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The Theosophical Movement 1875-1925
The American Section Supports JudgeThe reader should remember - what was unknown to the membership at the time and, in most cases, unknown to Theosophical students since - that the plot against Judge had been in process for nearly two years, had been gradually perfected in all its details, and merely came openly to a head with the letters of Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott last mentioned. Mr. Judge was simply the target in 1894-5 as H.P.B. and Mr. Judge had been the target in 1889-90, and as H.P.B. alone had been the target in 1884-5. The real plot was against what they represented. H.P.B. and Mr. Judge strove to nourish and strengthen the Theosophical Society - the Third Section - as an instrument for the purposes of the First and Second Sections, and their Three Objects.
Colonel Olcott's Inaugural Address on November 17, 1875, showed clearly how he viewed the Objects of the Society - a view that any Spiritualist, any devotee of psychic research, any materialistic scientist, Ishmael or pariah of orthodoxy or sectarianism, any curiosity seeker, might take, and that multitudes did take. From that view Col. Olcott never wholly departed, whether as President-Founder, or as Probationer of the Second Section. He held in abeyance, he suppressed, he yielded his views from time to time, as occasion might seem to warrant, or necessity compel, but that was all. The Third Object - as he understood and applied it - was first with him and with by far the great majority, whether officers, leaders, writers, or the mere polloi of Fellows and Esotericists. In other words, nine-tenths of those who joined the Society or the E.S.T. viewed the Objects in inverse order and proportion.
H.P.B. knew this. Mr. Judge knew this. So did
Damodar. What were they to do? They had to take the mind of the race as they found it, and do what they could in the mental environment of the race. Hence the two volumes of "Isis," devoted the one to "Science," i.e., the Third Object; the other to "Theology," i.e., the Second Object - as Masters view those great subjects and Objects. The opposing views, whether of principles or applications, never could and never can be reconciled; one or the other has in the end to prevail, whether in the individual or in any body of individuals such as the Theosophical Society. Hence the Esoteric Section when the Society at large threatened to break away and become an instrument, however great, of the inverted view of its purposes. Hence the steady stream of deserters from the Society; hence, too, the constant stream of attacks, never directly against Theosophy, the Society, or its Objects, but against H.P.B.; against her and Mr. Judge; finally, as we have seen, against Mr. Judge alone.
Against these guerilla tactics H.P.B. consistently employed one and the same "grand strategy": in reply to all shafts leveled, without or within the Society, against her teachings, her messages, her phenomena, and herself as their sponsor, she devoted herself to the promotion of solidarity and a Theosophical education; to strenuous efforts to educate the membership to some apprehension of Theosophical principles, and some application of those principles to the ever varying course of events. She constantly preached and practised Unity, Study, and Work.
We have been at pains to give extracts and abundant references, so that the inquiring student might be able to verify for himself:
(1) The opposing ideas embodied in H.P.B. on the one side and Col. Olcott on the other, and the gradual alignment of leaders and followers into opposing armies fighting, consciously and unconsciously, for the supremacy in this "war of ideas."
(2) The clear recognition and teaching by H.P.B. of the gigantic nature of the impending struggle, whether between the "Higher and lower self " of the in-
dividual combatant, or between the opposing forces in this modern Mahabharata; and her consequent avoidance to the last degree of forcing the issue with anyone friend or foe, faithful or unfaithful.
(3) Her unvarying practice, when the issue was about to be forced upon her, of writing some article or series of articles which presented in advance the real points involved, the real issues at stake, the real principles to be applied. Only when the battle was joined, and at its crucial moment did she, like Krishna, take her Arjunas into conference in the midst of the flying arrows and name the generals of the opposing army; it was her method of stripping bare both issues and advocates.
We have been at pains to do the same thing in the case of Mr. Judge, and for the same reasons. We have shown him, while the plot was brewing in secrecy and darkness, confining himself to the promotion of harmony and good-will, regardless of the dissensions and differences of opinions amongst officers, leaders, and members. We have shown him giving clear expression of his own views as an individual on the varying questions raised. We have shown him from time to time publishing articles on principles, policies, and applications in advance of events, but which, when related to those events, show unmistakably his prescience on the plane of Causes. One more example of his identity with the path pursued by H.P.B. is germane to the events of the first half of 1894.
The leading articles in The Path for the months of October, November, and December, 1893, and January, 1894, were devoted to the subject of the "Occult Arts," and in subtitles treatment was successively accorded to "Precipitation," to "Disintegration and Reintegration," and to "Some Propositions by H.P. Blavatsky." The latter contained, with some comments, a reprint of the first ten of the numbered propositions in chapter twelve of Volume 2, "Isis Unveiled." The other articles discussed the Occult rationale of phenomenal "messages," and the phenomena of "appearance and disappearance of objects."
These teachings of Occultism in their philosophical,
logical, moral, and scientific bearings, had been before the students for seventeen years. Why should Mr. Judge re-discuss at all, let alone at that particular time, what was a mere repetition of what should long since have been common knowledge on the part of every Theosophist? What other answer is there, in view of all that preceded and all that followed, than that he knew what was coming; knew that it would find the students as unready as ever intelligently to discern between divided counsels, warring claims, rival pretensions, contradictory "messages from the Masters of H.P.B."? He knew that the students had really learned little or nothing, either from fact or philosophy, and hence were ripe to be swept away, not by knowledge or evidence, but by claims and the prestige of the accusers. He knew that the hour was come for a new wager of the same old gage. He theretofor could but repeat the teachings and the admonitions of Occultism to the Arjunas about to enter on the "field of battle," and await the issue.
Equally, the extracts and references abundantly given will serve to show, on the opposing side, both the policies pursued and the ideas relied upon. Throughout the long interval of preparations, of the "marshaling and the survey of armies" up to the last moment, the friendliest intercourse was kept up with Mr. Judge. All direct public references to him, as to H.P.B., were clothed by the chief conspirators in terms of apparent respect and confidence. Where allusions were made that were questionable they were always Janus-like, and for these two-faced utterances men like Mr. Sturdy and Mr. Old were used as tools. Where direct issues were broached it was always on some subject on which the membership had and could have no actual knowledge - as the discussion on "Mars and Mercury" and the "Sevenfold system" - or it was on some topic clearly meritorious in itself, as those on the neutrality of the Society, on dogmatism, on authority, on hero-worship, on the degree of authenticity to be attached to the writings of H.P.B.; on her status as the Agent of the Masters and so on. But under cover of all these apparently innocent and
worthy objects of discussion, there went on a distinctly cumulative campaign the effect of which was to leave an adverse impression of H.P.B. as Messenger, as Teacher, as Example, and to force upon Mr. Judge either to remain silent or to defend the bona fides, the knowledge, the dependability of H.P.B.
Following her path in all things, Mr. Judge crossed no bridges till he came to them. Not till the protagonists came into the open and made their hostile attack in force could he, any more than she, meet the issue face to face, and he well knew what form that attack would take.
At that time from four to six weeks were required for the transit of the mails from interior India to New York City. In consequence, the President-Founder's Official letter of February 7 (1) did not reach Mr. Judge until March 10, 1894. He at once took two steps, one privately in the E.S.T., as one of its Heads; the other publicly, as an individual member of the Theosophical Society. Both these actions are, in our view, of profound teaching value to every real student, alike in their manner and their matter, for what was said and for what was left unsaid.
The circular to the E.S.T. was headed, "Recall of the Instructions." Its opening paragraph reads:
"The members in the U.S. should know the facts about the divulgement of the Instructions [The various papers issued in the School by H.P.B. during her lifetime are what is meant by the "Instructions"]. Some time ago a former member in India retired and refused to give up his papers. Later it became evident that they were given out to persons not members. This was clearly shown by the fact that a person in California published the contents of the notice sent from London on the suspension of Messrs. Old and Edge coupled with the statement that the same person had the other papers. It was also evident that some spy was left some
(1) See preceding chapter.
where in the E.S. who continued to help the retired member. All of these things were published from time to time in papers in India and England and it became apparent that it was absolutely necessary to call in the Instructions to the end that means might be devised for greater security for all members. This recall was no reflection on members who are faithful. Hence the notice."
The remainder of the circular is devoted to admonitions to charity towards any who might violate his pledges; to injunctions to self-watchfulness, mutual loyalty, and study. And for something to study in lieu of the recalled Instructions the last chapter in the second volume of "Isis Unveiled" is referred to as "something which if rightly understood contains the secrets of Occultism." Neither Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, nor any of the others involved were referred to.
His public step is clearly shown by the heading and opening paragraph which follow:
"From William Q. Judge,
"144 Madison Ave., New York.
"March 15th, 1894.
"Charges Against William Q. Judge
"To all Members of the Theosophical Society:
"It is disagreeable to talk much of oneself, but sometimes it is necessary, and in this case it has been made a necessity by the action of others, as also by the existence of many vague and suppressed rumors which have been flying about in quarters not public but sufficiently alive to compel action on my part. Hence I now make known in advance that which has been spoken obscurely for some time, and which is now before me officially from the President, Col. H.S. Olcott, to
the end that all members of the Society and friends of my own in all parts of the world shall be in possession of facts so that surprise and perhaps confusion may be prevented."
Mr. Judge then goes on to say that "the assertion is made in India that I have been guilty of 'misuse of the names and handwriting of the Mahatmas,'" and that this has been "officially communicated to the President." He does not mention Mrs. Besant's name at all in connection with the proceedings taken by the President-Founder, but merely that "an investigation is demanded through an official inquiry," and therefore Col. Olcott "conceiving himself required and authorized to take action" has written the official letter which we have given in the preceding chapter. He gives the "options" placed before him in the President-Founder's letter and says:
"On March 10th I cabled him as follows: Charges absolutely false. You can take what proceedings you see fit; going to London in July."
Mr. Judge next makes clear the reason for this cablegram and the form of his reply. He says:
"The charge is made against me as Vice-President: I have replied as an individual and shall so continue; inasmuch as in my capacity of Vice-President my duties are nominal... The only charges that could be made against the Vice-President would be those of failing to perform his duties, or misusing the office when there were any duties attached to it. On the face of this very vague charge, then, it is evident that there is nothing in it relating to the official Vice-President."
The charge as related to official malfeasance being thus disposed of for the time being, Mr. Judge next considers it as related to himself as one of the leading members of the Society:
"Inasmuch as I was the first presiding officer of the Theosophical Society at its preliminary meeting in September, 1875, and its first Secretary at such meeting; that I was not only H.P. Blavatsky's intimate friend and direct pupil but that I have been conspicuous as an upholder of Theosophical doctrines, as also an upholder, with many other friends in every part of the globe, of H.P. Blavatsky's good name, high motive, and great powers against the ridicule of the world and much opposition from certain members of the Society she founded; that I have been elected to succeed Col. Olcott as President of the Society and have been officially declared his successor by him; it is important and imperative that I should make this matter public, and I now do so, and state my unqualified, explicit, exhaustive denial of the said charge, asserting most unreservedly that it has no foundation."
The reasons and the necessities compelling this public facing of the charges and their public unequivocal denial, thus given, Mr. Judge's circular then considers the constitutional procedure and gives it in detail. He concludes this part of his circular by saying: "Perhaps when the Committee is convened I shall, for the first time, have particulars as to persons, dates, and the like of the charges made, none of which up to this time I have had except in the form of rumor." He then considers the possible effects of these charges on others than himself:
"More acutely than any personal grievance, do I feel the probability of a deplorable influence being at first exercised on the Theosophical movement by the making of these charges. I do not think it will have a lasting effect for injury. The rumors to which I have referred have been used by the enemies of the Society to show, if possible, dissension among us and to found a charge of rottenness; they have printed the mat-
ter in a scandalous form both in Europe and America, pretending that in my official and private capacities I am in the habit of sending alleged 'Mahatma messages,' and then added ribald jokes of their own. This I have not hitherto noticed, because all members know that the correspondence and work of the Society are open to all and entirely devoid of the elements alleged to exist by these opponents; we are all perfectly aware that our strength lies in our devotion and constant work. The present situation will therefore result in clearing the air and consolidating our ranks in all directions."
Next, Mr. Judge refers to the second of the two "options" placed before him by the President-Founder, and says that he refused to cable the word "second," as requested by Col. Olcott's letter, for the reason that thus to do would be to mean "I demand a Committee." He continues:
"The reason is not that an investigation is avoided. Such an investigation will not be avoided. But on constitutional and executive principle I shall object from beginning to end to any committee of the Theosophical Society considering any charge against any person which involves an inquiry and decision as to the existence, names, powers, functions, or methods of the 'Mahatmas or Masters.' I shall do this for the protection of the Theosophical Society now and hereafter, regardless of the result to myself. The Society has no dogma as to the existence of such Masters; but the deliberations of an official committee of the Society on such a question, and that is the first inquiry and decision necessarily beginning such a deliberation, would mean that the Theosophical Society after over nineteen years of unsectarian work is determined to settle this dogma and affix it to the
Constitution of the Society. To this I will never consent, but shall object and shall charge the Committee itself with a violation of the Constitution if it decides the question of the existence of 'Masters' or Mahatmas; if it should affirm the 'Masters' existence it will violate the law; if it should deny Their existence a like violation will result; both decisions would affirm a dogma, and the negative decision would in addition violate that provision of our law, in Art. XIII, Revised Rules, which makes it an offense to 'wilfully offend the religious feelings of any Fellow' of the Society, inasmuch as the belief so negatived is religiously held by many hundreds of the Fellows of the Society. I intend to try once for all to definitely have settled this important question, and to procure an official decision affirming now and forever the freedom of our Society.
"Hence the President's alternatives... are mistakes, and are the initial steps to the promulgation of the dogma of belief in the 'Masters.' The first alternative is furthermore a judgment in advance, ridiculous in itself yet serious as emanating from our highest official. It precludes him from sitting on the Committee, and that point also I shall raise before the Committee. The whole proposal he makes brings up serious and complicated questions of Occultism touching upon the matter of the existence, powers, functions, and methods of those 'Masters' in whom many Theosophists believe but as to whom the Theosophical Society is perfectly agnostic and neutral as an organized body. For that reason no one in official position ever thought of making a public matter of the many assertions made here and there by members of the Society, that they individually communicated with beings whom they called 'Masters,' 'Mahatmas,' nor of the assertions publicly
made by prominent members that certain philosophical statements recently published in our literature were directly from the very 'Masters' referred to by Col. Olcott, although those statements contradicted others made by H.P. Blavatsky on the declared authority of the same 'Masters.'
"On all these grounds, then, I shall object to a Theosophical Society Committee, while of course there will never be any objection from me to a proper investigation by a body of persons who know enough of Occultism as well as of Theosophy to understandingly inquire into these matters."
From the matter already before him in the course of this History, the reader can easily determine for himself the accuracy as to statements of fact, the consistency of adherence to the proclaimed Constitution and Rules of the Society, the sincere devotion throughout to the Objects of the Society, and the principles of Occultism shown by Mr. Judge; the candor and unevasiveness of his reply to the letter and "options" of the President-Founder.
The closing paragraphs of Mr. Judge's circular meet the remainder of the queries bound to arise from the President-Founder's letter and the reply as quoted in the foregoing extracts. On these natural queries thus forced to the front against his will, Mr. Judge speaks as directly, as simply and impersonally as H.P.B. herself had done when silence was no longer possible. He says:
"But some of you may wonder if all this leaves in doubt the question whether I believe in the 'Masters.' I believe the Masters exist, that They actually help the T.S. Cause, that They energise and make fruitful the work of all sincere members; all this I can say to myself that I know, but to prove objectively to another that such beings exist is impossible now so far
as my intelligence can perceive. 'Letters from Mahatmas' prove nothing at all except to the recipient, and then only when in his inner nature is the standard of proof and the power of judgment. Precipitation does not prove Mahatmas, for the reason that mere mediums and non-mahatmas can make precipitations. This I have always asserted. By one's soul alone can this matter be judged, and only by his work and acts can one judge at first as to whether any other person is an agent of the Masters; by following the course prescribed in all ages the inner faculties may be awakened so as to furnish the true confirmatory evidence. I have not lost any of my belief in these beings, but more than ever believe in Their existence and in Their help and care to and over our Society's work.
"Finally I may say that my personal belief in Mahatmas is based on even stronger evidence than Theosophical arguments or the experience of others. As is known to some Theosophists, I have not been entirely without help and guidance from these exalted friends of the T.S. The form which the whole matter has taken now compels me to say what I have never before said publicly, namely, that not only have I received direct communications from Masters during and since the life of H.P. Blavatsky, but that I have on certain occasions repeated such to certain persons for their own guidance, and also that I have guided some of my own work under suggestions from the same sources, though without mentioning the fact. - William Q. Judge."
Copies of this circular of Mr. Judge's were at once mailed to as many members of the Society as possible. The mask of concealment being thus stripped away and the whole Society made conversant with what had hitherto been whispered from one to another in the form of innuendo, the first effect was distinctly disastrous to the
plans of the chief conspirators in India. Copies reached London and were seen by Mr. Geo. R.S. Mead, then Editor of Lucifer under Mrs. Besant, and General Secretary of the European Section. Mr. Bertram Keightley, still General Secretary of the Indian Section, was at the time in London and he also read Mr. Judge's circular. Both were honorable and well-meaning men and whatever countenance they had hitherto lent to the hints and suspicions against Mr. Judge, their sense of fair play and common decency was outraged by the arrogant unbrotherliness and offhand assumption of Mrs. Besant and the President-Founder. Even if Mr. Judge was guilty, he was entitled to the preliminary assumption of his innocence until that guilt was conclusively established, and this by the commonest application of the principles of ordinary human practice. Moreover by what process of reasoning could Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott take upon themselves the duty of holding star-chamber proceedings to condemn any member or tender him "options" to "resign" or be "tried" by a Committee, when the very proceedings already so unwarrantably taken were in fact a violation of the Rules of the Society, no less than those of Occultism? Perhaps the plain, manly, straightforward statements in Mr. Judge's circular gave them for the moment some realizing sense of the enormous inequity committed. At all events they saw at once that it was Mrs. Besant and the President-Founder who had grossly violated the principles all professed as well as the plain provisions of the Constitution of the Society. Under the date of March 27, 1894, therefore, they issued over their joint official signatures as the General Secretaries of the two sections, the European and the Indian, a circular entitled: "For the information of the Members of the European and Indian Sections of the Theosophical Society."
This circular begins by reciting that Messrs. Mead and Keightley had seen an unofficial copy of the letter of Mrs. Besant of February 6 and of Col. Olcott's of February 7, as given, and repeats the text of the two letters. The circular of Messrs. Mead and Keightley is
addressed to Col. Olcott as President-Founder of the T.S., and proceeds to insist that any further proceedings taken must be "strictly constitutional and impartial," and continues:
"It is therefore our plain duty as the General Secretaries of two out of the three Sections of the T.S. and members of its General Council, to call your attention officially to the following points with a view to safeguarding (1) the Constitution, (2) the non-sectarian character, and (3) the impartiality of the Theosophical Society.
"First: By Art. VI, Sections 2 and 3, of the 'Constitution and Rules of the Theosophical Society' as officially ratified and promulgated
by yourself on Dec. 31st, 1893, it is enacted that, in the event of charges being preferred against the President, or Vice-President; (a) the said charges shall be in writing, and (b) copies thereof shall 'at once' be forwarded to the accused and 'to each member of the General Council.'
"We now desire to point out that you have not followed the procedure laid down in either of these respects, for:
"1. Your official letter to Mr. W.Q. Judge above referred to, contains no copy in writing of any charges, does not give the names of the persons who bring such, and even contains no specific statement of what are the exact charges brought.
"2. No official copy either of 'charges in writing' or even of your above-mentioned letter to Mr. Judge has reached either of us; although sufficient time has elapsed since your letter reached Mr. Judge in America for an unofficial copy thereof to be received in England.
"Therefore, as members of the General Council of the T.S. we emphatically protest against this departure from the rules of procedure by
yourself of your official duty as President toward your colleagues on the General Council of the Society."
In endeavoring to digest the conflicting mass of matter covering the "Judge case" and get at the actual facts, the inquirer will need to relate closely the multitude of statements made by the various principals in the tragedy. One instance, as example and guide, may be noted in the above. The reading of the successive Reports of the Adyar parliaments and quotations already given from "Old Diary Leaves," will conclusively establish that the "Constitution and Rules" were tinkered with each year by the President-Founder, acting through his pliant "General Council" in the first instance and then "officially ratified and promulgated" by himself. It will be noted that the "Constitution and Rules" were "revised" and "ratified" and "promulgated" anew at the Adyar Convention at the end of 1893. Now, let the reader compare Col. Olcott's Presidential Address at that Convention, the laudations of Mrs. Besant, the "recent assurances of fresh disagreeable surprises," the secret conclave of Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Messrs. Old and Sturdy and Countess Wachtmeister during the Convention, Mrs. Besant's letter to Col. Olcott demanding a Committee to "enquire" into the "charges" made by "reputable members" against Mr. Judge, and Col. Olcott's letter with its "options" to Mr. Judge to resign under fire or be "investigated" by a Committee framed by Col. Olcott under "revised" rules planned in advance - and the whole scheme is exposed.
The circular of Messrs. Mead and Keightley goes on:
"Second: We recognize that, acting under the general discretionary power conferred upon the President by Art. VI, Sec. 1, it was competent for you as President to take action in the matter. But we feel strongly that, in order to protect and maintain that very Constitution whose guardian you are, it was your duty in your official letter to Mr. Judge to have insisted upon
and resolutely maintained the following points:
"1. That the free platform of the Society precludes any official declaration by the T.S. or any Committee representing it, upon the question whether 'Mahatmas' do or do not exist (see Art. XIII, Secs. 2 and 3 ('Offenses');
"2. That, therefore, no enquiry into the conduct of any officer of the Society in his official capacity, which would involve as its basis a declaration of Yea or Nay upon the above question, can be carried out by any official committee of the T.S.;
"3. That, accordingly, Sections 2, 3 and 4 of Art. VI are not applicable to the charges indicated by your letter to Mr. Judge;
"Third: We desire further to point out that in officially giving Mr. Judge the alternatives of resigning all his offices in the T.S. or submitting to the enquiry proposed, you have again departed from the procedure laid down by the Constitution.
"Moreover by so doing you place yourself officially in the position of having prejudged the case and virtually announce before any enquiry has taken place or even any specific charges have been formulated, that you believe Mr. Judge guilty.
"It appears to us that such an attitude is inconsistent with that strict impartiality and justice which ought to characterize at least the
official actions of the President of the T.S., and that it is calculated to bring discredit upon the Society by laying its chief executive officer open to the charge of condemning a colleague without even giving him a hearing.
"In conclusion we hereby place on record our most emphatic protest against the above-cited departures from constitutional procedure; and we officially request a formal reply and declaration thereupon from yourself as President-
Founder of the T.S. and official guardian of its free Constitution.
"This we call for as General Secretaries for Europe and India respectively, and as members of that General Council of the Theosophical Society from which, as recited in Art. VI, See. 1, you 'derive your authority' as President of the T.S., and to which, as therein provided, you 'are responsible for its exercise.'
"Finally we beg to inform you that we shall forthwith notify our respective Sections of the present correspondence, and shall also communicate to them your reply when received, as the members are already unofficially informed of the matter.
"We are, dear Sir and Brother, Fraternally yours,
Gen. See. Indian Sec. T.S.
Gen. See. European Sec. T.S."
Meantime, so sure had Col. Olcott been of the efficacy of his plans of battle that he had committed himself still further and still more irretrievably. Mr. Judge had received his letter of February 7 on March 10, 1894, as mentioned, and on the same day had cabled Col. Olcott an absolute denial of the charges, a point-blank challenge to him to do his worst.
Immediately on receipt of this cablegram Col. Olcott took counsel with himself and his allies. Mrs. Besant was still in India; Chakravarti's subtle mind still available. Mr. Judge had refused to resign; he had defied the options extended him; he had declared his innocence. "For the honor of the Society" another weighty move could be made. Accordingly, Col. Olcott forwarded forthwith two fresh "official" letters. The first of these was formally addressed to Mr. Judge as General Secretary of the American Section. It runs
"20 March, 1894
"To the General Secretary,
American Section T. S.
"Dear Sir and Brother:
"In compliance with Section 3 of Article VI of the Revised Rules, I enclose herewith a copy of certain charges preferred against Mr. William Q. Judge, Vice-President T.S. and General Secretary of the American Section, by Mrs. Annie Besant, F.T.S.; which charges will be laid before a Judicial Committee, to be convened at our London Headquarters on the 27th June next, for the consideration and disposal of the same, as provided for in the Section of the Article above specified.
"Upon receipt of this you will kindly take the orders of your Executive Committee for the nomination of two members of the said Judicial Committee, to sit as representatives of the American Section, and consider and dispose of the charges.
President Theosophical Society."
The second letter was addressed to Mr. Judge as "Vice-President, T.S." and its text is as follows:
"20 March, 1894
"To William Q. Judge, Esq., Vice-President, T. S.
"Dear Sir and Brother:
"As required by the provisions of Article VI of our Revised Rules, I herewith enclose for your information and action a copy of certain
charges preferred against you by Mrs. Annie Besant, F.T.S., and notify you that for their consideration and disposal a Judicial Committee will be convened at our London Headquarters on the 27th June next. I have to request that you will nominate to me the two additional members of the Committee whom you wish to sit and adjudge the case as your personal representatives.
"As the accused party you will, of course, be debarred from sitting and voting in the Committee either as Vice-President T.S. or General Secretary of the American Section; but you are entitled to enjoy the full opportunity to disprove the charges brought against you.
"Pending the decision of the Judicial Committee, I hereby suspend you from the office of Vice-President T.S. as required by our Revised Rules.
"I am, Sir, fraternally yours,
President Theosophical Society."
The first of these letters would compel Mr. Judge as its General Secretary to himself place the charges and the correspondence before the forthcoming Convention of the American Section due to be held at San Francisco, April 22, 1894, and thus put him on the defensive before his own Section against charges sanctioned by the President-Founder and Mrs. Besant, the two most important and influential members of the Society - the two who had posed hitherto as his dear friends and colleagues in the Society and the Movement.
The second of these letters would force Judge as Vice-President to inform the members that he had been suspended by the President-Founder and thus himself be made the medium of conveying to them the information that the President of the whole Society felt himself compelled by the gravity of the case to suspend the Vice-President in advance of the Judicial Committee. It re-
quires but little imagination to enable any one to picture to himself the consummate ingenuity of these stratagems, whereby the Convention, the American members, the press and the public would be influenced to draw inferences wholly adverse to Mr. Judge, wholly favorable to Mrs. Besant and the venerable President-Founder, thus reluctantly, but gravely and sternly, doing their duty "for the honor of the Society" even where the guilty party was a high official and their dearest friend.
It is more than interesting, it is one of the most telltale signs of the animus behind the whole of the "Judge case," to observe how, in the second of the above letters, Col. Olcott betrays himself in spite of all his prepared "revised" Rules with its "Sections" and "Articles" devised to lend a legal coloring to the planned attack. He tells Mr. Judge: "You are entitled to enjoy the full opportunity to disprove the charges brought against you." There never was any "opportunity" to prove the charges, which rested wholly upon hearsays, suspicions, circumstances innocent in themselves, and "messages from the Masters" received by Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott via Chakravarti and Mr. Walter R. Old.
One has but to recall the well-known legal maxims that it is for the accusers to prove their charges, not for the accused to prove his innocence, and that any accused person must be assumed to be innocent until the charges are proven - one has but to bear these commonest of all safeguards for the unjustly accused in mind, to perceive over and over again in the progress of the "Judge case" how his accusers acted at every step in defiance of every canon of ordinary human fairness and decency. The procedure of the Society for Psychical Research and its famous (or infamous) Committee in 1884-5 so violated, as we have earlier shown, every instinct of common justice in its "investigation" of H.P.B. and her phenomena, as to earn for it the pity or the contempt of every fair and intelligent mind. The Coues-Collins-Lane-New York Sun "exposure" was the same thing repeated with greater ability and with conscious venom. But the
"Judge case" is infinitely worse in its travesty of justice, and has been, therefore, infinitely worse in its consequences to Humanity.
To the honor of Mr. Judge be it spoken that at the Convention of the American Section his Report as General Secretary breathes the same unwaveringly calm, fraternal tone as always toward the workers, toward the President-Founder, toward Mrs. Besant. No man, we think, can read the Convention Report and contrast it with the Report of the Adyar Convention preceding, and not be cognisant of the difference between professional and genuine altruism.
A formal letter from Mr. Mead as General Secretary of the European Section, dated March 31, and addressed "To the General Secretary of the American Section," was read. This was a request that the recent correspondence be placed before the American Section. Accordingly, Mr. Judge laid before the Convention the letter of Mrs. Besant of February 6 to Col. Olcott; the latter's official letter of February 7; a copy of the Keightley-Mead circular letter; the two letters of Col. Olcott of March 20; and other correspondence ad interim. All were referred to appropriate Committees.
At this Convention of the American Section April 22-3, 1894, there were present delegates and proxies from all of the sixty-one active Branches.
Resolutions were unanimously adopted:
1. That the expense to which Mr. Judge has been put in printing and circulating his statement should be borne by the American Section;
2. That "this Convention, after careful deliberation, finds that such suspension of the Vice-President is without the slightest warrant in the Constitution and altogether transcends the discretionary power given the President by the Constitution, and is therefore null and void";
3. That this Section, in Convention assembled, hereby expresses its unqualified protest against the said illegal action by the President of the Society, and can see no necessity for such action, and that even did the Con-
stitution contain any provision for a suspension such action would be wholly needless and unbrotherly, inasmuch as, by the Constitution, the Vice-President has no duties or power save in case of death, resignation, or accusation of the President."
The existing situation on the whole subject of Mahatmas and Messages from Mahatmas or Masters, and the actual status of the whole problem, under the Objects and Constitution of the Theosophical Society, were declared in two Resolutions introduced by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. Both of these Resolutions were unanimously adopted. They are of such value and importance in giving a matter-of-fact formulation of the issues that we reproduce them in full:
"Whereas, many members of the Theosophical Society, including the late Madame Blavatsky, Col. Olcott, W.Q. Judge, Mrs. Annie Besant, A.P. Sinnett, and others, have at various times and places expressed their belief in the existence of certain Mahatmas or Masters, and have claimed to be in communication with the same; and
"Whereas, the President, Col. Olcott, at the request of one of the members, Mrs. Annie Besant, has recently demanded an official investigation by means of a Judicial Committee of the Theosophical Society, to decide whether or not Wm. Q. Judge is in communication with the said Mahatmas, and whether or not the said Wm. Q. Judge has 'misused the names and handwriting of the said Mahatmas'; and
"Whereas, Under the Constitution and Rules of the Theosophical Society it is declared that the Society, as such, is not responsible for the personal opinions of its Fellows, nor for any expression thereof, and that no Fellow, Officer, or Council, of the Theosophical Society, or of any Section or Branch thereof, shall promulgate or maintain any doctrine, dogma, or belief as be-
ing that advanced or advocated by the Society (Art. XIII); and the President having officially and constitutionally in his executive order of May 27th, 1893, relative to the World's Religious Parliament, declared this neutrality, especially in these words
"'Of course it is to be distinctly understood that nothing shall be said or done by any Delegate or Committee of the Society to identify it as a Body with any special form of religion, creed, sect, or any religious or ethical teacher or leader; our duty being to affirm and defend its perfect corporate neutrality in these matters.'"
"Resolved: That, in the opinion of this Convention, the action of the President, Col. Olcott, in calling such Judicial Committee to consider said charge was uncalled for, unconstitutional, illegal, and improper.
"Resolved: That this Convention hereby cordially endorses the interpretation of the Rules and Constitution of the T.S. recently expressed in a circular to members, signed by the General Secretaries of the European and Indian Sections, and in the private circular of March 15th, 1894, issued by William Q. Judge.
"Resolved: That this Convention hereby reaffirms the entire freedom of the platform of the T.S. and the religious and other opinions of its members, which entitles all and any of them to claim to be in communication with, to receive letters from, or to act as agents for, those above referred to as Mahatmas or Masters; or, on the other hand, to express disbelief in the proper title of any member to make such claim or claims, or disbelief in the existence of said Mahatmas.
"Resolved: That this Convention declares its unswerving belief in the integrity and upright-
ness of the Vice-President of the T.S., Wm. Q. Judge, and expresses to him the most cordial thanks of the Section for his unrecompensed and self-sacrificing years of labor on behalf of the T.S. as a whole.
"Whereas: This Section regards official investigation into the existence and methods of Mahatmas, and a dogmatic verdict rendered upon such investigation, as not only illegal under the Constitution but impossible in the absence of more profound knowledge of the science of Occultism, and, therefore, absurd in the present instance, although such inquiry and investigation are always proper privileges of individual members as such, therefore
"Resolved: That, if in the face of this protest and opinion of this Section, there is to be an investigation to decide whether or not William Q. Judge is or was in communication with said Mahatmas, and whether or not he has 'misused the names and handwriting of said Mahatmas,' or whether or not pretended or real communications or orders from said alleged Mahatmas have been issued or given out by him, then, in the opinion of this Section, an investigation should also be had to decide whether or not Col. Olcott, A.P. Sinnett, Annie Besant, and others have had, given, or promulgated such or any communication from the Mahatmas, whether real or pretended; and that they be required to show evidence of the possession of a commission from said Mahatmas, and of the truthfulness of their claims as heretofore frequently made and announced by them in public.
"Resolved: That, in the opinion of this Section, only a Body of Mahatmas appearing at the sessions of the Committee could decide whether or not any communication was or is a genuine or fraudulent Mahatmic message."
Advices of the action taken by the Convention of the American Section were cabled to Col. Olcott at once. We may now follow them to Adyar and observe the moves made on that side of the great checker board of Theosophical events.
The "Judicial Enquiry" in LondonColonel Olcott's two letters of March 20, 1894, to Mr. Judge - the one to him as General Secretary of the American Section and the other addressed to him as Vice-President of the T.S. - as detailed in the last chapter, were drawn up immediately following the receipt of Mr. Judge's cabled denial of the "charges," and just prior to Mrs. Besant's departure from India. They were the President-Founder's only communication to the Convention of the American Section - the largest, the most active, the most influential of all the three Sections of the Society. When one contrasts the length and character of his Annual Address at the preceding Adyar Convention with the nature of these two letters, but one inference can be drawn: The President-Founder had determined to "fight it out" once more, and this time to the hilt; he had burned his bridges behind him; it was to be a fight without quarter that should leave the victor in undisputed possession of the field. The spectacle of a living H.P.B. continually upsetting his most cherished plans to make of the Theosophical Society a world force with himself as its world-wide Head, had been well-nigh intolerable. Her continual insistence on Brotherhood as she understood it; her continual interference "in the name of the Masters" with his "practical" guidance of the Society; her Esoteric School pledged to Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement instead of the Society, pledged to follow her Instructions instead of his revised Rules - all this had been a continual thorn in his side. But each time that the "moment of choice" had been precipitated he had avoided the final wager of battle; the odds were too great, the liens established too strong.
But now - now was no longer dependent on H.P.B. for "messages from the Masters"; Mrs. Besant, the "sweet spirit and the guiding star" of the Esoteric School, the strongest factor in the Society as well as in the School, the most potent influence on the world at large as well as in the Society - Mrs. Besant was now his firm ally. Opposed to his ideas, his plans and policies, stood out only Mr. Judge. Two years had shown that Mr. Judge could not be moved from his firm allegiance to H.P.B. and all that H.P.B. had represented. Messrs. Sinnett, Bertram Keightley, Old, Sturdy, and Edge, the Countess Wachtmeister, the Hindus en masse, the great bulk of the English and European Theosophists - all these he could count on as imbued with the same ideas as himself. The time was come to banish the spectre of H.P.B. by driving Mr. Judge into exile - to make of the Theosophical Society what it should have been and ought to be.
His letters to Mr. Judge were well calculated to create confusion, bewilderment, uncertainty, among the American Theosophists - to throw Judge on the defensive, a helpless defensive, far more a helpless defensive than had paralyzed H.P.B. 's activities following the Coulomb-S.P.R. bombshell in 1884-5. So much for the American field. Remained England, Europe, and India to be aroused to the offensive. Mrs. Besant was returning to England, whence she could not only direct the battle there, but could reasonably be expected to muster succors and strong levies in the United States in spite of all that Mr. Judge or his friends could avail. And Mr. Walter R. Old was no mean understudy; he, too, was returning to England at the same time as Mrs. Besant.
The "Supplement" to The Theosophist for February, 1894, had contained a printed slip pasted to its pages and headed "To Members and Friends." It was dated January 29, 1894, and signed by "Walter R. Old, Rec. Sec. T.S." Mr. Old's notice informed the members that, "acting under medical advice received during a recent illness," he was going to England for the summer and would leave India at the end of March. The familiar
"explanation" of his departure merely cloaked the fact that as his part of the tactics planned he was to return to England to aid in spreading among the English Theosophists the slanders dignified as "charges" against Mr. Judge. Mr. Old was well known in England, where he had many friends and much influence as a "psychic," as an "astrologer," as a former member of the E.S.T. Council, as a friend of H.P.B.'s and as in high favor with the President-Founder as well as with Mrs. Besant. For it must be remembered that the suspension of Mr. Old from the E.S.T. was unknown at that time except by rumor among the general membership of the Society, while his intimacy with Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant was a matter of common knowledge.
The two letters to Mr. Judge were immediately followed up by Col. Olcott in the April, 1894, Theosophist, with, an eight-page article devoted to "Annie Besant's Indian Tour." It is given over to the most fulsome laudations. We say "fulsome" because, like his similar remarks in his preceding Presidential Address, these reiterated encomiums on Mrs. Besant must necessarily be construed, not merely as extraordinary tributes of personal regard and esteem, but, in the light of collateral circumstances, as carefully planned, deliberately carried out steps of a predetermined march. Step by step with the belittlements of H.P.B. and the accusations published and circulated about Judge, marched the public cumulation of official and personal tributes to Mrs. Besant.
The investigator of today will naturally compare and contrast the declarations of Col. Olcott in the mentioned article and in his Presidential Address, with the numerous statements made by him in regard to H.P.B., both those hitherto quoted and those with which the whole series of "Old Diary Leaves" is larded. He will offset the President-Founder's strictures on H.P.B. and Mr. Judge with his laudations of Mrs. Besant and his scarcely less veiled extolments of himself. He will consider scrupulously the attendant circumstances and the "controlling impulse" governing Col. Olcott in his "Old
Diary Leaves" as recounted by himself in his Foreword to the first published volume. He will compare them with the various statements and acts of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge and all with the common objects and principles professed, to determine the consistency or inconsistency of each.
"The extraordinary article on Mrs. Besant was followed in the "Supplement" to the May Theosophist by something more extraordinary still. In it will be found the text of an Executive Notice, the real significance of which has never yet been grasped by Theosophists at large, any more than it was at the time. We give it in full:
"Adyar, 27th April, 1894.
"The undersigned avails of Mrs. Annie Besant's forthcoming visit to the Australasian Colonies, to invest her with the functions of President's Commissioner, with authority to represent him in all current Society business during her tour, and act for him and in his name in disposing of the same, as perfectly as though it were his individual act. Mrs. Besant is empowered to organize a Section or Sections; to authorize the formation of Branches; to admit persons to the Fellowship; to regulate disagreements and disputes within the Society; to remit at her discretion in cases of great poverty the whole or any part of any fee or other pecuniary contribution chargeable as a condition of membership; and, generally, to exercise the same powers as are constitutionally enjoyed by the undersigned in his Presidential capacity.
"Mrs. Besant will, of course, make or cause to be made to the undersigned a full report of her official actions under the above special commission and according to the revised rules of the Society.
H.S. Olcott, P.T.S."
The Presidential "discretionary powers" are officially stretched to give Mrs. Besant sanction in advance to a
range of arbitrary and unchecked authority that becomes the more astounding the more closely it is examined. She can organize at will, and upon terms named by herself, "a Section or Sections," under "revised Rules" that will give such Section or Sections the same voice and standing in the General Council as the existing democratic Sections. She can "authorize the formation of Branches" to an extent and upon terms that will control the Section or Sections she is to organize. She can "admit persons to fellowship" - or deny them, inevitably - upon terms that will control the Branches. She can remit dues in whole or in part. Finally, she can "regulate disagreements and disputes within the Society." What does this mean, if it does not mean that she can exercise absolute and unappealable authority, root, stalk, and branch, to any extent necessary to organize and control a Section or Sections wholly pliant to her own will and purposes? What becomes of democracy, of neutrality, of individual liberty of conscience, under such canons of organizations and government? That at any time, in any event, under any circumstances, such powers should be claimed, such authority desired, by any one soever, Master or man, is a categorical negation of every Object for which the Theosophical Society was supposed to stand. That they should have been exercised in the then existent circumstances, tells to what lengths the conspirators were prepared to go. The student has but to examine into the original Preamble and By-Laws of 1875, the Rules adopted in December, 1879, the Constitutions of the American and British Sections of 1887 and 1888, and compare them with the "revised Rules" adopted by Col. Olcott's obedient General Council in December, 1893, to discern how, in the interim, the Society had been engineered into an absolute autocracy wherein, under the forms adopted, the members had no rights whatever, "constitutionally," save such as the General Council might choose to allot them, no voice and no appeal save as the "discretionary powers" of the President might be "exercised" as an "act of grace."
So much for the general significance that must be at-
tacked to this Executive Notice; it is integral with the battle openly begun at the Adyar Convention at the end of 1888, the "Revised Rules" of 1893 but the full bloom of the "revised rules" of 1888. But what of its special import? That also must be inquired into.
The answer is simple. Mr. Judge's circular and that of Messrs. Mead and Keightley had reached Adyar; the news of the action taken by the Convention of the American Section had been received. The plans of the accusers were completely upset; the tables were turned; what was to be done? To appreciate Col. Olcott's dilemma, to understand his consternation, the student should marshal the opposing situations as before him at the end of April, 1894. Thus:
I. Backed by the revised Rules, confident that the prestige of Mrs. Besant and himself with the membership and the world would make their charges carry the assumption of guilt, the unavoidable inference was that Mr. Judge would avail himself of the option to resign. On the contrary, Mr. Judge had denied absolutely any wrongdoing and, instead of retiring to the shelter of silence, had himself made public the full facts, and had announced his determination to meet the issues: (1) that the whole proceeding was utterly unconstitutional; (2) that he would not oppose but would submit himself to any competent investigation that did not involve the neutrality of the Society or set up a dogma; in other words, try out the facts of who was and who was not "in communication with the Mahatmas."
II. Messrs. Mead and Keightley, counted on as allies and aids in the fight on Mr. Judge, had half risen in rebellion; had declared that it was the President-Founder himself who was guilty of gross violation of the Constitution and the neutrality of the Society; had appealed to their respective Sections - the European and Indian - with a statement of the facts, and had announced their opposition to any attempt to set up a dogma on the subject of Mahatmas, and had demanded of the President-Founder a categorical official reply to the points raised by them.
III. The Convention of the American Section, with all the correspondence before it, had, as a democratic body, unanimously voted its protest against the spirit and the substance of Col. Olcott's actions; had re-elected Mr. Judge its General Secretary; had declared its entire confidence in him as a man, as a Theosophist, as an officer in the Society; had taken a firm stand against any official interference with the freedom of speech and conscience of any member, high or low; had declared, if any "Judicial Committee" were to sit upon the question of Mahatmas and communications from them, that such investigation must be complete and must include Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, and all others as well as Mr. Judge who had claimed to be in receipt of "messages from the Masters."
Colonel Olcott had counted with the confidence based on fifteen years' experience that the Indian Section would obey any lead he might choose to give. He had counted that since the members and the other Sections had not hitherto actively opposed his repeated tampering with the Rules and his repeated executive ukases, no organized resistance would be offered to his plans to force Mr. Judge into exile by charges that in their very nature would paralyze any defense. Mrs. Besant had counted that her influence was strong enough with the British-European Section to make the members accept as proven any charges she might make, merely because she made them. Both she and Col. Olcott had counted that Mrs. Besant's prestige was so great in America that no concerted defense could be made of Mr. Judge in the American Convention by those who might still believe in him. Sure of India, sure of Britain, sure at worst of a split in America, they had nothing to fear even when Mr. Judge cabled on March 10 his denial of the charges and his refusal of their options. If the matter came to a trial before a Judicial Committee, they held that Committee in the hollow of their hands. If the matter should go before the Sections they had expected to control two out of the three absolutely, with the assurance that at best Mr. Judge could count on nothing better than a split in
the American Section. Mrs. Besant and Mr. Old, therefore, had sailed confidently for England toward the end of March to complete their preparations at home for the forthcoming "trial." Colonel Olcott, on his part, went forward as confidently in India.
Now, in a little month, the whole situation was reversed. Desperation took the place of confidence. The conspirators were divided by distance; deserted by two of their strongest allies; America unanimous in support of Judge; counter-issues raised that they could not meet. What was to be done?
This was the situation in which Col. Olcott found himself toward the close of April, 1894. Yet he could not retreat; the battle was joined; he must go forward. What hurried interchanges took place between the conspirators any thoughtful reader can infer for himself from merely visualizing the status of affairs and studying the President-Founder's consequent steps. The first of these was the Executive Notice given. Its purpose is clear; if the warfare should be carried before the Sections, as it was certain now that it must at last, two Sections were absolutely requisite even to assure a "drawn battle." India was safe for the conspirators; America had already declared for Mr. Judge; Britain was still a hopeful prospect, but no more. Mr. Judge had friends there; who could say what might happen? But if Australia were organized into a Section-organized by Mrs. Besant robed with the Presidential "discretionary powers" to accept or reject whom she would - then the new Australasian Section could be made as safely and entirely a "pocket borough" as India was already. Hence the Notice dated April 27, 1894.
Chakravarti was a lawyer along with his other accomplishments; N.D. Khandalavala was a judge in one of the Indian courts. Them and others the President-Founder consulted and the result was still another Executive Notice, published in the "Supplement" to the May Theosophist immediately following on the Notice transferring to Mrs. Besant his extraordinary, emergency-planned "discretionary powers" to organize
Australasian Section. Because of its telltale significance, both in connection with the preceding events narrated and with what followed, we give it in full for the careful study of all students. It is dated on the same day as the Special Commission to Mrs. Besant - April 27, 1894 - and reads:
"The following facts are published for the information of members of the Society:
"On February 6th last, while at Allahabad, Mrs. Annie Besant handed the undersigned a written demand that certain accusations 'with reference to certain letters and in the alleged writings of the Mahatmas,' injurious to the public character of Mr. W.Q. Judge, Vice-President of the Society, should be dealt with by a Committee as provided by Art. VI, Sees. 2, 3 and 4.
"On the following day, from Agra, a copy of this letter was forwarded by the undersigned to Mr. Judge without the expression of any opinion as to the validity or otherwise of the accusations in question. No specific charges having then been filed, this was merely a preliminary measure.
"From a motive of delicacy no question was asked the accused as to his guilt or innocence, but the undersigned, in the exercise of his discretion, gave Mr. Judge the option of resigning his office or submitting the case to investigation. The implication being, of course, that if guilty, he would wish to retire quietly, or if innocent, to be brought before the Committee, and thus set at rest, once and for all, the injurious rumors afloat, in different parts of the world.
"The alternative offered carried with it, as will be clearly seen, no intimation that the rumors were true, nor that the undersigned believed them so, or the contrary.
"Mr. Judge having cabled a denial of his guilt,
the first step prescribed by the Constitution for such cases was then taken, viz., the ordering of a 'Judicial Committee' as provided for under Art. VI; the official notification of the same to the accused and the members of the General Council; and the serving upon each of a copy of the detailed charges and specifications, then drafted by Mrs. Besant as Accuser. The provisions of our Constitution were thus strictly followed out, and there has been no deviation whatever.
"It was hoped by the undersigned that the whole matter would have been kept private until the Committee had met, disposed of the charges and rendered its verdict, which would then have been officially promulgated by him.
"But the opposite policy having been adopted by the accused and the General Secretaries of the European and Indian Sections, and printed circulars having been distributed by them throughout the whole world, secrecy is no longer possible, and hence the present Executive Notice is issued, with the deepest regret for its necessity.
"The undersigned deplores that his colleagues, Mr. Mead and Mr. Keightley, should have acted in such haste as to have committed the indiscretion of censuring him for breaches in procedure and a violation of the Constitution of which he was not guilty. He regrets also that the fact of Mrs. Besant's being the accuser should not have been mentioned, if the public was to be taken into confidence at all at this preliminary stage.
"A detailed reply to Messrs. Mead and Keightley's letter is in preparation and will be circulated to all Branches.
"To correct misapprehensions, the undersigned has to state that in the opinion of eminent counsel (Members of the Society) the trial of the
charges against Mr. Judge does not involve the question of the existence or non-existence of the Mahatmas or their connection with the Society.
"The Judicial Committee is notified to meet in London on June 27th, and the undersigned finds himself compelled to attend, contrary to his wishes and expectations. He will leave Adyar about the middle of May for London, via Marseilles.
H. S. Olcott, P.T.S."
Taking this Notice of the President-Founder seriatim, careful examination and comparison will disclose:
That it is published officially as a statement of the "facts" and for "the information of the members";
That its second paragraph conveys that Mrs. Besant made a "demand" for the Committee. The fact being, as we shall soon see over Col. Olcott's own signature, that the alleged "demand" was made at his own request; (1)
That his own letter to Mr. Judge, conveying the same "demand" was forwarded "without expressing any opinion as to the validity or otherwise of the accusations in question." The fact being, as we shall abundantly verify over Col. Olcott's own signature, that he was at the time and for nearly two years had been, firmly of the opinion that Mr. Judge was guilty of transmitting bogus messages. (2) The third paragraph discloses that such was the prejudgment of Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant that both the "demand" was made and Col. Olcott's letter of February 7 was written when no specific charges had been filed, even. Yet Col. Olcott did not hesitate to require of Mr. Judge that he should either resign or be tried for charges not yet even formulated. By referring to Col. Olcott's two letters to Mr. Judge dated March 20, 1894, and reproduced in full in the last chapter, the student will note that in the intervening period the
(1) See succeeding chapter - Col. Olcott's Note to Mrs. Besant 's statement before the British Convention.
(2) See Chapter XXXIII post - Col. Olcott's statement in "The Case against William Q. Judge" is dated January 28, 1893.
charges had been formulated and the two letters drawn up on the eve of Mrs. Besant's departure from India. On the strength of these "formulated" charges Col. Olcott arbitrarily "suspended" Mr. Judge from the Vice-Presidency, in advance of any trial. These items all show unmistakably both bias and conspiracy, to conceal which and give the impression of impartiality and legality to the steps taken is the manifest purpose of the Notice of April 27, put out for the "information" of the members.
Its purpose is, plainly, so to twist the facts as to cause the members to believe, not only that he had acted impartially and only as compelled by the constitutional provisions, on Mrs. Besant's demand, but that Mr. Judge and Messrs. Mead and Keightley had behaved in a manner to be "deplored" by making known the actual facts and conditions to the whole Theosophical world; furthermore, he evades and denies his own primary responsibility in the phrase that he "regrets that the fact of Mrs. Besant being the accuser should not have been mentioned." The fact being that as Mrs. Besant was merely a private member of the Society and President of the Blavatsky Lodge, a London Branch, she had neither duty, right, nor privilege, under the Constitution and Rules of the Society, to bring any charges against any officer of the Society, or against any member, save of her own Branch, and that she acted directly at his instigation and request.
The "detailed reply to Messrs. Mead and Keightley's letter," that the Notice states is "in preparation and will be circulated to all Branches," was never, so far as we know, either "prepared" or "circulated." All that he ever issued was a "plea in extenuation," similar to the above quoted Notice.
It will be noted that the "eminent counsel (Members of the Society)," in whose "opinion" the trial of the charges "does not involve the question of the Mahatmas or their connection with the Society," are not named. They were, in point of fact, Chakravarti and the other as stated, and although Col. Olcott lugs in this "opin-
ion" to "correct misapprehensions" the fact is, as again we shall soon see, that he completely reversed himself and the said "eminent counsel" at the meeting of the Judicial Committee.
Finally, the reader should compare and contrast the concluding paragraph of the Notice, in which Col. Olcott announces that he "finds himself compelled to attend" the meeting of the Judicial Committee, "contrary to his wishes and expectations," with the statement in his letter to Mr. Judge of February 7: "I shall in all probability be represented by proxy, unless something now unforeseen should arise to make it imperative that I shall personally attend." The whole procedure had been so carefully planned, and looked so entirely certain to the conspirators in the beginning, that there had been no thought other than, if Judge should have the hardihood to refuse to resign and, instead, stand trial, the controlled Committee would find him "guilty" out of hand, on the mere presentation of the "charges" sponsored by Mrs. Besant, backed by the President-Founder from Adyar, who could then, "after the Committee had met, disposed of the charges and rendered its verdict," have "officially promulgated" the pre-arranged "decision." Now, in view of all that had happened to set awry their well-laid plans, it was not enough to make Mrs. Besant the Presidential Special Commissioner; it was not enough to publish another Executive Notice for the "information of the members"; it was become "imperative" indeed that Col. Olcott should "personally attend" the meeting of the Judicial Committee, lest worse befall than had already occurred; lest the Committee not only find Mr. Judge "not guilty," but proceed to investigate on its own behalf the actions of the President of the Society in his usurpation of powers, in the claims of himself and his fellow accusers to "messages from the Masters."
Skipping the intervening period of public silence and private wagging of heads, of external decorum and secret diligent planning of ways and means to avoid a defeat or a fiasco, we may attend the meeting of the Judicial Committee and then the immediately following Conven-
tion of the British-European Section, and observe what took place. The proceedings are officially reported in a record published in full in The Path, in Lucifer, in The Theosophist, immediately following the Convention, and also in a pamphlet officially issued under the title "The Neutrality of the Theosophical Society. An Enquiry into Certain Charges Against the Vice-President, held in London, July, 1894. With an Appendix, Published by the General Council of the Theosophical Society, for the Information of Members. July, 1894." So runs the title-page. Let us first examine the "Enquiry" and then the "Appendix."
The President-Founder arrived promptly in London, but the Enquiry was not held on the date set, June 27. The time until July 7 was occupied in various abortive attempts to reach a compromise that would obviate official disposition, but Mr. Judge insisted that since the whole procedure up to date had been taken officially by the President-Founder, with himself as defendant against charges of dishonorable conduct, and with issues raised prejudicial to the Society as well as himself, it could only properly be disposed of by formal official action. Accordingly, Col. Olcott summoned a meeting of the General Council on July 7. There were present Col. Olcott, who presided, Mr. Bertram Keightley, who was chosen as Secretary of the Council meeting, Mr. G.R.S. Mead; and Mr. Judge who took no part in the proceedings. Col. Olcott read to the meeting a formal letter by Mr. Judge, stating (1) that he had never been elected Vice-President of the Society, and was not, therefore, legally the Vice-President of the Society; (2) that even if adjudged de facto Vice-President of the Society, he was not thereby amenable to charges of "misuse of Mahatmas' names and handwriting," since, even if guilty, such offenses would be those of a private individual and not as an officer of the Society; hence not subject, under the Constitution, to trial by a Judicial Committee of the Society as an official malfeasance. A legal opinion from a New York lawyer, Mr. M.H. Phelps,
a member of the Society, was then read in support of Mr. Judge's contentions.
The matter was then debated, Mr. Judge remaining silent. Colonel Olcott informed the meeting that at the Adyar Convention of 1888 he had himself "appointed" Mr. Judge Vice-President by virtue of his own "prerogative" to make such an appointment and had published such title in the official list of Officers of the Society, and that this appointment was unanimously "confirmed" by vote at the Indian General Convention of 1890, although the "official report" of that Convention "did not record the fact." Hence, he declared, Mr. Judge "was and is Vice-President de facto and de jure."
Having heard what Col. Olcott had to say as to the first point raised by Mr. Judge, the Council meeting made no decision, but passed to the second question. On this point renewed discussion took place, Mr. Judge remaining silent as before. The minutes read:
"The matter was then debated. Bertram Keightley moved and G.R.S. Mead seconded: "'That the Council, having heard the arguments on the point raised by William Q. Judge, it declares that the point is well taken; that the acts alleged concern him as an individual; and that consequently the Judicial Committee has no jurisdiction in the premises to try him as Vice-President upon the charges as alleged. '
"'The President Concurred. Mr. Judge did not vote. The motion was declared carried.'
"'On Mr. Mead's motion, it was then voted that above record shall be laid before the Judicial Committee. Mr. Judge did not vote.'"
This proceeding having been had, Col. Olcott then laid before the Council meeting a further point raised by Mr. Judge, to wit: that Mr. Judge's election by the American, the British, and Indian Sections, as successor to the President in 1892 (at the time of Col. Olcott's
resignation), "became ipso facto annulled upon the President's resumption of his office as President." "On motion," reads the official minutes, "the Council declared the point well taken, and ordered the decision to be entered upon the minutes. Mr. Judge did not vote." Colonel Olcott then called the meeting's attention to the resolution of the American Section Convention which declared in effect that the suspension of Mr. Judge was without warrant in the Constitution and transcended the President's discretionary powers. On this it was moved, seconded, and passed, Mr. Judge not voting, that "the President's action was warranted under the then existing circumstances" and that the American Section's "resolutions of protest are without force."
Next, by motion (Mr. Judge not voting), "the council then requested the President to convene the Judicial Committee at the London Headquarters, on Tuesday, July 10, 1894, at 10 a.m. The Council then adjourned at call of the President."
The Judicial Committee met on July 10, as required. There were present all the members of the Committee, as follows: Col. Olcott as President-Founder, in the chair; Messrs. G.R.S. Mead and Bertram Keightley as General Secretaries of the European and Indian Sections; Messrs. A.P. Sinnett and E.T. Sturdy as delegates of the Indian Section; Messrs. Herbert Burrows and W. Kingsland as delegates of the European Section; Dr. J.D. Buck and Dr. Archibald Keightley as delegates of the American Section; Messrs. Oliver Firth and E.T. Hargrove as special delegates representing the accused - all as provided for under the "revised Rules" adopted at the Adyar Convention in December preceding. Mr. Judge was present as the accused, but not voting as General Secretary of the American Section. Mrs. Besant was present as the accuser. It should be noted that of the eleven members of the Judicial Committee, the Chairman, Col. Olcott, and Messrs. E.T. Sturdy and A.P. Sinnett were already fully convinced in advance of the guilt of Mr. Judge; Messrs. Bertram Keightley and G.R.S. Mead convinced of Judge's guilt,
but equally convinced that he could not be "tried" for his offenses; Messrs. Herbert Burrows, W. Kingsland, and Oliver Firth, strong friends of both Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott, but still in doubt as to Mr. Judge's guilt and the legality of the whole proceedings. Of the remaining members of the Judicial Committee Dr. Buck and Dr. Archibald Keightley were fast friends of both the accused and the accuser, as well as of Col. Olcott; Mr. E.T. Hargrove was a young barrister of excellent family just then coming into prominence among the London members of the Society, friendly to all parties, but, as the after events showed, well assured in his own mind, like Dr. Buck and Dr. Archibald Keightley, both that Mr. Judge was innocent of any wrong-doing and that the whole affair was a colossal blunder as well as legally defective.
The meeting of the Judicial Committee being opened by the President-Founder, he read to the assembled Committee a formal letter from Mr. Judge as General Secretary of the American Section, stating that in the opinion of the Executive Committee of the American Section that Section was entitled to an extra vote in the Judicial Committee by reason of the fact that its General Secretary, being the accused, would not vote in the proceedings. On motion James M. Pryse, well known both in New York and London, was added to the Judicial Committee as a substitute for the General Secretary of the American Section.
Colonel Olcott, as Chairman, then declared the Judicial Committee to be duly constituted, and at once proceeded to read the following remarkable address as President-Founder of the Society. We give it in full, omitting only those parts already covered in the various' documents quoted from:
"Gentlemen and Brothers,
"We have met together today as a Judicial Committee... to consider and dispose of certain charges of misconduct, preferred by Mrs. Besant against the Vice-President of the So-
ciety, and dated March 24th, 1894 [it should be noted that the two letters to Mr. Judge, purporting to give the "charges" as an enclosure, and "suspending" the Vice-President in consequence, were both dated March 20th, 1894, four days before the date here given]...
In compliance with the Revised Rules, copies of the charges brought by the accuser have been duly supplied to the accused and the members of the General Council...
Upon receipt of a preliminary letter from myself, of date February 7th, 1894, from Agra, India, Mr. Judge, erroneously taking it to be the first step in the official enquiry into the charges, from my omission to mark the letter "Private," naturally misconceived it to be a breach of the Constitution, and vehemently protested in a public circular addressed to "the members of the Theosophical Society," and of which 5,000 copies were distributed to them, to all parts of the world. The name of the accuser not being mentioned, the wrong impression prevailed that I was the author of the charges, and at the same time intended to sit as Chairman of the tribunal that was to investigate them. (3) I regret this circumstance as having caused bad feeling throughout the Society against its Chief Executive, who has been the personal friend of the accused for many years, has ever appreciated as they deserved his eminent services and unflagging devotion to the Society and the whole movement, and whose constant motive has been to be brotherly and act justly to all his colleagues, of every race, religion, and sex.
Having thus followed up the line adopted in the Notice of April 27 which we have given, Col. Olcott proceeds in his Address to the Judicial Committee to argue
(3) See post, Col. Olcott's Note to Mrs. Besant's statement before the Convention on July 12, 1894, for his direct admission of his own responsibility for the charges.
and give his own opinions and conclusions on the various questions raised by Mr. Judge at the meeting of the General Council three days preceding, as recited, and concludes this portion of his Address by stating:
"From the above facts it is evident that W.Q. Judge is, and since December, 1888, has continuously been, de jure as well as de facto, Vice-President of the Theosophical Society. The facts having been laid before the General Council in its session of the 7th inst., my ruling has been ratified; and is now also concurred in by Mr. Judge. He is, therefore, triable by this tribunal for 'cause shown.'"
The President-Founder then passes to the second point raised by Mr. Judge. It is interesting to note that in this passage he enlarges the original charge as contained in his letter of February 7. He says:
"The second point raised by the accused is more important. If the acts alleged were done by him at all - which remains as yet sub judice - and he did them as a private person, he cannot be tried by any other tribunal than the Aryan Lodge, T.S., of which he is a Fellow and the President. Nothing can possibly be clearer than that. Now, what are the alleged offenses?
"That he practiced deception in sending false messages, orders and letters, as if sent and written by 'Masters'; and in statements to me about a certain Rosicrucian jewel of H.P.B.'s. "That he was untruthful in various other instances enumerated.
"Are these solely acts done in his private capacity; or may they or either of them be laid against him as wrong-doing by the Vice-President? This is a grave question, both in its present bearings and as establishing a precedent for future contingencies. We must not make a mistake in coming to a decision.
"In summoning Mr. Judge before this tribunal, I was moved by the thought that the alleged evil acts might be separated into (a) strictly private acts, viz., the alleged untruthfulness and deception, and (b) the alleged circulation of deceptive imitations of what are supposed to be Mahatmic writings, with intent to deceive; which communications, owing to his high official rank among us, carried a weight they would not have had if given out by a simple member. This seemed to me a far more heinous offense than simple falsehood, or any other act of an individual, and to amount to a debasement of his office, if proven,... The issue is now open to your consideration, and you must decide as to your judicial competency."
Although the original charge was "misuse" - i.e., imitating - "the handwriting of the Mahatmas," yet Col. Olcott proceeds to give it as his opinion that -
"The present issue is not at all whether Mahatmas exist or the contrary, or whether they have or have not recognizable handwritings, and have or have not authorized Mr. Judge to put forth documents in their names. I believed, when issuing the call, that the question might be discussed without entering into investigations that would compromise our corporate neutrality. The charges as formulated and laid before me by Mrs. Besant could, in my opinion, have been tried without doing this."
After this extraordinary admission and affirmation Col. Olcott proceeds to hasten to his own defense for having brought matters thus far and for what he now finds himself compelled to do - that is, to reverse himself completely:
"... I must refer to my official record to prove that I would have been the last to help in violating a Constitution of which I am, it may be
said, the father, and which I have continually defended at all times and in all circumstances. On now meeting Mr. Judge in London, however, and being made acquainted with his intended line of defense, I find that by beginning the enquiry we should be placed in this dilemma, viz., we should either have to deny him the common justice of listening to his statements and examining his proofs (which would be monstrous in even a common court of law, much more in a Brotherhood like ours, based on lines of ideal justice), or be plunged into the very abyss we wish to escape from. Mr. Judge's defense is that he is not guilty of the acts charged; that Mahatmas exist, are related to our Society, and in personal connection with himself; and he avers his readiness to bring many witnesses and documentary proofs to support his statements."
The reader should engrave the foregoing upon his memory. It is Col. Olcott's and therefore Mrs. Besant's own admission, (1) that the constitutional questions raised by Mr. Judge were raised for the sake of the Society and not to evade "trial"; (2) that his "line of defense" which makes the real "dilemma" for his accusers, is simply that Mr. Judge "avers," as Col. Olcott states, not only that he is not guilty, but that he is prepared to prove his connection with the Mahatmas. And although these very constitutional questions and Mr. Judge's very avowal of innocence and readiness to meet an investigation were stated in Mr. Judge's circular of March 15, and although Col. Olcott six weeks later (in the Notice of April 27) declares that in the opinion of "eminent counsel" as well as himself the trial can properly take place as summoned, the President-Founder at London finds himself in a dilemma indeed. What if the trial should proceed and Mr. Judge actually prove his messages? Not to listen to Mr. Judge's defense would be so monstrous indeed that not even the dullest or most prejudiced would fail to see its inequity, however they
may have been blinded to the monstrous inequity of bringing these hearsay "charges" in the first place. How Col. Olcott evaded the real issue and at the same time did in fact what he had just characterized as "monstrous even in a common court of law, much more in a Brotherhood like" the Theosophical Society, may be seen in his next words:
"The moment we entered into these questions we should violate the most vital spirit of our federal compact, its neutrality in matters of belief. ... For the above reason, then, I declare as my opinion that this enquiry must go no further; we may not break our own laws for any consideration whatsoever. It is furthermore my opinion that such an enquiry, begun by whatsoever official body within our membership cannot proceed if a similar line of defense be declared. If, perchance, a guilty person should at any time go scot-free in consequence of this ruling, we cannot help it; the Constitution is our palladium, and we must make it the symbol of justice or expect our Society to disintegrate."
Thus, in this one paragraph, is the admission in Col Olcott's own words and decision, of the impropriety and illegality of the original bringing of the "charges"; the admission that every constitutional contention raised by Mr. Judge was correct; the admission that Mr. Judge was ready and willing to produce his proofs of Mahatma intercourse; the admission that such a "line of defense" upset the whole procedure, and that the Enquiry "must go no farther" - thus debarring Mr. Judge, foully accused of dishonorable conduct, even from being "entitled to enjoy the full opportunity to disprove the charges brought against you," as Col. Olcott had written him March 20, when suspending him from the Vice-Presidency pending the meeting of the Judicial Committee. In thus himself ignobly retreating from the field of battle the President-Founder in the bitterness and humiliation of his enforced reverse, cannot forbear a
Parthian shot at his still untouched target as a prelude to his final admission:
"Candor compels me to add that, despite what I thought some preliminary quibbling and unfair tactics, Mr. Judge has traveled hither from America to meet his accusers before this Committee, and announced his readiness to have the charges investigated and decided on their merits by any competent tribunal."
The reader should impress these remarkable statements on his memory for the reason that when he comes to the final debacle he will find both Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant solemnly affirming over and over again that Mr. Judge was "guilty," as if that "guilt" had been proven; that he evaded a trial; that he escaped a trial through pleading what the lawyers call a demurrer. Still more, because in the quarter century since these lamentable episodes, not once but a hundred times have Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott repeated the same statements to those who believed in all good faith their utterly untrustworthy testimony in any matter where the whole truth would show them grossly at fault or grievously in error. The reader should remember that their impeachment is out of their own mouths, not from other witnesses - Col. Olcott Is as just given, Mrs. Besant's as shall follow in the extracts to be given from the Appendix to the "Neutrality" pamphlet.
After the foregoing remarks Col. Olcott argues in extenuation of himself against the resolutions adopted by the Convention of the American Section, then reverses his action complained of therein.
It having been made evident to me that Mr. Judge cannot be tried on the present accusations without breaking through the lines of our Constitution, I have no right to keep him further suspended, and so I hereby cancel my notice of suspension, dated February 7th, 1894 [here again is a significant admission, albeit unintentional;
for the date of the letter of suspension, as officially forwarded, was March 20], and restore him to the rank of Vice-President."
The remainder of the President-Founder's Address to the Judicial Committee is a half-apology for the "inconvenience" caused the members and others by the convocation of the Committee, and a plea for "brotherhood."
Mr. Mead then submitted to the Judicial Committee the minutes of the General Council meeting of July 7, as given. The Judicial Committee then adopted the following resolutions:
"Resolved: That the President be requested to lay before the committee the charges against Mr. Judge referred to in his address.
"The charges were laid before the Committee accordingly.
"After deliberation, it was:
"Resolved: that although it was ascertained that the member bringing the charges [Mrs. Besant] and Mr. Judge are both ready to go on with the enquiry, the Committee considers, nevertheless, that the charges are not such as relate to the conduct of the Vice-President in his official capacity, and therefore are not subject to its jurisdiction."
It will be observed from the foregoing that the report merely states that the resolutions were "adopted" by the Committee without giving the votes, pro and contra. The reader should understand that the delegates favorable to Mr. Judge left it to the others to decide whether to proceed or not.
Another resolution affirmed that a trial of the kind under enquiry would violate the neutrality of the Society in matters of religious opinion. On this "four members abstained from voting," according to the report. Their names are not given. Another resolution adopted the President's Address, and still another reso-
lution was adopted asking the General Council to print and circulate a report of the proceedings. The question was then raised whether the charges against Mr. Judge should be included in the printed report. On this Mr. Burrows moved and Mr. Sturdy seconded a resolution that "if the Proceedings were printed at all the charges should be included." We think, in view of all the circumstances connected, and more particularly the step subsequently taken by them, that this resolution was introduced with the full knowledge and acquiescence of both Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott. But when the assembled delegates came to see the full iniquity of officially spreading broadcast a series of charges after having denied the accused the opportunity of meeting and rebutting them, this motion was too much for even the most prejudiced to stomach and be responsible for. The report says: "On being put to the vote the resolution was not carried." Once more, the report carefully abstains from mentioning who voted for and who against this infamous resolution. After this, the report states, "The Minutes having been read and confirmed the Committee dissolved."
It will be noted that every resolution adopted by the General Council in its session of July 7, and all the proceedings of the session of the Judicial Committee on the 10th were taken in exact accord with the remarks of the President-Founder in his Addresses to the two bodies. This shows two things, (1) that the sessions were the mere carrying out of a "cut-and-dried" program arranged by Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant; (2) that they controlled the majority action of both bodies. A third matter is still more worthy of note: that in the entire proceedings, both of the General Council meeting and those of the Judicial Committee, Mr. Judge and those representing him took an entirely passive part. Having in his formal letters addressed to the two bodies, raised the necessary legal questions, and avowed his readiness to meet directly any trial of the real issues at stake, Mr. Judge remained silent throughout, leaving it to his persecutors to take what steps they would. He
made no attack on any of his enemies; he demanded no enquiry into the gross malfeasance shown by the President-Founder; he brought no charges against those present whom he knew to be manipulating the proceedings; he did not ask that those who had themselves claimed to be "in communication with Masters" be put upon their voir dire and submitted to the same ordeal that had been thrust upon him; he made no comments, raised no objections, demanded no retractions, no apology. He had simply met squarely all that had been rumored, circulated, charged against him; that done, he had taken no advantage of the dilemma and the wrong-doing of his opponents. He had fulfilled to the uttermost scruple the rules of Occultism, its requirements of Brotherhood, and uttered no word of complaint or reproach at their violation by those sworn, like himself, to the First Object of the T.S., the pledge and Rules of the School of the Masters. His enemies he did not look upon as his personal foes, nor as intentionally dishonorable, but as probationers in the fiery furnace of "pledge fever," knowing not what they did. As they had broken away from the lines, he could not help them, but he could, and did abstain from pushing them further afield. He knew that now all the facts were of record, so that no student need be misled by partisan or corrupted testimony. The whole Theosophical world could know that those high in the counsels of the Society had brought charges, had racked the world for evidences to sustain them, had had the entire proceedings in their own hands, and had themselves been forced by the hollowness and inequity of their own conduct to reverse themselves completely, in order to save, not the Society, but themselves.
British Convention Dismisses Case Against JudgeThe proceedings of the Judicial Committee occupied the greater part of July 10, 1894. Its sole essential decision was that it had no jurisdiction under the Constitution and Rules of the Society to enquire 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, not withstanding, 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 Mr. 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 27 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 be looked upon, therefore, only as a square backdown 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 clear 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 Honor" 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 Mr. 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 majority of 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 Honor 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. Both statements are here given in full from the text of the "Neutrality" pamphlet.
"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 representative 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 honor 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
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 Theosophi-
cal 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 cir-
cumstances 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. (1) 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.
(1) Mrs. Besant here refers to Mr. Henry B. Foulke of Philadelphia, whose claims were recited and discussed is Chapter XXIII.
"(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.)
"(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 1st, 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."
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, 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 pointblank to say how or in what manner they were transmitted to or through him. He refers to what should have been common knowledge to all Theosophists - that the 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, nor 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."
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 offense 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 italicized 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 years before both by H.P.B. and Masters. For, in the Appendix to the fourth and post editions of "The Occult World" Mr. Sinnett had given a long letter direct from the Master "K.H." on the very subject of "precipitations" in connection with the Kiddle incident, which showed the Master Himself "guilty" on his own confession 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: Mr. 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 chelas'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."
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.'s, a self-styled Occultist, 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 as if it were something hitherto unknown, 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 knew this to be the fact, why 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 be decided only 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 be decided only "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 ac
cepting 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 Mr. Old, she wrote on February 6 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: the facts being as they were, how could she do as 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 article "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 first looked to Mr. 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Sinnett with his "sensitives" in "communication with the Masters"? Was there not Chakravarti with 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 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 stand-
ards 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 the 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 today?
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.
"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."
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.
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 any one, 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. In printing the proceedings in the August, 1894, number Lucifer, Mrs. Besant preceded them in her editorial notes, "On the Watch-Tower," with some comments introductory of 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 undeniable 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 and Messrs. 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, and Edge, and Countess 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 Mr. 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 the 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 an 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 re-
ligious 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 today, 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, none but the pharisees would have cause for complaint. Mrs. Besant and three of her co-signatories - Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and Mr. 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 trans-
cendental 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.
W. Wyn Westcott,
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 was asked to join in the circular. In the circumstances, the names actually signed can be construed only as being those of the principals in the cabal formed against Mr. Judge. Mr. 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 she succumbed to the allurements of still another "Initiate" and his "messages" from the same "Masters" - Mr. C.W. Leadbeater - when she quietly dropped Chakravarti as being "under the influence of the dark Powers."
This Mr. Leadbeater was originally a curate in a rural parish of the Church of England. He had been interested in Spiritualism for many years when he read Mr. Sinnett's two earliest books. Thereafter he held seances with Mr. W. Eglinton, a famous medium of the time who had been at Adyar while H.P.B. was there. Eglinton, like Mr. W. Stainton Moses (M.A. Oxon) had been helped by H.P.B. and had received various evidences through her of the existence of Masters, and joined the London Lodge in 1884. In a seance with Mr. Eglinton early in 1884, Mr. Leadbeater endeavored through the latter's "control," "Ernest," to get in "communication with the Masters." This is referred to in Letter VII of "Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom," a Letter received by Leadbeater through H.P.B. many months later, after he had avowed his desire to return with her to India.
Accordingly Mr. Leadbeater went to India with H.P.B. late in 1884 and was at Adyar during the time of Mr. Hodgson's investigations there, and became acquainted with the various Hindus at headquarters, notably with Subba Row. From Adyar Mr. Leadbeater was sent to Ceylon by Col. Olcott and while there began his career of infatuation with boys, his first relation of that kind being with C. Jinarajadasa, now Vice-President of Mrs. Besant's theosophical society.
Mr. Leadbeater returned to England in 1889, taking the boy with him. From then on he was intimate with Mr. Sinnett for whose son he served as tutor, and for Mr. Sinnett himself as the "psychic" through whom Mr. Sinnett kept up his supposed communications with the "Masters of H.P.B."
Mr. Leadbeater was never at any time a member of the E.S.T.S., nor in any way connected with H.P.B., after his return to England. Mr. Sinnett made him Secretary of the London Lodge after his return to England in 1889. The course and practices, public and private, of the London Lodge were wholly at variance with the Occult discipline taught by H.P.B. - were, in fact, identical with mediumism, psychical research, and Hatha Yoga.
No public rupture occurred during the life of H.P.B., but the relations between the London Lodge and those of the Blavatsky Lodge were of the slightest, and purely formal.
The first breach in the accord between Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge was due, not only to the influence of Chakravarti but, as well, to that of Mr. Sinnett. While a member of the E.S. and one of its Co-Heads, Mrs. Besant joined the London Lodge, and took part in the experiments of Messrs. Sinnett, Leadbeater, and the rest of the inner coterie, thus violating her pledges, and pursuing two absolutely antithetical systems of "Occult development." When Chakravarti came to London, the ground for Mrs. Besant's subornation had, therefore, already been well prepared. It is one of the ironies of the situation, as thus prepared, that ultimately, in 1907, Mr. Sinnett rejected the "Adyar manifestations" for which Mrs. Besant stood sponsor, and was forced to join in the "white-wash" of Mr. Leadbeater, whose practices with boys were exposed in the fall of 1906 - and that Mrs. Besant was forced by the exigencies of her own situation to turn against Messrs. Sinnett, Chakravarti, and Leadbeater in order to defend herself against the taint of the latter, the doubts thrown on the "Adyar manifestations," and secure the coveted position of President of the society after the death of Col. Olcott.
Later on her further necessities caused Mrs. Besant to adjust the breach with Mr. Sinnett by making him Vice-President, and with Mr. Leadbeater by procuring his return to the Society, from which he had resigned during the investigation in 1906. Forced to choose between two competing augurs, she chose Mr. Leadbeater rather than Chakravarti, whose usefulness to her was outlived, and since that period Mr. Leadbeater has been the "power behind the throne" of Mrs. Besant's esoteric and esoteric autocracy.
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 network 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 (2) 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."
(2) For the complete text of this message, see ''letters from the Masters of the Wisdom," Adyar, Madras, India, 1919. Damodar is not mentioned by name in the message itself but in a note by the editor of the book, Mr. Jinarajadasa.
Philosophically, here is a "message from the Master," which any one 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 Col. Olcott and the rest, of H.P.B. As repeatedly indicated by the course of events and their recital in this history, Col. Olcott and the others believed H.P.B. had been guilty, at times, of fraud, and that Damodar was a weakling imitator and blind worshiper 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 over-zealously 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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 sound logic may make 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 profession 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 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 Mr. Judge, who was also assailed as infamously and venomously as herself, she wrote warmly of Mr. 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. Colonel Olcott sent copies also to Lucifer and The Theosophist. It was partially reprinted in Lucifer 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 footnote, "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:
"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...
"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?"
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:
"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....
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 polysyllable words implying that he is our pilotbird 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...."
After paying his respects in the sentences we have italicized to his hypothetical "colleague," whom every one understood to mean Mr. Judge, 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:
"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....
"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 tranquillity, 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... "
Thus passed, or seemed to pass, the great storm in the exoteric body, the Theosophical Society. The crisis in the Esoteric Section must now be considered.
The "Eastern Division" and "Western Division"Apparent calm having been restored to the esoteric body of the Theosophical Society by the proceedings and results of the London Enquiry, as narrated, remained the far more difficult problem of a corresponding readjustment in the affairs of the Esoteric School of which Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge had been, since the death of H.P.B., the Co-Heads.
The London proceedings had demonstrated for the moment to the satisfaction of all one thing, at least, and that was that "Occult" phenomena, genuine or spurious, mediumistic or adept, formed no part of the business of the Theosophical Society, either under its proclaimed Objects or under its Constitution, Rules, and by-laws. This had been the one point insisted on by H.P. Blavatsky throughout her lifetime, and no less insistently pressed by Mr. Judge after her death. The great wrong and evils inflicted by the bringing of the charges had thus been, to that extent, turned to good, and the attention of all members, high and low, once more directed to the consideration and practice of the ethical, philosophical and scientific basis and objects of the Society. A corollary resultant benefit was the practical realization for the time being that Occult phenomena cannot, in the present state of human evolution, be proved, from the evidences available to the reasoning mind; proved, we mean, in the same sense and to the same extent that physical phenomena can be proved to the satisfaction of an impartial judge and jury in a court of law. In legal affairs the trial of a disputed issue, actual or moot, presupposes an accepted code of principles, laws, and processes, for the determination of the facts, their causation,
bearings, and the resultant decree of judgment - accepted by and acceptable to all parties to the issue, regardless of whether the ensuing decision be for the plaintiff or the defendant. Manifestly no such code exists in the world for the determination of metaphysical cases at issue, and no more did nor does it exist, among believers in the "Occult."
The "Judge case," and all similar cases, before and since, including the very status of H.P. Blavatsky, and the existence and status of her Mahatmas Themselves, has, before the bar of public and learned opinion, no locus whatever, using that word in its exact, mathematical sense. And certainly among Theosophists, however assured their faith in the reality of "the Occult world and its inhabitants," the whole question of Occult phenomena has been from the beginning, and still remains, sub judice, whether as to their principles, laws, and processes, or their actuality. They pertain, in their causal and effectual aspects, exclusively to the domain of the unknown First and Second Sections of the Theosophical Movement - that is to say, to the Masters, Adepts, and chelas of Occultism. (1) As shown by the repeated statements of the Mahatmas Themselves, no less than by the repeated statements of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, mediumistic phenomena are one thing, the phenomena of Occultism quite another matter altogether, and it was never intended to perform or produce any Occult phenomena at any time of a character and as companiment to prove their verisimilitude to the recipient and other witnesses. To have done that would have been, as often stated by the Mahatmas, to have overwhelmed the mind of the race and to have induced and precipitated an irreparable catastrophe. The time has not yet come to teach and demonstrate the realities of the Occult world. Every "phenomenon" in connection with the career of Mr. Judge, no less than in connection with the mission of H.P.B. herself, was therefore left,
(1) See, for example, the letters of the Mahatma "K.H." to Messrs. Sinnett and Hume in "The Occult World," the first edition of which was issued in 1881.
and purposely left, partially enshrouded in mystery for the recipients and witnesses. Their mission was preparatory to the great task of the twentieth century - the work of the Messenger of 1975. It was to arouse and provoke thought and inquiry, at all events among a choice minority, by the injection into the mind of the race of the ideas and ethics of the Wisdom-Religion, and such phenomena as were performed can be distributed into two main classes: (1) those which were incidental, because unavoidable, concomitants of their nature and work, and this class was little perceived or pondered by even the most intelligent of the students; (2) those phenomena which were produced intentionally in specific cases for or before given individuals. These were extremely limited in number and variety, when all is said, no two of them were identical in circumstance and environment, and no publicity was ever given any of them, in the first instance, either by H.P.B. or Mr. Judge. The Karma of their publicity, as the Karma of their performance, was that of the recipients and witnesses, who had earned what they received, and having received such tokens, broadcasted them - against the admonition and the warning of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge in every case, be it noted.
The "Esoteric Section" was not formed until, in the words of H.P.B., the Society had "proved a failure" and "become a sham," because it had departed both from the original impulse and the original program. And in this "failure" and this "sham" must, of necessity, be included all those officers and leaders of the Society, however highly placed or esteemed, who had brought about that departure. The Karma of the first fourteen years was the Karma of the Society, including its officers and members; the Karma of the ensuing seven years was the Karma of the "Esoteric Section." The Society had been weighed in the balance and found wanting, though it still lived on and was vicariously sustained by the "Esoteric Section" as a utilitarian instrument. The events of 1894-5 were the testing-out of the "Esoteric Section" itself as a worthy or unworthy vessel.
No more than the Theosophical Society was the "Esoteric Section" intended to be or become a "Hall of Occultism," "a factory for the manufacture of adepts." This is shown by all the esoteric as well as exoteric writings and "messages" of Masters as well as H.P.B. and Mr. Judge. It is succinctly but unmistakably shown on the very first page of the First Preliminary Memorandum where it is specifically stated (the italics being our own):
"This degree of the Esoteric Section is probationary, and its general purpose is to prepare and fit the student for the study of Practical Occultism or Raja Yoga. Therefore, in this degree the student - save in exceptional cases - will not be taught how to produce physical phenomena, nor will any magical powers be allowed to develop in him; nor, if possessing such powers naturally, will he be permitted to exercise them before he has mastered the knowledge of SELF, of the psycho-physiological processes (taking place on the occult plane) in the human body generally, and until he has in abeyance all his lower passions and his Personal Self."
All those who entered the E.S. did so voluntarily and were in honor bound either to abide by its conditions, of leave it altogether. As before shown, great pains were taken with each applicant that he should be fully informed of the nature of the School, its pledge, its Rules, its purposes and requirements, before he entered. 'Each and all were warned of the occult consequences - consequences which no one could avoid for them - of persistent violation of the School conditions sine qua non; while each one was notified before entrance that grave violation of the School Discipline would entail his suspension or expulsion for the sake of those who might remain loyal.
The conduct of Col. Olcott throughout the "Judge case" was a violation of the Constitution and Rules of the esoteric Theosophical Society and a departure from
its Objects - the self-imposed criterions which he had not only accepted as a member but was in honor bound, as President-Founder, to be first and foremost, not only in enforcing upon the membership, but in himself rendering obedience to them. But the case of Mrs. Besant was far more serious. Her entire part in the "Judge case" was a gross breach of her pledge and an equally gross infraction of the Rules and Discipline of the Esoteric Section which, for her, was the self-assumed canon of conduct. All this quite apart from any consideration of the guilt or innocence of Mr. Judge of the offenses charged against him. In the one case the Constitution and Rules of the Society had provided from the first that charges against a member must be brought and could be tried only before the Branch to which the accused belong. It may be remarked here, for the sake of the record, that the charges made against Mr. Judge were brought before his Branch, the Aryan Theosophical Society of New York City, and, by the unanimous vote of the Council and members of that Branch, rejected. In the other case the Rules and Discipline of the School provided that no charge of any description should be made by any member against another, except within the School. How grave was Mrs. Besant's conduct, from the standpoint of the School, can be seen from the following extracts from the Rules:
"Groundless condemnation, on hearsay, of others, Theosophists or not, must be refrained from, and charity to each other's faults widely practiced among those within, as well as for others without, the Theosophical area.
"Repetition of statements derogatory to others must be avoided.
"A derogatory or slanderous statement made against a fellow-Theosophist, in the presence of a member [of the School], shall not be permitted by him to pass without protest, unless he knows it is true, in which case he should remain silent.
"No member shall, in any circumstances, bring any charge of whatever nature against another member except [under the School procedure].
"Suspicions as to the character of the members of the School are prejudicial to advancement. In short, any malevolent feeling, especially malice, envy or revenge toward any person, high or low, creates peculiarly obstructive conditions in the student's path, and will absolutely prevent progress of every sort.
"No member of this School shall belong to any other body, association, or organization for the purpose of mystic study or occult training."
We are not here arguing that these Rules from the "Book of Discipline" of the School are true statements either of theory or practice; we are submitting them as the Code of conduct voluntarily accepted and affirmed by Mrs. Besant on her "solemn and sacred word of honor" as the true standard of ethics by which she would abide. Mrs. Besant was not only a member of the School, but of its Second Degree or so-called Inner Group, and one of its Heads, and therefore the more bound in honor to the most strict adherence to its time-honored practice. In considering the Theosophical life and conduct of all those connected with the Society or the Esoteric School therefore, they are not to be weighed, either by what they themselves claimed, or by what others said of them, or by worldly standards of action, but by their loyalty to, or departure from, the self-declared Objects of the Society, the self-assumed Obligations of the School. Only from this basis can their conduct be intelligently considered, fairly measured.
The Objects, Constitution, and Rules of the Society were just as binding upon H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge as upon any one else, and their conduct in that respect is the criterion of judgment on their actions within the Society. And, with respect to the School of the Esoteric Section, they were, like Mrs. Besant or any other member, bound to act according to its precepts
or leave it. A due understanding of these considerations will make the Theosophical record of H.P.B. and W.Q.J. stand out in solitary grandeur against the broken ground of total and partial failures of their colleagues and co-workers in the Theosophical Cause. It was their very allegiance to the declared Objects and democratic organization of the T.S., that brought them into almost constant conflict with others, nominal but ambitious Theosophists. And in the Esoteric School itself it was their rigid and undeviating adherence to the letter as well as the spirit of the "Book of Discipline" which made H.P.B. unpalatable and Mr. Judge obnoxious to those whose self-confidence was such that they "took the law into their own hands" when the pledge and Rules interfered with their own ideas and desires. It was this obedience to the Constitution, the Rules, the Objects of the Society, which required Mr. Judge to raise the Constitutional questions involved in the attempted "trial" by the Judicial Committee, and which equally debarred him from proffering just charges against the President-Founder for the latter's flagrant breach of the Theosophical conventions, oral and legal. In the same way he was debarred from making charges against Mrs. Besant before the Society, while in the School itself, the "Book of Discipline" requires that two warnings shall be given before the suspension or expulsion of "the Disciple who shows himself whether willingly or inadvertently disloyal to the letter and spirit of any law."
The first of these warnings had been given to Mrs. Besant by Mr. Judge as the "representative of H.P.B.," and as Co-Head of the School in September, 1893 (at the time of her visit to the Parliament of Religions at Chicago), because of her relations with Chakravarti, whose "Occult" pupil she had become, and with whom she discussed her School relations, duties, and conduct, in addition to taking him as her Guru. The first of the "Occult consequences" which befell Mrs. Besant was her yielding to the cajoleries of the enemies of Mr. Judge and sponsoring and "prosecuting" the charges against him. Immediately following the close of the Judicial Com-
mittee meeting and the proceedings of the European Convention which was supposed to have terminated the "Judge case" so far as the Society was concerned, a meeting became necessary between Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge to adjust the status of the Esoteric School, and at this time Mrs. Besant received her second warning, as the "Book of Discipline" made imperative.
With regard to the School itself a joint circular letter, "strictly private and only for E.S.T. Members," was sent out to all members over the signatures of the two Heads. The London copy is dated July 18, and the American copy August 1, 1894. It contains the recital of the conditions prevailing in the School, the respective accredited positions of the two Heads at the reorganization of the School immediately following the death of H.P.B., and the agreement reached for the future conduct of the E.S.T. We quote so much as is necessary to make clear the summary just given:
"To the members of the E.S.T.:
"You all know that during the last few months the activity of the E.S.T. has been to a great extent suspended in consequence of events which are matters of public notoriety. The issue of these is now before the T.S., and each must form his own judgment upon them.... So far as the T.S. is concerned, it has passed through a grave crisis; but it goes forward unbroken in its great work in the world. The E.S.T. should do the same.
"In the E.S.T. time is needed for the full restoration to a state devoid of friction, as well as for the revival of as perfect mutual trust and confidence as human nature will permit. Without this full restoration and revival no two persons can act as a single channel for spiritual influences.
"But we have our fundamental unity and channel in the Masters and in their mouthpiece
- Our Teacher in this School - our recognized Head, H.P.B. .'. On this the School was founded and rests today. We will proceed under the arrangements made and left by her at the time of her passing away. She declared that William Q. Judge was the Antaskarana, or channel for the Americans, and made him under herself the sole authority in America by the following Documents."
Then follow the copies of the Document of December 14, 1888, and the Document of October 23, 1889, as originally contained in the circulars of May 27, 1891 and August, 1893. They are as follows:
"Esoteric T. S. Section
"As Head of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, I hereby declare that William Q. Judge of New York, U.S.A., in virtue of his character of a chela of thirteen years' standing and of the trust and confidence reposed in him, is my only representative for said Section in America, and he is the sole channel through whom will be sent and received all communications between the members of said Section and myself, and to him full faith, confidence, and credit in that regard are to be given. Done at London, this fourteenth day of December, 1888, and in the fourteenth year of the Theosophical Society.
(Seal) H.P. Blavatsky .'.
"London, October 23d, 1889.
"... The Esoteric Section and its life in the U.S.A. depend upon W.Q.J. remaining its agent and what he now is. The day W.Q.J. resigns, H.P.B. will be virtually dead for the Americans. W.Q.J. is the Antaskarana between the two Manas (es), the American thought and the
Indian, - or rather the trans-Himalayan esoteric knowledge. Dixi.
P.S. W.Q.J. had better show and impress this on the mind of all those it may concern."
The circular continues:
"She [H.P.B.] made the then Inner Group the Council, under herself, for the remaining part of the School, and shortly before her departure made Annie Besant its chief officer, as Chief Secretary of the I[nner] G[roup] and Recorder of the Teachings, by the following:
I hereby appoint in the name of the Master, Annie Besant Chief Secretary of the Inner Group of the Esoteric Section and Recorder of the Teachings.
"April 1, 1891. H.P.B. .'. "
The circular then goes on:
"Thus it was when she departed.
"Out of these two appointments was constituted (see Council Minutes, 1891) the Dual Headship in 1891 for the management of the School, an arrangement that has not on the whole at any time worked well in practice. At the present time the only way to preserve the E.S.T. unbroken and give time for the restoration of the mutual trust referred to and to smooth out friction is by returning to the above arrangements. We remain throughout the world the one School 'the throbbing heart of the T.S.' - founded by H.P.B., recognizing her as our Teacher and the Masters as our foundation, having in common her Headship, the Instructions she left, and the Rules of the School...."
It is to be noted (1) that the above written documents of H.P.B.'s were the ones upon which was effected the reorganization of the School after the death of H.P.B.; (2) that these same documents were referred to in the joint circular to the E.S. in August, 1893, at the time of the suspension of Messrs. Old and Edge; (3) that as just shown they are again reiterated as the basis of the agreement reached in London in July, 1894, following the "Judicial Committee" Enquiry. All these circulars were signed by Mrs. Besant, and for the most part written by her, including the one of July 18, from which we have been quoting. There are thus three solemn asseverations by her to all members of the School as to what were, on the authority of H.P.B., the respective positions and relations of herself and Mr. Judge - the last of these asseverations the most important of all, from the standpoint of the light they shed on Mrs. Besant's character, for it shows, like her Statement before the European Convention, a complete about face on the subject of the charges against Mr. Judge. It shows out of her own mouth as well, and for the third time, that the position accorded her by H.P.B. was in fact that of "Secretary and Recorder," not "Successor of H.P.B.," as she claimed less than a year later, and has since maintained, as we shall see.
How Mrs. Besant fulfilled her duties as Recorder of the Teachings is shown in many ways, but most glaringly by two standing witnesses: the "Third and Revised Edition" of the "Secret Doctrine," and the spurious "Third Volume" of the "Secret Doctrine" issued by her in 1897. Any reader can compare the Original Edition of the "Secret Doctrine" with the Third and Revised Edition, edited by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead. Despite the assurances contained in their Preface, the comparison will show more than forty thousand changes from the text of the Original Edition, ranging all the way from mere trivialities, through important alterations, to deliberate suppression of all those paragraphs of the Original Edition of two volumes which showed unmistakably what the genuine Third Volume (already, with the Fourth Volume,
completed by H.P.B. before her death) consisted of. The utter disappearance without a trace left behind, of the genuine Third and Fourth Volumes of the "Secret Doctrine" remains to this day an unrevealed mystery. And as to Mrs. Besant's spurious "Third Volume," her own Preface alone is ample to convince any careful student, able to sift statements, that it is nothing more than a hodgepodge of rejected manuscripts, "literary remains," private papers originally issued to the E.S.T. during the lifetime of H.P.B., and largely rejected manuscript of the first volume of the Original Edition. For it is, or should be, well known to every Theosophical student that, as repeatedly announced in the earlier volumes of The Theosophist, H.P.B.'s original intention was that the "Secret Doctrine," should be a revised edition of "Isis Unveiled," and in pursuance of that intention she wrote one entire volume, prior to 1886, when returning confidence and trust in her by the mass of members of the T.S. enabled her to enlarge her plan and write an entirely new work. A copy of that early first volume was sent by H.P.B. to Subba Row for criticism and comment. Followed his breach with H.P.B. as already narrated. He refused to do anything with it. It is matter from that rejected manuscript which is incorporated in Mrs. Besant's "Third Volume." And - notable phenomenon - the fact is admitted by Mrs. Besant herself in The Theosophist for March, 1922 - twenty-five years after the event. Why did she concoct this spurious "Third Volume" in the first instance? And why did she in 1922 let slip the truth which in 1897 she not only suppressed, but replaced by an untruth? The answer to the first query can be seen by reading her article "East and West" in Lucifer for May, 1895, written during the throes of the recrudescent "Judge case." She there states in discussing the celebrated "Prayag Letter" or "Message to Some Brahmins," to the consideration of which we shall soon come, (2) that the message, which Mr.
(2) See Chapter XXXIII.
Judge had declared to be genuine, is in her opinion spurious. She says, of ter giving her reasons:
"These facts seemed to me to necessitate the rejection of the letter as being in flagrant contradiction with H.P.B.'s teachings, and it is certainly no more supported by the third volume of the 'Secret Doctrine,' which was placed in my hands by H.P.B., than by the other two. Why so wild an assertion, which will be proved false by the forthcoming publication of the third volume, should be made, I do not know."
Neither the "facts" (reasons) alleged by Mrs. Besant for rejecting the "Message to Some Brahmins," nor its "contradiction with the teachings of H.P.B.," are remotely suggested, even by inference, by anything contained in Mrs. Besant's "Third Volume" nor is the "wild assertion" of Mr. Judge that the message is true in substance in any way impugned by any of the writings of H.P.B., the matter of the "Third Volume" included - as any one can verify for himself by reference to the contents of the "Third Volume" itself. But Mrs. Besant's article "East and West," and her following article, "The Prayag Letter," (3) a were written in self-defense and self-extenuation. "East and West" contains, inter alia, another astounding illustration of Mrs. Besant's lack of trustworthiness, for she says:
"Instead of denouncing 'faith in the gods' as a superstition, [the substance of the "Prayag Message") H.P.B. professed it...."
We ask any student of Theosophy to consider whether misrepresentation could reach to greater audacity than is shown in this single sentence?
In Mrs. Besant's "Third Volume" are incorporated the private papers originally issued by H.P.B. to the E.S., and in reprinting these Mrs. Besant not only falsely
(3) See Lucifer, for July 15, 1895, Volume 16, pp. 375-9, for "The Prayag Letter," and pp. 185-94, May, 1895, for "East and West."
declared them to be a part of the "third volume of the Secret Doctrine which was placed in my hands by H.P.B.," not only broke the seventh clause of her solemn pledge as a member of the Esoteric School, but corrupted them by more than twelve hundred alterations, perversions, suppressions, and substitutions of text.
Why did she let the truth escape her lips twenty-five years later, unless it be that she had forgotten her original statements in a fresh exigency in her career? Her remarks in The Theosophist for March, 1922, bear no other rational construction when read in connection with those in the April number immediately following. She did the same thing in regard to this very "Prayag Message," as we shall see very soon. It will have long since been noted by the careful reader of this History, that the unavoidable impeachments of Col. Olcott's, Mr. Sinnett's, and Mrs. Besant's testimony on controversial questions of teaching and of fact, have been in every case out of their own mouths and those of their own witnesses. An exhaustive study and comparison of their own writings and actions has forced us, as we believe it will force any student, to the conviction that their evidence is utterly untrustworthy on any subject in which their self-interest was aroused. Not even Eusebius and Constantine in their successful efforts to bend the teachings and the influence of Christianity to their personal, theological and political purposes showed such ethical blindness coupled with intellectual ability to mislead those who trusted them.
Returning to the circular of date at London July 18, and New York August 1, signed by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge as Co-Heads of the E.S.T.: it possesses great interest and value, not merely to the historian but to all students of Theosophy seeking to unravel the baffling mysteries of the present and the past. First, this circular confirms and reaffirms the accuracy of the original Minutes of May 27, 1891, the reorganization of the School then effected, the status of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge and the basis and evidence on which that status was established. Second, this confirmation and reaffirmation
was made after the "Enquiry into the charges against W.Q. Judge" by the Judicial Committee; after Mrs. Besant had read her Statement to the European Convention, and after it had, at her request, acted as a "Jury" to "dispose of the whole matter," and had so disposed of it. Certainly if the Statement of Mrs. Besant and this Circular signed by her are to be construed as the sincere testimony and good faith declarations of an honest witness under conditions the most solemn possible, then they give the lie, direct and irrefutable, to her subsequent asseverations on the same subject matters during the heat and fury of her second onset on the name and fame of Mr. Judge. On the other hand, if her subsequent affirmations are to be taken as true, they show Mrs. Besant in the role of a bearer of false witness in July, 1894. Either point of view shows Mrs. Besant to have been deaf, dumb, and blind to all moral sense, for her two sets of statements covering the same matters at issue are beyond any possibility of reconciliation. The second attack on Mr. Judge must now be traced.
--- 574Chapter XXXII
"Westminster Gazette" Attacks the SocietyMr. Judge left London July 18, 1894, to return to New York; Col. Olcott, after a brief tour of England, Scotland and Ireland, departed for India. Mr. Bertram Keightley also returned to India to resume his duties as General Secretary of the Indian Section, and to be near Chakravarti, whose pupil he had become - and has since remained to this date. Mrs. Besant at once set sail for Australia to form Branches and establish an Australasian Section of the T.S. under the carte blanche authority given her by the President-Founder in his "Executive Notice" of April preceding, the text of which was given in a former chapter. (1) She also bore with her from the European Section Convention just held, its authority for her to represent the European Section as its delegate to the "Adyar Parliament" to be held in December following.
Mr. Walter R. Old remained in England, while his associate in the article "Theosophic Free Thought," Mr. Sydney V. Edge, continued to serve as Sub-Editor of The Theosophist. Mr. Old had judiciously retired from London to a near-by town during the "Enquiry," but kept in close touch with the progress of events at the hearing before the Judicial Committee and the subsequent session of the European Convention devoted to the "Judge case." Displeased by Mrs. Besant's too close coupling of his name and Mr. Edge's with her statement before the Convention that "for some years past persons inspired largely by hatred for Mr. Judge, and persons inspired by hatred for the Theosophical Society and for all that it represents, have circulated a mass of
(1) See Chapter XXIX
accusations against him," Mr. Old, who knew that Col. Olcott, Chakravarti, Countess Wachtmeister, and Mrs. Besant were equally in the mire with himself, was not only aggrieved, but in a quandary as well. To break with these intimate friends and associates by exposing the whole truth was to bring ruin to them and himself instead of to Mr. Judge. To remain silent was to assume the whole burden of the joint iniquity himself. He therefore took the matter up with Col. Olcott. The result was a formal letter addressed by him to Col. Olcott as "President-Founder." This was published by Mrs. Besant in the August, 1894, Lucifer, the same number which contained the "Truth and Occultism" circular and the text of the "Neutrality" report on the "Judge case." Mrs. Besant published Mr. Old's letter with this prefatory statement in brackets:
"Colonel Olcott asks us to publish the following. We do so, omitting a passage to which we cannot give publicity."
The text of Mr. Old's letter will be found in Lucifer, Vol. 14, pp. 463-4. We give a few of its unconsciously telltale sentences. He says to Col. Olcott (italics preceding and following being ours):
"As you were associated with me in your capacity of Editor of The Theosophist at the time of the publication of the joint article by Mr. Edge and myself, you will be able to speak from personal knowledge as to our attitude in this connection.... Annie Besant would, I think, admit that the text of her statement is open to misinterpretation in this particular instance. The association of the two paragraphs referred to would certainly lead to a conclusion which, I think, she would be the last to desire."
There the matter rested until October following, all the recent protagonists and their followers of every degree being apparently busy in renewed Theosophi-
cal activities and in healing the sores caused by the late "Judge case." Under cover of these activities, however, the campaign against Mr. Judge was kept up by word of mouth and through private correspondence, by Mrs. Besant, by Col. Olcott, by Countess Wachtmeister, and by Mr. Sinnett, as shown by subsequent events and admissions of the several parties.
In October, 1894, the London Westminster Gazette began the publication of a series of articles by Edmund Garrett, entitled "Isis Very Much Unveiled; the Story of the Great Mahatma Hoax." This series, the editorial articles which accompanied it and the printed correspondence, ran on for two months without cessation. All former Theosophical storms rolled into one were but as a barometric fall to the monsoon which it presages, in comparison with the havoc wrought in the Theosophical Society's ranks by this publication. It was immediately gotten out in book form by the Westminster Gazette, and the book had a tremendous circulation. Some one paid for sending copies to all Lodges of the Theosophical Society.
Mr. Garrett was an exceedingly clever and brilliant writer. No "trial by newspaper" ever had an abler advocate for the plaintiff. Moreover, Mr. Garrett was plainly honest. He concealed neither the sources of his information, his own detestation of Theosophy and its Society, nor that his object was to destroy what he detested.
Mr. Garrett was a personal friend of Mr. Walter R. Old, and it was Mr. Old who inspired him to write his series of articles and who supplied most of the documentary matter employed by Mr. Garrett with rare skill in making his case. Mr. Old was the only one of the numerous dramatis personae whom Mr. Garrett's seriocomedy treated with respect. All the others were targets for his keen wit, Mrs. Besant most of all. Colonel Olcott was mercilessly lampooned, H.P.B. and Mr. Judge held forth as a couple of able tricksters and charlatans who had made dupes and fools of Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott,
and the rest, with bogus phenomena and bogus messages from equally bogus Mahatmas.
It was clearly evident from the documents used by Mr. Garrett that Mr. Old had been aided by both Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant, for some of the papers cited could not have been otherwise obtained. This is practically admitted by Mr. Old in a letter to Lucifer, which will be found in its issue for December 15, 1894, Volume 15, pp.337-8 - and this despite his denial of the fact in the same letter. We quote, italics ours:
"The published facts are just those which came into the evidence of Col. Olcott and Bertram Keightley, and upon which the charges were based and action taken; and they are, moreover, part of a body of evidence, which, from the outset, it was decided to publish. I take the whole Karma of my own action, and I affirm that it is wholly independent of connivance or instigation on the part of anyone."
At the same time Mr. Old addressed a letter to the Westminster Gazette, which was published, and which was also included in the matter of Mr. Garrett's book. We quote so much as is necessary to establish or confirm the links already given, italicized portions being, as before, our own emphasis of Mr. Old's words:
"The writer of those articles has named me, quite correctly, as having taken the first step in forcing an inquiry into the case against Mr. Judge. For this act of mine, I was suspended from my membership in the Esoteric Section, under the authority of the joint signatures of William Q. Judge and Annie Besant, Outer Heads of the E.S.T., and my name was dishonourably mentioned before the members of the E.S. among whom I numbered many an old friend and colleague... After her official action in suspending me from membership Mrs.
Besant was, of course, bound to hear my justification. This happened at Adyar in the winter of 1893. Mrs. Besant's first remark to me after reading the case and examining the documents was, 'You were perfectly justified by the facts before you.'
"In the presence of the president-founder Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Countess Wachtmeister, Mr. E.T. Sturdy, together with Mr. Edge and myself, it was decided that the task of officially bringing the charges should devolve upon Mrs. Besant, and that the whole of the evidence should be published... "
Mr. Old goes on to tell of Mrs. Besant's formal demand to Col. Olcott for the investigation, Col. Olcott's official letters to Mr. Judge, and the Judicial Committee meeting, "with the abortive and disingenuous result already known." He then continues:
"But what of the 'full publication of all the details?' What of us Theosophists who had brought these charges against Mr. Judge? Were we not left in the position of persons who had brought charges without proving them? The position was one I felt to be intolerable."
It never occurred to Mr. Old, any more than to Mrs. Besant and the others, that there was anything "intolerable" in spreading privately and publicly calumnies dignified as "charges" and "evidences," even in the ordinary human sense of decency, let alone as Fellows in a Society whose First Object was brotherhood, and as members of an Esoteric School pledged "never to listen without protest to any evil thing said of a Brother Theosophist and to abstain from condemning others." But when publicity played the spotlight upon the authors of the "mass of accusations," then, indeed, the position became "intolerable" - first to Mr. Old, and then to Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott.
After arguing that it was his "duty" to supply ammunition to Mr. Garrett, whom he calls a "Philistine," in order that "a system of truth" should not be "raised from a fabric of fraud," Mr. Old says:
"It will, therefore, be clear to all members of the T.S. and the public generally that I am responsible for the facts occurring in Mr. Garrett's articles only so far as they apply to the charges against Mr. Judge.... I do not lose sight of the fact that, however mistaken or misled many of the Theosophical Society may be, as regards the traditional 'Mahatmas' and their supposed 'communications,' they are nevertheless as sincere in their beliefs as many of their more orthodox fellows, and have as much right to respectful consideration. I particularly regret that Mrs. Besant should have been placed in this awkward public position by the present exposure.
"Of Madame Blavatsky I speak as I knew her. At the time I made her acquaintance she had forsworn all 'phenomenalism,' so that I never saw any occult phenomena at any time. I believe that for her [these italics are Mr. Old's] the Mahatmas existed, and I believe she thought them to be embodied personalities. Colonel Olcott has another theory, and others have their own.... Finally I have been through the Theosophical Society with my eyes open, and for more than five years have been, officially and unofficially, as fully 'in the Theosophical Society' as one can well be; and while I am certain that many are fully convinced of the truth of their own beliefs in these matters, I am also fully assured that a large number are in the position of persons self-deceived, who have unfortunately committed themselves too far to review their position without almost disastrous consequences to themselves and others."
Applying this last italicized clause of Mr. Old's, the question arises, Was it H.P.B. and Mr. Judge who had thus committed themselves, or Mr. Old and his associates in the campaign against Mr. Judge, which speedily became of necessity a campaign against H.P.B.? The further question arises, What was Mr. Old doing in the Theosophical Society and particularly in its Esoteric School, for five years, with the views, expressed and implied, just given? Or did these views arise in him after being suspended from the E.S. for violation of his pledge and the Rules? Mr. Old follows with this statement:
"I have the fullest conviction... that no such thing as evidence of the existence (in an ordinary sense) of the Mahatmas, or of their connexion with the T.S. as a body or with its members individually, is obtainable by a person pursuing ordinary methods of investigation."
The fact itself is a truism to any man of the most casual information and common sense, and was repeatedly affirmed by H.P.B. and Mr. Judge; but if Mr. Old himself had this conviction, how could he know that H.P.B. or Mr. Judge, or anyone else, was, or was not, in communication with these Mahatmas, and what becomes of his "mass of accusations"?
We think the inference is irresistible that Mr. Old, Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, and the rest, suffering the stings of wounded pride and vanity, pricked at being "hoist with their own petard" by the outcome of the "Judge case," and convinced by his conduct during the preceding months that he would make no counter-attacks upon them, whatever they might do, proceeded, the one publicly, the others at first privately, to defend and extenuate themselves in the reaction that followed the London Enquiry, by intimating that they "could an' they would" produce evidence that would damn, and doubly damn, Mr. Judge. It seems never to have occurred to any of them that ex parte accusations, private
or public, or "trial by the newspapers" was in any way disreputable, or that an accused person, even one "guilty" of suspected "messages from the Masters," was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and freedom from the circulation of "accusations" by all honorable persons, until proven guilty. Nowhere, in any of the immense mass of printed matter poured out by his defamers, is there one solitary hint that any of his accusers ever took the straightforward course of going direct to Mr. Judge with their alleged "evidences" and asking him to explain and rebut what seemed to them questionable.
What did Mr. Judge do? He did what he had to do - nothing in so far as the Theosophical Society was concerned; in the Esoteric School, that which the "Book of Discipline" made obligatory upon him, and which, according to his own declaration, was also directly "By Master's Order." In the circular letter with that heading, issued by him to all members of the Esoteric School under date of November 3, 1894, he deposed Mrs. Besant from her Co-Headship in the School.
In this circular Mr. Judge says that he has "put off writing it since March, 1894," although "it then seemed to me as necessary as it is now," but that he was "directed to wait for the conclusion of the matter of the charges made against" him. He says he has since seen the wisdom of the directions to "wait," because had he written it while the "charges" were still undisposed of the Theosophical Society would have been "mixed up" with the troubles in the Esoteric Section which had no official relation to the Society. "We have now," he proceeds, "to deal with the E.S.T. and with our duty to it and to each other; and among those others, to Mrs. Besant."
He then briefly rehearses the story of the foundation of the E.S.T., its history, the Inner Group, the reorganization of the School following the death of H.P.B. - all of which has already been told in detail in the course of this History. He makes public to the members the fact that the actual formation of the School originated
with himself, in a letter to H.P.B. in May, 1887, a year and a half before the public announcement, and that the foundation followed the lines suggested by him. He also advised the members that he himself had never taken the School or Inner Group pledges, having made his own vows in 1874 direct to the Masters - all of which is borne out by recorded public and private statements by H.P.B. He then speaks of Mrs. Besant as follows:
"Mrs. Annie Besant has been but five years in this work, and not all of that time engaged in occult study and practice. Her abilities as a writer and speaker are rare and high for either man or woman, her devotion and sincerity of purpose cannot be doubted. She gave many years of her life to the cause of the oppressed as she understood it: against the dread blight of materialistic belief in herself, she worked thus without hope in a future life and in every way proved her altruistic purpose and aim. Since 1889 she has done great service to the T.S. and devoted herself to it. But all this does not prevent a sincere person from making errors in Occultism, especially when he, as Mrs. Besant did, tries to force himself along the path of practical work in that field. Sincerity does not of itself confer knowledge, much less wisdom. H.P.B. .'. and all the history of occultism says that seven years of training and trial at the very least are needed. Mrs. Besant has had but five. Mistakes made by such a disciple will ultimately be turned to the advantage of the movement, and their immediate results will be mitigated to the person making them, provided they are not inspired by an evil intention on the person's part. And I wish it to be clearly understood that Mrs. Besant has had herself no conscious evil intention; she has simply gone for awhile outside the line of her Guru H.P.B. .'., begun work with others, and fallen under their influence. We
should not push her farther down, but neither will the true sympathy we have blind our eyes so as to let her go on, to the detriment of the whole movement."
Mr. Judge discusses in extenso the recent charges and troubles in the Society and the School, from the standpoint of the Second Section, treating their real origin, their strategy and tactics, as having their source in the everlasting struggle of human evolution - the contending forces of the Light and Dark sides of Nature and Being. He concludes this part of his narrative by saying that the difficulty focalized anew "when in January or February  Annie Besant finally lent herself unconsciously to the plot which I detail herein; but prior to that (from August, 1893), those managing that plot had begun to work upon her." He places the root of the plot in India and says that the opposing forces to the Theosophical Movement, -
"... have succeeded in influencing certain Brahmins in India through race-pride and ambition, so that these, for their own advantage, desire to control and manage the T.S. through some agent and also through the E.S.T. They of course have sought, if possible, to use one of our body, and have picked out Mrs. Besant as a possible vehicle. One object of the plot is to stop the current of information and influence started by H.P.B. .'. by deflecting thought back to modern India. To accomplish this it is absolutely necessary to tear down the tradition clustering around the work of H.P.B. .'.; her powers and knowledge have to be derogated from; her right to speak for the Masters has to be impugned; those Masters have to be made a cold abstraction; her staunch friends who wish to see the real work and objects carried on have to be put in such a position as to be tied hand and foot so as not to be able to interfere with the plans
of the plotters; it has to be shown that H.P.B. .'. was a fraud and a forger also. These men are not the Chelas of our Masters.
"The name of the person who was worked upon so as to, if possible, use him as a minor agent ... for the influencing of Mrs. Besant is Gyanendra N. Chakravarti, a Brahmin of Allahabad, India, who came to America on our invitation to the Religious Parliament in 1893. At the first sincerely desirous of helping the race by bringing to the American people the old truths of his forefathers, he nevertheless, like so many before him, permitted ambition to take subtle root in his heart. Fired with the ambition of taking position in the world as a Guru, though doubtless believing himself still a follower of the White Brotherhood, he is no longer in our lines; on the contrary his mediumship and weakness leave him a vehicle for other influences also."
Mr. Judge then goes on to tell of a message in regard to himself received by Chakravarti, in which the Master commended Mr. Judge and his work, and says: "I informed Mrs. Besant in September, 1893, of the message." This message was the one referred to by Mr. Judge in his statement before the European Convention in July, 1894, as being undisputed by Mrs. Besant. The circular continues:
"But afterwards, when Mr. Chakravarti's work under me was finished, and when ambition aroused through that visit, had grown strong, he tried to destroy the effect of that message on Mrs. Besant's mind by cunningly construing it to mean that, although I was thus in all things commended, the last part of it contradicted the first and supported the charge of forgery and lying. This is madness when not deliberate... She accepted the cunning construction, permitted herself to think that the Master could commend me for all the work I had
done, of which the pretended acts of forgery would be a part, and at the same time send me a delusive message, part of which was to be immediately used as condemnation if brought for ward by me. If I was guilty of what I was accused, then Master would be shown as conniving at forgery and lying - a most impossible thing. The only other possibility is that Mr. Chakravarti and I 'got up' the message. But he and Mrs. Besant have admitted its genuineness, although she is perfectly unable herself to decide on its genuineness or falsity. But further, Mrs. Besant admitted to several that she had seen the Master himself come and speak through my body while I was perfectly conscious. And still further, H.P.B. .'. gave me in 1889 the Master's picture, on which he put this message: 'To my dear and loyal colleague, W.Q. Judge.'
"Now, then, either I am bringing you a true message from the Master, or the whole T.S. and E.S.T. is a lie, in the ruins of which must be buried the names of H.P.B. .'. and the Masters. All these stand together or they fall together. Let it be proved that H.P.B. .'. is a liar and a fraud, and I will abandon the T.S. and all its belongings; but until so proved I will remain where I was put. Lastly, as final proof of the delusions worked through this man and his friends I will mention this: Many years ago (in 1881) the Masters sent to the Allahabad Brahmins (the Prayag T.S.) a letter which was delivered by H.P.B. .'. to Mr. A.P. Sinnett, who handed a copy over to them, keeping the original. It dealt very plainly with the Brahmans. This letter the Brahmans do not like, and Mr. Chakravarti tried to make me think it was a pious fraud by H.P.B. .'. . He succeeded with Mrs. Besant in this, so that since she met him she has on various occasions said she thought it was a fraud by H.P.B. .'. , made up entirely, and not
from the Master.... Only delusion would make Mrs. Besant take this position; deliberate intention makes the others do it. It is an issue that may not be evaded, for if that letter be a fraud then all the rest sent through our old teacher,... are the same. I shall rest on that issue; we all rest on it.
"Mrs. Besant was then made to agree with these people under the delusion that it was approved by the Masters. She regarded herself as their servant. It was against the E.S.T. rules. When the rule is broken it is one's duty to leave the E.S.T.... Mrs. Besant was put in such a frightful position that while she was writing me most kindly and working with me she was all the time thinking that I was a forger and that I had blasphemed the Master. She was made to conceal from me, when here, her thoughts about the intended charges.... Not until the time was ripe did she tell me, in her letter in January  from India, asking me to resign from the E.S.T. and the T.S. offices, saying that if I did and would confess guilt all would be forgiven and everyone would work with me as usual.... She was induced to believe that the Master was endorsing the persecution, that he was ordering her to do what she did....
"In all this Chakravarti was her guide, with others... (2)
"We are all therefore face to face with the question whether we will abide by Masters and their Messenger on the one hand, or by the disrupting forces that stand on the other, willing to destroy our great mission if we will but give them the opportunity."
It seems to us that in all the foregoing Mr. Judge was endeavoring to do by the E.S.T. what, in his circular
(2) During this same period - 1893-5 - Mrs. Besant had joined Mr. Sinnett's coterie and was also receiving "messages" through Mr. Leadbeater, at the time Mr. Sinnett's "Psychic."
of March 15, 1894, he endeavored to do by the members of the T.S.: To strip the difficulties to their abstract root and show the real issues at stake. Two views prevailed in the Society at large and in the E.S.T. with regard to Theosophy, to Masters, and to their Messenger. The view held out by H.P.B. and consistently maintained by her and by Mr. Judge was that Theosophy is a body of Knowledge, "ancient, constant and eternal," as the "Bhagavad-Gita" has it, not subject to change, not an "evolving system of thought"; Masters the Custodians of that Knowledge, and H.P.B. their direct Agent in the world, the Society, and the E.S.T. On this basis and the simple proposition of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, Theosophy, H.P.B. and Masters, together with all those who accept that view, stand or fall together. This is the view argued at length by H.P.B. in the extract given in the last chapter, culminating in the proposition that if a single one of her "messages" were found false, if Masters were found winking at a single fraud perpetrated by her in their name, she and they hey were capable of unlimited repetitions of the same fraud. Her formal documents in regard to Mr. Judge - in the Coues case, in the Second Preliminary Memorandum, in that of December 14, 1888, of October 23, 1889, in her Notice of August 9, 1890, in her first and last Letters to the Conventions of the American Section for 1888 and 1891 - not to speak of numerous private letters to "doubting Thomases" and loyal students, all establish one and the same fact: that she held out Mr. Judge to the students in the same light that the Masters held her out, her authorized Agent and "direct representative," as she was that of the Masters. And that this was originally the view of Mrs. Besant, both in respect to H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, has been abundantly shown; the first by her article in Lucifer for December, 1890, "H.P.B. and the Theosophical Society" and her article in Lucifer for October, 1891, "Theosophy and Christianity"; the second in her signature to the Minutes of the E.S. Meeting of May 27, 1891, and, after the "Judge case," by her signature to the circular of July
18, and August 1, 1894, not to speak of her repeated statements publicly in Lucifer.
Those who espoused the opposing view believed in Masters, in many shades of belief and understanding; in the Theosophical Society as the vehicle of Their work; in H.P.B. as a human instrument of Their teaching, medium, psychic, chela of some degree or another, sometimes speaking on Their account and sometimes on her own, her writings therefore to be dissected and divided by each according to his judgment, as hers or her Masters; therefore in her Theosophy as being no different or other than their own her understanding and interpretation to be accepted or rejected, improved and extended, as each might esteem himself capable and persuade others to the like opinion. They saw no incongruity in consulting other mediums, or in developing mediumship and psychism in themselves along any lines that seemed profitable; in according the messages thus received the same treatment of acceptance or rejection, in whole or in part, as they accorded to H.P.B. and to each other. Thus Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Bertram Keightley, Mabel Collins, Mr. Walter R. Old, and many others, and finally Mrs. Besant, accepted some of the messages and writings of H.P.B. as genuine, others as fraudulent; the same with the messages of Mr. Judge; ultimately the same with each other; for in 1907 Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Mead, Mr. Bertram Keightley, and others who were her firm allies in 1894-5, broke with Mrs. Besant over the famous "Adyar manifestations" at the period of the death of Col. Olcott. Mr. Sinnett who regarded highly the "clairvoyance" of Mr. Leadbeater in 1895, ceased to have any respect for Mr. Leadbeater's "occult" powers when the latter took a tangent of "revelations" which opposed and obscured Mr. Sinnett's own coruscations. Colonel Olcott, who took Mrs. Besant to be the promised substitute for H.P.B., came to disbelieve in her spiritual powers, almost to disbelieve in her ordinary integrity, as was well known to many in the years before his death. Mr. Leadbeater, whom Col. Olcott thought to be the most brilliant star in the Occult
hierarchy, broke the Colonel's heart by his frank admission before the London Committee of 1906 of teaching nameless practices to young boys as a cure for "evil thought-forms." Mrs. Besant, who from 1893 till 1906, was a firm believer in the powers of Chakravarti and his connection with the Masters, and to whom she looked for the "messages" that should guide her conduct, came at last to believe that Chakravarti was under "dark influences," and substituted Mr. Leadbeater as her "occult" mentor. (3) All these persons, joined together under a common influence, were determined in 1894-5 to "purify the Society" by the destruction of the reputation and influence of Mr. Judge. But in their subsequent careers they took tangential paths. Of all the coterie of 1894-5, only one, Mr. Bertram Keightley, still follows the faded Theosophical star of Chakravarti. In private, and to various persons, both Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant repeatedly admitted that they had wronged Mr. Judge, that their course in 1894-5 was a mistaken course, but - such are the karmic consequences of infidelity to the pledges of Occultism - they were never able to regain the stamina and sense of honor to publicly admit their folly, and thus undo as best they could the evil they had unconsciously made themselves the tools and instruments of. For the one, there must be much of extenuation as well as charity; for the other - there can be only charity. But it is owing today, as it was in 1893-5, that the truth should be made known without fear or favor, as without malice, that those whose only demerit is ignorance and whose only fault reliance upon authority, may choose their path in knowledge of the opposing issues and the parts played by the respective proponents of the two mutually irreconcilable views of the Theosophical Movement, which includes all, the false as the true, the foolish as the wise, in its mighty stream.
(3) See the various articles in The Theosophist, March-September, 1907, immediately following the death of Col. Olcott. The unnamed competitor of Mrs. Besant for Col. Olcott's nomination for President after his death was Bertram Keightley, Chakravarti's staunch supporter.
Mr. Judge closed his circular of November 3, 1894, with the following:
"I now proceed a step further than the E.S.T. decisions of 1894,(4) and solely for the good of the E.S.T., I resume in the E.S.T. in full all the functions and powers given to me by H.P.B. .'. and that came to me by orderly succession after her passing from this life, and declare myself the sole head of the E.S.T.... Hence, under the authority given me by the Master and H.P.B. .'. , and under the Master's direction, I declare Mrs. Annie Besant's headship in the E.S.T. at an end."
A notice of this E.S.T. Order was at once cabled to Mrs. Besant in Australia, where she then was; and a copy of the entire circular was forwarded to her at Colombo, Ceylon, where she arrived on December 18, 1894, en route to attend the Adyar Convention scheduled for the holidays as usual. Immediately Mrs. Besant drew up a counter-circular which, dated Colombo, December 19, was as quickly as possible sent out under a London imprint, to all members of the E.S.T. After a preliminary paragraph devoted to explanations of her delay in sending out her statement, she makes the following comments:
"I do not know if the statements as to Mr. Judge's part in the foundation of the E.S.T. are or are not true. H.P.B. never mentioned to me the alleged facts, except the one that Mr. Judge had not taken the ordinary pledge, he being already pledged."
This statement can scarcely be taken as other than a convenient hiatus of memory on Mrs. Besant's part,
(4) This was a typographical error in the original circular. The date should be 1891, as the reference is to the Avenue Road meeting on May 27 of that year, following the death of H.P.B.
seeing that it was herself who read at the Council Meeting of May 27, 1891, the bundle of documents establishing the veracity of Mr. Judge's statements. Mrs. Besant goes on to discuss her own status at the time of the departure of H.P.B., the status of the Inner Group, and Mr. Judge's participation in the meeting of May 27, 1891. Thus:
"... H.P.B. did, when I left her [to go to America to attend the Convention at the end of April, 1891], give me a sealed statement, constituting me Chief Secretary of the I.G. and Recorder of the teachings. She also wrote to Mr. Judge stating that I was her 'Successor,' when she had to leave us, and Mr. Judge read that extract to our little group at Avenue Road when he came over after her death, as constituting - with her statements to himself - the basis for the future arrangements... Ere leaving for America I asked her if I might discuss the I.G. Instructions with Mr. Judge; she answered: No, not unless he took the pledge. When he came to London after her death I told him this, and the first of the spurious 'messages' was the assent to his question if he might enter the I.G. without taking the pledge. It seemed to all of us natural and right that he should come in, and we joyfully welcomed him."
If the reader will turn to the extracts, given in Chapter XIX of this History, from the Official Minutes of the Avenue Road meeting of May 27, 1891, to which Mrs. Besant refers above, he will find that it was not a meeting of the Inner Group, but of the Advisory Council, English and American, although the members of the Inner Group were all members of that Council. The opening words of those Minutes recited:
"A full meeting of the Council, as appointed by H.P.B., was held at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Europe, 19, Avenue
Road, London, England, on May 27, 1891. The American Councillors were represented by Bro. William Q. Judge, with full power, and Bro. Judge attended as the representative of H.P.B. under a general power given as below."
The "general power" mentioned was the document of December 14, 1888, which is reproduced in full in the Minutes.
Further, referring both to the various documents mentioned as well as to H.P.B.'s letter to Mr. Judge about Mrs. Besant, of which she speaks, as "stating that I [Mrs. Besant] was her 'Successor,'" the Minutes say "which we now here have read," - not, as Mrs. Besant puts it, "Mr. Judge read that extract to our little group at Avenue Road." It was after every Councillor had read those documents and that letter that the Minutes were drawn up, giving to Mr. Judge, not Mrs. Besant, the status of "the representative of H.P.B." The status accorded Mrs. Besant, on the documents and letter, was Chief Secretary and Recorder of the teachings of H.P.B. to the Inner Group. Those Minutes were signed by every Councillor without exception, Mrs. Besant included.
This circular of Mrs. Besant's, written after Mr. Judge's action in terminating her Co-Headship of the E.S.T., is the origin of her claim to be the "Successor" appointed by H.P.B. She had either to accept the action of Mr. Judge or reject it; she chose the latter course and the Successor claim was her foundation. If the letter of H.P.B. to Judge, dated March 27, 1891, meant what Mrs. Besant claimed it meant, it stands to reason that she would have broadcasted the text of that letter, of which she had a copy. She never did so, and the presumption must stand heavily against her on that account alone, quite apart from H.P.B.'s known position on the subject of "apostolic succession" and the position taken by herself at the time of the Foulkes' claim to be H.P.B. 's Successor. Moreover, as often happens in cases of concerted action on an insecure basis,
one of the "partners" in the "case against W.Q. Judge" went too far for safety in her zeal. Early in 1895 Countess Wachtmeister put out a pamphlet in support of Mrs. Besant, entitled "H.P.B. and the Present Crisis in the Theosophical Society." On p. 4 of that pamphlet she gives - correctly - the particular extract from H.P.B.'s letter to Mr. Judge covering the "Successor" myth, as follows:
"Judge, she is a most wonderful woman, my right hand, my successor, when I will be forced to leave you, my sole hope in England, as you are my sole hope in America."
With all of this, every one familiar with Mrs. Besant's career and the situation in the Theosophical world in 1891, must entirely agree, as did Judge. Did H.P.B. mean Successor in the sense which Mrs. Besant claimed and claims - apostolic succession?
It so happens that H.P.B. refers to the same subject, to the same conditions, and uses the very same terms, in closing section of "The Key to Theosophy" - to mention a specific instance - and she there says regarding "the future of the Theosophical Society," in reply to a postulated question:
"I spoke rather of the great need which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiassed and clear judgment."
It will be noted that both in Countess Wachtmeister's textual copy from the letter, and in the above quotation from the "Key," H.P.B. spelled the word with a small letter, not with a capital "S" as Mrs. Besant puts it in her circular - a telltale change indeed.
We have gone thus fully into Mrs. Besant's claim of being the "Successor" of H.P.B., because her Theosophical prestige before the world, now as then, rests esoterically on the fact of her being the "most wonderful woman" that H.P.B. called her, and esoterically on her claim to be the Successor of the Messenger of the nine-
teenth century. To any student of the teachings of H.P.B., the mere fact that any one should claim to be her "Successor" is evidence merely of the delusion, the ignorance, or the guile of the one making such a claim.
Mrs. Besant, in the paragraph last quoted from her circular of December 19, 1894, presents another of those curious idiosyncrasies of character and inconsistencies of conduct with which her career abounds. She says "Ere leaving for America I asked her (H.P.B.) if I might discuss the I.G. Instructions with Mr. Judge; she answered: 'No, not unless he took the I.G. pledge.'" Yet in literally the next breath she says: "When he came to London after her death I told him this, and the first of the spurious 'messages' was the assent to his question if he might enter the I.G. without taking the pledge. It seemed to all of us natural and right that he should come in, and we joyfully welcomed him." Now, if she had instructions from H.P.B. not to admit Mr. Judge without his taking the pledge, what kind of a Successor was she to admit him pledge-free? Or, if she was a genuine Successor how came it that she violated her "Instructions" and admitted him on the strength of a spurious "message"? What is the "Occult" nature of that Successor who by her own confession is unable to tell a "spurious" from a genuine message from the Masters? Or violates the Instructions received?
Mrs. Besant's circular goes on to say:
"The 'plot,' so far as I know, is the purest delusion. What is said of Mr. Chakravarti I know to be false, and I can but feel the profoundest pity and sorrow for him who uses the holy name of the Master to cover such a charge."
We have inserted italics above, because we do not doubt that Mrs. Besant spoke truly in saying "so far as I know." And although she claimed to "know" that what was said of Chakravarti was "false," she has many times, since 1906, said the same thing of Chakravarti herself that Judge wrote in 1894. Was Mrs. Besant
right then and wrong since 1906, or vice versa, on the nature of the "influences" exerted through Mr. Chakravarti?
Mrs. Besant states, with reference to Mr. Judge's "E.S.T. Order":
"The 'E.S.T. Order'... I reject. I shall pursue my work quietly, with such of the Council left by H.P.B. as think it right to work with me. Mr. Judge thinks it right to rend the School in twain, and I can only go on steadily as I have learned. We have come to the parting of the ways. I recognize no authority in Mr. Judge. Not from his hands did I receive my work; not into his hands may I surrender it.
"And now, brothers and sisters, you must choose your road, grievous as the choice must be to you. Mr. Judge casts me aside, breaks the last tie between us that remained."
It seems not even remotely to have suggested itself to Mrs. Besant that it was her own actions, not those of Judge, that had "rent the School in twain"; that it was herself who had "broken the last tie which remained." How she "pursued her work," is now to be witnessed.
Mrs. Besant Tries to Drive Judge Out of the Society
"I shall pursue my work quietly, with such as think it right to work with me - I can only go on steadily as I have learned - to you who will stand where H.P.B. left us together and work with me, I have also a word to say: Remember the ancient rule: 'Hatred ceaseth not by hatred; hatred ceaseth by love.' Follow peace and charity; attack none; blame none; impute no evil motives; cast not back reproaches."
Thus wrote Mrs. Besant on December 19, 1894, at the conclusion of her circular announcing her rejection of the Order of Mr. Judge dated November 3, in the E.S.T., and her pronouncement: "I recognize no authority in Mr. Judge." This was her declaration of policy, her adjuration to all those who might believe in her protestations. We have but to follow in epitome her conduct for the ensuing six months under this self-proclaimed standard of action for herself and those who might trust to her guidance, to learn by the test of her actions, the measure of her good faith.
Immediately she took ship for India to attend the two Conventions - the customary "Anniversary Meeting" and the regular annual session of the Indian Section, to both of which she was a delegate from the European Section. En route she prepared a fresh Statement of more than five newspaper columns, which she entitled "The Theosophical Society and The Westminster Gazette." This she dated December 23, 1894, and, immediately on arriving at Adyar, gave it to the Madras Mail for publication, sending, at the same time, a copy to London for publication in the Daily Chronicle. This ar-
ticle is filled with self-extenuations and self-defense against the gibes and jeers leveled at her in the Westminster Gazette series; with invective and charges against Mr. Judge, supported by the most astonishing misstatements of facts as formerly solemnly attested by herself - misstatements resting entirely upon her ipse dixit, and unaccompanied by a single verifiable reference as to their truth.
Quite naturally the propaganda which had been steadily carried on in India by Col. Olcott, Mr. Bertram Keightley, Countess Wachtmeister, and Miss Muller, all under cover and all unopposed, had aroused the certainty that extraordinary happenings were scheduled for the Conventions. This drew a very large attendance of visitors as well as delegates. The publication in the Madras Mail could but accentuate the excitement and serve to pave the way for what was to follow.
Colonel Olcott's Presidential Address, aside from its usual statistics and the necessary accompanying explanatory matter, was almost entirely devoted to the recrudescent "Judge case." It shows plainly that the President-Founder, in full accord with Mrs. Besant and the rest, had determined to force Judge out of office and out of the Society even at hazards which had been counted and discounted - the withdrawal from the Society of a great portion of its membership. As his own words expressed it:
"I have had it intimated that if Mr. Judge should be forced to resign, the American Section will secede in a body, form an American Theosophical Society independently, and elect him President. And I should not be surprised if a large number of excellent people in the European Section should unite with the Americans in the event of a split."
The recent London Enquiry was called an "unavoidable failure," even while admitting that "both the General Council and Judicial Committee voted to quash the
proceedings against the accused on a point which, although technical was nevertheless irrefutable."
The President-Founder went on to say:
"As we cannot legally try Mr. Judge, Vice-President, for alleged misdemeanors committed by W.Q. Judge, individual; and as the individual cannot be tried for his private opinions, we have to fall back upon the moral aspect of the case."
There being no "case against Judge" either as officer or individual under the Constitution and Rules of the Society, some other scheme had to be conjured up in order to oust him, and the "moral aspect of the case" as interpreted by Col. Olcott, was of necessity the device adopted to force the issue. That moral aspect, Col. Olcott argues, requires Mr. Judge to resign because he has been accused, and he proceeds to cite as "precedents" among others, the resignation by Madame Blavatsky in 1885, and his own resignation in 1892. He does not remind his audience that H.P.B.'s resignation, as she herself wrote Col. Olcott on April 11, 1885, was due to the cowardly desertion of her by Col. Olcott and his Council and Convention at the time of the Coulomb-Christian College Magazine accusations against her, and not at all because of the accusations. Nor does it occur to him now, any more than when he tendered his own resignation in 1892, that for an official to resign under the fire of charges by his associates is uniformly properly construed as either a confession of guilt or a lamentable exhibition of moral cowardice.
The President-Founder takes it for granted that Mr. Judge is guilty of the offenses charged but, as faced him in the case of H.P.B. herself, is under the necessity of finding some way to reconcile his view with the known and lifelong devotion and work of Mr. Judge in the Theosophical cause. How could Mr. Judge both be "guilty" and yet be free from "guilty knowledge and intent," from "moral responsibility"? His answer is, "medium-
ship or psychism"; a medium or psychic "is often irresistibly impelled by an extraneous force to do acts of turpitude of which he is incapable in his normal state of consciousness." This perfectly true and well-known fact, it is argued, will account for Mr. Judge's "wrongdoing," and either permit or compel his resignation without the imputation of actual criminality. He proceeds:
"At this moment, I have knowledge of at least seven different psychics in our Society who believe themselves to be in communication with the same Mahatmas and doing their work, who have each a knot of disciples or adherents about them, and whose supposed teachers give orders which conflict with each others'!"
What Col. Olcott does not state is that among these "seven psychics" were Chakravarti, Countess Wachtmeister, Mr. Old, Mr. Sinnett's "sensitive" Mr. Leadbeater, all leagued in the cabal against Mr. Judge, nor that the "messages" that Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, and himself had been receiving from the "Masters," coming "through" these various "psychics," were the real foundation of the whole attack - not any mundane "proof." Nor does he trouble to explain why, all being "mediums and psychics" alike, it was Mr. Judge alone who must be driven into outer darkness.
"Near the close of his Address Col. Olcott makes a remarkable admission, the possible bearings of which seem never to have occurred to him. He says:
"My objective intercourse with the Great Teachers ceased almost entirely on the death of H.P.B., while any subjective relations I may have with them is evidence only to myself and would carry no weight with third parties."
If his "objective intercourse with the Great Teachers" had "ceased almost entirely with the death of H.P.B.," why was this the case? Mere death or mere physical distance forms no barrier whatever to "objective intercourse" between an accepted chela and those in the same
or a higher class than himself, nor is any intermediary necessary. These words of Col. Olcott's are an unconscious confession of a number of tremendous facts: that he was never himself an accepted chela; that he had to depend on H.P.B. or some one else for "objective intercourse"; that not being even an accepted chela himself, he had no means of knowing such a chela even if encountered, and no means of knowing whether any "communication," objective or subjective, was genuinely from its professed source; that he had to depend on "third parties" and mere externalities both for his "messages" and his means of verification. Certainly it never occurred to him that he might have "guessed wrong" once more, that Mr. Judge might be what H.P.B. said he was in 1888, "a chela of thirteen years' standing," and what the Master himself called Mr. Judge, "my dear Colleague"; never occurred to him that it might be his own attitude that cut him off from H.P.B. dead, from Mr. Judge and the Masters living, and thus compelled him to have recourse, as Mr. Sinnett and Mrs. Besant had, to more facile and pliant "psychics."
If these things never occurred to Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Bertram Keightley, Chakravarti, Mr. Old, the Countess Wachtmeister, and other leaders and respected Heads in the Society, how should they have occurred to the great mass of sincere and trusting members who looked up to them as disciples who had been near to H.P.B. and who had been favored with "messages from the Masters"?
As soon as Col. Olcott had concluded his Address and the other formal matters were out of the way, Mrs. Besant rose and presented a long Preamble and Resolution, which was seconded by Mr. Bertram Keightley, as follows:
"Seeing that a series of articles has appeared in the Westminster Gazette, London, containing charges of deception and fraud against Mr. W.Q. Judge, now Vice-President of the Theosophical Society; and
"Seeing that a strong body of evidence has been brought forward against the accused, and seeing that the attempt by the Society to bring the matter to an issue last July was defeated by Mr. W.Q. Judge on a purely technical objection
to the jurisdiction of the committee; and
"Seeing that Mr. Judge, being Vice-President of the whole Society, has issued a quasi-privately-circulated attack against one Section thereof, thus stirring up ill-feeling within the Society, and endeavouring to set the West against the East, contrary to the first object of the Society generally, and to the second object specifically; and
"Seeing that this is the first occasion since July on which a representative body of Theosophists has been gathered together; and
Seeing that immemorial custom requires of every honourable man holding a representative office in any Society to at once tender his resignation under such circumstances as are stated above;
"Therefore the anniversary meeting of the Theosophical Society
"Resolves; That the President-Founder be and is hereby requested to at once call upon Mr. W.Q. Judge, Vice-President, Theosophical Society, to resign the office of Vice-President; it being of course open to Mr. Judge if he so wishes, to submit himself for re-election, so that the Society may pass its judgment on his positions."
It would, we think, be difficult to measure the shameless effrontery of these Preambles and Resolutions, the subterfuges employed in their declarations and wording. What were the recorded facts thus dressed to play their several parts in the grim travesty of justice for which the stage had been so sedulously prepared?
As shown by the "Neutrality" pamphlet officially issued under Col. Olcott's direction, the facts were:
(I) That both the General Council and the Judicial Committee, a majority of each in sympathy with the accusers, had none the less felt constrained to vote that neither the Society as such, its Council or its Judicial Committee, had any occasion to "investigate" the charges made against Mr. Judge either as Vice-President or as individual member of the Society - and they had done this at Col. Olcott's express plea; Mr. Judge had merely pointed out to them their own Rules and Constitution. Caught in their own toils, they had to avowedly break their own loudly proclaimed devotion to the "Constitution and Rules" in order to "get at" Mr. Judge, or else beat a retreat to "save their own face." They chose the latter and to mask their discomfiture essayed the scheme of a "Jury of Honour," packed as the Committee had been. Detected and put to the shame of another defeat, they had proposed the Convention of the European Section as the jury, which Mr. Judge had at once accepted.
(II) The "strong body of evidence" published by the Westminster Gazette was none other than an exact duplicate of the "evidence" prepared by Mrs. Besant for the London Enquiry, plus Mr. Garrett's hostile and biting interpretations and applications from it against all concerned. Every member of the General Council and of the Judicial Committee saw and read that "evidence" before voting, Mr. Judge alone being refused more than an oral inspection during the Enquiry. The Council and Committee both voted not to include the "evidence" in the "Neutrality" Report, the iniquitous nature of such a proceeding being too much for the moral stomachs even of some of the most partisan.
(III) Mr. Judge was never at any time elected Vice-President of the Society; he was "appointed" by Col. Olcott in the arbitrary exercise of his "discretionary powers," and simply accepted the situation status quo as there were no functions to fulfill so long as Col. Olcott remained President, and when the latter "resigned" in 1892, Mr. Judge was elected President by the unanimous vote of all the Sections; this office he not only never
claimed, but actually was the active agent in procuring the withdrawal by the Colonel of the tendered resignation. The "Neutrality" Report shows that Mr. Judge pointed out that he was never anything but de facto Vice-President, and this point was admittedly correct, if de jure meant elected Vice-President. Furthermore, it was Mr. Judge who pointed out the anomalous situation arising from the fact that he was himself the duly elected President and that this should be formally rescinded by the General Council in order to make de jure as well as de facto the Presidency of Col. Olcott, which was done. What the "Neutrality" Report did not take occasion to show was the fact, interesting and valuable at this point, that the only elective offices held by Mr. Judge in the Society were those of President of the Aryan Lodge at New York City, and General Secretary of the American Section from its organization, to both of which offices he was unanimously re-elected after the charges were made by Mrs. Besant, after the "suspension" of his office of Vice-President by Col. Olcott. Colonel Olcott knew that he had at any moment the same identical power to "remove" Mr. Judge from the Vice-Presidency that he had to "appoint" him in the first place, or to "suspend" him. What other inference can be drawn from these facts alone but that his persecutors were determined to ruin the reputation of Mr. Judge, destroy his influence, and drive him into an exile of disgrace!
(IV) Mr. Judge's circular to the E.S.T. of November 3, 1894, referred to in the "Preambles" as a "quasi-privately-circulated attack against one Section thereof, thus stirring up ill-feeling within the Society, and endeavoring to set the West against the East," - this circular was issued neither as an Officer of the T.S. nor as a Fellow of the Society, but as Head of the E.S.T. to its members, - a body having "no connection whatever with the T.S." One has but to read the extracts given from Judge's circular to see in any event, how grossly his remarks have been twisted to arouse the Hindus to the pitch needed. The lugging in of fresh charges - the violation of "the first object of the T.S. generally,
and the second object specifically," - is manifestly mere Jesuitry: For, if true, it constituted an offense actually triable before a Judicial Committee under the Constitution and Rules then in force, a crime by Mr. Judge both as Officer and as Fellow, and it was the plain duty of the President-Founder to proceed without delay to the necessary legal and official steps. But the Resolution offered, the debate that ensued, the Resolution the next day of the Indian Section, and all the rest of the relentless course followed, alike showed that these fresh charges were made only for effect and to throw dust in the eyes of the membership.
In arguing her motion to adopt these Preambles and Resolutions, Mrs. Besant made a speech that fills over ten pages of fine type in the Report of the Convention's proceedings. There was the same covering of fine phrases about "duty," "charity," "forgiveness," etc., as in the quotations from her Colombo circular with which this chapter begins; the same assertions as in the Madras Mail article, without an iota of verifiable references to establish her statements. She characterizes Judge's action as "dishonourable," but in kindness admits that Mr. Judge, being a "medium" may have been guilty of merely "unconscious fraud." "Mediumship," urges Mrs. Besant, "is an excuse for the individual against moral judgment. It is no excuse for an official who under mediumship commits acts of moral turpitude." The speech is a classic example of special pleading.
Following Mrs. Besant, Mr. Bertram Keightley, Captain Banon, Miss Miller, S. Subramanier, Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden, E.M. Sasseville, a pseudo-representative of the American Section, C.V. Naidu, the Countess Wachtmeister, V.C. Seshacharry, and Col. Olcott made speeches, all strongly laudatory of Mrs. Besant and condemnatory of Mr. Judge. Some were for "expelling" Mr. Judge forthwith by Resolutions requesting the President-Founder to take that action without delay; which gave excellent opportunity for remarks on "fairness," "tolerance," "justice," etc.
Of all the remarkable speeches of that remarkable day
none excelled the statement of Miss Muller. As both Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant sat silent during and after her remarks, and as no protest was raised by anyone, it must be inferred that all shared in the responsibility for them and were accessories to the stupendous moral iniquity of Miss Muller's declarations. For it will be remembered that Miss Muller was party - and very much party - to the charges of "grave immorality" against Col. Olcott in the autumn of 1891; charges which were brought by Mrs. Besant to Mr. Judge, as has been narrated. (1) The spirit of the meeting may be well instanced by quoting some of Miss Muller's remarks. She said:
"Were I to expend the utmost eloquence that I can command, and bring before you the details of the most damning facts which can be brought against Mr. Judge, I could not bring against him a more final and conclusive charge than has been brought by Mrs. Besant in the speech that she has made. I am not concerned to give you further information about him, for you have the fullest information. But I am concerned to say that it is for us members now to take a stand which we have never before taken in the Society. We are tired and we will no more have the policy of condoning what is wrong. We are tired and we will have no more of the policy of compromising with liars, and with those who are publicly accused and almost proved to be forgers and swindlers and vulgar impostors. We shall not have these men as leaders of the Society; rather we shall have the Society come to an end.... Mrs. Besant has brought the charges against her colleague and friend, for whom I know she feels so great a tenderness, that she cannot press home against him that justice which time demands that we shall press home... So it is not for her, but it is for us to do all that is required... We have got to do our
(1) See Chapters XXI and XXII.
duty before the world, however disagreeable it may seem to the Theosophical Society. This is the first opportunity we have had of expressing an opinion upon Mr. Judge... Mrs. Besant brought charges against Mr. Judge in regard to his conduct, during the time of the Convention in July last year. These articles in the Westminster Gazette prove to the hilt to anybody that he is a fraud and a deceiver and a common impostor; and finally there is this beautiful specimen of his cleverness and villainies, this breaking of his most solemn pledge to those very Masters whose names he so shamefully attacks. We have had once before a specimen of this of Mr. Judge. Do we not remember that at the time of my first visit, in 1891 or 1892, Mr. Judge brought some very serious charges against Col. Olcott? Practically, he said to him "You are President. You turn out: we won't have you any more." Why? 'Because I want to step into your shoes.' He did not succeed in that. Still, like a bad man and a foolish man, today he comes with a repetition of the same things. He tells Mrs. Besant 'You turn out.' Why? 'Because I want to step into your shoes.' If he is determined, if he is clever and strong enough to defeat us, it will only be at the cost of breaking up the Society. Why do we want him to be expelled? Not because we are antagonistic to him and against him, but because his stay any more in office means, not only the future fall of the Society from being what it might become - a centre of light, a means of radiating truth, a means of leading the members to spiritual life. If he is kept any more the Society will become exactly the opposite. The various societies will become badges of black magic. For averting a terrible danger to the Society, it is for us to speak strongly on this occasion, with no uncertain voice."
By such appeals the delegates were prepared for the vote. During the entire session, it will be noted, there was no voice raised in question of the un-Theosophical and inhuman methods employed; no demand for the production of proof, no opposition to the utter unconstitutionality of the whole trumped-up procedure, no call for an orderly and equitable hearing. The numerous letters, protests, memorials, and resolutions in defense or support of fair treatment of Mr. Judge, which both Col. Olcott's Address and Mrs. Besant's speech indicated had been received, were suppressed and not one word of their contents placed before the Convention. All took it for granted that the accused, with such accusers; must be guilty, and when the President-Founder put the resolutions to vote, they were adopted without a dissenting voice. On the next day the Convention of the Indian Section was held and there a further set of resolutions, moved by Tookaram Tatya and seconded by A. Nilakata Shastri, were unanimously, adopted. These provided (1) that the President-Founder be requested to call upon Mr. Judge to resign; (2) that the President-Founder be requested to call on Mr. Judge "to make a full and satisfactory reply to the charges against him within six months from January 1, 1895"; and (3) "failing such answer, to take such steps as may be necessary for his expulsion from the Theosophical Society."
The hue and cry was on. The Report of the Convention was sent out as a "Supplement" to The Theosophist and to all Branches and Lodges throughout the world. It contained the full text of the various speeches. The speeches of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Bertram Keightley, and Mrs. Besant's article in the Madras Mail were at once issued in pamphlet form and copies of each pamphlet sent out to all members of the Theosophical Society.
Immediately after the adjournment of the Conventions Mrs. Besant started on a tour of India and the scenes of the former year were largely repeated. The trustful Hindus, looking to Col. Olcott and her as the guardian and savior of the Society, knowing nothing of the Movement in the West save as its reflections reached them
via the double refraction afforded by the Eastern heredity in general and the distorted versions given them, showed the utmost loyalty and devotion to what they conceived to be the true course. The Australasian Section was in very much the same state. Newly organized by Mrs. Besant under the Presidential carte blanche already detailed, knowing of the Society and the Movement only by way of London and India, impressed with the ability, energy, and fervor of Mrs. Besant, it was wholly natural that this Section should, as she had implied in her speech to the late Convention at Adyar, be influenced to follow her course, whatever it might be. Mr. J.C. Staples of England, friend both of Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott, had, under her suggestion, been appointed General Secretary of the newly forming Section. Mr. Staples had come out to the Orient and had been present at the Adyar Conventions. From there he had gone direct to Sydney to undertake his new duties. Thus out of the four Sections of the Society it was certain that two of them were dependable in the effort to ostracize Mr. Judge. The only battle-ground was the American and the European Section, and the alliance had been by no means idle there, merely because Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant had been away ever since the London Enquiry.
Mrs. Besant's speech indicated some of the steps already taken during her absence but under her generalship. Mr. Mead had sent out, as General Secretary of the European Section, a circular to Lodge Officers and other influential members, asking them to signify if they "approved of Mr. Judge being called upon to make explanation. Out of the 80 circulars sent out, 65 answers have been returned. These 65 unanimously demand that explanation should be made."
After the formal declaration of "war to the knife and the knife to the hilt" at the Adyar Conventions, the two chief allies were busy with the Indian tour and the preparation and forwarding of plans to bring the fray to a conclusion in England at the July, 1895, Convention of the European Section. The first public intimation of
the plan of final battle is contained in the "Supplement" to The Theosophist for March, 1895, in a "Special Editorial Notice" signed with Col. Olcott's initials. He says:
"The presence of the undersigned in his official capacity being again indispensable in London, for the final settlement of the Judge case and the intersectional frictions which have grown out of it, his intention is to sail early in May."
The explanation for this declaration does not become public until a month later when, in the "Supplement" to The Theosophist for April, 1895, Col. Olcott publishes after long delay the text of two letters, the one formally addressed to him as President-Founder by Mrs. Besant and dated January 20; the other his reply, equally formal, dated a month later, February 21. In her letter Mrs. Besant requests Col. Olcott to again place in her hands "the documents on which were based the charges preferred by me last July against Mr. W.Q. Judge." Mrs. Besant's letter discloses that:
"A proposal has been made to call a Special Convention of the European Section T.S. on my return to Europe, for the purpose of discussing the attitude to be taken by the Section towards this case, and there is a general demand for the production of these papers for the information and guidance of Members."
In his reply, he says that he has kept the papers "under lock and key" since "the abortive meeting" of the Judicial Committee, as he "considered it improper to give them publicity unless new and imperative contingencies should arise." The new and imperative contingencies having been satisfactorily produced through the joint efforts of Mr. Old, Mrs. Besant, and himself, Col. Olcott proceeds to advise Mrs. Besant:
"Such is now the fact; and as it is evident that the case can never be equitably settled without the circulation of these papers,... before
you sail, I shall confide the documents to your custody once more...."
A very significant admission of Col. Olcott's in his letter to Mrs. Besant is found in his statement: "Mr. Judge complains that he was not permitted to see them." He therefore imposes on Mrs. Besant the conditions that she shall, in addition to placing copies of the papers in the hands of the General Secretary of the European Section (Mr. G.R.S. Mead) "for distribution to Branches and Members," see that he also supplies "a certified copy of the evidence to Mr. Judge for his information and use."
In the course of the long controversy Mrs. Besant repeatedly stated, the last time in April, 1895, that she had in the beginning furnished Mr. Judge with the "documents" in the case, so that he might know what the exact charges against him were, and their supporting documentary evidence, and might have an opportunity both to verify the one and know what he was to defend himself against in the other. Mr. Judge had repeatedly stated that he did not have this necessary information, and there was, therefore, a point-blank contradiction. Colonel Olcott's letter to Mrs. Besant, above referred to, shows clearly and conclusively that from Christmas, 1893, until after February 21, 1895, a horde of charges, slanders and calumnies, had been circulated privately, publicly, and officially by the leading member and the leading officer of the Society, against Mr. Judge, while never once had he been given a chance to know definitely and accurately the text of the charges nor the letters and other documentary evidence proposed to be used against him.
In merely human jurisprudence in every civilized country in the world the established and settled legal procedure is the right of the accused to know what he is charged with and to have copies and inspection of the complete original letters or other documents proposed to be used against him. Not only was this denied Mr. Judge from first to last, but the complete text of the letters, etc., employed by the accusers, never
was made public. Only extracts were ever given, and the only protection against garbled extracts, against matter taken entirely out of its context, was the assurance of the accusers that the extracts were genuine, the context in harmony with the extracts given!
Turning now to England, we may follow the successive developments there, after the Westminster Gazette firebrand had been cast into the Theosophical camp. In Lucifer for November, 1894, the editor during Mrs. Besant's absence, her assistant, Mr. Mead, the General Secretary of the European Section, wrote in the "WatchTower" under the caption: "Mine Own Familiar Friend in Whom I Trusted," as follows:
"Just as we go to press a series of articles, making a most indiscriminate and vicious onslaught on several of our friends and colleagues, is being published in The Westminster Gazette. We are deeply sorry to have to inform our readers that the inspirer of this attack is Mr. W.R. Old, who witnessed the passing away of H.P. Blavatsky. Virulence and misrepresentation can, however, only defeat their own ends."
Closely associated as he was, in friendship, in sympathy, and in interest with Mrs. Besant, Mr. Mead found himself in hard case what course to pursue. It would appear from his note, "A Difficult Position," in the next - the December - number of Lucifer, that he tried at first to take a position of impossible "neutrality." He writes:
"... I find my present position in the Theosophical Society an excessively difficult and trying one....
"I am not only a private individual with my own feelings, opinions, beliefs, convictions, struggles and trials, but also the editor of Lucifer with my colleague Annie Besant, the editor of the Vahan [the sectional magazine in Europe] with my colleague James M. Pryse, and the
General Secretary of the European Section of the Theosophical Society...
"I am between the fires of contradictory opinions, and bow my head so that fire may accomplish its purpose, or miss its aim, as karma wills it."
Mr. Mead therefore opened his columns to "The Clash of Opinion," under which caption he published resolutions, letters, and other communications pro and con that month to the extent of six pages of text; in January seven pages. By that time the results of the campaign had begun to tell; the February, 1895, Lucifer begins with a twenty-seven page article forwarded by Mrs. Besant from India and entitled "The Theosophical Society and the Present Troubles." Mrs. Besant opens in practiced vein:
"There are times when silence becomes a betrayal of trust, and when a great cause may be ruined by the weakness of its friends; times when the truest charity is the clearest speech, and when love for the many who are bewildered and pleading for light must overbear the love for an individual. To speak a truth needed for the helping of thousands is obedience to the Law of compassion and not a breach thereof."
Mrs. Besant proceeds to "speak the needed truth" for the "bewildered pleaders for light": "The messages... to which I referred publicly in August, 1891, were not genuine...." This refers to her Hall of Science speech in August, 1891, already quoted from in a former chapter. (2) How does she explain her present affirmation in view of her former oaths and avowals? Simply that she was "mistaken," her "first-hand knowledge," her "Successorship," etc., to the contrary notwithstanding. Three pages of this are followed by the complete text of the Madras Mail article and of her speech before the
(2) See Chapter XX.
Adyar Convention. How does she explain her Statement before the European Convention sitting as a "Jury of Honour" in July preceding? She says:
"I must now, in this crisis, add some further words....
"There were other 'messages' in the recognised script that did not come under what I said in July... that I thought the gist of them had been psychically received. Rightly or wrongly - I am inclined to think wrongly - I did not feel justified in saying that I regarded some of these other messages as deliberately written by Mr. Judge in the pursuance of objects he regarded as desirable... without a shadow of authority from any higher source."
The "evidence" before her in July, 1894, was identically the same as the "evidence" when she wrote the above words. What proofs does she give to support this change of front now? Why did she not, in July, say what she now says, that some of the messages were "deliberately written by Mr. Judge, without a shadow of authority from any higher source"?
"Debarred from producing the evidence which would have substantiated the assertion, I shrank from making in public on my unsupported word a statement so damaging to the reputation of another; that which I was prepared to prove before the Committee, I was not prepared to state in public without the right to substantiate by evidence an assertion so grave. As much of the evidence has now been published, I feel at liberty to mention the opinion I formed from it at the time."
Because she was "debarred" from "making in public" a statement that Mr. Judge had deliberately forged messages from the Masters, she therefore did make publicly to the Convention the statement:
"... 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...
I regard Mr. Judge as an Occultist... 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."
Mrs. Besant's long article is accompanied by fifteen pages of "Clash of Opinion" in the same - February, 1895 - number of Lucifer. Although it is entitled the clash of opinion, the published matter consists, first of a letter of more than five printed pages by Mr. Mead addressed to the European Section, in which he aligns himself very strongly against Mr. Judge. Its tone is expressed in this extract:
"Ever since the charges were brought Mr. Judge has kept on persistently adding to his claims, and his friends have now arrived at placing him on so high a pedestal that H.P. Blavatsky is left sitting on a very low stool in comparison."
Mr. Bertram Keightley follows Mr. Mead with more than two pages, concluding:
"... I fully and entirely endorse all that Mrs. Besant has written and I shall always consider it a great honour to thus find myself associated with her."
Alas for the mutability of mundane oaths. Since 1906, when Mrs. Besant herself discovered that Chakravarti was under the influence of the "dark powers," Mr. Keightley has sedulously avoided the "great honour" of finding himself associated with Mrs. Besant, and maintained his liens with Chakravarti.
Alexander Fullerton, of whom we have earlier spoken, (3) follows Mr. Keightley with two pages. Mr. Fullerton says that "from the first I have held the unqualified conviction that a thorough investigation was imperatively due," but that he has received a "message" himself "in two parts," direct from the Master, the first part warning him "against judging from surface facts"; the second advised Mr. Fullerton that "Mr. Judge had, in all respects, both as to silence and as to speech, followed the Master's order," and that Mr. Fullerton's own duty in the premises "was clear." Mr. Fullerton states, in explanation:
"Had the channel of this information been Mr. Judge or connected with him, the questions raised by the charges and still unsettled would have prevented my acceptance of it. It was, in fact, a channel altogether independent, previously known to and verified by me, one affirmed through important and conclusive experience as an actual disciple of the Master, and at times used for communications.
"The communication went counter to all my convictions, judgments and inferences. It opposed the investigation I deemed obligatory, and the suspicions I regarded inevitable. It directly denied what I thought my own duty, and affirmed the policy I considered disastrous. Only one consideration could reconcile me to vacating the position I believed true - the certainty that the message enjoining this was genuine. This certainty I possessed."
Undoubtedly many sincere students at that time, and many sincere students of today, as in the intervening years, have asked themselves and others when perplexities have arisen, the question, Why do not the Masters interfere and clear up the situation? They had forgotten then, as they forget today, what H.P.B. wrote in the
(3) See Chapter XXIV.
First Preliminary Memorandum in 1888, on this very subject:
"... the fact that a member has concluded that a crisis, of some kind or other is at hand, when according to his wise opinion the Master or Masters ought to speak or interfere personally, is no sound reason for such personal interference....
"The additional help, instruction, and enlightenment will always come from the inner planes of being, and will... always be given when deserved.
"To achieve this, the attitude of mind... is that which shall tend to develop the faculty of intuition...
"It is required of a member that when a question arises it shall be deeply thought over from all its aspects, to the end that he may find the answer himself ... Otherwise his intuition will never be developed; he will not learn self-reliance; and two of the main objects of the School will be defeated."
If these wise words had been taken to heart in the various "crises" and "clashes of opinion" throughout Theosophical history, individual and collective, all the struggles of the Society, the School, and the units thereof would have been successfully overpassed.
"The utter impossibility of Occult help to those who will not follow the instructions given, whose hearts and minds are filled with doubt, questionings, suspicions, of the very channels through which alone the needed and longed-for aid can come, is well shown by Mr. Fullerton's own case. For, in spite of the "certainty of the genuineness of the message" which he declared he possessed, and which made him declare: "I now support Mr. Judge's policy... avowedly on the ground of this message" - in spite of all this, Mr. Fullerton kept up his communications with Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, and ,Mr. Sinnett, for each of whom he had a very high regard, personally
and Theosophically, but all of whom were engaged in acting directly the opposite of the course enjoined in the "message." Influenced by what he heard from them, by his own inner state of mind, and in particular by a letter from Mr. Sinnett (to which we shall recur) (4) Mr. Fullerton finally, early in April, 1895, concluded that Judge was a very guilty man indeed, deserted him, went over to the "enemy," and, immediately after the Convention of the American Section in the same month, issued a circular announcing his affiliation with the enemies of Mr. Judge. He did this, while still remarking in the circular, "I am still utterly unable to explain or account for the message referred to... "
Subsequently, in 1906-7, Mr. Fullerton had still another change of heart, and broke with Mrs. Besant over the "Adyar manifestations" at the time of the death of Col. Olcott and the original "Leadbeater trouble." He never recovered from the shock incident to the fall of these idols from the pedestal on which he had placed them, and died, a broken man, a few years later. But to return.
The remaining space in "The Clash of Opinion" in the February Lucifer is taken up with resolutions of Lodges, etc., adverse to Mr. Judge. Lucifer for March contains in all over twenty-five pages devoted to the "Judge case," including a letter from Mr. Judge himself, dated at New York, January 25, 1895. In this Mr. Judge says:
"A long and sustained attack has been made on me... which it is thought I should reply to more fully than I have as yet. A very good and decisive reason exists for my not making that full reply and explanation, and it is time Theosophists should know it. It is as follows:
"I have not been furnished with copies of the documentary evidence by which the charges are said to be supported... open enemies of mine have been allowed to make copies of them, and
(4) See Chapter XXXIII.
also to take facsimiles, but they have been kept from me although I have demanded and should have them. It must be obvious to all fair-minded persons that it is impossible for me to make a full and definite reply to the charges without having certified copies of them.
"I arrived in London, July 4, 1894, and constantly, each day, asked for the copies and for an inspection of the papers. Mrs. Besant promised both, but never performed her promise. ... These facts the members should know, as they ought, at last, to understand the animus under the prosecution. I shall not reply until I have full, certified copies. It would seem that I am in this matter entitled to as much opportunity and consideration as my open enemies have had."
Mrs. Besant was not yet returned home from India, so Mr. Mead inserted Mr. Judge's letter, immediately followed by one from Mr. Old in reply to Mr. Judge's contentions. Mr. Old says:
"I beg to show, briefly, that these statements of Mr. Judge's are utterly false, and that Mr. Judge is the first person who has ever imputed to Mrs. Besant 'the lie direct.'"
Mr. Old then quotes from Mrs. Besant's speech before the Adyar Convention, as reprinted in Lucifer for February preceding as his "proof" that Mr. Judge was "utterly false"! What Mrs. Besant had said was:
"I sent a complete copy of the whole statement that I proposed to make, to Mr. Judge ... that he might know everything I was going to say, every document I was going to use, and every argument I was going to employ."
We have already shown, from Col. Olcott's letter to Mrs. Besant of February 21, news of which had, of course, not yet reached England, the admission that copies had
not been furnished Mr. Judge. This very letter of Mr. Old's, its publication in Lucifer, its defense of Mrs. Besant's falsehood by attempting to give the "lie direct" to Mr. Judge, and Mr. Mead's adopting it as his own reply as editor of Lucifer to Mr. Judge's letter, all show the collusion steadily existing between Mr. Old and "his own familiar friends."
In April, 1895, Mrs. Besant, once more on English soil, issued her pamphlet, "The Case Against W.Q. Judge," a booklet of eighty-eight pages. The first twenty-two pages of this pamphlet are given over to defense of herself, to her usual exhibition of adeptship in special pleading, and to invective against Mr. Judge. The remainder of the pamphlet consists, according to her statement, of the charges and evidence as originally prepared for the London Enquiry, plus a half dozen pages of additional matter. The pamphlet closed with the following:
"If some definite action with regard to Mr. Judge shall not have been taken by the European Section before the meeting of its Annual Convention in July, we, the undersigned, shall - failing any full and satisfactory explanation having been made by Mr. Judge before that date, or his voluntary secession from the Society - propose and second at that Convention the following resolution:
"Whereas Mr. W.Q. Judge has been called on to resign the office of Vice-President of the Theosophical Society by the Indian, Australasian, and European Sections, but has not complied with their request; and
"Whereas he has evaded the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of July, 1894, refused a Jury of Honour, and has since given no full and satisfactory explanation to the Society in answer to the charges brought against him;
"Resolved: That this Convention of the European Section of the Theosophical Society unites
with the Indian and Australasian Sections in demanding his expulsion from the Society, and requests the President-Founder to immediately take action to carry out the demands of these three Sections of the T.S.
Annie Besant, F.T.S.
G.R.S. Mead, F.T.S."
Coincident with the publication of this pamphlet, copy was prepared for the May Lucifer in consort therewith. This included a letter from Mr. Fullerton dated April 19, announcing his recantation of the position taken in his circular and letter printed in Lucifer for February, as noted. In his new communication Mr. Fullerton says, speaking of the "message" first mentioned by him:
"Of the integrity and moral character of the pupil through whom the message came to me I have and can have no question. Collusion or falsehood is inconceivable. Nevertheless, utterly unable as I am to understand the case,... I am obliged to recall any endorsement of the proceedings or policy of Mr. Judge."
This was a powerful weapon in Mrs. Besant's hands. She comments:
"Mr. Fullerton has been the steady centre in Mr. Judge's office.... universally respected for his probity and devotion.... It is of the first importance to show that honest men cannot continue to work with Mr. Judge, unless they are prepared to be betrayed behind their backs in the work of the Society, and that Mr. Judge's own conduct, and his continued deceptions, force us, however reluctantly, to say: 'Mr. Judge must be expelled from the Society, for his methods are dishonest and he corrupts his fellow-workers.' Unless America saves us from the necessity of demanding his expulsion, by seceding from the parent Society, Europe must
endorse the demand for expulsion coming from India and Australasia."
All this is interesting and instructive as showing the animus behind the whole "Judge case" from the beginning, however carefully concealed until public avowal served to aid the success of the plot. But it is more - it is an instructive lesson in how Mrs. Besant writes history and dresses the facts for those who trust her. For, years afterwards, at Chicago, during the Sectional Convention of 1907, in replying to questions addressed to her, newly elected President to succeed Col. Olcott, she "explained" her stand in the "Leadbeater case" by telling her audience:
"No, I have never been in favor of expulsion. In the trouble that arose round a great Theosophist, Mr. Judge, many years ago, when a motion was brought forward in India for his expulsion, I opposed it." (5)
In addition to the matter to which attention has been called, numerous other pamphlets were issued and circulated among all members in Europe, India and Australasia, the most notable being the one by Countess Wachtmeister; a great mass of newspaper interviews, letters and comments fed the fury and excitement, and private correspondence, as with Mr. Fullerton, was kept up wherever there was opportunity to arouse doubt, suspicion or fear in the minds of members. The march of the assaulting columns having been followed as faithfully as possible, it now remains to observe the measures taken by the defense.
(5) "Theosophical Lectures," Chicago, 1907, The Rajput Press.
The American Section Declares its Autonomy and Elects Judge its Life-PresidentWhen the Westminster Gazette articles had reached their climax and their charges, evidence and conclusions had been spread abroad, Mr. Judge wrote a letter to the Gazette, dated at New York, November 26, 1894. This was published in the New York Sun on December 3, and in the Gazette in its issues of December 8 and 10. Judge was, of course, well aware that anything he might say would serve the Gazette only as so much added advertising and be used by it only to animadvert; but he had also to consider his duty as Theosophist and Occultist not only toward his fellow students who might be friendly disposed or temperately minded, but his duty as well to those who, however they might be opposed to him or engaged in conspiracy against his good name, were none the less Souls, and not to be fought with their own unfair weapons. He therefore, as before, and as H.P.B. before him, limited himself strictly and solely to the issues involved. As stated by himself in his note to the Sun accompanying the copy of his letter to the Gazette:
"These three questions have been raised: (1) Have I been hoaxing the Society by 'bogus messages from the Mahatmas'? (2) Are there
such beings, and what are they? (3) Do the prominent Theosophists live by or make money out of the Theosophical Society?"
Except that he goes to some extent into the details of the various allegations of the Gazette, Mr. Judge does not vary from his Statement before the London Con-
vention of July, 1894. The letter, together with additional matter, was printed and circulated in pamphlet form, both from London and from New York, under the title "Isis and the Mahatmas." Other pamphlets in defense of Mr. Judge were issued by Dr. Archibald Keightley, and others. Documentary and other facts were given and attention called to the numerous discrepancies and contradictions in the various statements issued by Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott. References were made to similar charges against H.P.B. and various citations given from her writings, to support both the Theosophical and Occult arguments advanced. No bitterness was shown and no counter-attacks made, the general position taken being simply that the accusers were either suffering from "pledge fever," or were misled by appearances. Attention was repeatedly called to the fact that every charge now made against Mr. Judge had been made, not only against him during the life of H.P.B., by Prof. Coues and others, but the identical charges also made against H.P.B. herself by the Society of Psychical Research and Prof. Coues; that the teachings and actions of Mr. Judge were in strict accord and consonance with the Instructions and other writings of H.P.B., and the "messages" through him accompanied by the same circumstances as those through H.P.B. and Damodar. In most of the defensive writings issued by the various students stress was laid on all these facts and on the other fact that H.P.B.'s highest tributes to Mr. Judge had been written during the very period when Col. Olcott was most bitter against her and Mr. Judge (preceding the formation of the E.S.T.), and during the height of the Coues case, after the New York Sun charges.
Aside, then, from the E.S.T. Circular of November 3, 1894, and the "Isis and the Mahatmas" letter, Judge gave scant notice to the hail of missiles discharged by his attackers within and without the Society, but went calmly on with his work. This is shown (1) by the contents of The Path during those fateful months, in contrast with the other magazines; (2) by the papers and letters sent out by him to the E.S.T.; (3) by his private, per-
sonal letters to his warm friends and adherents. Many of these latter will be found in the second volume of the "Letters That Have Helped Me." Nothing is more wonderful than the serenity, the good-will, the wisdom and faith exemplified in these letters, written from the heart to those who trusted him, who would have followed any course set by him. If bitterness, if coldness, if uncharity, if evil-mindedness of any kind had been in him - any self-pity, any resentment at his accusers - surely it would have come out in these intimate letters, written in such circumstances, without a thought of their ever being seen by any but the recipients. They were not published for years after his death.
Mr. Judge knew as none other the fiery strains and pains of the "path of probation," successful or unsuccessful though the candidate might be, and had no stones to fling. He knew what the real poison was which had corrupted the original faith of Mr. Sinnett and Col. Olcott, and was to corrupt the faith of Mrs. Besant. Thus knowing, he regarded himself as merely the indirect target for the real enemies of the Movement, invisible, unbelieved in, even by those who were being made the tools and therefore the victims of the opposing forces. In order, therefore, as much as possible to get the real issues before the students at large, he followed up the reference in his E.S.T. Circular of November 3, 1894, to the "plot against the Movement," and to the message to the Allahabad Brahmins in the Prayag T.S. in 1881, by publishing in The Path for March, 1895, the full text of that famous "message," after all the charges against himself had been published and republished the world around, and all possible changes rang on them. But first a word on the circumstances.
The "Prayag Psychic T.S." of Allahabad, India, was one of the earliest of the Branches to be formed in India after the arrival there of H.P.B. and Col. Olcott in 1879. Gyanendra N. Chakravarti and his uncle were two of its early members; Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume were prominent in its affairs in its early years. Its membership consisted largely of high caste Brahmins and
it was one of the most influential Branches in India for years: It was, so far as we are aware, the only Lodge of the Theosophical Society which did not, professedly at least, adopt the "First Object." Its avowed object was "psychical research." During the early days in India "messages from the Mahatmas" phenomenally received, were numerous and large numbers of interested persons were thus favored. Complaints were made by the Brahmin members of the Prayag T.S. that, whereas "low caste" men and "mlechhas" (foreigners) such as Mr. Hume, Mr. Sinnett, and other "beef-eating, wine-drinking Englishmen" received messages, they had been neglected. In time a "message" came, dealing with these very complaints and telling why the Brahmins and others like them had received no "messages." There is no dispute anywhere as to the above facts, nor the further fact that the "message" was delivered by H.P.B., to Mr. Sinnett to give to the Prayag Brahmin members. Damodar (or whoever the "receiving wire" may have been) was manifestly no English scholar at that time, and of the Mahatmas Themselves only one was named as having any knowledge of English. Thus the "message" was, in form, in distinctly baba English. Neither the "sending" Mahatma nor the "receiving" chela was known to anyone except H.P.B., on whom, therefore, all the responsibility of the "message" rests: this by all accounts. We give the "message" in full as published in The Path from a copy sent by one of those very Brahmins to Mr. Judge in 1893. The original "message" was retained by Mr. Sinnett. (1):
"Message which Mr. Sinnett is directed by one of the Brothers, writing through Madame B(lavatsky), to convey to the native members of the Prayag Branch of the Theosophical Society.
"The Brothers desire me to inform one and all of you natives that unless a man is prepared to
(1) The original text of the "Prayag Letter" has now been made accessible to students in No. CLXXXIV of ''The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett."
become a thorough Theosophist, i.e., to do what D(amodar) Mavalankar did - give up entirely caste, his old superstitions, and show himself a true reformer (especially in the case of child marriage), he will remain simply a member of the Society, with no hope whatever of ever hearing from us. The Society, acting in this directly in accord with our orders, forces no one to become a Theosophist of the Second Section. It is left with himself at his choice. It is useless for a member to argue 'I am one of a pure life, I am a teetotaler and an abstainer from meat and vice, all my aspirations are for good, etc.,' and he at the same time building by his acts and deeds an impassable barrier on the road between himself and us. What have we, the disciples of the Arhats of Esoteric Buddhism and of Sang-gyas, to do with the Shasters and orthodox Brahmanism? There are 100 of thousands of Fakirs, Sannyasis, or Sadhus leading the most pure lives and yet being, as they are, on the path of error never having had an opportunity to meet, see, or even hear of us. Their forefathers have driven the followers of the only true philosophy upon earth away from India, and now it is not for the latter to come to them, but for them to come to us, if they want us. Which of them is ready to become a Buddhist, a Nastika, as they call us? Those who have believed and followed us have had their reward. Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no barrier to us, for they have none. They may have bad influences around them, bad magnetic emanations, the result of drink, society, and promiscuous physical associations (resulting even from shaking hands with impure men), but all this is physical and material impediments which with a little effort we could counteract, and even clear away, without much detriment to ourselves. Not so with the mag-
netic and invisible results proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs. Faith in the gods or god and other superstition attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful Agents round them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away. We do not choose to do so. We do not find it either necessary or profitable to lose our time waging war on the unprogressed planetaries who delight in personating gods and sometimes well-known characters who have lived on earth. There are Dhyan Chohans and Chohans of darkness. Not what they term devils, but imperfect intelligences who have never been born on this or any other earth or sphere no more than the Dhyan Chohans have, and who will never belong to the 'Children of the Universe,' the pure planetary intelligences who preside at every Manvantara, while the Dark Chohans preside at the Pralaya."
Mr. Judge declares: "this is a genuine message from the Master, allowing, of course, for any minor errors in copying." He goes on - what he very well knew but which then had not been publicly avowed by her - that "Mrs. Besant has several times privately stated that in her opinion" the message "was a 'forgery or humbug' gotten up by H.P.B." He adds:
"If it be shown to be a fraud, then all of H.P.B.'s claims of connection with and teaching from the Master must fall to the ground. It is now time that this important point be cleared up."
Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and all the rest, had sedulously, before the public, kept up the mask of devotion to H.P.B. in all the campaign against Mr. Judge, and had charged him over and over again with being false to H.P.B. as to the Masters and the Society. He knew what their real opinion of H.P.B. was - the
same as their opinion in regard to himself - but knew also that very many students quite innocently and sincerely believed the public protestations of loyalty to H.P.B. to be genuine. So, to place the matter squarely before all, and to "bring to light the hidden things of darkness," he published the "Prayag message" and sent, as usual, advance proof sheets to Lucifer and to The Theosophist. The answer was prompt and characteristic in all three cases - Mr. Sinnett, Mrs. Besant, and Col. Olcott.
Mr. Sinnett kept still; not a word publicly from him, but a private letter to Mr. Fullerton which the latter, unknown to Mr. Sinnett, gave to the Boston Herald for publication on April 27, 1895.
Mrs. Besant, in addition to the extracts quoted earlier, (2) said: "I do not regard the letter [message] as genuine, but I have never attributed it to H.P.B."
As the only responsible person connected with the "message" was H.P.B., this statement of Mrs. Besant's was more ingenious than ingenuous. Furthermore, she proceeded to charge Mr. Judge himself with doubting the genuineness of the message! (Lucifer, Volume 16, pp. 185-94, 375-9.)
The advance proofs of The Path reached Adyar just as The Theosophist was going to press with the April number, the "Supplement" of which, as noted, contained the interchange of the letters of January 20 and February 21 between Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott. This is what he wrote:
"We stop the press to make room for some needed comments on an article by Mr. Judge in the March number of The Path, of which advance proofs have been kindly sent us from New York... The message is one of the most transparently unconvincing in the history of Mahatmic literature. It bears upon its face the seal of its condemnation. It is an ill-tempered
(2) See Chapter XXXI.
attack ... Mr. Judge asserts that 'this is a genuine message from the Masters, allowing, of course, for minor errors in copying'; and concludes his comments on the document by saying:
"'... if it be shown to be a fraud, then all of H.P.B.'s claims of connection with and teaching from the Master must fall to the ground. It is now time that this important point be cleared up.'
"It certainly is time; and,... the undersigned... will help towards the clearing up so far as he can. He picks up the gauntlet for the honor of the Masters and the benefit of the Society.
"In so many words, then, he pronounces the message a false one, and if this is likely to shatter H.P.B.'s oft-declared infallibility, as the transmitter of only genuine messages from the Masters, so let it be; the sooner the monstrous pretense is upset the better for her memory and a noble cause.... it does not follow that H.P.B. consciously falsified; the simple theory of mediumship has explained many equally deceptive and even more exasperating messages from the invisible world: and she herself has written and said to the spy Solovyoff, that at times she was possessed by evil influences. We know all the weight that such a suggestion carries, and yet repeat it in the full conviction that the discoveries of hypnotic science have already furnished proof of its entire reasonableness.
"The putative 'message,' moreover, grossly violates that basic principle of neutrality and eclecticism on which the Theosophical Society has built itself up from the beginning; and which the self-sacrificing action of the Judicial Committee, at London last summer, vindicated, to the satisfaction of all the Sections.... The moment that the dogma is established that the genuineness of H.P.B.'s series of Mahatmas letters depends upon the acceptance of such a
fraud as the above, the Society will have to find another President, for it would soon become the game-preserve of rogues.
Adyar, March 27, 1895."
What Mr. Sinnett wrote privately was, as stated, published in the Boston Herald on April 27, 1895, the day before the meeting in Boston of the Convention of the American Section. He wrote as follows:
"... I have known for a great many years that many letters in the Mahatmas' handwriting, coming through Madame Blavatsky herself were anything but what they seemed.
"The trouble in this respect began about the year 1887, when Madame Blavatsky was in this country [England] and desirous of carrying out many arrangements with the society in London of which I personally disapproved. To my surprise I received through her letters in the familiar handwriting of the Mahatma K.H. which endorsed her views and desired my compliance. These gave me great distress at the time, though I did not at first suspect the bona fides of the origin.
The flavour of their style was unlike that to which I had been used during the long course of my previous correspondence with the Mahatma, and gradually my mind was forced to the conviction that they could not be really authentic. A year or so later, when the Coulomb scandal had for the moment almost overwhelmed Madame Blavatsky's influence here, I visited her in her retirement at Wurzburg, and in the intimate conversation that ensued she frankly avowed to me that the letters to which I have above referred had not proceeded from the Mahatma at all.
"She had in fact procured their production in order to subserve what she conceived to be the
right policy of the society at the time - falling into the fatal error of doing evil that good might come. There is no room for supposing that I am mistaken in my recollections of what passed. These are clear and definite, and were the subject of much conversation between myself and theosophical friends at the time.
"Moreover, at a somewhat later date, when Madame Blavatsky was staying at Ostende, I again referred to the matter, and said that I considered myself to have been hardly used, in so far as my deepest sentiments of loyalty to the Mahatma had been practiced upon for purposes with which he had nothing to do. Madame Blavatsky, I remember, replied: 'Well, you were not much hurt, because, after all, you never believed the letters were genuine... '"
The last article written by Mr. Judge before his death in March, 1896, was entitled "H.P.B. was not Deserted by Masters." This was a dying declaration of the good faith, the genuineness, the nature, and the mission of H.P.B. In it Mr. Judge wrote that Mr. Sinnett had taxed H.P.B. with fraud in London during her lifetime. This was published in The Path (under its new name of Theosophy) in April, 1896, immediately after Mr. Judge's death. When the copies reached England Mr. Sinnett wrote a letter to the magazine, dated at London May 6, 1896, in which he said in reference to Mr. Judge's statement:
"I never said anything of the kind, and I never in my life called Mme. Blavatsky a fraud.
"The accusation is doubly absurd because for many years past and since before the period referred to I have had means of my own for knowing that Mme. Blavatsky had not been deserted by the Masters, and I know that she was in their care up to the last day of her life....
"I merely write now to dissipate the delusion on which Mr. Judge's article is founded, and to
express at the same time my regret that his latest utterances concerning myself should have been colored by stories as to my sayings and mental attitude that were entirely untrue."
We may add that in course of the preparation and authentication of the materials for this History, the present writers wrote to Mr. Sinnett at London in 1915, sending him a certified copy of the letter published in the Boston Herald, and asking him to verify the accuracy of the printed text. In reply Mr. Sinnett sent an autograph letter to the writers, admitting the correctness of the publication - and adding that he regretted the bringing up of these "old matters," saying, "I have long since forgiven Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Judge for the wrongs they did me." Mr. Sinnett's posthumous book, "The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe," published in 1922, at last publicly avows his actual feelings from 1881 onwards and readers are referred to that work to learn the amazing lengths to which Mr. Sinnett's "messages" through his "sensitives" led him.
To return. The Convention of the American Section was held at Boston, April 28 and 29, 1895. That which was hidden had been brought to light; that which had been obscurely circulated for many years against the good faith of H.P.B. by those who posed before the public and the Society as her true students and loyal supporters, had been forced to be said publicly. Every student, every member of the Society and of the E.S.T. knew, or could easily learn, the facts - naked, unmasked, at last: that the charges against Judge were the same charges, resting upon the same "evidence," made and sponsored by the same persons, as the charges against H.P.B. The issues were clear, the war of ideas squarely before the Society and its members. They could choose H.P.B. and Mr. Judge; they could choose Mr. Sinnett, Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott - one party or the other as "representing the Masters"; they could not choose both.
The eighty-nine active Lodges composing the Section
were all represented in full by delegates in person or by proxy. In addition there was a great gathering of visiting Fellows from all over the United States and some from abroad. Dr. J.D. Buck was elected permanent Chairman. Dr. Archibald Keightley was present from London as the delegate of a number of English Branches. A letter from a number of Fellows in Australia was read, as also an official letter from Mr. G.R.S. Mead, as General Secretary of the European Section. Mr. Mead wrote to say:
"It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the European Section of the Society is unable to be represented at your Convention by a Delegate, owing to divided opinions with regard to the present crisis through which the Society is passing...."
There was no letter or other communication received either from the Indian Section or from the President-Founder.
Mr. Judge's report as General Secretary contained the usual information on the work of the preceding year. It contained a brief rehearsal of the charges made against him, the meeting of the Judicial Committee the preceding July, the Westminster Gazette articles, the subsequent proceedings at the Adyar Conventions, and the various resolutions adopted demanding his "resignation" and an "explanation." On all this his report says:
"... I have replied, refusing to resign the Vice-Presidency. And to the newspaper attack I have made a provisional and partial reply, as much as such a lying and sensational paper deserved.... But I have an explanation, and I renew my declaration of innocence of the offenses charged. As I have said in London and since, the messages I delivered, privately, are genuine messages from the Master, procured through me as a channel, and the basis of the attack on me is unbelief in my being a channel."
The usual work of the Convention proceeded and when all routine matters were concluded, Mr. C.A. Griscom, Jr., read a series of resolutions, with a preamble reciting the difficulties and obstacles of the continued work of the Movement. The essential resolutions were:
"First, that the American Section, consisting of Branches of the Theosophical Society in America, in convention assembled, hereby assumes and declares its entire autonomy and that it shall be called from and after this date 'The Theosophical Society in America';
"Second, that the administration of its affairs shall be provided for, defined, and be under a Constitution and By-Laws, which shall in any case provide for the following:
"(a) A Federation of Branches....
"(b) That William Q. Judge shall be President for life....
"Resolved, that the Theosophical Society in America hereby recognizes the long and efficient services rendered to the Theosophical Movement by Col. H.S. Olcott and that to him belongs the unique and honorary title of President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, and that, as in the case of H.P.B. as Corresponding Secretary, he can have no successor in that office."
The First Session of the Convention then adjourned. At the Second Session debate was had upon the resolution as indicated. A historical sketch of the Society was submitted, showing its de facto and nominal nature as a single Society since 1879. Speeches were made by Mr. Fullerton, and by Dr. J.W.B. LaPierre, President of the Minneapolis Lodge - both strongly opposing the adoption of the resolutions. The speeches in opposition were listened to with close attention and entire respect for the speakers. Dr. LaPierre's speech included a written Protest. In fact, the bulk of the time was occupied by the speakers in opposition to the resolutions, and
their remarks are given in full in the Convention official Report. At the conclusion the list of Branches and Councillors was called and a formal vote taken. The totals showed 191 votes in favor of the resolutions and 10 against.
"Thus did the "American Section of the T.S.," cease to exist, to reorganize as "The Theosophical Society in America."
After the close of this Second Session of April 28, Dr. Keightley read a detailed Reply by Mr. Judge to the charges of misusing the names and handwritings of the Mahatmas. This Reply was afterwards printed in pamphlet form.
Two sessions were held on April 29 as the T.S. in A.; a Constitution and By-Laws were adopted; officers and an Executive Committee elected. The following letter from the Executive Committee of the newly organized Theosophical Society in America, and signed by Mr. Judge as its President, was sent to the Convention of the European Section:
"From the Theosophical Society in America to the European Theosophists, in Convention assembled as, 'The European Section of the Theosophical Society.'
"Brothers and Sisters: We send you our fraternal greeting, and fullest sympathy in all works sincerely sought to be performed for the good of Humanity. Separated though we are from you by very great distance we are none the less certain that you and we, as well as all other congregations of people who love Brotherhood, are parts of that great whole denominated The Theosophical Movement, which began far back in the night of Time and has since been moving through many and various peoples, places and environments. That grand work does not depend upon forms, ceremonies, particular persons or set organizations, 'Its unity throughout the world does not consist in the existence
and action of any single organization, but depends upon the similarity of work and aspiration of those in the world who are working for it.' Hence organizations of theosophists must vary and change in accordance with place, time, exigency and people. To hold that in and by a sole organization for the whole world is the only way to work would be boyish in conception and not in accord with experience or nature's laws.
"Recognizing the foregoing, we, who were once the body called The American Section of the T.S., resolved to make our organization, or merely outer form for government and administration, entirely free and independent of all others; but retained our theosophical ideals, aspirations, aims and objects, continuing to be a part of the theosophical movement. This change was an inevitable one, and perhaps will ere long be made also by you as well as by others. It has been and will be forced, as it were, by nature itself under the sway of the irresistible law of human development and progress.
"But while the change would have been made before many years by us as an inevitable and logical development, we have to admit that it was hastened by reason of what we considered to be strife, bitterness and anger existing in other Sections of the Theosophical world which were preventing us from doing our best work in the field assigned us by Karma. In order to more quickly free ourself from these obstructions we made the change in this, instead of in some later, year. It is, then, a mere matter of government and has nothing to do with theosophical propaganda and ethics, except that it will enable us to do more and better work.
Therefore we come to you as fellow-students and workers in the field of theosophical effort, and holding out the hand of fellowship we again declare the complete unity of all theosophical
workers in every part of the world. This you surely cannot and will not reject from heated, rashly conceived counsels, or from personalities indulged in by anyone, or from any cause whatever. To reject the proffer would mean that you reject and nullify the principle of Universal Brotherhood upon which alone all true theosophical work is based. And we could not indulge in those reflections nor put forward that reason but for the knowledge that certain persons of weight and prominence in your ranks have given utterance hastily to expressions of pleasure that our change of government above referred to has freed them from nearly every one of the thousands of earnest, studious and enthusiastic workers in our American group of Theosophical Societies. This injudicious and untheosophical attitude we cannot attribute to the whole or to any majority of your workers.
Let us then press forward together in the great work of the real Theosophical Movement which is aided by working organizations, but is above them all. Together we can devise more and better ways for spreading the light of truth through all the earth. Mutually assisting and encouraging one another we may learn how to put Theosophy into practice so as to be able to teach and enforce it by example before others. We will then each and all be members of that Universal Lodge of Free and Independent Theosophists which embraces every friend of the human race. And to all this we beg your corporate official answer for our more definite and certain information, and to the end that this and your favorable reply may remain as evidence and monuments between us.
William Q. Judge, President."
Upon the simple principle that the integrity of the Theosophical Movement was paramount to the organizational unity of the Theosophical Society when its component elements were a house irreconcilably divided against itself, the action of the Boston Convention was a logical as well as an inevitable necessity. Regardless of the merits of the contending forces all but the most bigoted could see that two or more organizations at one upon ideals and at peace upon externalities were infinitely nearer to the practical possibility of fraternity, the prime proclaimed object of all. The Letter thus drawn up was a concrete expression of these ideas, and for that reason was addressed to the "European Theosophists in Convention assembled," not to the "Convention." For the hopes and good wishes therein expressed, there was, in addition, ample ground both in the matter of precedent and in the statements of H.P.B. and Col. Olcott himself. For the T.S. had very early been in cordial affiliation and alliance with the Arya Somaj, an entirely separate organization; the London Lodge under Mr. Sinnett's guidance had in 1891 definitely and officially declared its own organizational independence of the T.S., had refused to have anything whatever to do with its official proceedings or procedure, while expressing a similar attitude toward both the T.S. and the President-Founder, and this action of the London Lodge had been received and accepted without protest by the European Convention in July, immediately following the death of H.P.B., and with the President-Founder in the chair; Col. Olcott had accepted the self-declared official independence of the "Theosophical Society in Europe," with H.P.B., as its President in the summer of 1890, under circumstances so nearly parallel as to be practically identical; and he had formally and officially "authorized" the so-called "Esoteric Section" or "Esoteric School," - an independent body within the T.S., a body, moreover, over which he had absolutely no control and which had been formed by H.P.B. expressly and declaredly because the T.S. was, in her opinion, "a dead failure" and a "sham." In her famous "Puzzle From
Adyar" article she had publicly declared: "There is no longer a 'Parent Society'; it is abolished and replaced by an aggregate body of Theosophical Societies, all autonomous." Colonel Olcott had directly stated, on the occasion of that struggle: "If you want separate Societies, have them by all means"; and during the very course of the "Judge case" itself, his Presidential Address at the Adyar Convention in December, 1894, had clearly shown that he anticipated the very action taken by the Boston Convention, while his letters to Judge and others during the months succeeding that Address plainly indicated that he would officially recognize any action the Boston Convention might take, and continue in amity and harmony in the work of the Theosophical Movement with his former associates in the new Society.
The President-Founder touched at Zumarraga, Spain, on his way to attend the Convention of the European Section at London. There he received the various documents apprising him of the proceedings of the Boston Convention, as well as the news of the various activities of his associates in the "case against W.Q. Judge." He at once issued an "Executive Notice," formally admitting that "the American Section, exercising its indisputable right, in lawful Convention assembled," had declared itself completely autonomous and "has thus as effectually broken its relation with the Theosophical Society as the United States of America did their colonial relations with Great Britain on July 4, 1776." After arguing the question of the de jure or de facto existence of the T.S., the Executive Notice concludes as follows:
"While it would have been better if the work in hand could have been continued as heretofore in a spirit of unity and mutual reliance, yet the undersigned considers that a separation like the present one was far more prudent than the perpetuation of ill-feeling and disunity within our ranks by causes too well known to need special reference. The undersigned offers to his late
American colleagues his best private and official wishes for the prosperity, usefulness and honourable management of their new Society.
President-Founder of the Theosophical Society."
Apart from the manifest fact that there was in the mind of Col. Olcott no consciousness that the disunity and the separation had been caused and forced by himself and Mrs. Besant, the closing sentences of his Executive Notice expressed in words the same ideas as were embodied in the Letter from the T.S.A. to the "European Theosophists in Convention assembled." How far his words were representative of his actual intentions and determination is shown by the course taken at the Convention of the British-European Section. That Convention met at London on July 4, 1895 - notable date - with the President-Founder in the chair. Colonel Olcott formally advised the Convention of the receipt of the Letter from the T.S.A., but refused to place it before the Convention, saying: "I declare the thing out of order and not admissible."
A sharp discussion ensued, various delegates opposing both the spirit and the decision of the President-Founder. Mrs. Besant then made a characteristic speech, concluding:
"I would ask you (if the President-Founder would be good enough to waive his perfectly just and legal ruling) to allow the letter to be read, and then let it lie on the table, passing it over in absolute silence so to speak."
A motion to that effect was made by Mrs. Besant, seconded, and carried. Colonel Olcott then read the Letter to the Convention. Mr. Fred J. Dick of the Dublin Lodge at once moved: "That this Convention do receive the communication with pleasure and do draft a reply thereto."
This was seconded, but at once a hot debate ensued, for to have adopted it would have been to accept the
olive branch tendered from the new society. Mrs. Besant therefore moved as an amendment: "That the letter do lie upon the table."
Oliver Firth seconded Mrs. Besant's amendment. The amendment was carried - 39 to 13 - and accordingly the letter was "laid on the table" and the American overtures rejected.
Thereupon Mr. E.T. Hargrove, one of the delegates, rose to a "question of privilege" and said that the treatment given by the Convention to the Letter from the T.S.A. was not only an ignominious refusal of proffered amity but the official abandonment by the large majority of the European Section of the fundamental principle of all Theosophical work - brotherhood. He called upon all who took this view to leave the hall. Accordingly a third of the delegates and visiting Fellows retired and proceeded to take steps to organize a "Theosophical Society in England" in affiliation with the T.S.A.
The Convention of the European Section continued its session and before adjourning adopted the following Resolution:
"Resolved: That this Convention regrets that the Theosophical Society in America should have addressed to it a letter of greeting containing much contentious matter, and in a form which makes it impossible to accept it officially, yet the delegates wish to assure their late colleagues in America of their hearty sympathy in all matters pertaining to the true principles of Theosophy and Universal Brotherhood."
During the session of the Convention the President-Founder, in the chair, welcomed to its sessions Dr. Mary Weeks Burnett who had come over from the United States on behalf of Mr. Fullerton, Dr. LaPierre, herself, and other dissenters from the action taken by the Boston Convention. At the request of Col. Olcott, Dr. Weeks read a formal letter from these, declaring allegiance to
the President-Founder, to the T.S., and repudiating the T.S.A.
The President-Founder appointed Mr. Fullerton General Secretary of an "American Section" of the Theosophical Society to be formed; announced that all former F.T.S. and all former Lodges and Branches must choose between the T.S. and the T.S. in A., and that all accepting the action of the Boston Convention would, ipso facto, forfeit all connection with the T.S. - all Charters revoked and all Diplomas of Fellowship canceled. He appointed Mr. Sinnett Vice-President of the T.S. in lieu of Mr. Judge, declaring that Mr. Judge had "by his own act lost his membership in the Society."
Thereafter Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, and all those under their influence continually spoke and wrote of the "secession" of the American Section, and of their former associates as "seceders." Mr. Judge was continuously referred to as a former devoted Theosophist who had "gone wrong," and as a "forger"; those who believed in him as deceived and deluded.
Thus perished all hopes that the two societies might proceed in emulation, not rivalry; in peace, not controversies and antagonisms.
We promised to show, over their own signatures, that the "case against Judge" began to take on the aspects of an organized secret conspiracy as far back as the beginning of 1893, while yet all the participants were maintaining publicly toward Mr. Judge an attitude of the most cordial co-operation and confidence, and while privately maintaining all the appearances of intimate friendship and trust. This has already been abundantly done in respect of Mrs. Besant and others. In Col. Olcott's case it is certified by one of the documents included in Mrs. Besant's "Case Against W. Q. Judge" - the document relating to the "Panjab Seal." Though the "Case Against W.Q. Judge" was not published until April, 1895, the document in question was given by Col. Olcott to Mrs. Besant at the midnight conference at Adyar on Christmas, 1893. The document bore the signature of Col. Olcott, and the date, January 28, 1893.
This leads to a consideration of the two things on which the whole "Judge case" rests for its "evidence" of bogus messages, which seemed so convincing to Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, and others, after Chakravarti and other Brahmins had played on the prospective tools (or victims, as one wills). First let it be understood that it is the clear and undisputed fact that the "Judge messages" were unique in two respects as compared with all the wide range of "messages" received through numerous "psychics" after H.P.B.'s death: (1) some of them bore a "seal"; (2) they were all in the handwritings attributed from 1870 to 1891 to the "precipitations" of the Masters "M" and "K.H." It was the messages received through H.P.B. that Mr. Hodgson, the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research, their two handwriting experts, Mr. Sims and Mr. Netherclift, and numerous others, attributed to the "forgery" of H.P.B. herself and Damodar.
Had it not been for the "seal" and the "handwritings" there would have been no "Judge case"; for, although six "Charges and Specifications" were drawn up, Mrs. Besant herself in her Statement before the London Convention, July 12, 1894, said plainly that the chief and only real ground for the "charges" was the "misleading form" of the Judge messages, and herself affirmed her belief that the "messages" were, as to fact and substance, genuine.
I. It is known that a "seal" appeared on messages very early; Dr. Franz Hartmann speaks of it in his "Report of Observations," at Adyar - a pamphlet issued in September, 1884; the testimony in "The Case Against W.Q. Judge," recites the "seal" on various messages received during the lifetime of H.P.B., notably one received by Mr. Bertram Keightley at New York in 1890; and, finally, as we shall quickly show, was testified to by Mrs. Besant, Countess Wachtmeister, and others, as having been seen by them on messages received through H.P.B.
II. As to the "Panjab Seal" itself, around which the "Judge case" hinged in connection with the hand-
writing problem. According to Col. Olcott's "Statement" in "The Case Against W.Q. Judge," he bought, in 1883, a "seal" in imitation of the Master "M's" "cryptograph," and this imitation "seal" he gave to H.P.B. According to Mr. Bertram Keightley's "Statement" he first saw this "seal" in 1888; H.P.B., being ill, asked him to get out for her "a small box containing some of her 'occult possessions'" - the phrase "occult possessions" being used by Mr. Keightley in quotes in such manner as to give the impression that the words were H.P.B.'s, not his own. He opened the box at her request, and among other things saw this "seal." On his asking her what it was, she replied, as he gives her words: "Oh, it is only a flapdoodle of Olcott's." Keightley says that the resemblance of this "seal" to Mahatma "M's" "cryptograph" caused him, in connection with H.P.B.'s remark, to examine it closely and "to photograph it very strongly on my memory." So strongly, according to him, that when he received the message in New York in 1890 (during H.P.B.'s lifetime), he noted a "seal impression like the one I had seen with H.P.B." The message was received in Mr. Judge's office on a cablegram sent to Mr. Judge and therefore opened by Judge, - as Mr. Keightley had given Judge's name and address for the receipt of cables to himself. Mr. Keightley goes on: "I thereupon asked Judge if he had put the seal there; to this he replied that he knew nothing about it." Mr. Keightley seems never to have asked H.P.B. about this "seal impression" - or if he did he says nothing of it. Nor does he mention that the cablegram itself - on which the "precipitated seal" and message occurred - was from H.P.B., and it is the statement of Mr. Claude Falls Wright, another of the original "Inner Group," who was present at the time, that on the night of Mr. Bertram Keightley's return to London from America in the summer of 1890, H.P.B. questioned Mr. Keightley about her telegram to him, and when he said he had lost it, she produced the identical telegram, seal, message and all, before his eyes; and then chided him "for losing things"!
After the date 1888, note well, there is no evidence of anyone ever having seen the "seal" itself; no evidence of what became of it; but it was not among H.P.B.'s possessions after her death when those were searched and examined. There was not then, and there never was, anything whatever to connect Mr. Judge with the possession of this "Panjab seal."
In August, 1891, The Path, as narrated, published an article by "Jasper Niemand," then unknown as an identity, beginning with a "message from the Master," alleged by the writer to have been received after the death of H.P.B., and "attested by His real seal." (3) We have earlier called attention to this word "real" in connection with the "seal." Colonel Olcott wrote Mr. Judge, as told, and Mr. Judge replied with the "Interesting letter" published later on by Mrs. Besant in Lucifer for April,.1893. In that letter Mr. Judge tells Col. Olcott he "knows nothing about" the "seal" - meaning thereby the "Panjab Seal." That, to Col. Olcott's suspicious mind, was proof positive that Mr. Judge had in some way gotten hold of the imitation seal and was using it to bolster bogus messages being produced by Mr. Judge to attract attention to himself as "Master's agent." No other explanation ever occurred to Col. Olcott or to any of the others. When Mr. Judge denied that he had anything to do with the "Jasper Niemand" message, Col. Olcott could only think Mr. Judge was lying to escape an impasse. He exchanged confidences with Mr. Walter R. Old, who had been a member of the E.S.T. Council and present at the Avenue Road Meeting of May 27, 1891, when the "W.Q. Judge's plan is right" message had been received - with a "seal" on it. Mr. Old wrote that the E.S.T. had been reorganized on the basis of that message - a plain, unornamented falsehood, as we have seen, and shall further show. This was in the article "Theosophic Freethought," for which Messrs. Old and Edge were suspended from the E.S.T., as narrated. Now let us take Mrs. Besant's own series of statements in regard to that message and its "seal," etc.
(3) See Chapters XX, XXV, and XXVI.
(1) On July 6, 1891, less than six weeks after the Meeting itself, Mrs. Besant drew up a statement which she sent to Mrs. Julia Campbell-Ver Planck at New York City - Mrs. Ver Planck then well known Theosophically and who afterwards married Dr. Archibald Keightley, but who was then entirely unknown to Mrs. Besant or anyone else except Mr. Judge as being identical with "Jasper Niemand." Mrs. Besant's statement reads:
"London, July 6th, 1891.
"I took from William Q. Judge, on the afternoon of May 27th, 1891 [the meeting was held that night] certain papers selected from a number of letters in his possession. These I took one by one, read them, folded them up, tied them into a packet, and said I would read them myself to the Council, as they concerned Bro. Judge. I opened this packet myself in the Council meeting, in my place as chairman. I took up the papers one by one and read them (or parts of them) aloud, and on raising one of them saw a piece of paper lying between it and the next that was not there when I tied them together. After reading those remaining I took it up, and found it was a slip bearing some words written in red and signed with .'.'s initials and seal. The words were: "W.Q. Judge's plan is right."
"The paper is attached hereto.
(2) In December, 1891, Mrs. Besant attended an E. S.T. meeting at the Astor House in New York City, with Messrs. Robert Crosbie, Henry Turner Patterson, Thaddeus P. Hyatt, and William Main. There, the discussion turned, inter alia, on the "phenomena" occurring since H.P.B.'s death, the "message" in The Path for August preceding, and Mrs. Besant's remarkable public statements in her "Hall of Science" speech on
August 30, 1891, and, naturally, on the "Judge's plan is right" message of May 27, 1891, to which, among others, she referred in that speech. All four of these gentlemen, all well-known Theosophists of unblemished repute, afterwards testified that Mrs. Besant "stated in the most positive and unqualified manner that the message from the Master which she found at a meeting of the Council of the E.S. in London amongst other papers, could not have been placed there by Mr. Judge or anyone else."
(3) At Taplow, England, on the evening of June 15, 1893, Mrs. Besant met and talked with Dr. and Mrs. Keightley on the subject of this Council meeting, the incident being brought up by reason of the advance proofs from The Theosophist of "Theosophic Freethought." Dr. and Mrs. Keightley were both members of the E.S.T., and personal friends at the time with Mrs. Besant as well as Mr. Judge. No action had as yet been taken in the E.S.T. on Mr. Old's and Mr. Edge's actions. In the discussion they asked Mrs. Besant "what she had done with the parcel of letters between the time when she read and tied them together [in the afternoon] and the moment of taking them into the Council with her [in the evening]. She replied that "she had locked them in a drawer in her room, where no one could have access to them, and took them from there into the Council Meeting, and that they were not out of her possession for a moment."
(4) Very shortly after the above meeting Mrs. Besant drew up the E.S.T. circular dated "August, 1893," which, signed by her and Mr. Judge, was sent to all members of the E.S.T. Very full extracts have already been given in this History from that circular but a portion was reserved for its appropriate setting. We give that portion now. Mrs. Besant first gives the historical background:
"In Lucifer for the month of April, a letter by Brother Judge to an unnamed Indian member [Col. Olcott] was published. The letter was
in reply to many others sent by the Indian member to him, and while dealing with particular questions was deemed by the editor of Lucifer [Mrs. Besant] to contain matters of general T.S. interest. In that letter Bro. Judge referred to a seal about which his correspondent had asked, and said in effect that he did not know if the Master was in the habit of using the seal referred to, but Bro. Judge did not state to the Indian [Col. Olcott] the fact that he (Judge) knew of an impression of the seal having appeared upon one or two occasions on letters from the Master to other persons; Bro. Judge not wishing to debate that question and also because - as he now again states to you - such a seal having appeared on letters from Masters to him in his own previous and personal experience was extraneous so far as he was concerned, though it did not invalidate any message."
As we have earlier quoted, Mrs. Besant goes on to discuss the Old-Edge article in the July Theosophist, gives their "foot note" in reference to the "message" of May 27, 1891 - that the E.S.T. was reorganized on the strength of that message with its "seal" - and to suspend Messrs. Old and Edge for their breach of the School Rules and discipline. She then says:
"But the statement in the above foot-note is itself untrue. The reorganization of the School in 1891 was not based on a message from the Master; it was based on several letters and certificates from H.P.B. (see Council Minutes) explicitly making William Q. Judge her representative in America, and on one from her assigning to Annie Besant the position she was to hold after her (H.P.B.'s) death. These were in Brother Judge's possession and were exhibited to the Council. Brother J.D. Buck, one of the American Council, was also then in London. He, among others, suggested prior to the
meeting a similar plan of reorganization to that proposed by Brother Judge, and Dr. Buck personally drew up just prior to the Council meeting the new form of the pledge. At the meeting of the Council the plan was submitted by Annie Besant with some of the passages from H.P.B.'s letters."
Mrs. Besant then goes on to give the text of a statement drawn up by herself and signed by herself and "such of the Councillors present [at the Meeting of May 27, 1891] whom we can reach at this moment." This statement is dated "London, July 14, 1893," and reads as follows:
"The plan for the reorganization of the E.S.T. rendered necessary by the passing away of H.P. Blavatsky, was laid before the English division of the General Council by Annie Besant, who had in her possession a bundle of letters from which she read extracts. These constituted William Q. Judge H.P. Blavatsky's representative with full powers in America, and appointed Annie Besant as Chief Secretary of the Inner Group (the highest grade in the E.S.T.), and Recorder of the Teachings. These were the documents upon which the reorganization of the School was based, and the recognition of William Q. Judge and Annie Besant as Outer Heads was made. The arrangement was rendered inevitable by these letters of H.P. Blavatsky, its Head, and nothing beyond her expressed directions was necessary to insure its acceptance by the Council. Towards the close of the proceedings a message was received from Master, 'Judge's plan is right.' This was written on a small piece of paper found among the papers in the sight of all by Annie Besant. The message bore the impression of a seal, and the impression was recognized by Countess Wachtmeister
and others as that of the Master, being identical with impressions on letters received during the life-time with us of H.P. Blavatsky.
"The message was received as a most satisfactory sign of approval of the arrangement proposed, but that arrangement was in no sense arrived at in consequence of it, being, as stated, based on H.P. Blavatsky's own letters and accepted as her directions."
This statement is signed with the following names: Constance Wachtmeister, G.R.S. Mead, Annie Besant, Laura M. Cooper, W. Wynn Westcott, and Alice Cleather. Immediately following the statement Mrs. Besant appends a memorandum signed by herself alone, as follows:
"I myself selected from among many letters of H.P.B.'s those referred to above, and tied them together. There was no paper with Master's writing bearing above words among them before the meeting."
(5) It was concerning this "message" in particular, and others merely incidentally, that Mrs. Besant later made so many contradictory and bewildering statements during the dark days from the early fall of 1893 till the conclusion of the "Judge case." Chakravarti was in London when this very circular of August, 1893, was sent out, but had not then gotten Mrs. Besant into his Occult toils. Up till then Mrs. Besant was true to Mr. Judge, all Mr. Sinnett's, Mr. Bert Keightley's and Col. Olcott's insinuations failing to do more than make her "a little uneasy," as she wrote herself in "The Case against W.Q. Judge." That pamphlet tells a pitiful and sorry tale to one who reads it in the light of the ordered facts out of her own mouth, as given in the foregoing numbered paragraphs, and in the light of the pledge, Rules, and Book of Discipline of the School. It is the proof of the corruption of Annie Besant, not of "forgery" by W.Q. Judge. She herself says (pp. 12-13) that up to September, 1893, when she went to America
in company with Chakravarti and Miss Muller "the idea was to me incredible that a man who had worked so devotedly... could deliberately imitate the scripts of the Masters.... Of evidence at that time I had none, only vague accusations, and so far was I from crediting these that I remember saying that before I could believe Mr. Judge guilty, I should need the word of the Master, given to me face to face." To whom did she say that? Chakravarti?
At all events Chakravarti had gotten very close to her, as narrated, and had "magnetized" her many times so that she might be able to "see and hear the Master." Mrs. Besant goes on
"... The result was that I made a direct appeal to the Master, when alone, stating that I did feel some doubt as to Mr. Judge's use of His name, and praying Him to endorse or disavow the messages I had received.
"... He appeared to me as I had so often before seen Him, clearly, unmistakably, and I then learned from Him directly that the messages were not done by Him, and that they were done by Mr. Judge.... The order to take action was repeated to me at Adyar [Christmas, 1893]... and I was bidden to wash away the stains on the T.S. 'Take up the heavy Karma of the Society. Your strength was given you for this.' How could I, who believed in Him, disobey?"
These alleged "appearances" must have taken place in the Fall of 1893. How then, in the face of them if genuine, could she make the statement she did before the European Convention in July, 1894? Who was it she saw and heard; by what means and under what influences? But if it were, as she thought, the Master of H.P.B., one must wonder why that Master let her go on being deceived by "bogus" messages for more than two years after the death of H.P.B.; one wonders, too, why she should not have taken her first, her earliest doubts, to Him, and why, if she could reach Him, "clearly,
unmistakably," she was under any necessity to get "messages" at second hand, be it from H.P.B., from Judge, from Chakravarti, from Mr. Leadbeater, or any one else; and why her "messages" all supposedly from the same Master, should give each other the lie, and lead her from one labyrinthine passage to another.
Judge's Death and the Tingley "Successorship"
After the British Convention in July, 1895, all hopes necessarily vanished, whether of official affiliation or of fraternal emulation between the two societies. Colonel Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, and their supporters entered on an active campaign in England, Europe, India, and Australia, and the membership in their society was largely augmented during the years immediately following the split in the parent Society. Their followers in America., few in number, rallied around the efforts of Mr. Fullerton to revive the "American Section," but those efforts were futile for the most part until subsequent to the dissensions in the T.S. in A., a year and a half after the death of Mr. Judge.
The newly organized "Theosophical Society in America," free from dissentient elements, continued to follow the same lines of propaganda as had characterized its activities from its original inception in 1887 as the democratic "American Section." In affiliation with the T.S. in A. was the "Theosophical Society in England," comprising about a third of the British Theosophists who had "bolted" from the British Convention in July, 1895. Besides these, a considerable number of individual members on the Continent, and a few members in Australia adhered to the same program of teaching and of practice.
The "Esoteric Section" of the T.S. in A. continued with the original Instructions, pledge, and conduct as maintained by H.P.B. The "Esoteric Section" inaugurated by Mrs. Besant was required to sign a new "pledge"; additional "instructions" were sent out, among them Mrs. Besant's version of the troubles in the
"School"; and, for the first time in the history of the E.S., members were given for study the writings of Mrs. Besant and of Mr. Leadbeater as of equal authenticity and value with the writings of H.P.B. In 1897 the spurious "Third Volume" of the "Secret Doctrine" was issued, containing the garbled reprint of the original Preliminary Memorandum and Instructions of H.P.B. to the E.S.T. May 14, 1899, Mrs. Besant withdrew all the original papers and pledges of the School. Since that time the E.S.T. in the Besant fragment of the original T.S. and E.S. has gradually departed from the lines originally laid down by H.P.B., until only the forms remain. The writings and examples of the "Successor" and her satellites have been studied and emulated to the gradual extinction of the original message of Theosophy recorded by H.P.B. This successful and unnoticed substitution was facilitated by the misfortunes which befell the T.S. in A. within less than one year after the separation.
From the autumn of 1893, when the attacks upon him became virulent, Mr. Judge's health slowly gave way. At the time of the Boston Convention in April, 1895, his condition was such that he was able to take but little active part in the proceedings. By October of that year his condition had grown so alarming that at the insistence of friends and physicians he went to Carolina in a vain endeavor to recuperate. This proving of no avail and it becoming increasingly evident that his life could not be prolonged, he returned North by slow stages, spending a fortnight at Cincinnati with Dr. J.D. Buck and other well-known, Theosophists. He reached New York City early in February and from then on rapidly declined. Mr. Judge died on Saturday, March 21, 1896, a little less than a year after the separation.
Nothing in Theosophical history has been more obscured and therefore more misunderstood than the series of events immediately following the death of Mr. Judge. In the same way that Mrs. Besant has been accepted and followed in the largest of the existing Theosophical Societies as the "Successor" of H.P.B., so in the other
of the two fragments of the parent association was Mrs. Tingley accepted and followed as the "Successor" of Mr. Judge and, through him, of H.P.B. as well. For more than a quarter of a century these two rivals to the mantle and the prestige of the Messenger and her Colleague have filled the world with their claims and assertions. From each of the original fragments numerous defections have inevitably occurred, in each case consisting of some new claimant to "messages from the Masters" with his devoted adherents. All trace back to one and the same basic idea - that of "apostolic succession" - the fecund source of all the sects and sectarianism into which has split up and degenerated every great religion, although each of them was originally, like the message and the mission of H.P.B. herself, a periodic public manifestation of the undying Theosophical Movement.
It is not to be presumed that the great bulk of the membership had at any time any knowledge of their own, whether of the Occult nature and status of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, or of any of the numerous others, Mrs. Besant and Mrs. Tingley among them, who at one time and another have claimed "apostolic succession" and to deliver "messages." Yet the members of the T.S. in A. accepted, as greedily and as readily, the Tingley claim of successorship as had been done before them by those who accepted Mrs. Besant in the same role.
Mr. Judge dead, all was confusion and uncertainty among the rank and file of the membership of the Society and of its E.S.T. Some sort of announcement was eagerly looked forward to that should clear the way to the unbroken continuance of the School, the Society, and their common activities. On Friday, March 27, a brief notice announced a "General Meeting of the E.S.T." at the Headquarters, 144 Madison Avenue, New York City, for the following Sunday, March 29, at noon. As many near-by members as possible attended this meeting and were passive participants in what took place. A prepared one-page announcement was read by Mr. E.T. Hargrove as part of the proceedings and this,
stamped with the same date as the meeting, was immediately afterwards mailed to all members of the E.S.T. in the United States and throughout the world. This announcement, headed "strictly private and confidential," reads in full:
"Brothers and Sisters: We have been earnestly considering the future of the E.S.T. and its government, during the examination of our elder brother W.Q. Judge's private papers. These papers already show that the future of the School was not left to chance, nor to our mere judgment. They contain astonishing revelations concerning our late Outer Head and definitely prove that he was far greater than superficially appeared. We think it right to inform you at once of this fact, and that his position in the Lodge was higher and his connection with Masters far more intimate and constant than was generally supposed by most members of the School. His papers further show that he did not stand alone in the work, but that, unseen and unknown to all but the very few, he had assistance right at hand, and that he left this assistance behind him, not withdrawn by his death. In regard to this matter we must ask you for the present to remember that even as he trusted us, so you must trust us. But we shall issue a further communication as soon as possible, proving from his own papers the correctness of all that is written above.
Fraternally and faithfully yours,"
This announcement was signed, in order, by E.T. Hargrove, Jas. M. Pryse, Joseph H. Fussell, H.T. Patterson, Claude Falls Wright, Genevieve Ludlow Griscom, C.A. Griscom, Jr., and E. Aug. Neresheimer - all well-known members then residing in and near New York City, all active in the Aryan Lodge, the T.S. in A., the E.S.T., the conduct of The Path, and the other work centering at the headquarters.
There is no record that any of the members receiving this announcement examined it rigidly for its concordance with or application of the writings and example of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge. No one seems to have inquired how any "private papers" could "definitely prove" that Judge was an "elder brother," his "position in the Lodge" and his "connection with Masters far more intimate and constant," so that "he was far greater than superficially appeared." No one seems to have asked himself or others whether the public work and writings of Mr. Judge for twenty years were not the real evidence of his true nature, rather than any post mortem claims made by others, ostensibly on his behalf, regardless of any or all "private papers" alleged to bolster them. Nor did any one question the further assertion that "unseen and unknown to all but the very few" Mr. Judge had left "assistance behind him, not withdrawn by his death." No one inquired how, if this "assistance" had been "unseen and unknown to all but the very few" before his death, it was to be "definitely proved" after his decease. On the contrary, the membership awaited eagerly and with the "trust" called for, the "further communication proving from his own papers the correctness of all" the astounding claims made in the communication of March 29.
That communication was followed within the week by a nineteen-page pamphlet, also "strictly private and confidential," which was mailed to all members. It is dated April 3, 1896, and contains an address to the members, signed by the same names as the announcement of March 29, together with what is declared to be "a verbatim report of a general E.S.T. meeting held in New York at Headquarters on Sunday, March 29, at 12:30 P.M." The address proceeds:
"This is done according to the directions of the late Outer Head, William Q. Judge. The papers left by him provided for the future management of the School by the present Outer Head, a Council, and an Advisory Council in Europe. The Outer Head is known to and is in
communication with the Council, but, according to direction and for reasons in part explained in the report of the above mentioned E.S.T. meeting, the name and identity of W.Q. Judge's occult heir and successor is to remain unknown to the members in general for one year. Speculations as to who this Outer Head may be are useless and will prove injurious if indulged in. Both the name and person are practically unknown in the Theosophical Society, having been confided by Mr. Judge to but a very few chosen and trusted friends. Needless to say, the Outer Head is not among those named as being on the Council.
"The Council consists of the undersigned and other members to be added as soon as they have been communicated with.
"The Advisory Council in Europe remains the same as heretofore."
Although it is declared that all this is done "according to the directions of the late Outer Head, William Q. Judge," neither then nor thereafter were those "directions" reproduced or made accessible for examination. Although it is declared that "the papers left by him provided for the present Outer Head, a Council, and an Advisory Council in Europe" to manage the School, those "papers" were never exhibited for their authenticity to be inspected. These "instructions" and these "private papers" alleged to have been "left" by Mr. Judge, by virtue of which the membership accepted Mrs. Tingley as "the occult heir and successor" appointed by Mr. Judge, are directly and irreconcilably in contradiction, not only to the whole teaching of Theosophy and to H.P.B.'s specific statement in "Isis Unveiled" (Volume 2, p. 544), that "apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud," but, as well, in complete antithesis to Mr. Judge's own statements and arguments in the Foulke's case, as quoted in full in Chapter XXIII herein.
After this saddling upon Mr. Judge of responsibility for the claims thus asserted, the address proceeds:
"We are further directed to say to you that:
"'By raising themselves to the point of Trust and Intuition, expected by the Master, which enables them to take the present pledge, members are actually advancing towards real Initiation; they are once more 'reborn,' their past is left behind and they begin to receive The New Light That Has Gone Out From The Lodge.'"
There can be no doubt that the foregoing was intended to be construed, and was construed by the members as a "message from the Master" - presumably received through the "occult heir and successor." A still more significant index of the pressure brought to bear on the members and of the real basis of the whole affair is contained in the next succeeding paragraph, which runs:
"We have only to add to the statements made by us at the E.S.T. meeting, minutes of which are enclosed, that individually and unitedly we have continued to receive unmistakable proof that the Outer Head appointed by W.Q. Judge is in direct communication with Masters, with H.P.B. and with the 'luminous youth' or 'Rajah,' as that Adept has been variously named. This latter fact depends solely upon our most solemn testimony, but those who knew and trusted W.Q. Judge should take his decision as final and sufficient in itself."
The only way these "Council" members whose signatures attest this notable address could have unmistakable proof of superphysical "messages" would be, according to the teachings of Theosophy, by their being themselves either accepted chelas or Adepts. But since their "sol-
emn testimony" relates exclusively to "direct communication with Masters, H.P.B., and Judge" on the part of the new "Outer Head," it must follow that their "unmistakable proof" rested on "messages" 'received through Mrs. Tingley. Their "solemn testimony" is mere hearsay and possesses the same degree of validity as the "testimony" to any other "communicating spirit" through any medium or psychic. But the expression used, "we have continued to receive unmistakable proof," is vitally telltale when weighed with the rest of the pretended "evidence" of Mr. Judge's "instructions" and "private papers." The phrase shows that the "unmistakable proofs" trace back in their origin, not to anything left in writing by W.Q. Judge, but to bogus "messages from the Master" received through the same source or sources as the "messages" read to the general E.S.T. meeting of March 29. To those "messages" we shall soon come.
The address which prefaces the pamphlet of April 3, 1896, is immediately followed by the printed text of the "Minutes" of the E.S.T. meeting. The minutes begin with a statement by Mr. E.T. Hargrove. After calling for the assent of all present to absolute privacy regarding the proceedings, Mr. Hargrove read the text of the one-page announcement which we have already given. As "evidence" of the "correctness of the statements made" in that announcement, Mr. Hargrove then read what he declared to be "passages from the Chief's diary and from other papers that he has left behind which were not written for the benefit of others, but for his own use, and have all the more significance on that account."
These "extracts" are all, allegedly, from the "Master," and dated November and December, 1894. The "messages" given are all trivial in the extreme and appear to relate entirely to the bitter controversy raging at that time over the charges made by Mrs. Besant against Mr. Judge. There is in them nothing of philosophy or ethics, nothing of reference to events then pending, not well known to hundreds of others besides the "Master" and Mr. Judge; nothing not already public at
the time of their date and on record for years before. This set of "extracts" covers slightly less than two printed pages and is referred to by Mr. Hargrove as "proving our Chief's constant intercourse with Masters." In themselves they contain no intimation of "Mr. Judge's occult heir and successor." That they were inserted merely to set up the "constant intercourse with Masters" as a background for what was coming, is clearly indicated by Mr. Hargrove's next remarks:
"Now in regard to the assistance which he received - assistance from a living person, I am going to speak of this person, but not by name. I will call that person 'Promise.' That is not the real name; it is simply invented by myself, and whether it is a man, woman, or child, or merely a voice in the air, matters not in the least therefore I will speak of that person as 'he.'"
After this preface there follow nearly six pages of further "extracts," accompanied with running comments by Mr. Hargrove. The first is an alleged "message" from H.P.B., dated January 3, 1895. This "message," Mr. Hargrove declared, was part of one from which "extracts" had been read at the time to an E.S. meeting and also sent to London to the "Advisory Council." Mr. Hargrove in presenting his extracts from this message, said: "they contain important references" to "Promise." A quotation will serve to illustrate the "importance" of this and the other messages alleged to be from Mr. Judge's "occult diary." Thus:
"Our dear chela, you have at last found your fellow chela, who was one of ours years ago, consecrated to the work then, and now by the Master's will brought face to face with you.... As your light shines into 'Promise's' soul, fears will disappear as the dew before the sun.
"The forces are out and annihilation is the only thing that can interfere. 'Promise' should have been in place with us at the beginning, but for
your folly and his lack of trust in the Master. Let me tell you some of the things I Have learned since I absented myself from the outer world. Many of the problems of life that should have been solved if we had been more together have come up before me and I have learned much. I am, next to the America work, interested in Spain. Ireland can take care of itself. In the pine woods I have found a Lodge which I knew something of before I went away. There seven chelas and the light they show that some day will be better known, I will describe to you at our next meeting. There is much connected with it that can be used for irradiating forces in this country, for there is a subtle connection. Be sure that at our next meeting this is not forgotten. Slowly the light from this Lodge is being thrown over Spain, and I see that from the old corpse of bigotry, superstition and credulity will be reared a temple of light which will unite its forces with that of America and Ireland, and from these three points I know that humanity shall be saved. This battle of light and darkness in our midst seems but small when I view the work before us, and the ends and prospects of our work shall stem the tide of this cruel and unworthy persecution. Under all of it, over it all, is the Master's hand; be sure that all is well for thee.
This is our centre here in America illuminated by the Lodge and protected by love. Send 'Promise' out, but not yet; you can make what you will of 'Promise,' for the truthfulness of spirit and devotion to us that are there will make it a good instrument. But keep it well in the background. In outer work 'Promise' is our mystery."
The foregoing "message" is followed by others of similar flavor. One from H.P.B. supposed to be dated
April 3, 1895, puts into her mouth the following, called by Mr. Hargrove "most weighty and momentous":
"How I yearn for the day when I can come myself and work. It is being put off by all this strife and bitterness. I will come, as I said, through 'Promise.' Every day they keep this up is another day of delay for that event.
"Had both ("Rajah" and "Promise") been free, you well, and ye met at the time I said, more and more wonderful phenomena would have happened than did with me."
The final "message" read by Mr. Hargrove to the meeting and given in the "minutes" in the pamphlet of April 3, is another "communication" declared to be from H.P.B. to Mr. Judge, apparently early in 1895:
"... your faculties begin to swell and a part of the connection is made. The moon and the place and water and 'Promise' helped us.... When anything pushes you ahead it does the same for 'Promise' ...
"A year and over of probation was given by Master to those who do so madly try to destroy his work and his chela, yet they turn not from their evil ways.
"'Promise' through his hands will do some of my best work."
It is impossible to believe that any one soever could have treated these "messages" seriously on any theory of their inherent worth. Solely on the assumption that they were "phenomenal," were from the "Master," and from the discarnate H.P.B., does it seem possible that any one could give them a moment's respectful attention. But to regard them from that point of view is to do violence to all the Messages received from those very Masters through H.P.B. herself while she was alive - is to ignore and cast aside the repeated injunctions of Judge himself. Philosophy and moral worth, not phenomena, had been insistently held forth as the
sole and only criterion of right judgment on any and all "messages" and conduct. Some light on the glamour enveloping these "messages" with a fictitious and phenomenal importance is thrown by Mr. Hargrove's closing remarks, after the reading of the "messages":
"This clearly shows that our only chance for the future lies in our trust in this light from the Lodge which is within us all, but which must also have a special centre of action to focus and distribute its rays....
"Trust is our only salvation, but reason alone should show us that he could not have left that body if he had not had an occult heir and successor to take his place, for that is the law in the Lodge. This occult heir is the link between ourselves and him, and so on from the Rajah to H.P.B., to Masters and to the great Lodge. There must be that link; his papers showed us where to find it; we have found it, have tested it and verified it beyond all question, individually and unitedly."
These are the "proofs" that the circular of March 29 so positively informed the membership would be supplied them - "proofs" that were so "unmistakable" to Mr. Hargrove and his associates; yet "trust" and still more "trust" was affirmed by Mr. Hargrove as "our only chance for the future," as "our only salvation." Mr. Hargrove's closing remarks clearly show, clearly prove, not the claimed "successorship," but the attitude and state of mind with which he and his fellows approached their "examination." Their logic was: "Mr. Judge must have left a successor. He could not die without an occult heir. There must be a link. Where shall we find it? How shall we test it? By the philosophy of Theosophy, by the past statements of H.P.B. and Judge? No, by "messages" from him, from H.P.B., from Masters, through his "occult heir." With such an attitude of mind, with such ideas of Theosophy, of Masters, of what was to be looked for, it was
inevitable that they should find what they were looking for, receive the anticipated "messages," believe them, and accept as Mr. Judge's chosen Successor the one through whom they got their "confirmation," and should "continue to receive unmistakable proof."
After Mr. Hargrove's repeated positive assertions, one after another of the "Council" which sat with him upon the platform at the meeting of March 29, 1896, added his "solemn testimony" to the truth of what Mr. Hargrove had said. These statements are all reproduced verbatim in the pamphlet of April 3. Mr. Pryse said:
"We cannot be too careful of our words. So the little I have to say I have written down, simply for the sake of clearness. I endorse what Mr. Hargrove has said to you. And I wish to reiterate his request that in this critical time you should give us your confidence and unwavering support. Our position is not one to be envied. For myself I am here for only one reason: because our Chief desired it."
Mr. J.H. Fussell followed Mr. Pryse and declared:
"I wish first to say that I know of my own knowledge that what our Brother Ernest T. Hargrove has stated is true; that our Chief, the Rajah, is with us, and that he has not left us by the death of his worn-out body. But since the death of that body he has been, and is now, with us and the whole School, and he is still working along the same lines that he has worked hitherto; and will continue to so work and to lead us."
Mr. H.T. Patterson was as emphatic as those who preceded him:
"I realize the solemnity of this occasion. I realize the tremendous importance of the step we have taken. Were I doubtful I should not dare take the responsibility I have. I have no doubts. My certainty is due partly to knowledge held
in common with these others; partly to my own independent knowledge; and partly to the writings of William Q. Judge which I myself have seen."
Mr. Claude Falls Wright spoke at some length and in his remarks will be found the unconscious disclosure of the source of the Tingley claim of successorship. Mr. Wright said:
"... what we are saying is in corroboration of the statements and documents laid before you by Mr. Hargrove...
"For myself I will say that I have always believed and trusted in the aid of Higher Powers and the Masters, and I knew we should not be deserted. But a few weeks before the late body of the Rajah passed away I confess I became troubled a little about the future; such periods of gloom and darkness come to all. And then I received, no matter in what way, a message which at once removed all doubt and depression, and which I showed to many members present...
"I met this Chela - 'Promise' - several times in 1894 and 1895. Mr. Judge introduced me at a meeting of the Aryan T.S. in 1894, saying to me beforehand: 'Here is some one I want you to look at closely; it is a particular person.' He afterwards told me that 'Promise' frequently was in touch with the Lodge. Later he sent me to a house where 'Promise' was staying, and there this chela went into a trance and told me much of the future...
"That we would not be deserted all of you must have felt sure. It is this trust ... that has continued our school under the direct protection of the Masters and the Lodge. We on this platform have in the last few days had marvelous proofs of this."
It should be self-evident that if Mr. Judge had had anything to do with selecting his alleged successor, he would not have left the students dependent upon "messages," either before or after his death, which they would have no means of verifying, nor upon the verbal say-so of any, but would have left clear, indisputable evidence, in his own physical handwriting of his own opinion and advice. H.P.B. left no "successor," but she assuredly did leave abundant record in her own handwriting of how she regarded the various students, notably Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge. That many came to regard Mrs. Besant as her successor was certainly no fault of H.P.B.'s, but due to Mrs. Besant's self-assertions and the natural credulity and misconceptions of human beings. It can be observed by any one who reads closely the assertions in the circular of March 29, and its "proof" in the pamphlet of April 3, 1896, that in no place is the specific statement made that any of the alleged "proofs" were in Mr. Judge's own handwriting. His "private papers" are freely spoken of, his "occult diary," his "instructions for the future management of the School" - but that is all. If Mr. Judge had himself left any such "unmistakable proofs," would not the "Council" and Mrs. Tingley have been first and foremost in proclaiming the fact and inviting the fullest and most rigid inspection of the alleged documents? The inference is irresistible. The surety is made doubly sure by the fact that from that day to this not one of those "private papers," or "instructions," or the "occult diary" has ever been produced. The weakness of Mr. Wright's statement of his conversations with Mr. Judge becomes the more evident the more it is examined from various aspects. If he had known since 1894 that Mrs. Tingley or "Promise" was in "communication with Masters," was a true "chela," was "frequently in touch with the Lodge" - was, in short, to be Mr. Judge's "successor" - why was he "troubled" just before Mr. Judge's death? If he received the "message" of which he spoke that "at once removed all doubt and depression," then it is evident that his "certainty" about "Promise" was not
due to anything Mr. Judge had previously said to him about her. It seems not to have occurred to him or to any of the others that if Mr. Judge were, in fact, an "elder brother" in "high standing" with the "Lodge," an "adept," perhaps Mr. Judge himself was able to see "much of the future" and was giving Mr. Wright an occult hint to put him on his guard against the future "successor" claim. If it were Mr. Judge who sent him later to see Mrs. Tingley, and if, as Mr. Wright says, she "went into a trance," it only shows Mrs. Tingley to have been a medium, or "sensitive," not a chela. "Mediumship," wrote H.P.B. in "Isis Unveiled" (Volume 2, p. 588) "is the opposite of adeptship. And as to Mr. Wright's closing line as quoted, it is to be remarked that neither he nor any of the others went into any details on the "marvelous proofs" they had "continued to receive" after Mr. Judge's death.
Mrs. G.L. Griscom followed Mr. Wright in the meeting and said: "I wish most earnestly and emphatically to corroborate everything that has been said by Mr. Hargrove."
Her husband, Mr. C.A. Griscom, Jr., next stated:
"I have nothing to add to what has already been said except that I have followed step by step all that has led up to this meeting. And I bear my testimony to the absolute truthfulness of what has been said."
Mr. Neresheimer was the last to give his "solemn testimony." He said:
"I have a few remarks to make with regard to the Outer Head or chela of whom you have heard. Mr. Judge several years ago put me into communication with that person, and I think it is my duty to inform you of the fact. As you have heard, you will be made acquainted with the person after the expiration of one year."
Mr. Neresheimer then read a "communication from the Masters," which he said he had received "through
this person" in March, 1895, assumedly in regard to the Boston Convention. Its last sentence is telltale. It reads: "Under no circumstances must Mr. Judge know of this." There is no doubt - since they both admitted it - that Mr. Neresheimer and Mr. Wright had been in the habit of "consulting" Mrs. Tingley, believed in her "powers," and accepted as "messages from the Masters" communications received through her, a year or more before Mr. Judge's death. Yet their "pledge" in the E.S.T. and the "Rules" of the "School," both absolutely forbade such intercourse. Like many another, they "wandered from the discipline" and inevitably reaped the consequences. To what state Mr. Neresheimer and the others had come in the few days following Mr. Judge's death is shown by Mr. Neresheimer's concluding remarks:
"It is the desire of the Rajah that those people who are on this platform, and others who have also been named by the Rajah are to be the Council of this movement in America. We are to receive our instructions, whatever there be, from the Outer Head, with whom, as I previously stated, I am acquainted and so are the others."
From all the foregoing it must be clear that the general membership not only had no knowledge of their own in regard to the "Successor," nor any means of verifying the alleged "proofs," even had such opportunity been afforded them, for the "unmistakable proofs" were all phenomenal and hung on "messages" from H.P.B. and "Masters." Equally must it be apparent that the membership relied wholly and absolutely on the "solemn testimony" of these eight witnesses and their direct assertions that all this was but carrying out Mr. Judge's directions. Those witnesses were all well-known Theosophists, all with good reputations, manifestly sincere in their point-blank declarations; hence their testimony as to super-mundane facts was accepted as unquestioningly as it might have been regarding the most ordinary everyday occurrences.
This brings the inquiry straight home to the eight witnesses themselves. The mass of the membership relied on them and their oaths. What did they rely on? The answer must be: On Mrs. Tingley and on "messages" received through her, not on any documents in the handwriting of William Q. Judge. Mr. Neresheimer and Mr. Wright, on their own confession, and the others by their indirect statements, showed they had attended seances with Mrs. Tingley before Mr. Judge's death, and certainly afterwards when all their "marvelous proofs" were received.
A reading of the pamphlet of April 3 makes clear that some sort of consultations had been going on prior to the meeting of Sunday, March 29. What were they, and what reasons for secrecy and silence regarding them? No faintest intimation was suffered to leak out as to what took place in the interval between Mr. Judge's death, March 21, and the meeting of March 29, save and except the assertion that "we have been examining Mr. Judge's private papers." What were the facts thus kept purposely obscured?
This much is known: Almost at once after the funeral services, Messrs. Neresheimer and Griscom invaded the privacy of Mrs. Judge's grief and asked and obtained from her the keys to Mr. Judge's desk and to the safety-deposit box in which Mr. Judge kept his personal papers. Later on, when Mrs. Judge visited the headquarters she found no private papers of Mr. Judge in his desk, and on going to the safety-deposit box, found it absolutely empty. What became of those papers? They have never been produced to this day.
Next, it is known that Mr. Neresheimer went to Mrs. Tingley for "advice and instruction." That he received both abundantly is shown by the sequel - a sequel not disclosed for two years and then unwittingly as to its implications and bearings on the "successorship" claim. Mr. Neresheimer summoned to a private meeting at Mrs. Tingley's house on Thursday evening, March 26, the witnesses whose testimony the members afterwards relied on. There they were "told" by Mrs. Tingley that Mr.
Judge had "told" her in conversation in 1895 to appoint them as her "Council" in case of his death! On the strength of Mrs. Tingley's own rendition of this alleged "conversation" with Mr. Judge in 1895, and on the "messages" produced, assumedly from "H.P.B." and "the Masters," rests the whole myth that Mr. Judge appointed "Promise" his "occult heir and successor." The much-proclaimed and never-produced "private papers of Mr. Judge" bear a rather remarkable likeness to "private notes" of Mrs. Tingley.
It is from these "private notes" of Mrs. Tingley and other matter in The Searchlight for April, 1898, and Mr. Hargrove's admissions which drew them forth, that the final light is shed on the mysteries leading up to the E. S.T. meeting of March 29, 1896, and the pamphlet of April 3 following. The Searchlight itself was a rabidly pro-Tingley publication issued at irregular intervals during the throes of the fierce struggle that ensued in 1898 between Mrs. Tingley's supporters and those of Mr. Hargrove. To appreciate the bearings of The Searchlight revelations it is necessary to sketch briefly the intervening events.
The pamphlet of April 3, 1896, was followed at the end of April by the annual Convention of the T.S. in A. The active and controlling factor in the Society at large was, of course, the E.S.T. When the Convention met at New York City, it was already an open secret that "Promise" was Mrs. Tingley. On her "suggestion" Mr. Hargrove was enthusiastically elected President of the T.S. in A. He appointed Mr. Fussell as his private secretary and took charge of the editorial conduct of The Path, whose name had meantime been changed to Theosophy. Mr. Wright "called to more important work" as the private secretary of the "successor" to Mr. Judge, addressed the Convention and informed it that "the Masters" were "preparing to found a School for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity." Mrs. Tingley addressed the Convention on the same subject. Amidst unbounded enthusiasm a subscription list was opened for this "School" and a large sum quickly raised
Following the Convention, on May 14, a "strictly private and confidential" circular was sent to all E.S.T. members and entitled "An Urgent Appeal." They were informed that a "Crusade has been directed by the Master," and all were urged to contribute. The circular included the following gem of inanity from the new "Outer Head":
"Today the needs of humanity are embodied in one great call: 'Oh God, my God, is there no help for us?' All people should heed the call of the Master and help to belt the world within the compass of the 'cable tow' of the crusaders, for in their force is a quality of the 'golden promise' - the Light of the Lodge. It will radiate throughout the world, and with the aid of the widow's mite will make perfect the Master's plan."
This appeal of the "golden 'Promise' - "the Light of the Lodge" was joyfully responded to by the membership. Many thousands of dollars were raised and the "Crusaders," headed by Mrs. Tingley, prepared to carry the "message" around the world. Great meetings were held in Boston and New York City. Speeches were made, greetings were read from many noted Theosophists. By the middle of June, when the "Crusaders" departed for Europe on the first stage of their journey round the globe, Mrs. Tingley, whose "successorship" had meantime been publicly announced, was universally regarded by leaders and rank-and-file alike as the "Agent of the Masters." This feeling had been greatly strengthened by a seven-page circular issued in the E.S.T., written by Mr. Hargrove and sent out "with the consent and approval of the Council" on May 17, 1896. It was entitled "An Occultist's Life," and purported to give "certain facts" in the life of the new "Outer Head," - "facts," says Mr. Hargrove, "which were well known to Judge during his lifetime." Mr. Judge's name thus having been lugged in to support his theme, Mr. Hargrove proceeds to tell of the "voices" and the "strange
spirit" which accompanied "Promise" during her childhood; of her "fiery devotion to humanity"; of her being "at last allowed by the Master to separate herself from her [first] husband and to return to her father's home"; of her having been "directed to marry her present husband, on an unusual basis," after "throwing aside many more advantageous offers"; of her then becoming "more fully conscious of her true occult position"; of her using "her power as a psychometer"; of Mr. Judge's "approval of this work." Mr. Hargrove then declares that Mr. Judge told him that this "work" had been "carried on by Master's direction and under Master's supervision." Mr. Hargrove told how 'Promise' has suffered as very few have suffered," and concluded his panegyric:
"'Promise' reached Theosophy by degrees, and in the process of reaching it underwent a training and preparation even more rigid and comprehensive than that experienced by either H.P.B. or W.Q.J. Always guided by the Master, every event in her life had a meaning and a purpose: When the 'moment of consummation' came, several years ago, known and recognized by Mr. Judge, the meaning and the purpose became clear at last....
"Let us all bear this warning in mind: 'Do not let us in any way throw the slightest obstacle in the path of our chosen leader. If we do, we shall regret it.'"
In prefacing this remarkable contribution Mr. Hargrove assured the members that it was sent out "unknown to the O[uter] H[ead]," and that the members "should use great discrimination in giving out the facts it contains." Those "facts" are unaccompanied by names, dates, verifiable references of any kind, and from first to last are such as could only have emanated from "Promise" herself.
Coincident with Mr. Hargrove's circular letter of May 17 to the E.S.T., there appeared in the New York
Tribune of May 18, an article of more than two full columns disclosing Mrs. Tingley's identity as the "Successor," and containing a long authorized "interview" with her. Under date of May 21, another "strictly private and confidential" circular was sent out to all members of the E.S.T., containing a "warning" against the "Black Powers"; a disclosure of "Promise's" identity as Mrs. Tingley, and enclosing a copy of the Tribune article.
Mr. Hargrove and Mr. Wright accompanied Mrs. Tingley on her "Crusade" from New York around the world. Mrs. Alice L. Cleather joined the party in Europe. From the departure in June, 1896, till the return to San Francisco in February, 1897, Mr. Hargrove kept Theosophy supplied with a monthly report of the wonders of the "Crusade." Mr. Fussell, Mr. Neresheimer, and others continued the propaganda in the United States. An E.S.T. circular was sent out, dated July 12, 1896, and signed "The Council," containing the text of a "message from H.P.B." received by the "Crusaders" in mid-ocean on June 15. During the eight months of the "Crusade" the pages of Theosophy witnessed from month to month the highly colored pictures painted for the edification and encouragement of the membership. On the return to America the "cornerstone" of the "School for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity" was laid with great eclat by Mrs. Tingley and her aides at Point Loma, near San Diego, California. "Warnings" were issued in E.S.T. circulars dated January 21, and May 4, 1897, of attacks upon the "Outer Head" and the "work." During the summer of 1897 the campaign of laudation of Mrs. Tingley as "successor" of Mr. Judge and as "Leader of the Theosophical Movement throughout the world," had reached the point where all lesser lights were eclipsed or shone as mere satellites.
Mr. Hargrove, despite his chief and most prominent part in these pyrotechnics, and in spite of being the President of the T.S.A. and editor of Theosophy would seem to have reached the conclusion that his role of Warwick, the King-maker, had been played entirely too successfully.
He found that Mr. Neresheimer as co-legatee of the publishing business under the will of Mr. Judge was disposed to overrule him in the editorial conduct of Theosophy. In the disputes which ensued, Mr. Hargrove, finding himself powerless, resigned the Presidency of the T.S. in A. and the conduct of Theosophy. Mutual felicitations were published, but the actual cause of controversy kept secret, as was the dissension between Mr. Neresheimer and "Jasper Niemand" - Mrs. Keightley - the other legatee. In the E.S.T. however, a circular was sent out, dated September 3, 1897. It was signed by Mrs. Tingley, and contains the admission that it was she who had "suggested" Mr. Hargrove for President in the first place, because, she said: "I knew at that crisis he was the only available man to fill the place." This circular was quickly followed by two additional communications to the E.S.T., both dated September 13, 1897, and both signed by Mrs. Tingley. As subsequently became clear, both these pamphlets were preparatory for the open battle which followed a little later. One of the pamphlets related to "The International Brotherhood League," organized by Mrs. Tingley immediately after the return from the "Crusade." The other was entitled "The Theosophical Movement." These were followed by the correspondence between Mr. Neresheimer and Mrs. Keightley, over the publishing business. Mrs. Keightley espoused the cause of Mr. Hargrove and Mr. Neresheimer was determined to support the cause of Mrs. Tingley. In November, Dr. Keightley resigned the Presidency of the affiliated Theosophical Society in England and the Presidency of the English E.S.T. "Council," without assigning any reasons.
By January, 1898, the internal rivalry had become so high-pitched that its echoes began to reach the ears of the general membership both of the T.S. in A., and of the E.S.T. On January 3, 1898, a highly laudatory pamphlet was distributed to the membership, recounting in detail the "great works" accomplished by Mrs. Tingley. It was signed by Mr. Fussell and others and was sent out "unofficially." This was followed by the perfecting
of plans at a private conference held at Mrs. Tingley's home early in January for the organization of the "Universal Brotherhood" and the mergence in it of the T.S. in A. at the forthcoming annual Convention. This meeting was not made known at the time, but public official notice was sent out that the Convention would be held on February 18, 1898, at Chicago, instead of at the end of April, as had been the invariable custom from the beginning.
The proponents of Mr. Hargrove had meantime been active and vigilant. A circular was sent out by them, signed by Mrs. Keightley among others, and dated January 17, 1898, asking for signatures and support to elect Mr. Hargrove President at the coming Convention. As Mr. Neresheimer's name was proposed for Treasurer and as the circular proposed to create the old title of Corresponding Secretary and elect Mrs. Tingley to that office, the move was well calculated to appeal to peace-loving members. The pro-Tingley faction countered with a circular signed by Mr. Neresheimer as President of the T.S. in A., disavowing any connection with the scheme and calling for support of Mrs. Tingley. The Hargrove supporters re-issued their circular with a "Note" signed by Mr. A.H. Spencer and dated January 23, disclaiming any intention in the original circular of the 17th to make it appear that Mrs. Tingley was enlisted with the scheme. Another circular - undated - followed from the Hargrove faction declaring that "serious and obvious defects exist in the management of the Society" and, without naming her, arguing against the overwhelming authority exercised by Mrs. Tingley. This was followed by an E.S.T. circular issued by Mrs. Tingley, in which she tells the members:
"I have evidence from one or two places of absolute disloyalty to the Master and the School. Plans in embryo, indicating proposed action, which would be detrimental to the interests of the Theosophical Society, have come into my hands."
After invoking the names of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, Mrs. Tingley gives the E.S.T. members the intimation of the program prepared for the Convention on February 18, in these words:
"Look for instructions which will open the door to those who wish to avail themselves of the opportunities of the new cycle, to be mailed on February 18, 1898, to Presidents of E.S.T. Groups for distribution to each Member."
The instructions referred to were duly distributed and advised the members of a New Lodge being formed under her direction, "to be the Guardians of the E.S.T.," and containing the usual warning against the "few who are working adversely at the present time to the interests of the School." She adds the significant words:
"When the report of the Convention of the Theosophical Society in America at Chicago shall have reached you, you will then better understand the deeper significance of one door closing and the other opening."
The Convention of the T.S. in A. duly met at Chicago on February 18, 1898. There was a large and enthusiastic attendance of delegates and visitors. There were placed in the hands of the delegates prepared and printed Resolutions, a Preamble and Constitution of the "Universal Brotherhood," and a "Proclamation to the Members of the Theosophical Society in America, by Katherine A. Tingley." Willingly, and with little short of unanimity, the Convention adopted the Resolutions, which provided for the turning over of the T.S. in A. to the "Universal Brotherhood" organization, and its future conduct as a department of that institution and under its Constitution. The Constitution of the "Universal Brotherhood" provided for various officers and a "Cabinet." Mrs. Tingley was constituted its "Leader and Official Head," and the same of the T.S. in A. department. Under the Constitution of both, as presented
and adopted, all final authority vested in Mrs. Tingley. No action of any kind could be valid if disapproved of by her, and any action taken by her as "Leader and Official Head" was incontestable. It was provided that this "Constitution" might be amended by a two-thirds vote at any "Congress" of the organization, but such congress could be called only by the "Leader and Official Head," and "no amendment shall be of force until approved by the Leader and Official Head." Mrs. Tingley had the right to appoint or remove at pleasure any and all Officers, and supreme control over all Branches and Lodges coming under the new organization.
The Hargrove band of followers, few in number, met in another hall after the Tingley program was adopted by the Convention. Mr. Spencer presided and resolutions protesting against the action of the Convention were adopted. The meeting then proceeded to hold a "convention" of its own. Resolutions were passed affirming that the action of the Chicago Convention was illegal; electing Mr. Spencer acting President, appointing an Executive Committee, and reaffirming the Constitution of the T.S. in A. as originally adopted at Boston in April, 1895.
Thereafter an active and violent battle was waged to gain the adherence of the members of the T.S. in A. and of the E.S.T. - on the one hand by Mrs. Tingley's "Universal Brotherhood," and on the other by the Hargrove-faction. More than 95 per cent of the membership accepted the action of the Chicago Convention. In all, some 200 members out of approximately 6,000 followed Mr. Hargrove and his associates. During the excitement which followed the Chicago Convention Mr. Hargrove issued a twenty-seven-page pamphlet entitled "E.S.T.," which was mailed to as many members as possible. It was dated March 1, 1898.
This "E.S.T." pamphlet of Mr. Hargrove's is, perhaps, the most remarkable of all the remarkable utterances put afloat by him during the entire period from the death of Mr. Judge onwards. It is in the form of "Minutes" of an "E.S.T. meeting" called by Mr. Har-
grove at Chicago in the late afternoon of February 19, following the Chicago Convention and the dissentient meeting held by the "bolters" from the action taken by that Convention. At this meeting Mr. Hargrove read to those who answered his call, a series of letters addressed by him to Mrs. Tingley at various dates from January 19, 1898 up to and including noon of the date of the meeting - February 19. The pamphlet contains the full text of these letters, plus bracketed comments added by Mr. Hargrove, and containing also other letters addressed by him to Mrs. Tingley subsequent to the Convention and up to February 25, 1898. There can be no dispute regarding these letters, as they were published by Mr. Hargrove himself. In them he incidentally makes the most astonishing admissions as to the course of events immediately following Mr. Judge's death. If the reader will refer to the statements of Mr. Hargrove at the meeting of March 29, and those contained in the circulars of that date and of April 3, 1896, as given earlier in the present chapter, and compare them with the statements made in his letters to Mrs. Tingley as given in his "E.S.T." pamphlet of March 1, 1898, the nature of the fraud perpetrated on the membership in declaring Mrs. Tingley to have been the successor appointed by Mr. Judge, becomes at once apparent. For in his letter to Mrs. Tingley dated January 30, 1898, he says:
"Now, my dear friend, you have made an awful mess of it - that is the simple truth. You were run in as O(uter) H(ead) as the only person in sight who was ready to hand at the time. We were all of us heartily glad to welcome you, for you solved the problem which confronted us - who was to be O.H.; you were a sort of neutral centre around which we could congregate. And most of us fairly yelled with delight, for you solved our difficulty and we had ample proofs that some members of the Lodge were working through you and that you had high and rare mediumistic and psychic gifts and that you were
a disciple of the Lodge. So things went swimmingly for a time.
"Our enthusiasm and anxiety to see all go well carried some of us too far - carried me too far to the extent of... leading me to use my personal influence with people to get them to accept you as O.H. I thought it was for the good of the work, but since then I have learned better."
In the course of his bracketed comments Mr. Hargrove refers to the original Minutes of the "Council" meeting at Mrs. Tingley's home following the death of Mr. Judge. This does not refer to the "general E.S.T. Meeting" of March 29, 1896, but to the secret gathering at Mrs. Tingley's home on Thursday evening, March 26, 1896. Mr. Hargrove quotes from page 2 of those Minutes: "After some speculation we finally, through E.T.H(argrove) were told that the Outer Head was Purple (Mrs. Tingley)." Mr. Hargrove adds a further reference to page 54 of the Minutes to show that it was through him that the other members of the Council "first heard of" Mrs. Tingley as the "Outer Head." His comments also show that a revised version of the original minutes of this meeting was later prepared at Mrs. Tingley's direction. Neither the "original" nor the "revised" version of what took place at that meeting has ever been made public, though Mr. Hargrove claimed in his comments that a certified copy of the original Minutes and the original of the revised version were in his possession.
That Mr. Hargrove, as well as Mrs. Tingley, had "high and rare mediumistic and psychic gifts" is indicated throughout his letters, for he tells Mrs. Tingley: "It is by Master's order that I write you"; "by order of the Master you have ceased to be the Outer Head of the E.S.T. in the interior and true sense"; "The Outer Head to follow you has already been appointed by the Master."
The circulation of Mr. Hargrove's pamphlet, the legal proceedings begun by him and his associates to test the
validity of the action of the Chicago Convention, and the revival of the old Theosophical Forum; with its first number dated February, 1898, containing an account of the Chicago proceedings and the efforts of the "bolters" to continue on the old lines - all these were met by vigorous efforts on the part of the pro-Tingley majority. By the middle of April the first number of The Searchlight; to which we have referred, was out with forty large pages of fine print in an endeavor to counteract the feared effects of the Hargrove revelations. The combined matter of both sides, when sifted and related to the proceedings made public immediately after the death of Mr. Judge in the circulars of March 29 and April 3, 1896, establishes beyond all question that Mrs. Tingley's "successorship" was due, and due only, to the "messages" obtained by virtue of the "high and rare mediumistic and psychic gifts" of Mrs. Tingley, Mr. Hargrove, Mr. Wright, and others - "messages" from "Masters," from the dead H.P.B. and the dead W.Q. Judge - not to any "appointment" made by the living William Q. Judge in his own physical handwriting.
Completely inoculated with the virus of "apostolic succession," both the fragments of the parent Theosophical Society rapidly degenerated. To do more than sketch briefly the successive steps of that degeneracy would serve no useful purpose and would itself be foreign to the enduring work of the Movement.
After the Convention at Chicago in 1898 Mrs. Tingley carried with her, practically in toto, the American Theosophists. Her "Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society" soon removed its "international headquarters" to Point Loma, near San Diego, California. Disintegration began almost immediately. Silently, as disillusionment set in, the membership began to lapse, and within a few years the "society" became a mere "colony." Of the more than six thousand members of the T.S. in A. in 1896, less than as many hundred now regard the decaying stump at Point Loma as the Theosophical tree. Mr. Hargrove and his group of recalcitrants fared no
better. Imbued with the same basic ideas, they substituted their revived "Theosophical Society in America" as the "successor" of the parent organization. In 1908 the name was changed to that of "The Theosophical Society." It has its own "chelas," its own "esoteric school," its own "messages from the Masters," and has become a mild and respectable Theosophical Episcopalianism, with particular emphasis on "the Master Jesus" and the "theosophy" of the "saints" of Catholic history. Its American membership has never exceeded from two to three hundred and its membership abroad has never been more than a handful.
Another offshoot of the break-up was the "Temple of the People." This began early in 1899 with a circular issued from Syracuse, New York, and signed by Dr. W.H. Dower and Frances J. Myers. Its particular "chela" was Mrs. Francis A. La Due, and her "messages from the Masters," given out under the pseudonym of "Blue Star," were its inspiration until her death in 1923. "The Temple" achieved a considerable following for several years. Many "Squares" (Branches) were established by ex-members of the "T.S. in A.," and the "Universal Brotherhood." Early in the present century Mrs. La Due was "ordered" to establish a "colony" at Halcyon, California. As other "initiates" offered new "messages from the Masters," the "Temple" became less and less frequented, and of this "successorship" but a forlorn remnant remains, as at Point Loma - sad relic of the collapse of the American fragment of the old Third Section.
"The Theosophical Society of New York" is still another attempt to resuscitate the work of the Third Section. This also began in 1899 and grew out of the long connection with Mr. Judge of Dr. J.H. Salisbury. Dr. Salisbury, with Mr. Donald Nicholson, managing editor of the New York Tribune, another early friend of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, and Mr. Harold W. Percival, then a young man, gathered around them a small group. With this group became partly affiliated Dr. Alexander Wilder and Mrs. Laura Langford (Mrs. Laura Holloway), one
of the "chela" authors of "Man: Fragments of Forgotten History." The work of this society was continued for many years, but its vitality was never great and it was subject to the same basic defects as the better known survivors of the old American Section. It has been practically dormant for years since the discontinuance of its organ, The Word, published by Mr. Percival.
Dr. J.D. Buck, one of the best known of the original generation of Theosophical students, a firm supporter of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, and author of several books, was Vice-President of the T.S. in A. at the time of Mr. Judge's death. He, like the rest, accepted the Tingley "successorship" and was active in her support for two years. After the Chicago Convention in 1898, he followed Mr. Hargrove in secession from the action taken at that Convention. After a short adhesion to Mr. Hargrove's T.S. in A., Dr. Buck was attracted by Mrs. La Due's claims and joined the "Temple of the People." When "the T.K " - Richardson - and Mrs. Huntley began their "Great Work," the claims of "the T.K." to represent "the Masters" and to afford a "scientific formula" for "adeptship," presented an irresistible lure to Dr. Buck. He became one of the most ardent devotees of "the T. K." and did his utmost to secure the adhesion of his old time Theosophical associates to the new "messenger of the Masters." The fraud and exposure of "the T.K." broke his heart and Dr. Buck did not long survive.
Another Theosophist of the first generation, Mrs. Alice L. Cleather, accepted as unquestioningly as did the others Mrs. Tingley's "successorship." For two years Mrs. Cleather was one of the most ardent and active supporters of Mrs. Tingley. She quietly dropped out in 1899. In later years she gathered a group of "pupils" to whom she imparted her own version of Theosophical history and teachings. After traveling on the Continent from place to place she finally removed to India. When the dissensions regarding Mr. Leadbeater became once more acute in Mrs. Besant's society a few years ago, Mrs. Cleather emerged from the obscurity of her own "esoteric" retreat and work. Taking advantage of the
occasion she wrote two booklets, ostensibly in "defense" of H.P.B. against the "successorship" and conduct of Mrs. Besant. In the course of these booklets Mrs. Cleather declared that Mr. Judge, not she and her one-time associates, had been deluded and dominated by Mrs. Tingley. Her declarations to that effect have been as readily and as unquestioningly accepted by many as her declarations to the contrary were formerly taken at face value. A Blavatsky Association was formed by followers of Mrs. Cleather to "perpetuate the memory and work" of H.P.B., to which members of Mrs. Besant's society are denied entrance.
Turning to the other fragment of the parent T.S. - that which adhered to Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant after the split of 1895 - it has, by contrast to the mutilated and dying skandhas of the old "American Section," achieved a far longer life and a far greater utilitarian success, with a correspondingly greater degradation of the original Objects and teachings enunciated by H.P.B. Various contributory factors have brought this about. In the beginning the great prestige and tradition attached to Col. Olcott as the President-Founder of the parent T.S. caused the whole of the Indian and Australasian membership to remain loyal to the fragment headed by him. In Great Britain, on the Continent, and, to a small extent, in the United States, the ability and reputation of Mrs. Besant, the secondary but powerful influence of Mr. Sinnett and other well-known writers and leaders, coupled with the fact that the Besant-Olcott wing were the accusers and not the accused, gave an initial great advantage before the public. The dogma of "successorship" can be applied equally to organizations as to persons, and many who might have remained indifferent to Mrs. Besant's own claims as "successor to H.P.B.," were undoubtedly influenced by the name "The Theosophical Society" and the venerable President-Founder's connection with it. The death of Mr. Judge in less than a year after the split left Col. Olcott for eleven years in the unique position of sole survivor of the original Three Founders of the parent T.S. and this was fully exploited.
The dissensions which almost at once sprang up among the survivors of the American fragment and the speedy collapse of the spectacular performances staged by Mrs. Tingley and her competitors for the mantle of Mr. Judge, left the Besant-Olcott combination with no real rival in the "successorship" role. In the summer of 1899, Mrs. Besant withdrew the pledge, memorandum, and instructions of H.P.B. and substituted a new "pledge" for her "esoteric" students. This was followed by "studies" and "instructions" of her own, and by the circulation in her "School" of the "clairvoyant investigations" of Mr. Leadbeater and herself which were later published as "Occult Chemistry." Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, and Mr. Sinnett, along with a host of lesser lights, fed and fostered that hunger for the mysterious, the abnormal, and the "occult" which H.P.B. and Mr. Judge had so resolutely and so continually opposed and warned against. The "E.S.T.," which controlled absolutely the exoteric Society, speedily became a "hall of Occultism" and a "factory for the manufacture of initiates" - the very thing that the veritable Mahatmas had so insistently discountenanced in Their letters to Mr. Sinnett in 1880-82; letters whose complete text is now available to all students in "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett."
In 1906 charges of infamous conduct and teaching to boys confided to his care were brought against Mr. Leadbeater. An inquiry into the matter was held by Col. Olcott at London. Mr. Leadbeater admitted the charges and resigned from the Society. Colonel Olcott, who had meantime come to distrust Mrs. Besant, had regarded Mr. Leadbeater as the "agent of the Masters," and the disclosures made undoubtedly hastened his death, which occurred early in 1907. Mr. Chakravarti and others had endeavored to procure the endorsement by Col. Olcott of Bertram Keightley to succeed to the Presidency, while those devoted to Mrs. Besant had done the same in her behalf. The mentally enfeebled and physically dying President-Founder was beset in this way till his parting moment. Immediately following his death
Mrs. Besant, on the strength of her own "visions" and the "clairvoyant" witness of Mrs. Marie Russak (Mrs. Hotchener), and Miss Renda, declared that the "Masters" had visited the headquarters and "impressed" her to be the "Successor" of Col. Olcott as she was already the "Successor" of H.P.B. These "Adyar manifestations" raised a great furore throughout the Society. Mr. Sinnett declared them to be anything but what they were claimed to be. Mr. Mead revolted. Even Mr. Fullerton rebelled. A great war of claims pro and con set in. Mrs. Besant, ever master of the strategy of partisan politics, issued a booklet, "H.P.B. and the Masters of the Wisdom." Ostensibly a "defense" of H.P.B. against the Coulomb-S.P.R. charges of more than twenty years earlier, it was in reality a clever move to picture Mrs. Besant in the frame of H.P.B. 's martyrdom, as its opening paragraphs abundantly testify. Mrs. Besant was overwhelmingly voted for by the members who believed her to have been "appointed by the Master."
Mrs. Besant at once began a campaign for the restoration of the repute of her colleague Mr. Leadbeater. He was soon invited to return to the Society and in the years that have gone on has become increasingly the "power behind the throne" in Mrs. Besant's Society. In due course came the "coming Christ" revelation, the order of the "Star in the East" to herald "His coming," and a long succession of adjunct and affiliated orders, organizations, and movements by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. Chief among these was the "Liberal Catholic Church." A quarrel broke out between Mrs. Besant and the father of "Krishnamurti," the assumed probable "vehicle" of the "Incarnation," over Mr. Leadbeater's influence on this Hindu boy. The series of incidents in connection with the "coming Christ" claims have led to increasing extravagances and increasing disturbances in Mrs. Besant's Society. In the thirty years of its history the lapses and withdrawals from Mrs. Besant's Society have been enormous. Only the most strenuous propagation of one new "revelation" after another and the pandering to the thirst for "occult preferment" have enabled
it so far to withstand the immense drain of its losses which for more than twenty years have averaged annually some 15 per cent of the membership. Between the "coming Christ," the "Liberal Catholic Church," and the "Occultism" strenuously advocated by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater and their imitators, the gulf that separates this fragment of the parent T.S. from the teachings of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge has grown so wide and deep that "Neo-theosophy" has been to all intents and purposes entirely substituted for the Theosophy recorded by H.P.B. as the Message of the Lodge of Masters. Not only has the Society itself become the reverse of the parent association whose name it bears, but the numerous segmentations from it have departed as widely from the original teachings and the original impulse of the Theosophical Movement.
Amongst these fractionations probably the most extensive was that due to Dr. Rudolph Steiner. Originally General Secretary of the German Section of Mrs. Besant's Society, his ability, his personal purity and earnestness, and his writings built up for him a very strong following. As his revelations of "Occultism" conflicted at many points with Mrs. Besant's inspiration, friction soon developed and with her usual methods Mrs. Besant set about forcing him into exile. Practically the entire German membership and many others throughout Europe followed Dr. Steiner when he organized his "Anthroposophical Society" which still numbers a very large membership and which depends entirely upon Dr. Steiner's "Occult" communications and instructions.
Mrs. Besant and Mr. Sinnett composed their differences over the "Adyar manifestations" and Mr. Sinnett accepted Mrs. Besant's invitation to resume the Vice-Presidency of her Society in which he remained till his death - as pathetic a figure as was Col. Olcott during his declining years.
Miss Mabel Collins was also sought out and invited back to membership in Mrs. Besant's Society. She, however, remained connected with it but a few years, and thereafter made various attempts to regain something
of the prestige she enjoyed prior to the Coues-Collins attack on H.P.B. but with scant success.
Mr. Geo. R.S. Mead, after following Mrs. Besant's flag in the "case against W.Q. Judge," remained her devoted assistant till the death of the President-Founder and the "Adyar manifestations." He parted from her at that time, subsequently established "The Quest Society" and has since devoted his energies to it and its publication, The Quest. His society has gained a considerable and highly respectable membership, mostly in Great Britain, and is devoted almost entirely to comparative religions and psychical research.
Mr. Max Heindel, originally a member of Mrs. Besant's Society and a lecturer in its American Section, became interested early in Dr. Steiner's writings. After a due season of "initiation," Mr. Heindel blossomed forth on his own account with a "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" and a "Rosicrucian" society. He established "headquarters" at Oceanside, California, and built up a flourishing association with numerous members throughout the world. Since his death the activities of this society have been directed by his wife, who survives him.
Aside from the foregoing, literally scores of "occult," "fraternal," "mystical," and "New Thought" groups and small followings have been established with varying appeals and fortunes, by ex-members of the old Theosophical Society and by renegade members of its Esoteric Section. Today it is a rare city indeed in Europe or America which is not the seat of from one to a dozen of these "successors" to the spoils of the Third Section of the Theosophical Movement.
Present and Future of the Theosophical Movement
Has the Theosophical Movement of our times been a failure?
By many who have followed us thus far, this question will naturally be asked; perhaps by some as naturally decided in the affirmative. All such are asked to read again the Preface and the opening chapter, and then to consider the record made since 1875; not in the nature of an isolated phenomenon, but in the light of human history, even as known to us in a merely mundane sense. The story of civilization, as shown in the great empires of the world, is painted by their rise from savagery through many vicissitudes and, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, they descend again in accordance with the same law by which they ascended; till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by Cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended. As quoted in Chapter I, Mr. Henry Buckle, in his "History of Civilization in England," intuitively grasped this great truth and applied it to the rise and fall of religions and philosophies. The presence on earth at the same time with the highest civilization, of the most degraded and appalling savagery, or of the most abject superstition alongside and in the midst of the noblest ethical and philosophical culture, does not militate against this Law of Cycles - or Karma; it only illustrates one of its applications, for these Cycles do not affect all mankind instantly, or at one and the same time. According to Theosophical teachings a centenary effort has been made in the West since the fourteenth century,
and to its unseen and unrecognized influence has in fact been due the enormous acceleration of European and American progress in science, in political and religious liberty, in inter-racial and international intercourse. From this point of view the mission of H.P. Blavatsky was the fifth in an orderly and progressive series - all of them merely preparatory for that day when Adepts will appear in the West in propria persona and demonstrate, not merely teach, the reality of Their doctrines concerning Man and Nature. When one considers the appalling misuse and abuse made by men during the last five centuries of their power over their weaker and less endowed fellows, and of those powers wrested from Nature - powers that in every case might equally have been employed for universal benefit - he may perhaps appreciate the reticence of the Masters of the Wisdom-Religion in not putting prematurely before mankind the certain evidence of occult powers a thousand times more sinister and disastrous, in the hands of able but predatory and selfish men, than any merely physical instrumentations. Who can doubt, in view of what has been and what is, that mankind needs an immense philosophical and ethical preparation before its moral status is on a parity with its intellectual and physical progress? The ground having been plowed and harrowed and tilled in two fields - at what cost to humanity who runs can read, at what cost to the Lodge of Masters who can says - remains yet to be achieved the far more onerous task of so arousing and promoting the Spiritual evolution of at least a choice minority of the race that a genuine nucleus of Universal Brotherhood shall be born to serve as a seed-bed for succeeding generations, before entrusting to it the rationale of those, to us, miraculous powers which, once acquired, may as easily be turned to satanic as to divine purposes. How the Mahatmas Themselves view the task before Them is set forth with terrible distinctness in the very first of Their Letters to Mr. Sinnett. Other Letters in the same series, now accessible to all who will, show something of the precautions taken by Them in every case of probationary and even accepted
chelaship, to guard against every possibility of those powers falling into ethically unworthy hands. Sad as are a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand failures in Occultism, with all their evil consequences, they are as nothing compared to the woes that would befall mankind, once those powers became accessible to determined men whose moral nature harbors one uneradicated Spiritual defect. From this point of view the failures in the parent Theosophical Society and amongst the "candidates for chelaship" in its Esoteric Section have been a blessing to mankind, however much of a curse they may have brought upon the misguided victims of a thirst for "Occult powers" who "too soon fancied themselves apart from the mass." Suppose those Occult failures who, after the death of H.P.B. and Judge, "divided their garments among them, and for their vestures cast lots," and who have since been fighting amongst themselves for sectarian power and precedence - suppose that all or any of these, instead of falling into the comparatively mild degradation of mediumship and psychism, had actually acquired Occult powers - had become chelas and initiates of the Left-Hand Path? The whole world would have entered upon a psychic debauch, an era of superstition and witchcraft, of religious persecution, of mental and moral darkness, in which our civilization would have gone out like a torch dipped in water.
It is to be remembered that those who were the cause or the medium for all the vicissitudes which befell the parent Society were Spiritualists, or Materialists who became Spiritualists in fact, regardless of what gloss of terms they applied to themselves and their practices. In every case, in spite of all warnings and of all efforts, they were inflamed with the desire for "powers" - not devotion to the great First Object. It was better for these even, and infinitely better for the world, that they should fail early, if fail they must, than gain power and then, failing, to fall deep and drag countless multitudes on the same descent. The thousand-year Night of the Middle Ages in Europe, and the age-old degradation of the Orient, should be to any sober student warning enough
of the frightful consequences of the abuse of the psychical nature and its powers.
Furthermore, the observer who may be disheartened by the failure of the parent Theosophical Society and its still more unworthy successors, loses all sight of the tens upon tens of thousands of men and women in every walk and station of life who gave some attention to the Theosophical teachings, who imbibed something at least of its fundamental philosophy, and who, when disillusionment came as to their societies and leaders, simply dropped out of all connection with any of them. How great the number of these, and the spread by them of the ideas imbibed, can be tested by anyone. One has simply to inquire successively of those he meets what their views are upon the subjects of Karma, of Reincarnation, of the identity of the vital truths underlying and common to all religions, of Masters, of the reality of Occultism, of Spiritual and Intellectual as well as physical evolution, and he will know for himself by the percentages arrived at, how enormously the Theosophical teachings regarding Man and Nature have permeated the minds of men in a scant half century. And even in the horde of "Theosophical" and "Occult" associations and groups now misapplying a noble philosophy of life, the investigator will soon find that the great mass of their members are not deeply contaminated by the excesses of their leaders; they are, in by far the larger part, attracted by the truths present in the midst of all the falsehood and futilities. They do not differ, in this respect, from the numberless sincere and good men and women in the churches of the various Christian sects, who are attracted by the ethics and character of Jesus and the associated opportunity, however inadequate, for the cultivation and expression of that natural human desire for philanthropy through the only channels open to them, far more than by theological dogmas or sectarian claims.
And this leads naturally to some consideration of the visible signs, if any, of the permeation of Theosophical ideas among the mass of men in the great fields of human
interest indicated by the words religion, science, and philosophy.
No doubt today, as readily as half a century ago, orthodox opinion among leaders and laity alike in the established fields of religion, science, and philosophy still regards either as a delusion or a fraud the claimed Masters of H.P. Blavatsky, her Theosophy, and her phenomena. But when one examines present-day views and theories on Deity, Nature, and Man in contrast and comparison with the accepted ideas of half a century ago, and happens to be familiar with the actual aims and teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, he cannot fail to observe in every department of human interest the profound and far-reaching, if uncredited and unrecognized, influence she has exercised in the course of a single generation.
In the field of religion the orthodox has become the heterodox. "Fundamentalists" stand with their backs to the wall against the ever-increasing power of "Modernism" in religion. Serious writers like Edmond Holmes and Havelock Ellis, preachers like Dean Inge, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and scores of others, dramatists, poets, and essayists, like George Bernard Shaw, Algernon Blackwood, W.B. Yeats, George W. Russell, and Rabindranath Tagore, and popular writers for the press like Arthur Brisbane and Dr. Frank Crane, have been helped by, or have helped themselves to, the teachings of Madame Blavatsky to an enormous extent, both directly and indirectly. In turn, their output has had an immense effect upon the popular mind. That the source from which they have drawn or whence they have derived has not always been acknowledged or accredited does not alter the fact itself. Through such secondary channels her ideas have gained an enormous currency. Those who still believe in the Bible literally, and in a carnalized Christ, have been reduced to a minority in number and in influence, and placed on an apologetic defensive. The day when the clergy exercised a despotic authority over the public conscience has reached its gloaming. Among the clergy themselves the study of comparative religion in the endeavor to find the vital truths common to them
all has largely taken the place of the former exclusive study of their own theological dogmas. Liberty of thought, freedom of conscience, the tolerance which goes with them, are everywhere in the air. Evolution, as applied to religion and religious convictions, instead of rigid and unyielding creeds and confessions, is very widely recognized and upheld as the law of the Spiritual Life.
In science the contrast is not less marked. Mr. Tyndall, as the mouthpiece of nineteenth-century science, wrote in his "Fragments": "We claim, and we shall wrest from theology, the entire domain of cosmological theory." What respectable exponent of the science of today would repeat his claim or his boast? If it is indubitably true that religion has become more scientific, it is not less, but even more the case, that science is becoming religious in a nearer spirit and truer sense than the theology of less than two generations since. Men like Thomas A. Edison, Prof. William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, Camille Flammarion, Prof. Millikan, and Chunder Bose have, both by their discoveries and their writings, exercised a tremendous influence over the present and the future of the race at large. Their scientific theories and their views of life have been drawn in chief and large part directly or indirectly from the tenets of the Wisdom-Religion. Lesser but able and influential students of modern science by the hundred, influenced unconsciously to themselves by the Occultism of their awakening psychic faculties have practically overthrown the materialism which dominated the science of the middle of the nineteenth century. "Psychic research" is now a legitimate object of scientific inquiry. The recent investigations conducted by the foremost journal of its kind in the United States, The Scientific American, is typical of the new spirit in the scientific field. "Ectoplastic structure" is being seriously experimented with as the actual basis of mediumistic and other abnormal physical and psychological phenomena. This is simply the "astral body" of Theosophical teachings. Two of the greatest of the American universities, Harvard and
Columbia, are, in their departments of psychology, already entering upon the domain of "practical occultism" in their study of the workings of consciousness. Professor James, as his work and his writings show, was influenced by his acquaintance with many of the Theosophical teachings. In physics the old theory of "force and matter" is dead beyond resurrection - drowned by the progressive overflow of hypotheses and experiments directly in the line of the recorded statements and prophecies of H.P. Blavatsky. Science now knows that the essential basis of both force and matter is one and the same, and that that essence is electrical in its nature. Atomic and molecular structure and laws are recognized as identical with those that govern a solar system. When it is recognized that "ectoplasm" is the basis of all organic and inorganic action, the physics and the Occult doctrines of physical evolution outlined in the "Secret Doctrine" will have been completely, as they already are in two-thirds, vindicated by modern science itself. The Third Object of the Theosophical Movement is today the First Object of modern science, as its Second Object is the prime concern of Modernism in religion. Einstein has displaced Newton, and the "science" of Tyndall, of Huxley, and of Haeckel is as much of an outcast today as were the teachings of Madame Blavatsky a single generation ago.
In philosophy, or what passes for philosophy among men of the times, the writings of Bergson, of Maeterlinck, generally, and of many others with particularized theories, show unmistakably that they have been derived and adapted from the ancient Oriental teachings once more brought to the West by Madame Blavatsky. The immense output of books, magazine and newspaper writings, impregnated by and colored with Theosophical ideas, and their ever-growing circulation and popularity, when contrasted with the utter dearth of similar literature prior to 1875, shows the enormous extent of the area watered by the Theosophical Movement, the enormous dissemination and reproduction of the seed brought by H.P.B.
Unrecognized though it be as among the results of the Theosophical Movement, all this is the success for which H.P.B. and Judge worked - the only object they hoped to accomplish, so far as concerned the mass of mankind in the West for the next one hundred years. In writing of the mission of H.P.B. in his Path for June, 1891, Mr. Judge stated both her aim and her mission to the world at large, in these words:
"Her aim was to elevate the race. Her method was to deal with the mind of the century as she found it, by trying to lead it on step by step; ... to found a Society whose efforts - however small itself might be - would inject into the thought of the day the ideas, the doctrines, the nomenclature of the Wisdom-Religion, so that when the next century shall have seen its seventy-fifth year the new messenger coming again into the world would find the Society still at work, the ideas sown broadcast, the nomenclature ready to give expression and body to the immutable truth."
That she set herself no impossible task, that her Masters behind were under no illusions as to what could and what could not be accomplished by her mission, the prime obstacles she and They had to face, and the limitations under which Their work, no less than any other, has to be carried on, is set forth in the Letters of those very Masters Themselves to Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume in the earliest days of the Movement. Writing in 1880, the Master said:
"We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world's cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night. The major and minor cycles must be accomplished according to the natural order of things. And we, borne along
on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. If we had the powers of the imaginary Personal God, and the universal and immutable laws were but toys to play with, then, indeed, might we have created conditions that would have turned this earth into an arcadia for lofty souls. But having to deal with an immutable law, being ourselves its creatures, we have had to do what we could, and rest thankful."
And what of the future of the Theosophical Movement? Will the mission of H.P. Blavatsky in time degenerate as did the mission of Krishna, of Buddha, of Jesus, into, at best, one more added to the number of "prevailing religions" at some future epoch?
It is possible; it is indeed, perhaps, probable, judging by the long record of the past, as that past is known to us. Yet, under the Law of Cycles, it is certain that its zenith is yet to come. The world-religions that have so long survived, and that still number among their adherents three-fourths of the earth's populations, have been in their decadence for many centuries. There are long periods during which the great Masters of the Wisdom-Religion not only do not put forth additions or restatements of Primeval Truths, but, knowing that "periods of mental and moral darkness must succeed each other as night follows day," they do their utmost to withdraw and conceal from the world of the profane every avenue of approach to the Mysteries. This is the opposite pole of that same Law of Spiritual and Intellectual evolution under which "from age to age They incarnate, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of righteousness." These alternations are dimly indicated in the many myths of the "Flood," of the "Fall of Man," of the "Destruction of Atlantis," and of Saviours in the remote past, as well as of Avatars yet to come. All this has been extensively treated in the writings of H.P.B. herself, more particularly in her "Secret Doctrine."
The rise of Western civilization since the Middle Ages, the growth of modern science, with all its drawbacks taken into account, the rapid decline in the actual influence of Christian theological dogmas, the great strides in civil as well as religious freedom, the agnostic and inquiring spirit which is everywhere re-testing old measures of value so long esteemed fixed and inviolate - all these are visible and self-evident signs of the ascending are of the Theosophical Movement among mankind at large. Read in the light of the successive efforts of the First and Second Sections in the last quarter of each of the five preceding centuries, their significance takes on an added augury. Each of these centenary efforts has its own cycle, and while, in the hundred-year cycle from 1875 to 1975, the effort of H.P.B. is at its nadir point in 1925, let it not be forgotten that the work she came to do, she did. There is never any failure on the part of the Masters of the First Section, or their Messengers and other agents of the Second Section. Her work was, first of all, to deliver a message. That message has been placed of imperishable record among men. Her work, second, was to set the example of true chelaship before her students of every degree - to show them how to live the life of utter and complete self-abnegation in the service of a Cause. Those who failed, failed because they tried to separate the Messenger from the message, to appropriate the fruits of her sacrifice without emulating that sacrifice itself. How could they know her, who did not live her life? In the third place, she came to reap the ripened harvest of former efforts of the same kind: to do her part in the forging of the final link for this cycle in the unending chain of accessions to the Great Lodge. Chelaship and Adeptship are not the product of one incarnation only, but of many lives devoted to the Path of Perfection, and each cycle completed, each link welded, sees some additions to the "Guardian Wall which shields mankind, since man is man, from other and far greater evils" than any of those known to our times. That this part of her mission did not fail is exemplified in the case of Damodar, of Mr. Judge, of the mys-
terious Unknown from whom emanated "Light on the Path," and of still others obscurely spoken of or hinted at in the pages of the old Theosophist and in "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett." While, according to H.P.B., the "cycle of adeptship" closed with the last century for all those who were drawn into the orbit of her living activities, and while with her departure's twilight her Masters also withdrew from all direct contact with those who had not "opened up for themselves conscious communication with the Guru," her mission has not closed, nor have the chelas of the Second Section, old and new, ceased their labors, albeit they work in "secrecy and silence" until 1975, so far as the "Third Section" - the world at large - is concerned.
Quite apart from the Nirmanakayas, so rarely spoken of, yet so inspiringly indicated to those in whom the divine spark of intuition is awake; quite apart from the continuous work of the Disciples of the Second Section amongst those to whom they are sent; quite apart from the recorded and abundant statements of H.P.B. that the Path is never closed, and can always be found by those who "knock in the right way" - there are those signs by which the thoughtful and reverent layman, the honest and earnest "man in the street," may recognize the unbroken continuity of even the Third Section of the Theosophical Movement.
Certainly those signs are not to be found in the literature or the activities of any of the "Theosophical" and "Occult" societies. In all these it is but too evident that the Master wrote prophetically as well as historically when he advised Mr. Sinnett that "the charlatans and the jugglers are the natural shields of the adepts." Today, as always, those who come to the Temple with unclean hearts are caught and held by the traders in the outer courts. "They have their reward," as Jesus is said to have taught - but perhaps it has been much overlooked that the "pure in heart" have their reward also; now, as much as in days of old. Even the traders have to gild their wares to find customers and victims - and the gold in the dross is quickly separated by those who
have in them the "four requisites" to the gates of entrance of the inner Tabernacle: "doing service, strong search, questions, and humility." Thus, even during the darkest hours of the Theosophical Movement of our times, there are those who, when tested by the ancient Occult aphorism, "By their fruits shall ye know them," show by their works, their allegiance without variableness or the shadow of turning to the direct line and the unbroken impulsion of the ageless Movement, as H.P.B. showed the unbroken consistency and undeviating accord of her work and wisdom with the Path of the Predecessors of all time.
A study, for example, of the originally anonymous "Creed of Buddha," and the subsequent writings of its author, Mr. Edmond Holmes, in "The Creed of Christ," and his work on Education, will show the same perception of fundamental Truth, the same grasp of the Eternal Verities, the same sane, wholesome, and practical application of those truths and verities to the problems of everyday life and action as so pre-eminently characterized the work of Mr. Judge. Who can measure the ever-widening influence of such writings as these upon an audience already rendered "porous to ideas and bibulous of thought" through the sacrifice of the Pioneers?
In India, "Motherland of my Master" as H.P.B. wrote, although the Theosophical influence by name has either withered or been turned into the grossest of corruptions - even in India, those who have observed and studied the antecedents and work of the Angarika Dharmapala for the revival on the soil of its ancient birthplace of primitive Buddhism, see one of the fruits of the Theosophical Movement. Dharmapala was long a student of H.P. Blavatsky's and close and true friend of Col. Olcott. Seeing the ruin of Theosophy as such in India, instead of folding his hands and waiting vainly for the Masters to do the appointed work of the true Theosophists, he bethought him of the statements of the Masters Themselves - "Col. Olcott works but for the revival of Buddhism," and, "Buddhism, stripped of its
superstitions, is Eternal Truth itself" - and, undismayed and undisheartened, took upon himself the mighty task whose already visible structure is true to the Architecture of its Founder.
Out of India, too, has come to the West another true student of the wisdom of the "Secret Doctrine" - B.P. Wadia, member of an old and leading Parsi family of Bombay. This gentleman, given a copy of the "Secret Doctrine" in his youth, made it his constant guide during twenty years' work to restore its teachings to currency among the new generation of Theosophists in India, through the channel of the only Theosophical Society known in India - that of Mrs. Besant. Mr. Wadia's practical application of the Brotherhood of Theosophy in raising the status and labor conditions of the textile workers in the great mills of India, and in bringing about the recognition of the "Untouchables" by their fellow workmen, brought in its train a worldwide acquaintance with statesmen, economists, labor leaders, and governmental officials in Europe and America. Mr. Wadia came to the United States, first in 1919, and again in 1922, after a year and a half spent in Europe. Aware that in America the "forerunners" of the Sixth Root Race are appearing in the amalgamation now in process, and aware that the efforts since the fourteenth century have been in anticipation of, and parallel with that amalgamating process, he, in preparation for the future of the Movement in India, issued, in the summer of 1922, an Open Letter to his former associates and to all Theosophists. In this Letter he stated dispassionately and unargumentatively the results of his twenty years of study and work, and announced his resignation from all official and other connection with Mrs. Besant's Society. Hundreds of thoughtful members of that Society, aware of Wadia's history, and impressed by the force of the statements made, have followed it up with investigations of their own and have in turn withdrawn. Indirect results of Wadia's experience, coupled with their own knowledge of conditions, have led many others, notably Mr. Martyn of Aus-
tralia, Mr. Prentice of New Zealand, Mr. Smythe of Canada, Dr. Stokes of Washington, D.C., Mr. H. Trevor Barker of England, and many other leading members of Mrs. Besant's society either into independent activities or into serious efforts to call attention to prevalent corruption of Theosophical teachings, and to restore that Society to the aims and writings of the Founders.
In Europe, the venerable Mrs. Julia Scott, a survivor of the parent Society and a faithful friend and pupil of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, has labored for many years to assist and instruct a few in the teachings and practises originally ensouling the Third Section. First in England, then in Italy, and in recent years in Switzerland, her work has been carried on in the midst of many obstacles and despite ill-health and advancing years. Many owe to her their first Theosophical light in this incarnation, and many others their restoration to the lines that had been lost in the confusions following the death of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge.
In the United States, Mr. Robert Crosbie who entered the Movement coincidently with the foundation of The Path, and who for many years had the benefit of direct training and instruction from both H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, established in 1909 at Los Angeles, California, the parent United Lodge of Theosophists, after witnessing the final dissolution of the work left at Mr. Judge's death. Mr. Crosbie was imbued with the conviction that the model set in the Preliminary Memorandum by H.P.B., was the true and enduring modulus for Theosophical study and work after her heart. In 1912 Mr. Crosbie founded the magazine Theosophy, a re-incarnation of Mr. Judge's Path. He died in 1919, but during his entire period of active Theosophical work, he labored to restore the calumniated reputations of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, convinced that until their unique status was recognized by Theosophists at large, no return to the Source of the Movement and no continuity of the original effort could succeed. From the very beginning Mr. Crosbie and his associates made no distinctions of organization and recognized as Theosophists all who are engaged in
the true service of Humanity," regardless of dissensions or differences of individual opinion. The parent United Lodge disclaimed absolutely any authority over its own associates or over any other group, and itself has never had any formal organization whatever, in strict accordance with the model indicated in H.P.B.'s Preliminary Memorandum and Judge's Address from the T.S. in A., to the European Theosophists in 1895. The genius and work of the parent United Lodge has been increasingly adopted, both by individual Theosophists within and without the various formal societies, and by groups of students in many cities. These various United Lodges, individual Associates, and independent Groups having the same aim, purpose, and teaching, are in fraternal affiliation, and in amity with all men everywhere who are loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, and who are or may be interested in preserving
its integrity and promoting its Objects. All these bodies and individuals in sympathy with them are distinguishable by their strict allegiance to the Theosophy of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge and by the impersonality and freedom from discord which has characterized this movement since its commencement. The magazine Theosophy, for example, has never contained a signed original article, its contributors preserving a complete personal anonymity. The work thus forced to rest upon its inherent merit, and not on the authority or influence of any person or organization, has in recent years attracted a large attention among Theosophical and kindred students throughout the world. If maintained in its original and present purity and harmony, it should tend increasingly to restore coherence and unity, in fact if not in name, among all those who would call themselves Theosophists.
Remains to be touched upon a factor not always or often taken into account, even by earnest Theosophical students - the "change going on in the Buddhi and Manas of the race." With each generation the change in the character of the Incarnating Egos becomes more pronounced. It is the teaching of Theosophy that Humanity
as a whole (incarnate and discarnate at any given time) is divided, in respect of Spiritual and Intellectual evolution, into many, many different grades. In descending cycles, nationally, of a civilization, or racially, the more advanced Egos retire from incarnation, and more and more inferior classes take their place. This is the Kali Yuga for any such nation, race, or civilization. On the other hand, these cycles overlap, like the "seven ages of man" individually, and the beginnings of new cycles are made long before the completion of the old. Thus, it is taught that although for a million years past the "Fifth Great Race" has been on the ascending arc, while the "Fourth Great Race" passed its perihelion millions of years ago, nevertheless the great majority of earth's populations at present still belong to the decadent remnants of the "Fourth Race." With regard to the immediate future the teaching of Theosophy is that advanced Egos of the "Fifth Sub-Race" and "forerunners" of the Sixth are already seeking incarnation in Europe and America - more specifically in the latter. It is the increasing presence of Egos of these types - the Pioneers who created the great nations of our own immediate past (within the last ten thousand years or so) - that is indicated, not only by the rapid acceleration of progress of every kind during recent centuries, not only by the mission of H.P.B. and her immediate predecessors, but indicated here and now on every hand by the "psychic awakening" which is increasingly turning for exploration, experiment, and conquest, to the "world invisible."
If the recurrent impulse of the race in the direction of the psychic and the truly Spiritual is to be aided by true guidance and direction on the part of Theosophists, it must of necessity come about through a return and adherence to the program of the Masters of the Wisdom-Religion. That can be ascertained only by consulting the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, the Letters which came through her from those Masters, and those who were true to her and her great Cause. There is no doubt about that program. It excludes the idea that she founded
either the Society or its Esoteric Section as a "School for Occultism." Her and her Masters' insistent note was: "Let theosophists and theosophical societies flourish on their moral worth, and not by phenomena made so often degrading." They worked, and all in sympathy with Their great purpose must work, to supply the world with a system of philosophy which gives a sure and logical basis for ethics. There is no basis for morals in phenomena, because a man might learn to do the most wonderful things by the aid of Occult forces and yet at the same time be the very worst of men. Our destiny, as Theosophists, is to continue the wide work of the past in affecting literature and thought throughout the world, while our ranks see many changing quantities but always holding those who remain true to the program. These sage words of Mr. Judge, written soon after the death of H.P.B., are of unimpaired and unchanging value to "all true Theosophists of every country and of every race."
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The Theosophical Movement 1875-1925