THEOSOPHY, Vol. 10, No. 10, August, 1922
(Pages 293-313; Size: 76K)
(Number 32 of a 34-part series)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT(1)
THE proceedings of the Judicial Committee occupied the greater part of July 10th, 1894. Its sole essential decision was that it had no jurisdiction under the Constitution and Rules of the Society to inquire into the charges made against Mr. Judge. After recording this decision and requesting the General Council to publish the entire proceedings, the Judicial Committee adjourned sine die.
Purely negative as was the decision of the Judicial Committee, it produced momentous and immediate consequences -- consequences evidently wholly unanticipated by either Col. Olcott or Mrs. Besant. For, no sooner were the details of the proceedings noised about among the Theosophists then assembled in London for the Convention of the European Section, than a sharp reaction set in against the two accusers who had played the leading part in the great scandal which had been convulsing the Society for the preceding five months. The very course that Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant had felt constrained to adopt to save themselves was a direct, though tacit, admission that they had been wholly in the wrong, legally as well as morally, in bringing the charges at all, and this unavoidable inference contained within itself a terrible backlash.
In bringing the charges in the first place, Mrs. Besant had declared that they were believed in by reputable members of the Society and should be investigated; Col. Olcott, that it had been his duty under the Constitution to summon Mr. Judge for trial and to suspend him from his office of Vice-President in the interval. Both had affirmed repeatedly that they were personal friends of Mr. Judge and were moved by the desire to free him from the taint of calumny and afford him the opportunity to meet the accusations directly and disprove them if he could. Judge had raised three direct issues: (1) That his offense, if any, was not as Vice-President but as an individual, and therefore not triable under the Constitution and Rules of the Society, but by the Branch to which he belonged -- the Aryan Society of New York; (2) that any trial by the Society of alleged "imitating the handwriting of Mahatmas" was necessarily to involve the question of the existence of such Beings and Their connection with the Society and individuals in it, thus affixing a dogma to the Society; (3) that if, notwithstanding, his accusers were determined to proceed, he stood ready to produce witnesses and documents to prove his own direct connection with these Mahatmas.
The members could but remember that Judge had instantly raised all three questions in his circular of March 15, the moment the charges were sponsored by Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant. They could but remember that Col. Olcott, in suspending him from office, had grandiloquently informed him that he should be afforded an opportunity to disprove the charges. They could but remember that Col. Olcott in his "Executive notice" of April 27th had affirmed that in his own opinion and that of "eminent counsel, members of the Society," Mr. Judge could be tried "without involving the neutrality of the Society." The President-Founder's Address to the Judicial Committee could only be looked upon, therefore, as a square backdown on his part from the position originally assumed and maintained down to the very date of the "trial," and, since Mrs. Besant was bound up with him in the course taken throughout, it was equally a complete reversal on her part.
It was perfectly well known to all that the "Constitution and Rules" had been arranged year after year by Col. Olcott to suit his own ideas, and it was an open secret to many that the present Rules had been "revised" to open the way to the "trial." And it was well understood by all that the majority of the General Council and of the Judicial Committee was entirely plastic to the President-Founder's wishes -- so much so that many "neutrals" and friends of Mr. Judge as well as the followers of Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant were surprised beyond measure at the turn of events. What had occurred to upset an apparently ready-made program which had kept the Society in a ferment for five months with a scandal most hurtful to all and most injurious to the reputation of its Vice-President? The facts were still undetermined, the mischief unrepaired, by this apparently arbitrary and final decision of the Judicial Committee under the influence of Col. Olcott's Address. Were Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant sincerely repentant of the wrong done? Or was it to be inferred as the true explanation of this mysterious change of front in the face of Mr. Judge's defense that the accusers did not want the facts known; that they feared he could prove his claim of communications from the Mahatmas; feared that that done, a clamor would go up for Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett and all others who had claimed communications, also to prove their claims; feared the consequences if all the facts should become public?
It can, then, well be imagined what commotion ensued when all the inferences deducible from Col. Olcott's Address and the decision of the Judicial Committee, were freely aired. On the 11th, therefore. Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott found themselves in a most unenviable position. Restive under the fire of criticism, as is ever the case with those most ready to lay down the law for others, it behove them to do something -- anything -- to escape the threatened engulfment. Mrs. Besant proposed to Dr. J. D. Buck that, in view of the situation, a "Jury of Honour" be impaneled to pass upon the "charges," and suggested the names of Messrs. Sinnett, Bertram Keightley, Sturdy, Burrows and Firth for membership on such a "Jury." This was declined on the grounds that Judge had not yet been supplied with certified copies of the documents proposed to be used as "evidence" against him; that it would require time for him to produce witnesses and documents in rebuttal; finally, that the names submitted were those of men known to be already prejudiced against him, and that a "Jury," if chosen, should be composed of members qualified to weigh and pass upon principles, processes and evidences necessarily connected with "precipitations" and other "occult" phenomena. As there were few indeed of the well-known Theosophists then in London who had not already expressed opinions for or against the questions involved, and fewer still who were ready to "qualify" as competent judges of the facts of occult phenomena, it was speedily seen that the expedient of a "Jury of Honour" would leave the situation worse than ever.
Yet to leave matters as they were was intolerable, whether from the standpoint of the predicament of the accusers or the more noble one of the well-being of the Society. Mrs. Besant next proposed that she herself prepare a statement of the case, that Mr. Judge do the same, and that the two statements be read before the Convention of the European Section which then, with the statements before it, should serve as a jury and take such action as to it might seem proper. Dr. Buck accepted this proposition on behalf of Mr. Judge and the statements were accordingly read at the third session of the Convention on the evening of July 12th. We give both statements in full from the text of the "Neutrality" pamphlet.Taking Mr. Judge's statement first, the student will note its terseness and its impersonality. Not once does he strike a defensive or an offensive chord. The tone is historical and dispassionate, as if he were discussing abstractions in which neither he nor anyone present could have the slightest personal concern. Although but a third the length of Mrs. Besant's statement, it will be observed that Mr. Judge gives in clearest terms all the items around which the original charges arose. He tells what the original accusations were, the coupling of Mrs. Besant's name with them, why he made no mention of her in his circular, and gives in explicit words what he has done, why he did it, and why he makes his statement. The real issue stands out clear: Did he or did he not receive and transmit "messages from the Mahatmas?" He says he did so receive and so transmit messages from Them, but declines point-blank to say how or in what manner they were transmitted to or through him, and refers to what should have been common knowledge to all Theosophists -- that phenomenal accompaniments are neither proof nor disproof of the source of a message; that no one can be sure of the genuineness of a message unless he is able to see on the plane of its origin, that is to say, on the plane of causation. The whole statement might have been written by H.P.B. or by one of the Masters, for it does but repeat her and Their replies when the same questions were raised in regard to her messages and her other phenomena. In the whole statement there can be found no word of recrimination, of recantation or evasion. He neither argues, disputes or extenuates. What he can tell he tells simply, but he maintains the reticence of the genuine initiate concerning the modus operandi of Occult Science: "I did not so receive it; I cannot so impart it."
STATEMENT BY ANNIE BESANT
READ FOR THE INFORMATION OF MEMBERS AT THE THIRD SESSION OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION OF THE T.S., JULY 12TH, 1894.
I speak to you tonight as the representatives of the T.S. in Europe, and as the matter I have to lay before you concerns the deepest interests of the Society, I pray you to lay aside all prejudice and feeling, to judge by Theosophical standards and not by the lower standards of the world, and to give your help now in one of the gravest crises in which our movement has found itself. There has been much talk of Committees and Juries of Honour. We come to you, our brothers, to tell you what is in our hearts.
I am going to put before you the exact position of affairs on the matter which has been filling our hearts all day. Mr. Judge and I have agreed to lay two statements before you, and to ask your counsel upon them.
For some years past persons inspired largely by personal hatred for Mr. Judge, and persons inspired by hatred for the Theosophical Society and for all that it represents, have circulated a mass of accusations against him, ranging from simple untruthfulness to deliberate and systematic forgery of the handwriting of Those Who to some of us are most sacred. The charges were not in a form that it was possible to meet, a general denial could not stop them, and explanation to irresponsible accusers was at once futile and undignified.
Mr. Judge's election as the future President of the Society increased the difficulties of the situation, and the charges themselves were repeated with growing definiteness and insistence, until they found expression in an article in THE THEOSOPHIST signed by Messrs. Old and Edge. At last, the situation became so strained that it was declared by many of the most earnest members of the Indian Section that, if Mr. Judge became President with these charges hanging over him unexplained, the Indian Section would secede from the T.S. Representation to this effect was made to me, and I was asked, as well-known in the world and the T.S. and as a close friend and colleague of Mr. Judge, to intervene in the matter.
I hold strongly that, whatever may be the faults of a private member, they are no concern of mine, and it is no part of my duty as a humble servant of the Lords of Compassion, to drag my brother's faults into public view, nor to arraign him before any tribunal. His faults and mine will find their inevitable harvest of suffering, and I am content to leave them to the Great Law, which judges unerringly and knits to every wrong its necessary sequence of pain.
But where the honour of the Society was concerned, in the person of its now second official and (as he was then thought to be) its President-Elect, it was right to do what I could to put an end to the growing friction and suspicion, both for the sake of the Society and for that of Mr. Judge; and I agreed to intervene, privately, believing that many of the charges were false, dictated and circulated malevolently, that others were much exaggerated and were largely susceptible of explanation, and that what might remain of valid complaint might be put an end to without public controversy. Under the promise that nothing should be done further in the matter until my intervention had failed, I wrote to Mr. Judge. The promise of silence was broken by persons who knew some of the things complained of, and before any answer could be received by me from Mr. Judge, distorted versions of what had occurred were circulated far and wide. This placed Mr. Judge in a most unfair position, and he found my name used against him in connection with charges which he knew to be grossly exaggerated where not entirely untrue.
Not only so, but I found that a public Committee of Enquiry was to be insisted on, and I saw that the proceedings would be directed in a spirit of animosity, and that the aim was to inflict punishment for wrongs believed to have been done, rather than to prevent future harm to the Society. I did my utmost to prevent a public Committee of Enquiry of an official character. I failed, and the Committee was decided on. And then I made what many of Mr. Judge's friends think was a mistake. I offered to take on myself the onus of formulating the charges against him. I am not concerned to defend myself on this, nor to trouble you with my reasons for taking so painful a decision; in this decision, for which I alone am responsible, I meant to act for the best, but it is very possible I made a mistake -- for I have made many mistakes in judgment in my life, and my vision is not always clear in these matters of strife and controversy which are abhorrent to me.
In due course I formulated the charges, and drew up the written statement of evidence in support of them. They came in due course before the Judicial Committee, as you heard this morning. That Committee decided that they alleged private, not official, wrong-doing, and therefore could not be tried by a Committee that could deal only with a President or Vice-President as such. I was admitted to the General Council of the T.S. when this point was argued, and I was convinced by that argument that the point was rightly taken. I so stated when asked by the General Council, and again when asked by the Judicial Committee. And this put an end to the charges so far as that Committee was concerned.
As this left the main issue undecided, and left Mr. Judge under the stigma of unproved and unrebutted charges, it was suggested by Mr. Herbert Burrows that the charges should be laid before a Committee of Honour. At the moment this was rejected by Mr. Judge, but he wrote to me on the following day, asking me to agree with him in nominating such a Committee. I have agreed to this, but with very great reluctance, for the reason mentioned above: that I feel it no part of my duty to attack any private member of the T.S., and I think such an attack would prove a most unfortunate precedent. But as the proceedings which were commenced against Mr. Judge as an official have proved abortive, it does not seem fair that I -- responsible for those proceedings by taking part in them -- should refuse him the Committee he asks for.
But there is another way, which I now take, and which, if you approve it, will put an end to this matter; and as no Theosophist should desire to inflict penalty for the past -- even if he thinks wrong has been done -- but only to help forward right in the future, it may, I venture to hope, be accepted.
And now I must reduce these charges to their proper proportions, as they have been enormously exaggerated, and it is due to Mr. Judge that I should say publicly what from the beginning I have said privately. The President stated them very accurately in his address to the Judicial Committee: the vital charge is that Mr. Judge has issued letters and messages in the script recognizable as that adopted by a Master with whom H.P.B. was closely connected, and that these letters and messages were neither written nor precipitated directly by the Master in whose writing they appear; as leading up to this there are subsidiary charges of deception, but these would certainly never have been made the basis of any action save for their connection with the main point.
Further, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I do not charge and have not charged Mr. Judge with forgery in the ordinary sense of the term, but with giving a misleading material form to messages received psychically from the Masters in various ways, without acquainting the recipients with this fact.
I regard Mr. Judge as an Occultist, possessed of considerable knowledge, and animated by a deep and unswerving devotion to the Theosophical Society. I believe that he has often received direct messages from the Masters and from Their chelas, guiding and helping him in his work. I believe that he has sometimes received messages for other people in one or other of the ways that I will mention in a moment, but not by direct writing by the Master nor by His direct precipitation; and that Mr. Judge has then believed himself to be justified in writing down in the script adopted by H.P.B. for communications from the Master, the message psychically received, and in giving it to the person for whom it was intended, leaving that person to wrongly assume that it was a direct precipitation or writing by the Master Himself -- that is, that it was done through Mr. Judge, but done by the Master.
Now personally I hold that this method is illegitimate and that no one should simulate a recognized writing which is regarded as authoritative when it is authentic. And by authentic I mean directly written or precipitated by the Master Himself. If a message is consciously written it should be so stated: if automatically written, it should be so stated. At least so it seems to me. It is important that the very small part generally played by the Masters in these phenomena should be understood, so that people may not receive messages as authoritative merely on the ground of their being in a particular script. Except in the very rarest instances, the Masters do not personally write letters or directly precipitate communications. Messages may be sent by Them to those with whom They can communicate by external voice, or astral vision, or psychic word, or mental impression or in other ways. If a person gets a message which he believes to be from the Master, for communication to anyone else, he is bound in honour not to add to that message any extraneous circumstances which will add weight to it in the recipient's eyes. I believe that Mr. Judge wrote with his own hand, consciously or automatically I do not know, in the script adopted as that of the Master, messages which he received from the Master or from chelas; and I know that, in my own case, I believed that the messages he gave me in the well-known script were messages directly precipitated or directly written by the Master. When I publicly said that I had received after H.P.B.'s death letters in the writing H. P. Blavatsky had been accused of forging, I referred to letters given to me by Mr. Judge, and as they were in the well-known script I never dreamt of challenging their source. I know now that they were not written or precipitated by the Master, and that they were done by Mr. Judge, but I also believe that the gist of these messages was psychically received, and that Mr. Judge's error lay in giving them to me in a script written by himself and not saying that he had done so. I feel bound to refer to these letters thus explicitly, because having been myself mistaken, I in turn misled the public.
It should be generally understood inside and outside the Theosophical Society, that letters and messages may be written or may be precipitated in any script, without thereby gaining any valid authority. Scripts may be produced by automatic or deliberate writing with the hand, or by precipitation, by many agencies from the White and Black Adepts down to semi-conscious Elementals, and those who afford the necessary conditions can be thus used. The source of messages can only be decided by direct spiritual knowledge or, intellectually, by the nature of their contents, and each person must use his own powers and act on his own responsibility, in accepting or rejecting them. Thus I rejected a number of letters, real precipitations, brought me by an American, not an F.T.S., as substantiating his claim to be H.P.B.'s successor.(2) Any good medium may be used for precipitating messages by any of the varied entities in the Occult world; and the outcome of these proceedings will be, I hope, to put an end to the craze for receiving letters and messages, which are more likely to be subhuman or human in their origin than superhuman, and to throw people back on the evolution of their own spiritual nature, by which alone they can be safely guided through the mazes of the super-physical world.
If you, representatives of the T.S., consider that the publication of this statement followed by that which Mr. Judge will make, would put an end to this distressing business, and by making a clear understanding, get rid at least of the mass of seething suspicions in which we have been living, and if you can accept it, I propose that this should take the place of the Committee of Honour, putting you, our brothers, in the place of the Committee. I have made the frankest explanation I can; I know how enwrapped in difficulty are these phenomena which are connected with forces obscure in their workings to most; therefore, how few are able to judge of them accurately, while those through whom they play are not always able to control them. And I trust that these explanations may put an end to some at least of the troubles of the last two years, and leave us to go on with our work for the world, each in his own way. For any pain that I have given my brother, in trying to do a most repellant task, I ask his pardon, as also for any mistakes that I may have made.[The above statements as to precipitated, written and other communications have been made long ago by both H. P. Blavatsky and Mr. Judge, in Lucifer, The Path, and elsewhere, both publicly and privately.--A.B.]ANNIE BESANT.
[Note by Col. Olcott.--I cannot allow Mrs. Besant to take upon herself the entire responsibility for formulating the charges against Mr. Judge, since I myself requested her to do it. The tacit endorsement of the charges by persistence in a policy of silence, was an injustice to the Vice-President, since it gave him no chance to make his defence; while, at the same time, the widely-current suspicions were thereby augmented, to the injury of the Society. So to bring the whole matter to light, I with others, asked Mrs. Besant to assume the task of drafting and signing the charges.--H.S.O.]
STATEMENT BY MR. JUDGE
Since March last, charges have been going round the world against me, to which the name of Annie Besant has been attached, without her consent as she now says, that I have been guilty of forging the names and handwritings of the Mahatmas and of misusing the said names and handwritings. The charge has also arisen that I suppressed the name of Annie Besant as mover in the matter from fear of the same. All this has been causing great trouble and working injury to all concerned, that is, to all our members. It is now time that this should be put an end to once for all if possible.
I now state as follows:
1. I left the name of Annie Besant out of my published circular by request of my friends in the T.S. then near me so as to save her and leave it to others to put her name to the charge. It now appears that if I had so put her name it would have run counter to her present statement.
2. I repeat my denial of the said rumoured charges of forging the said names and handwritings of the Mahatmas or of misusing the same.
3. I admit that I have received and delivered messages from the Mahatmas and assert their genuineness.
4. I say that I have heard and do hear from the Mahatmas, and that I am an agent of the Mahatmas; but I deny that I have ever sought to induce that belief in others and this is the first time to my knowledge that I have ever made the claim now made. I am pressed into the place where I must make it. My desire and effort have been to distract attention from such an idea as related to me. But I have no desire to make the claim, which I repudiate, that I am the only channel for communication with Masters; and it is my opinion that such communication is open to any human being who, by endeavoring to serve mankind, affords the necessary conditions.
5. Whatever messages from the Mahatmas have been delivered by me as such -- and they are extremely few -- I now declare were and are genuine messages from the Mahatmas so far as my knowledge extends; they were obtained through me, but as to how they were obtained or produced I cannot state. But I can now again say, as I have said publicly before, and as was said by H. P. Blavatsky so often that I have always thought it common knowledge among studious Theosophists, that precipitation of words or messages is of no consequence and constitutes no proof of connection with Mahatmas; it is only phenomenal and not of the slightest value.
6. So far as methods are concerned for the reception and delivery of messages from the Masters, they are many. My own methods may disagree from the views of others, and I acknowledge their right to criticise them if they choose; but I deny the right of anyone to say that they know or can prove the non-genuineness of such messages to or through me unless they are able to see on that plane. I can only say that I have done my best to report -- in the few instances when I have done it at all -- correctly and truthfully such messages as I think I have received for transmission, and never to my knowledge have I tried therewith to deceive any person or persons whatever.
7. And I say that in 1893 the Master sent me a message in which he thanked me for all my work and exertions in the Theosophical field, and expressed satisfaction therewith, ending with sage advice to guard me against the failings and follies of my lower nature; that message Mrs. Besant unreservedly admits.
8. Lastly, and only because of absurd statements made and circulated, I willingly say that which I never denied, that I am a human being, full of error, liable to mistake, not infallible, but just the same as any other human being like to myself, or of the class of human beings to which I belong. And I freely, fully and sincerely forgive anyone who may be thought to have injured or tried to injure me.WILLIAM Q. JUDGE.
Careful comparison of Mrs. Besant's statement with that of Mr. Judge will disclose the points of agreement and of contrast, both in matters of fact and in tone. On the real issue involved -- whether or not Mr. Judge was in communication with the Masters and received messages from them -- she makes two significant and direct admissions:
"I believe that he has often received direct messages from the Masters and from Their chelas."
"I believe that he has sometimes received messages for other people."
What, then, was the assumed offence that had led her to bring the charges against Mr. Judge? Mrs. Besant states it several times:
"The vital charge is that Mr. Judge has issued letters and messages in the script recognizable as that adopted by a Master with whom H.P.B. was closely connected, and that these letters and messages were neither written nor precipitated directly by the Master in whose writing they appear."
"I believe that he has ... received messages ... in one or other of the ways that I will mention in a moment, but not by direct writing by the Master nor by His direct precipitation."
"I believe that Mr. Judge wrote with his own hand, consciously or automatically I do not know, in the script adopted as that of the Master, messages which he received from the Master or from chelas."
"I know now that they were not written or precipitated by the Master, and that they were done by Mr. Judge, but I also believe that the gist of these messages was psychically received."
Mrs. Besant expresses her views on the subject very succinctly:
"Now personally I hold that this method is illegitimate and that no one should simulate a recognized writing which is regarded as authoritative when it is authentic. And by authentic I mean directly written or precipitated by the Master Himself. If a message is consciously written it should be so stated; if automatically written, it should be so stated. At least so it seems to me."
We have italicised the foregoing, because to our mind it is the key to the whole difficulty which beset Mrs. Besant and so many others. In the first place, it shows that despite all her subsequent claims and affirmations, Mrs. Besant had no real knowledge of Occultism, but depended first, last, and all the time on externalities. Had she been an accepted chela, even, she would have known for herself how such messages are produced, and would have been under no necessity to speculate, guess, "believe" this, that, or the other, nor would she have attached any importance whatever to script, signature, seal, what not. Moreover, this statement of hers shows that she had labored under gross ignorance even of what had been given out both by H.P.B. and Masters years before. For, in the appendix to the 4th and post editions of "The Occult World" Mr. Sinnett had given a long letter direct from the Master "K.H." on this very subject of "precipitations" in connection with the "Kiddle incident," which showed the Master Himself "guilty" of the very "method" which Mrs. Besant holds to be "illegitimate." And in the extremely important article, "Lodges of Magic," H.P.B. in "Lucifer" for October, 1888 -- at the time of the public formation of the E.S.T. -- goes at length into this very question. And with good reason: Olcott, Sinnett, and others had been whispering about the identical "charges" against her of "forgery" and "false messages." Like Mrs. Besant, these students had received "messages" through H.P.B. which comported with their ideas, and other "messages" which upset their preconceptions. The one they had pronounced "genuine;" the other "false." H.P.B. set out to show the absurdity of this position and her remarks should have been a standing lesson both to all thirsty aspirants for "precipitated messages" and to all neophytes in Occultism. H.P.B. wrote:"We have been asked by a correspondent why he should not "be free to suspect some of the so-called 'precipitated' letters as being forgeries," giving as his reason for it that while some of them bear the stamp of (to him) undeniable genuineness, others seem from their contents and style, to be imitations. This is equivalent to saying that he has such an unerring spiritual insight as to be able to detect the false from the true, though he has never met a Master, nor been given any key by which to test his alleged communications. The inevitable consequence of applying his untrained judgment in such cases, would be to make him as likely as not to declare false what was genuine, and genuine what was false. Thus what criterion has anyone to decide between one 'precipitated' letter, or another such letter? Who except their authors, or those whom they employ as their amanuenses (the chelas and disciples), can tell? For it is hardly one out of a hundred 'occult' letters that is ever written by the hand of the Master, in whose name and on whose behalf they are sent, as the Masters have neither need nor leisure to write them; and that when a Master says, 'I wrote that letter,' it means only that every word in it was dictated by him and impressed under his direct supervision. Generally they make their chela, whether near or far away, write (or precipitate) them, by impressing upon his mind the ideas they wish expressed, and if necessary aiding him in the picture-printing process of precipitation. It depends entirely upon the chela's state of development, how accurately the ideas may be transmitted and the writing model imitated. Thus the non-adept recipient is left in the dilemma of uncertainty, whether, if one letter is false, all may not be; for, as far as intrinsic evidence goes, all come from the same source, and all are brought by the same mysterious means. But there is another, and a far worse condition implied. For all that the recipient of 'occult' letters can possibly know, and on the simple grounds of probability and common honesty, the unseen correspondent who would tolerate one single fraudulent line in his name, would wink at an unlimited repetition of the deception." [Note: Here's the whole article by HPB: "Lodges of Magic". --Compiler.]More and more as the student studies, connotes, compares, he will be struck by the unconscious inconsistencies in Mrs. Besant's statement. Here was a professedly devoted student of H.P.B., a pledged member of the E.S.T. who apparently, from her own statements, had no doubt that Mr. Judge was in "direct communication with the Masters," yet who believed at the same time that he was "giving a misleading material form" to Their messages, a method which she held to be "illegitimate," so illegitimate that she felt impelled to charge him with "forgery of the handwriting of the Mahatmas," and at the same time H.P.B., whom she called her "teacher," had taught that this was the very practice of the Masters Themselves, and her own messages had been produced in identically the same way!
Moreover, Mrs. Besant proceeds to argue that "it should be generally understood ... that letters and messages may be written or may be precipitated in any script, without thereby gaining any valid authority." In thus arguing she was but repeating what H.P.B. and Mr. Judge had been teaching for years; but if she saw this to be the fact why, in the name of all wonders, should she have attached such importance to "Mahatmas' handwritings" precipitated "in a material form" through Mr. Judge or any one else? If "the source of messages can only be decided by direct spiritual knowledge," and if she had that knowledge so that she knew, as she claimed, that Mr. Judge's messages themselves were genuine, why did she not affirm their genuineness to the doubters instead of charging Mr. Judge with "forgery?" Or if the source can only be decided "intellectually by the nature of their contents," why did she not discuss the contents instead of the form of the disputed messages? And if "each person must use his own powers and act on his own responsibility in accepting or rejecting them," what occasion or right at any time on the part of any one to charge any other with "fraud" in connection with any "messages" soever? One wonders what miraculous ideas of Masters and Their powers over "time, space and matter" possessed Mrs. Besant and others? Did they think that Masters could work miracles and produce or precipitate messages at great distances and through intervening matter without an instrument of some kind at the receiving end? Without an amanuensis at the far pole, to use H.P.B.'s telltale hint in the extract just given?
The lack of logical perspective, the loss of discrimination, the havoc of "pledge fever" possessing the accusers is still further shown in Mrs. Besant's statement of how she was led to bring the charges in the first place. For, she says, they came to her from "persons inspired largely by personal hatred for Mr. Judge," and from "persons inspired by hatred for the Theosophical Society and all that it represents." If this was so -- and it was indubitably true -- what was the natural, the logical, above all the ethical and moral course for Mrs. Besant to take -- Mrs. Besant "well known in the world and the T.S. and a close friend and colleague of Mr. Judge?" Was it not to have taken up the cudgels in defense of her friend and brother whom she knew to be in direct communication with Masters; to have shown to all and sundry that such messages were to be judged by their "intellectual and spiritual contents," not by "handwriting," seals, and other phenomenal incidents? To have brought charges against his slanderers instead of against their innocent victim?
But what did she do, by her own confession -- for it is no less. She "agreed to intervene privately." That intervention consisted in her writing to Mr. Judge January 11, 1894, following the Christmas, 1893, secret conference at Adyar. In this letter she told him she had the proof of his "guilt," and demanded, as the price of her silence, that he should resign from the T.S. and the E.S., giving up his offices in both, "or the evidence which goes to prove the wrong done must be laid before a committee of the T.S." Yet her statement says: "I agreed to intervene, privately, believing that many of the charges were false, dictated and circulated malevolently, that others were much exaggerated and were largely susceptible of explanation, and that what might remain of valid complaint might be put an end to without public controversy." Before this letter could possibly reach Mr. Judge, his defamers, she says, broke their promise of silence. Then what does Mrs. Besant do? After consultation with Chakravarti, Olcott and Old, she wrote on February 6th her formal demand to Col. Olcott for the "investigation by a Committee." She says that all this "placed Mr. Judge in a most unfair position, and he found my name used against him in connection with charges which he knew to be grossly exaggerated where not entirely untrue." Undoubtedly, but by whose consent and voluntary action was this use of her name and broadcasting of scandal and calumny made possible?
As if this were not enough Mrs. Besant, according to her own statement, although she "saw that the proceedings would be directed in a spirit of animosity, and that the aim was to inflict punishment," nevertheless, in her own words: "I offered to take on myself the onus of formulating the charges against him."
Once Mrs. Besant's statement and related actions are understood and weighed, the well-nigh unanswerable query arises: If the facts are as she states them how could she have done what she did?
Weighing the situation from the merely human standpoint, the evidence justifies and compels the inference that Mrs. Besant lacked the sense of ethical perception and was, by consequence, constitutionally incapable of recognizing the moral obliquity of her own conduct as portrayed by herself in her statements. Despite the countless admonitions of H.P.B., and the abundant examples with which the years were strewn, of the pitfalls and dangers which beset the path of those who "wander from the discipline enjoined," Mrs. Besant had taken no part of the lessons home to herself. Her case was that of countless others, only a more illustrious example of those failures in Occultism of which the records are over-full. What was their snare? Again it is profitable to recur to the statements of H.P.B. In the articles of "Lodges of Magic," quoted from above, H.P.B. gives it concisely:"Hence, not a step in advance would be made by a group of students ... without any guide from the occult side to open their eyes to the esoteric pitfalls. And where are such guides so far, in our Society? 'They be blind leaders of the blind,' both falling into the ditch of vanity and self-sufficiency. The whole difficulty springs from the common tendency to draw conclusions from insufficient premises, and play the oracle before ridding oneself of that most stupefying of all psychic anaesthetics -- IGNORANCE."A Probationer of but two years' standing at the death of H.P.B., Mrs. Besant began at once to "play the oracle," to "fall into the ditch of vanity and self-sufficiency," to "draw conclusions from insufficient premises." H.P.B. dead (to her), she looked to Judge as "guide from the occult side," and his strong help lifted her out of more than one "esoteric pitfall." Came the day when the plaudits of the multitude acclaimed her as an "authority." Why should she have to look to Judge for inspiration, for messages, for direction and correction? Why could she not force the doors to the unseen world on her own account? Was there not Chakravarti with his subtleties and charms, his new and wonderful "method of meditation" by which the results she craved could be procured?
That Mrs. Besant never inspected her own conduct, never rigidly applied to herself the precepts she was constantly proclaiming to others, is, again, sharply shown in the opening paragraph of her statement to the Convention. She says to the Delegates: "I pray you to lay aside all prejudice and feeling, to judge by Theosophical standards and not by the lower standards of the world." Suppose Mrs. Besant had taken that admonition home to herself, as the Rules of the E.S. enjoined, would there have been any "Judge case?" Would there have been any ruin of the Theosophical Society?
These things were missed by Mrs. Besant; they were missed by the students of the first generation of the Movement. Will they be missed by the students of to-day?
Certain it is, that the delegates and members assembled at the third session of the European Section on the evening of July 12, 1894, saw none of the inconsistencies, none of the lessons contained in what they were witness of. One and all rejoiced that concord, as they thought, was once more restored, harmony once more triumphant, fraternity once more regnant, and that naught remained but to go on victoriously to still greater heights. For, as the "Neutrality" pamphlet recites:"Having heard the above statements, the following resolution was moved by Mr. Bertram Keightley, seconded by Dr. Buck, and carried nem. con.At the conclusion of the official proceedings of the third session of the European Sectional Convention which terminated with the adoption of the foregoing Resolutions, a spontaneous outburst of fraternal feeling animated all the delegates and visiting members of the Theosophical Society. On all sides those who had been rent by partisan emotions, those who had endeavored to remain neutral and impartial, leaders and followers alike, joined in mutual congratulations and felicitations over what seemed to be a complete restoration of unity and harmony.
"Resolved: that this meeting accepts with pleasure the adjustment arrived at by Annie Besant and William Q. Judge as a final settlement of matters pending hitherto between them as prosecutor and defendant, with the hope that it may be thus buried and forgotten, and--
"Resolved: that we will join hands with them to further the cause of genuine Brotherhood in which we all believe."
As the members separated and left the hall, they were handed copies of a leaflet being distributed just outside the door. When this leaflet was read, and the names attached to it noted, more or less of uncertainty arose as to its possible import. Although its statements were such as to meet the approval of anyone, the peculiar circumstances in which it was drawn up and circulated raised at once the question of its necessity and application. Not till long afterward did Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott admit and affirm that it was intended to apply to Mr. Judge and to leave still open the charges which all had thought to be disposed of once and for all by the London proceedings. These proceedings were, as stated, officially reported in the "Neutrality" pamphlet, whose text was also reprinted in full in the "Path", the "Theosophist", and "Lucifer". In printing the proceedings in the August, 1894, number of "Lucifer", Mrs. Besant preceded them, in her editorial notes, "On the Watch-Tower," with some comments and with the text of the leaflet spoken of, as follows:
"This number of LUCIFER contains the text of the Enquiry into the charges made against Mr. W. Q. Judge. The statement appended to it, read by myself at the evening meeting of the Convention on July 12th, gives succinctly my own position in the matter, and contains all that I need say on the past. The future lies before us, and the Society will go forward unbroken; it has surmounted imminent danger of disruption, which threatened it. Had Mr. Judge succeeded to the Presidency, according to the election of 1892, with these charges hanging over him, India would have rejected him and the Society would have been rent in twain; but in the course of these proceedings, that election has been declared null and void, and the choice of the Society of its future President remains unfettered. A further gain is the putting an end to the exaggerated attacks made on Mr. Judge, and their reduction to a definite form, Yet another is the clear reminder that the precipitation of a letter does not give it any authoritative character, and that no particular script should be accepted as evidence of the Mahatmic origin of a message. The Society will be in a healthier state for this clearing of the air, and will be in less danger from credulity and superstition, two of the deadliest foes of a true spiritual movement."
The unconscious evasion by Mrs. Besant of her direct responsibility for the questionable consequences of her own actions, as already shown in connection with her Statement before the Convention, is again illustrated in the above-quoted editorial, by simply adding the indubitable but omitted facts to her quoted words. Thus:
"the charges made against W. Q. Judge" [by myself as their responsible sponsor;]
"The Society has surmounted imminent danger of disruption which threatened it" [because of those charges, made by me and inspired by Col. Olcott, W. R. Old and G. N. Chakravarti;]
"Had Mr. Judge succeeded to the Presidency with these charges hanging over him, India would have rejected him and the Society would have been rent in twain" [because that was the alternative offered me by Olcott, Old, Edge, Chakravarti and Wachtmeister, if I would not join them in the campaign against the good repute of Judge ;]
"A further gain is the putting an end to the exaggerated attacks made on Mr. Judge" [attacks whose only validity was given them by my assuming responsibility for them;]
"Yet a further gain is the clear reminder that the precipitation of a letter does not give it any authoritative character, and that no particular script should be accepted as evidence of the Mahatmic origin of a letter" [a reminder which both H.P.B. and Mr. Judge had been repeating publicly and privately for years, but which Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, myself and many others had forgotten or ignored, so that, in making these charges against Judge because of doubt whether they were "precipitated" messages and whether the script was "authentic," we had been relying on "precipitation" and "script" as "evidence," by their "authoritative character," of their "Mahatmic origin";]
"The Society will be in a healthier state from this clearing of the air" [which Col. Olcott, I, and others, befouled by bringing these charges], "and will be in less danger from credulity and superstition" [into which Col. Olcott and I, no less than many humbler members, fell in attaching "authority" and "evidence" to "precipitations" and "scripts'].
When the suppressed facts are added to Mrs. Besant's editorial statement above given, they shed a penetrating and clarifying light on the second editorial immediately following, and on the leaflet mentioned, and show that once again, as so often before and since those fateful days, to no one do Mrs. Besant's homilies apply so aptly and so fatally as to herself. She proceeds:
"TRUTH BEFORE AND IN ALL THINGS"
"The following declaration is aimed at an opinion too often finding expression among would-be Occultists of a untrained type, that what is falsehood on the material plane may in some 'Occult' way be truth on a higher plane, and that the plea of 'Occultism' excuses conduct inconsistent with a high standard of righteous living. The spread of such views would demoralize the Society, and would tend to degrade the lofty ideal of Truth and Purity which it has been the effort of every great religious teacher to uphold and enforce by example. Some of us, feeling this strongly, drew up the circular printed below, and the seven signatories represent a large body of opinion in different sections of the Theosophical Society."
If students of to-day, as then, instead of merely being content to approve these ethical formularies and to take it for granted that those who express noble sentiments are themselves inspired thereby, would rigidly examine and apply them, first and foremost, to themselves and those who utter them, naught but the pharisees would have cause for complaint. Mrs. Besant and three of her co-signatories -- Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and Bertram Keightley -- were mainly responsible for the rupture of 1895, as they were for the events now being discussed. Four of those signers -- Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and Mr. Leadbeater -- continued with the "Theosophical Society" for many years -- the Society of which Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater are today the recognized and responsible heads and guides, exoterically and esoterically. With the intervening twenty-five years of history made by them, the humblest student of theosophical philosophy and events should have no difficulty in determining beyond peradventure for himself who were and are "would-be Occultists of an untrained type", and who throughout the long course of theosophical history have in practice taken the perverted path that "falsehood on the material plane may in some 'Occult' way be truth on a higher plane, and that the plea of 'Occultism' excuses conduct inconsistent with a high standard of righteous living." The existing ferment throughout the entire world-area of Mrs. Besant's Society proves who, now as then, then as now, have spread views which have demoralized the Society and degraded the lofty ideal of Truth and Purity.
Mrs. Besant's second editorial, as given, was immediately followed by the text of the leaflet, which we give in full for its value to all those capable of making the application in the right quarters.
"To Students of Occultism.
"OCCULTISM AND TRUTH
"'There is no Religion higher than Truth.'
(Motto of the Theosophical Society)
"The inevitable mystery which surrounds Occultism and the Occultist has given rise in the minds of many to a strange confusion between the duty of silence and the error of untruthfulness. There are many things that the Occultist may not divulge; but equally binding is the law that he may never speak untruth. And this obligation to Truth is not confined to speech; he may never think untruth, nor act untruth. A spurious Occultism dallies with truth and falsehood, and argues that deception on the illusory physical plane is consistent with purity on the loftier planes on which the Occultist has his true life; it speaks contemptuously of 'mere worldly morality' -- a contempt that might be justified if it raised a higher standard, but which is out of place when the phrase is used to condone acts which the 'mere worldly morality' would disdain to practice. The doctrine that the end justifies the means has proved in the past fruitful of all evil; no means that are impure can bring about an end that is good, else were the Good Law a dream and Karma a mere delusion. From these errors flows an influence mischievous to the whole Theosophical Society, undermining the stern and rigid morality necessary as a foundation for Occultism of the Right Hand Path.
"Finding that this false view of Occultism is spreading in the Theosophical Society, we desire to place on record our profound aversion to it, and our conviction that morality of the loftiest type must be striven after by everyone who would tread in safety the difficult ways of the Occult World. Only by rigid truthfulness in thought, speech and act on the planes on which works our waking consciousness, can the student hope to evolve the intuition which unerringly discerns between the true and the false in the super-sensuous worlds, which recognizes truth at sight and so preserves him from fatal risks in those at first confusing regions. To cloud the delicate sense of truth here, is to keep it blind there; hence every Teacher of Occultism has laid stress on truthfulness as the most necessary equipment of the would-be Disciple. To quote a weighty utterance of a wise Indian Disciple:
"'Next in importance, or perhaps equal in value, to Devotion is TRUTH. It is simply impossible to over-estimate the efficacy of Truth in all its phases and bearings in helping the onward evolution of the human soul. We must love truth, seek truth, and live truth; and thus alone can the Divine Light which is Truth Sublime be seen by the student of Occultism. When there is the slightest leaning towards falsehood in any shape, there is shadow and ignorance and their child, pain. This leaning towards falsehood belongs to the lower personality without doubt. It is here that our interests clash, it is here the struggle for existence is in full swing, and it is therefore here that cowardice and dishonesty and fraud find any scope. The "signs and symptoms" of the operations of this lower self can never remain concealed from one who sincerely loves truth and seeks truth.'
"To understand oneself, and so escape self-deception, Truth must be practiced; thus only can be avoided the dangers of the 'conscious and unconscious deception' against which a MASTER warned His pupils in 1885.
"Virtue is the foundation of White Occultism; the Paramitas, six and ten, the transcendental virtues, must be mastered, and each of the Seven Portals on the Path is a virtue, which the Disciple must make his own. Out of the soil of pure morality alone can grow the sacred flower which blossoms at length into Arhatship, and those who aspire to the blooming of the flower must begin by preparing the soil.This circular was conspicuous for the names signed to it; still more so for those not attached to it. Neither Mr. Judge nor any other of the many prominent Theosophists from America and Europe then present in London were asked to join in the circular. In the circumstances, the names actually signed can only be construed as being those of the principals in the cabal formed against Mr. Judge. Old's name was omitted out of prudential considerations; he was still under suspension in the E.S.T., but he was present in England during the time, was still on terms of intimate friendship with the leaders, and was in daily intercourse with them. Chakravarti was in India, but it requires no especial exercise of "occult powers" to discern that the "wise Indian Disciple" whose "weighty utterance" was included in the text of the circular was none other than he, and his share in the strategy cannot be doubted. His "messages from the Master", which inspired and sustained the tactics of the whole course of "the case against W. Q. Judge", continued the preponderant influence over Mrs. Besant until 1904. About that date she succumbed to the allurements of still another "Initiate" and his "messages" from the same "Masters" -- C. W. Leadbeater -- and quietly dropped Mr. Chakravarti as being "under the influence of the dark Powers.""H. S. OLCOTT,
"A. P. SINNETT,
"W. WYNN WESTCOTT,
"E. T. STURDY,
"C. W. LEADBEATER."
There is an enduring moral in all this for every sincere pilgrim on the probationary Path, no less than for the thoughtful enquirer into the mysteries of the workings of human consciousness. Unless the theosophical student deliberately adopts and applies the philosophical and historical attitude in his consideration of such a complicated net-work of actions and actors as is presented in the three-fold evolution of the Theosophical Movement, he will, in his turn, fall victim to his own preconceptions and lack of discrimination, even though he be one who "sincerely loves truth and seeks truth" -- to quote from the very circular under discussion. And thus only, in very truth, can be avoided the dangers of the "conscious and unconscious deception," -- to repeat the words of the real Master, whom Mrs. Besant quoted as if they applied to others only and not to herself as well.
To illustrate what is here endeavored to be considered, we may turn to the very Message(3) itself from which Mrs. Besant quotes. It was "precipitated" in a letter from Tookaram Tatya in 1885 to Col. Olcott, and was addressed to the President-Founder himself and all his associates. Taking Damodar's indiscretions as a text from which to point a lesson as well as draw a moral, the MASTER said:
"This ought to be a warning to you all. You have believed 'not wisely but too well'. To unlock the gates of the mystery you must not only lead a life of the strictest probity, but learn to discriminate truth from falsehood. You have talked a great deal about Karma but have hardly realised the true significance of that doctrine. The time is come when you must lay the foundation of that strict conduct -- in the individual as well as in the collective body -- which, ever wakeful, guards against conscious as well as unconscious deception."
Philosophically, here is a "message from the Master", which anyone might approve or disapprove on its merits, according to his judgment of its moral worth, quite irrespective of its writer, the method of its transmission, or the attendant circumstances. Historically, Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott both approved this message, believed in Masters and Their Wisdom, accepted and promulgated Their greater "message" of Theosophy, were both "probationary chelas" of these Masters. In weighing their conduct, therefore, they have to be measured by their consistency or inconsistency with the Theosophy and the discipline of the School they had made their own. Did they, or did they not, act in accord with the principles and rules by which they had bound themselves? The testimony of circumstance in connection with this "warning" which the leaflet quotes, is of value. The message was sent following the Coulomb "exposure," the desertion, by Olcott and the rest, of H.P.B., the resignation and departure of H.P.B., the S.P.R. investigations of Mr. Hodgson and his strictures on Damodar as the servile tool of H.P.B. in the perpetration of her frauds and for his trickeries, his deceptions, his plain unvarnished fraud and lying on his own account. As repeatedly indicated by the course of events and their recital in this history, Olcott and the others believed H.P.B. had been guilty, at times, of fraud, and that Damodar was a weakling imitator and blind worshipper of H.P.B. The anguish, the sense of the insult to the soul, the shame and humiliation of all this to a sensitive boy like Damodar, can be all too easily imagined by the most indurated. It well-nigh broke Damodar's heart; it was his "fall," indeed, and justified the Master's saying in the same message that the "poor boy ... had to undergo the severest trials that a neophyte ever passed through, to atone for the many questionable doings in which he had overzealously taken part, bringing disgrace upon the sacred science and its adepts."
The point is, that that message was not addressed to Damodar (who was speedily called by the very Masters to Their Company), but to Col. Olcott and his associates, individually and collectively, and its moral was for them, not Damodar, who had succeeded despite his "many questionable doings" in achieving full accepted Chelaship. How did Col. Olcott and his associates take the warning? As before they had believed H.P.B. and Damodar "guilty" on accusations "inspired by hatred for the Theosophical Society and for all that it represents", so, in 1894, they formed the same belief in regard to Mr. Judge, and on the same "evidence" from the same sources. It seemed never to occur to Col. Olcott that here was a sharp, a very sharp reproof and lesson, for him to accept and apply to himself. For, during the ensuing three years he was engaged in a constant struggle with H.P.B. and with Judge who supported her, in opposition to the formation of the E.S.T., as he himself exposes in his "Old Diary Leaves." What his feelings were is there plainly given by himself. Another, and still sharper, warning was given him and others, therefore, in the "message" in August, 1888. Next, during the ensuing two years, he tacitly encouraged Prof. Coues in his attacks on H.P.B. and Judge, and abstained from any defense of his colleagues; finally, H.P.B. was compelled to take away from him and his interference the Theosophical Society in Europe. After the death of H.P.B., he began again to succumb to the old tendencies and temptations, despite all former experiences and warnings, and despite all that Judge could do to aid him, as H.P.B. had done before; finally, he passed under the cumulative sway of his own past actions and failures to heed the warnings given, to the place where he became the active tool, with Mrs. Besant and others of lesser repute, of "persons inspired by personal hatred of Mr. Judge and of the Theosophical Society and all that it represents."
Do we charge Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, or any of the lesser agents, with conscious, deliberate, premeditated, malicious intent and effort to assassinate the good name of Mr. Judge?
Far, far from it. We charge them with nothing. We recite the facts on record, a record made by themselves, and argue from the facts such conclusions as logical insight makes inevitable. We weigh those facts in the light of the teachings of Theosophy, the Rules and Instructions of the E.S.T. We have endeavored to pursue with them the identical course followed with regard to H.P.B. and Mr. Judge. That the conclusions reached are at polar antitheses in the one case and the other is due, not to differences in teachings, for they all professed the same teachings and the same regard for the rules of Occultism. The inevitable conclusions logically following from the facts and the philosophy show in the one case a steadily widening breach between precept and practice; in the other a steadfast adherence in every vicissitude and strain to the self-imposed standard of conduct. But this being assumed for the moment by the reader, and it being granted that Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, and their coadjutors in 1894-5 were sincere throughout, the unavoidable question confronts writer and reader alike: What is the explanation of the conduct and actions of Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, and the rest? We answer: In the "warning addressed to all Esotericists" in the Preliminary Memorandum of the E.S.T. They were the victims of Pledge Fever; they were not "awake and on guard" against unconscious self-deception; they believed they could depart from the discipline of the School of the Masters, violate the Rules of the School, and yet "avoid the esoteric pitfalls." In the words of the Second Preliminary Memorandum, they "lost their moral balance unconsciously to themselves." Mere neophytes, mere probationers of the Second Section, they posed as Teachers of Occultism. They "spit back in the face of their Teacher" -- in the graphic words of the Master they professed to revere and obey. Instead of "wiping away the filth with which the Teacher had been defiled by the enemy", they first remained supine when the Teacher was attacked, and ended, as we shall see in the outcome, by defiling that Teacher themselves. H.P.B. knew what had been, what was, and what was to be. At the time of the Coues-Collins-Lane-New York "Sun" assaults, when her sole vigilant defender was Judge, who was also assailed as infamously and venomously as herself, she wrote warmly of Judge, as she did so many times before and after, and called "on all those who will remain true to their pledges to do their duty ... when the time comes, and especially by their American brother", who is "hated by certain persons as unjustly as I am by some unprincipled enemies who would still call themselves Theosophists."
Ecclesiastical history is filled, East and West, with the records of those sincere persons, prelates and laity alike, who, not having "learned to discriminate truth from falsehood" in men, things and methods, however facilely they intellectually grasped "the empty virtue of an abstract truth," were led, step by step, by their own Karma to the point where they in all sincerity made a mockery of the Teaching and the Teacher they professed to revere and obey -- where they saw and did evil, because that evil appeared to them good. How else have all the religious persecutions of all time come about? How else all the false religions and the countless sects?
To continue our narrative. After his return to the United States Mr. Judge reprinted the "Occultism and Truth" circular, with this appended note, initialed by himself:"The general propositions found in the above as to morality and the higher type of Occultism are so old and have been so widely spread, so often dwelt on in the work of the Theosophical Society, that one would hardly suppose any member was unacquainted with them; but a good thing cannot be too often repeated, and hence all must instantly concur. The circular was issued in London for distribution, and a copy having been sent to New York it is published according to the desire of the signers.Mr. Judge made no comments, raised no questions, voiced no complaints, ignored the inspiring motive behind the circular. He did the same with the article "T.S. Solidarity and Ideals," written by Col. Olcott as President of the Society as his contribution to the epilogue of the London Enquiry, and sent, "with fine Italian hand" to the "Path". Mr. Judge published it in full as the leading article in the October number, and let it stand upon its merits as one of the "exhibits" in the case. Col. Olcott sent copies also to "Lucifer" and the "Theosophist". It was partially reprinted in "Lucifer" in advance in the September number with a bracketed editorial addendum: "This is an extract from an article which will appear in full in The Path." The "Theosophist" printed it in its November number with a foot-note, "From the Path." The circumstances require a brief extract from the article for comparison with former pronunciamentos of the President-Founder, no less than to complete the setting of the stage following the London Enquiry. The President-Founder says:W.Q.J.""The time seems to have come for me to say a word or two about the constitution and ideals of the Theosophical Society, so that they may be made perfectly plain to the thousands of new colleagues who have entered our membership within the past five years....The President-Founder gives the answer as it appears to him: "It is the Constitution and proclaimed ideals of the Society." He speaks of the Society's aim (Objects) as calculated "to attract all good, broad-minded, philanthropic people alike." He discusses Theosophy and says:
"After the lapse of nineteen years, the small group ... who casually met in ... New York City, has expanded into a Society with nearly four hundred chartered Branches in the four quarters of the globe....
"What is the secret of this immense development, this self-sowing of Branches in all lands?""One reason for our too general confusion of ideas, is that we are prone to regard Theosophy as a sort of far-away sunrise that we must try to clutch, instead of seeing that it is a lamp to light our feet about the house and in our daily walks. It is worth nothing if it is but word-spinning, it is priceless if it is the best rule and ideal of life. ... I know, what many others only suspect, that Theosophy is the informing life of all religions throughout the world. The one thing absolutely necessary, then, is to cast out as a loathsome thing every idea, every teaching which tends to sectarianize the Theosophical Society. We want no new sect, no new church, no infallible leader, no attack upon the private intellectual rights of our members....After paying his respects in the sentences we have italicised to his hypothetical "colleague", whom every one understood to be Mr. Judge as he appeared to Col. Olcott, the President-Founder, after a further paragraph in the same vein, calls on all members to join in "forgetting ourselves in building up the Society." This leads him naturally from the Society to his favorite theme:
"Hypocrisy is another thing for us to purge ourselves of; there is too much of it, far too much among us. The sooner we are honest to ourselves the sooner we will be so to our neighbors. We must realize that the theosophical ideal of the perfect man is practically unattainable in one life. ... Once realizing this, we become modest in self-estimate and therefore less inflated and didactic in our speech and writings. Nothing is more disagreeable than to see a colleague, who probably has not advanced ten steps on the way up the Himalayan slope towards the level of perfection where the great adepts stand and wait, going about with an air of mystery, Burleighan nods, and polysyllabic words implying that he is our pilot-bird and we should follow him. This is humbug, and, if not the result of auto-suggestion, rank hypocrisy. We have had enough of it, and more than enough....""From the office windows of Madison Avenue or Avenue Road, Adyar seems very far away, and the fact of its being the actual centre of the whole movement is sometimes apt to be forgotten....Thus passed, or seemed to pass, the great storm in the exoteric body, the Theosophical Society. The crisis in the Esoteric Section remains to be considered.
"The heart, or evolutionary centre, is Adyar, or whatever other place may have the Executive Staff in residence; just as Washington is the heart of the American Union. ... The boast of all Americans is that the Federal Government lies like eider-down upon the States in times of tranquility, yet proves as strong as tempered steel at a great national crisis. So in the lesser degree is the federal constitution of the Theosophical Society, and in that sense have I ever tried to administer its business. We have passed through the recent crisis with ease and safety because of our Constitution, and it is due to that that we are today stronger and more united than ever before...."
(To be Continued)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(Part 33 of a 34-part series)
"THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT"
series complete list of articles.
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".
THREE (3) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) Corrections, objections, criticisms, questions and comments are invited from all readers on any facts or conclusions stated in this series. --EDITORS.
Back to text.
(2) Mrs. Besant here refers to Henry B. Foulke of Philadelphia, whose claims were recited and discussed in Chapter XXIII, THEOSOPHY for January, 1922, pp. 81 et seq. [Note: This refers to Part 2 of Chapter XXIII, the 25th article in this series. Since it was on pages 79-91 in THEOSOPHY magazine, the above reference, which begins somewhere on page 81 in the magazine, is found near the beginning of the article. --Compiler.]
Back to text.
(3) For the complete text of this message, see Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Adyar, Madras, India, 1919. The date there given -- 1886 -- is erroneous, as Damodar had left India and gone to the Masters the year before.
Back to text.