to come, Judge pressed for the organization of an "Esoteric Section" or School which should consist only of those F.T.S. who would voluntarily pledge themselves to full devotion to all three of the Original Objects of the T.S., and to study and apply in their own lives the Theosophy of H.P.B. and her Masters. The T.S. was ostensibly a democratic body, the "E.S.T." was not. Nor was it an autocracy -- it was a School, and the relation between its members and H.P.B. was the relation of pupils to a chosen Teacher. The "E.S.T." had nothing whatever to do with the government and conduct of the T.S., and was in no sense a political body. The Message from which we have quoted had in view the then past, the then present, and the then future.

Early in 1895 Mrs. Besant seceded from the "E.S.T.", formed an "inner group" of her own, and, in conjunction with Col. Olcott, undertook to drive Judge out of the T.S. The Convention of the "American Section" of the T.S. withdrew from the society in April of that year, adopted as a name "The Theosophical Society in America", to distinguish it before the world from the Olcott-Besant society, and drew up a democratic constitution for its own independent government.

Judge died early in 1896. All students should weigh what followed. On the Olcott-Besant side, Mrs. Besant withdrew the "Instructions" of H.P.B. from the "E.S." ruled by her; published those "Instructions" in grossly mutilated form in violation of her original Pledge; took new pledges to herself from, and issued her own "Instructions" to, her "E.S." members. Olcott, in full accord, had the Objects and the Constitution of the T.S. altered to correspond with the working alliance between Mrs. Besant and himself. At his death Mrs. Besant, "in the name of the Master", asked and was given the same despotic authority over the T.S. that she had long exercised in the "E.S.", which had become, under her control, her "papal guards" in the political dominance of the T.S. In previous papers we have noted the results of her triple subversion of Theosophy, of the "E.S.", of the T.S. and its Objects -- all in the names of H.P.B. and her Masters.

On the other side, we have seen how Madam Tingley was foisted on the members of the T.S. in A., in Judge's name; how she became in the same way "Outer Head" of its "E.S.T." which she changed to "Lodges of Light" with pledges to herself, "Instructions" of her own, "Messages" through herself; and how, at the Chicago Convention of 1898, she absorbed the "T.S. in A." into her own "Universal Brotherhood", with a Constitution giving her absolute control over that body as well as her "E.S."

Scores and scores of psychics and casuists had, during the early centuries of Christianity, usurped the place and the teachings of Jesus. Their fierce internecine polemics had not only subverted the Message and the Mission of Christ; they had destroyed utterly the Gnostic and Neo-Platonic Schools; had gone far to dig the grave of the great Roman Empire; and, finally, had carried the welter of conflict to splitting point, a line of cleavage which resulted in the Eastern and Western Empires, the Eastern and Western Churches. All liberty of thought, all freedom of conscience, were suppressed for a thousand years -- in the name of Christ and his Gospel. All political freedom, all security of life and property vanished from the social world as their counterparts from the theological.

The casuists and psychics of the Theosophical Movement of our own times have followed the same down-hill path, while in the social and political arena the same phenomena are everywhere in evidence. Is the world moral and the world social to reproduce the same catastrophe as destroyed the Græco-Roman civilization? No one can study the lessons of history, no Theosophist can study the warnings, the prophecies, of H. P. Blavatsky and her Masters, without observing the dual possibilities of this transition period. The disasters of the past did not produce themselves: they were caused and precipitated by leaders and followers who wrecked in a few generations what had taken a millennium of creative wisdom to build. The story of the Theosophical Movement of our times is limited to less than three succeeding generations, to a comparative handful of those at all interested, to scarcely a score of prominent figures. As accurately as a map drawn to scale can picture millions of square miles with their containment -- so does the course of the Movement since 1875 graph the topography of all the past, the lines of coming cleavages and upheavals. It is not, then, with named individuals, great or small, that students should be concerned, for, like the names of mountains, rivers, towns, and their webs of intercommunication, all these are but words for centers of forces working towards future good or evil fortunes for mankind. But names have to be used if what is done and recorded is to be intelligibly recounted, intelligently studied.

Madam Tingley died July 11, 1929. Her passing preceded that of Mrs. Besant by four years, the latter event occurring September 20, 1933. We have seen that the same claims of Occult preferment were made for Mrs. Besant's successors, Mr. Arundale and Mr. Jinarajadasa, as Mrs. Besant had made for herself in the first instance. So in the case of the Point Loma society, esoteric and exoteric -- Dr. G. de Purucker but repeated the precedent of the "Tingley succession" itself. As before, there was first a secret conclave at which and to which the staged performance was presented. As soon as possible, to-wit, under date of July 29, 1929, a mimeographed Letter, subsequently printed, was circulated, containing the opening "revelation" of the new pontiff. It is headed:

"TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD AND THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD: AND TO MEMBERS OF THE E.S.:"
We can, of necessity, but briefly quote from this illuminating document -- illuminating in quite another than its intended sense. Dr. de Purucker says:
"I have been so near to our blessed K.T. for so many years, and she trusted me so fully, that better than anyone ... I am able to speak as I do from my own intimate knowledge of her plans for the glorious future of our Society.

"All the Comrades here feel a supreme confidence in the future, for they know that the Work is fully safeguarded, and thanks be to the immortal gods! they trust the one who now assumes the reins of government in the line of succession from H.P.B., W.Q.J., and K.T. ...

"In assuming the heavy burden of responsibility that has devolved upon me by K.T.'s appointment of me to succeed her ... I realize that, due to the work of our blessed K.T., more even than to the work of my two previous great Predecessors, our members have been trained, taught to reflect and to have an intuitive realization of what the Theosophical Movement means, not only to ourselves, but to Humanity."

Those who are familiar with the glowing promises spread broadcast at the time of Madam Tingley's "Succession", will recognize the same heraldic knots tied in Dr. de Purucker's first Letter. The quoted remarks are followed by oft-repeated laudations of "our blessed K.T.", all so aimed as to rebound and redound to the glory of her "blessed Successor" -- Dr. de Purucker. Thus, on the third page of his Letter, he carries these paeans to their proper climax -- himself:
"Even as were my three great Predecessors, so am I, utterly devoted to the Cause of the Great Ones....

"Thrice recently, before and since the passing of K.T. has one of the Great Teachers been with me here in Loma-land. I will open my heart to you and tell you something. The two Masters who originally founded the Theosophical Society, and who are the Chiefs of the E.S., are still working with the Society both inner and outer, and for it.... Each of these two has progressed far along the Path of Initiation since H.P.B.'s days,...

"I have seen and conversed with Master M within this last month, and twice has Master K.H. been in my office, once alone, and once with a chela, who said not one word, but whom I knew to be a Tibetan of high esoteric rank. These conversations are of course a very holy and precious treasure to me, and in them I was shown the future of the Society, what to expect and what to look forward to; and I again pledged myself in a manner of which I may not speak, but which I feel it my duty to tell you of....

"I have opened a little to you the door that was opened to me. I hereby give you my full confidence and trust, and assure you that even as you will be loyal and devoted to me, your Leader and Official Head, and your Teacher of the E.S., so shall I be utterly devoted and true to you. May the sublime Light of the Great Lodge, the Light of the Tathagatas, burn in your hearts and minds, and lead you into ways of peace.

"Written in the Masters' names, and under the authority that has devolved upon me, this twenty-ninth day of July, 1929, according to the current calendar, at the International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma, California."

This grandiloquent Letter was received and read by the membership, for the most part, with the same credence as had followed the like pronouncements issued by and on behalf of Madam Tingley in 1896. As a psychological phenomenon it is but a repetition of Mrs. Besant, of Mrs. Alice A. Bailey, of Mrs. Alice L. Cleather, of "Blue Star", Dr. Dower, James M. Pryse and others of varying degrees of notoriety within the area of the Theosophical Movement of our times. Each generation witnesses similar assertions made in the name of everything and everyone representative of the highest ideals of humanity. Dr. Buchman, Mrs. Eddy, Brigham Young, scores of Spiritualist mediums, as well as almost every founder of every Protestant sect in Christendom, have all made claims of familiarity with what those who gave heed to them regarded as transcendental characters and subjects. All these have but followed in the path of the Roman Catholic pontiffs, who are themselves, psychologically, "but reflexed images of human types which had existed ten thousand years before."

Were such human types what they claim to be, and are believed to be by their followers, then each of them is a veritable Avatar. If so, then the interminable and, in the end, ferocious conflicts of dogma and conduct to which they give rise, the ruin of civilizations and the engulfment of whole races of mankind -- are all due to and part of the scheme of things as planned and managed by these assumedly Divine rulers, instructors, successors and authorities; mankind but the pawn of these variously entitled "gods." If, on the other hand, these claimants are but megalomaniacs, human beings afflicted with "delusions of grandeur", and if, perchance, there have been genuine Incarnations of perfected Beings -- then the nature of the "War in Heaven" as reflexed here on earth becomes a study in the operations of Karma, the working out of the antithetic tendencies in "human nature."

Like the others, Dr. de Purucker leaves no room for doubt, for question, for investigation, so far as he is concerned. What he asserts rests, naked and unashamed, on his ipse dixit. "Take it or leave it": the only alternative offered in all such cases is acceptance or rejection in toto. To this eventuality must come every assertion, by whomsoever made, which reposes upon Authority. Translated into terms of psychological action and reaction, any claim soever to Spiritual Authority must necessarily repose, so far as the believer is concerned, on unquestioning faith -- for to doubt, to question, to demand evidence, is necessarily to put oneself in opposition, in "rebellion" to the Authority. History, sacred as well as profane, is written in blood -- the blood of rebels and of martyrs.

Did Krishna, or Buddha, or Christ, or any Master of Wisdom, live to invoke Authority over the ignorant and credulous -- or, to arouse and direct mankind to the God within themselves? If assertions on the one hand, and belief in the assertions on the other, are the road to human amelioration, enlightenment, and emancipation -- what need for philosophy, for science, for history, for reason, for conscience, for education in any department of human consciousness except the capacity for faith in authority, in Apostolic Succession? Surely, it requires but little observation, slight reflection, for any man, let alone any Theosophist, to see that the two paths indicated by all history lead in opposite directions. The whole record of the Theosophical Movement down the ages shows in which direction the great Teachers would have mankind travel. And as certainly the whole history of religion shows the opposite path inculcated by the fanatic, the false prophet, the claimant to Spiritual Authority over the mind and conscience of the race.

As was indicated in the preceding chapter of this series, not all the members of the Point Loma Society accepted blindly the first Encyclical of Dr. de Purucker. Others, as the succession of Letters flowed in a steady stream, also had their doubts strengthened instead of dissipated, so that a silent trickle of departures commenced, as had been the case after the "Succession" of Madam Tingley. One has but to follow the files of the magazines issued at Point Loma during the years from 1896 to date to observe how names appear in the rosy light of laudatory personal mention, then pass into occultation as the recipients of these flattering notices withdrew from the fold.

Under date of September 1, 1929, Dr. de Purucker issued the second of his Letters, as tell-tale in its own way as the first had been. He says:

"The spiritual and intellectual forces pouring through me from the Great Lodge at times seem almost to tear into pieces the fabric of my being, so strong are they;..."
Dr. de Purucker makes plain the centralization of these "tearing forces", for he says:
"Point Loma of course will be the General Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and will be the official residence of the Leader and Official Head, who is, as you know, the Supreme Head of the Society."
The use of the "tearing forces" is, he says, to be modified by a new Constitution for the Society:
"This Constitution I hope before long to remodel in some details, so that it shall be more elastic than it has hitherto been, and will be of a character less esoteric than K.T. found it very needful to make it when she framed it."
The "Constitution" adopted at the Chicago Convention of 1898 gave Madam Tingley irresponsible unrestrained control over every member, every Lodge, every officer of the "Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society." It was "very needful" indeed, and by it the membership was effectively "framed" -- so effectively that to the hour of her death no voice could be raised in question or opposition. For thirty years the society as such existed in name only. Her biography is its history.

The new Constitution was submitted to the membership for ratification in the Forum for October, 1929, accompanied by an appeal signed by Mr. Fussell as Secretary. In urging its adoption, Mr. Fussell informs the members that the old Constitution was "radical indeed in character", but that "a new era has dawned -- an era of construction, which calls for a document of different scope, of broader latitude." He concludes:

"It is a New Cycle, Comrades, upon which we are entering. The opportunities that lie before us are greater than any of us have yet dreamed possible. Let us, therefore, with new enthusiasm, and high hope, with renewed loyalty and devotion to the Great Teachers, the Masters who founded the present Theosophical Movement, and to their Messengers, H.P.B., W.Q.J., and K.T., now give our whole-hearted allegiance and support to their Successor, our present Leader and Chief, G. de P."
That whole-hearted allegiance and support was duly given, the new Constitution ratified, and the "New Cycle" entered upon. The "different scope, of broader latitude", afforded by the new Constitution, can be best exemplified by some of its own provisions. Thus:
"The Leader shall be the Executive Officer of The Theosophical Society.

"The Leader shall have the power to declare the policy and in general to direct the affairs of The Theosophical Society.

"The Leader shall have right, power, and authority at any time to take such steps or measures as in his judgment shall be necessary for the safeguarding of the best interests of The Theosophical Society.

"The Leader shall have the power to remove from office any officer of The Theosophical Society when the Leader shall deem such action to be for the best interests of the Society."

Dr. de Purucker's second Letter and the following ones were all "Written in the Masters names", etc. Of these Letters, the first eight were sent out in special and separate form; succeeding issues down to date have been included in the contents of the Theosophical Forum.

Turning to that publication, its monthly issues picture the enthusiasm with which the bulk of the membership responded to Dr. de Purucker's appeals. Its contents, in matter and in tone, image the policy and methods of the "Supreme Head", both in dealing with the "faithful" and with those sought to be brought within the fold. The first number is given over to official declarations by Dr. de Purucker, to his biography, to a report of memorial services for Madam Tingley -- and to the "conferring of degrees" by Madam Tingley's "Theosophical University" at the conclusion of the memorial pageant. Pretty nearly every "Esotericist" then resident "on the Hill" was included in this bestowal of putative titles by the putative "university." Amongst the rest, Mr. Fussell was further honored with the degree of "D.THEOS." In subsequent issues of the Forum, note is made of similar largess bestowed on both old and new members. The first page of the Forum, after its first number, carried the name "J. H. Fussell, D.THEOS." as Associate Editor, and with meticulous care the various titles conferred on old members and similarly honored new ones were duly repeated each time occasion arose. It was always G. de Purucker, "D.Litt.", and J. H. Fussell, "D.Theos." Beginning with its issue for December 15, 1933, however, the Forum dropped from its title-page the "D.Litt." after the "Leader's" name, the "D.Theos." after Mr. Fussell's; similarly with others -- "and thereby hangs a tale." During the four years' period from 1929 to 1933 the course of the Forum, the current of activities which it faithfully reflected, show that the true title applicable, the "degree" generously earned by all, from "Dr." de Purucker down to the least endowed, should be that of M.A.S. -- "Mutual Admiration Society."

The backlash of this extravagant and prolonged career of mutual adulation produced such defections from the society and such caustic criticisms from independent Theosophists and from members of other theosophical societies to which Point Loma made prolonged appeals for "fraternization", that the "Supreme Head" felt impelled publicly to request his followers to abstain from these manifestations -- and himself, with Mr. Fussell, set the example, as indicated. In this respect, at least, Dr. de Purucker and his aides, after having fallen into the same pit as Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater and their shadows, learned a lesson which the Adyar leaders and periodicals have yet to profit by.

In the first number of the Forum, as he had already intimated in his second Letter, Dr. de Purucker's claims and policies are stated by himself publicly, in the form of question and answer as delivered at a meeting held August 4, 1929, shortly after the death of Madam Tingley.

Replying to the question, "What is to be your policy as the new Leader and Official Head ...?" -- Dr. de Purucker replied:

"I have a very definite policy -- a clear-cut one, which is not my own, in a sense, but which has been put upon me as a sacred trust to carry out, and which I have taken into my heart and mind and will carry out; and therefore in that sense it is my own. Who put it upon me? Katherine Tingley.

"You may know that we have a line of successorship in the Theosophical Society which is different from anything else in the world. Christianity in its early years had somewhat the same idea, which it called and still calls the Apostolic Succession, that is to say, that Teacher succeeded Teacher, or Leader succeeded Leader; but the spiritual aspect of this true system died out very quickly in the Christian Church and in the very early history of that ecclesiastical society.

"But it has not died out among us, and may the immortal gods prevent that it ever die out, because it is based on a spiritual fact or operation of Nature....

"Of course when the Apostolic Succession, as it actually took place in the Christian Church, became a mere form, a mere matter of election to the office of Teacher, or mere appointment, the light, or what there was of the Divine Light, was gone; and consequently, the Apostolic Succession in the Christian Church is but a whited sepulcher filled with the ideals of men long dead, ideals which have left, as it were, but their aroma in the whited sepulcher....

"So then, the corner-stone of my policy is the handing on of the light: undimmed, pure, and brilliant as I have received it. As I have received it, so shall I pass it on."

It meant nothing to those who accepted his claims, that precisely the same assertions were made by Mrs. Besant, by Madam Tingley, by numerous lesser known worthies within the area of the Theosophical Movement, not to speak of the countless identical asseverations of Divine Authority in the Christian and all other religions save only Buddhism. It meant and means nothing to them that the Divine Authority vested in one is a repudiation of the same Authority as claimed by all others. It means nothing to those infected with belief in the notion of Apostolic Succession that they are witness of this chaotic conflict of rival claims and claimants all down the ages. It means nothing that such claims involve fundamentally the denial of the teaching and example of the very ones in whose great Names this successorship is claimed, this obedience to Authority demanded.

Aside from the specific statements hitherto quoted from H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, hundreds more could be cited which, to the rational mind, make the gulf between the "Successors" and the true Teachers as impassable as the chasm between the Church Fathers and the precepts and practice of Christ. What does all this spell but the fact that before our eyes the great Mission of H. P. Blavatsky has been and is being travestied and perverted into a welter of theosophical religious sects? Behind all the successors and their believing followers in all these societies lies the irreconcilable conflict of ideas that have rent mankind ever since the beginning of Kali Yuga. The breach traces back to fundamental misconceptions of the Eternal Verities. If the "Three Fundamental Propositions" of The Secret Doctrine are true, then "Apostolic Succession" in any guise is "the dark shadow" against which the Movement itself as well as every individual Theosophist has to struggle.

The unbroken history of the race, and beyond that all tradition, show that the Shadow has blotted out the Light following each recurrent presentation of the Wisdom-Religion, so far as mankind at large is concerned -- show that every great Message has been turned into a Scripture, every renewal of the Movement perverted into a religion, every Messenger parodied by would-be "Successors." Mrs. Besant and Madam Tingley as "Successors" were but puppets of past Karma, as their still more feeble successors, "Dr." Arundale and "Dr." de Purucker, are but animated echoes of the ancient errors of Atlantean days -- errors which, since we all shared in them, we have all to face at each cyclic reincarnation; errors that, though each personifies them, are attributable neither to "Successors" nor believers, but to the fundamental fallacies to which leaders and led alike fall heir and victim from their own past.

Mrs. Besant and Madam Tingley commanded for a generation the loyalty and devotion of the memberships in the Adyar and Point Loma societies. In both these societies the members of their own free will surrendered their birthright of democracy in the public organizations, their birthright of independence in the respective "esoteric sections." In the one, they agreed blindly and in advance to support the "Leader"; in the other they pledged themselves as blindly and in advance to the revelations of the respective "Successors." In thus voluntarily abnegating their human, their mental, moral and spiritual responsibilities, they publicly registered their failure in true Occultism, their basic misapprehension of the fundamental principles of true Theosophy.

Over against the course taken by leader and led, by Successor and follower, stood and stands the admonition of H.P.B. which we have quoted as the text of this chapter. Over against their respective "esoteric sections" stands the Instruction of H.P.B. to all who might enter her School:

"An Adept becomes such by his own exertions, by the self-development of his own powers; and no one but himself can effect this work. 'An Adept becomes, he is not made.'

"Otherwise his intuition will never be developed; he will not learn self-reliance, and two of the main objects ... will be defeated."

The bait used by those who aspire to leadership and successorship -- to "popery instead of Theosophy" -- is ever the same. That lure is, to quote H.P.B.'s own warning, "promises of quick results and grand achievements, of growth and progress" -- and all that the aspirant for "occult preferment" has to do is to "follow the leader", who will open for him the door of the Mysteries. Dr. de Purucker runs true to form, as witness this extract from his second Letter:
"O! the brilliant, magnificent promise of the future! If I can only infuse into the membership of our Society all over the world, the enthusiasm, the power, the Lodge-force, that is now pouring through me, our successes will be unspeakably brilliant! You will assuredly receive in time some of this Lodge-force; for as I am the intermediary or mediator between the Great Lodge of the Masters of Compassion and Wisdom and the general membership of the T.S., and more particularly of the E.S.: being the channel through which the Lodge-forces pour: so also am I therefore the Teacher, and will hand on what I may and can to those who prove themselves fit and ready to receive.

"Consequently, it will be my duty as soon as time and strength permit me to do so, to issue new E.S. teachings of a far deeper and more esoteric kind than those which were issued even by H.P.B. or by W.Q.J., or by our Beloved, Katherine Tingley. This I can do for the simple reason that these, my three great Predecessors, never had the opportunity to do what Karma now impels and compels me to do: to besiege the Portals of Destiny and to open a way into the Mysteries, because the members, through the life-work of our beloved K.T., are now ready to hear and therefore to receive what I can give them -- an opportunity of incalculably splendid promise which neither H.P.B. nor W.Q.J. nor even K.T. had."


COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

THE ABUSE OF SACRED NAMES AND TERMS

Enquirer: ... many of your Theosophical writers claim to have been inspired by these Masters, or to have seen and conversed with them ...?

Theosophist: It may or may not be true. How can I tell? The burden of proof rests with them. Some of them, a few -- very few, indeed -- have distinctly either lied or were hallucinated when boasting of such inspiration; others were truly inspired by great Adepts. The tree is known by its fruits; and as all Theosophists have to be judged by their deeds and not by what they write or say, so all Theosophical books must be accepted on their merits, and not according to any claim to authority which they may put forward....

Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by "Masters," often supposed to be far higher than ours. 


--H.P.B.: The Key to Theosophy.

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