Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2003.
The Occult Diary
[Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist, October 15, 1932, pp. 251-253.]
The present opportunity of clearing up once and for all the mystery of Mr. Judge's so-called "Occult Diary" should not be missed. This document played a part in the history of the T.S. (especially in America) parallel to that play by the "Decretals of Constantine" in the development of the Papacy; and its status and authenticity have been almost as much in dispute. For thirty-six years the Diary has been the subject of controversy among Theosophists, and violently conflicting views about it have been current. Now at last the scanty information contained in the E.S.T. Circular of 3/4/1896 has been supplemented by statements from Messrs. J.H. Fussell, E.A. Neresheimer, and James M. Pryse.
1. Mr. Neresheimer tells us that Mr. Judge's original Diary, which was handed to him by Mrs. Tingley, is still in his possession, and that most of the alleged extracts from it, published in the E.S.T. Circular, are not contained in it at all. He describes the Diary as "a blank books of some 150 pages, containing ten pages of various private notes and memoranda in the handwriting of Mr. Judge, and dated at various intervals in 1894. Nearly all of these memoranda relate to messages received by Mr. Judge bearing on the charges made against him by Mrs. Besant." As a proof of good faith Mr. Neresheimer offers to show the Diary to any "responsible Theosophist". He tells us in addition that all Mr. Judge's papers passed through his hands as executor, and that nothing whatever was found among them in Mr. Judge's handwriting naming Mrs. T., or anyone else, either directly or indirectly, as his successor in the affairs of the T.S.A. or its Esoteric Section. Mr. Neresheimer also states that the Diary notes are very difficult to read in places.
2. Mr. Pryse tells us that the Diary was loaned to him by Mr. E.T. Hargrove (presumably in 1896); and that, among other matters, it covered the period when Mr. Judge and Mrs. Tingley were at Mineral Wells together (early in 1895). He also remarks that "the writing was clear and legible."
3. Mr. Fussell asserts that the extracts in the E.S.T. Circular were actually taken from Mr. Judge's Diary, and that he has seen them there; that therefore the book in Mr. Neresheimer's hands is not "the diary which is commonly called 'Judge's Occult Dairy' "'; that moreover the Point Loma archives contain "a number of Judge's diaries."
In reading these summarized statements, it at once strikes the eye that there are discrepancies between Mr. Neresheimer and Mr. Pryse: as to dates, the first named states that his volume contains entries dated "at various intervals in 1894"; while Mr. Pryse says that the book he saw was largely concerned with the visit to Mineral Wells in 1895. As to handwriting, Mr. Neresheimer says that it is difficult to read in places; but Mr. Pryse found it clear and legible. Now, while it may be that Mr. Neresheimer and Mr. Pryse are both speaking of the same volume, and that the former has not mentioned the 1895 entries as seeming of small importance, while the latter was so struck by them as to play little heed to the earlier dates, et the tendency of the evidence is to suggest that they are not speaking about the same volume; but that Mr. Judge may have used one volume in 1894 (now in Mr. Neresheimer's keeping), and another for 1895 (the one that Mr. Pryse saw.) It is quite possible to conceive that Mr. Judge kept a diary in different volumes for successive years, and that Mr. Fussell may be correct in saying that some of these volumes are at Point Loma. On the other hand it is extremely unlikely that he should have kept two or more diaries going simultaneously. It is in the last degree unlikely, for example, that he should during Nov., Dec., 1894, have used different books to make entries in duplicate. The fact, moreover, that the E.S.T. Circular refers to an entry as of "Dec. 5th, from notes made on Nov. 30th or Dec. 1st", and this appears in identical form in Mr. Neresheimer's volume, seems to prove conclusively that Mr. Neresheimer has the original form from which the Circular extracts relating to 1894 were taken.
Now the passages in the Circular, which Mr. Neresheimer tells us are missing from the Diary, are from messages stated to have been received by Mr. Judge through Mrs. Tingley. They are dated Jan. 3rd, 1895; Jan. 9th, 1895; and April 3rd, 1895. That these were derived from a different source from the 1894 extracts is suggested by Mr. Hargrove's words. He says in the Circular:
"I will read you one or two passages from the Chief's diary and from other papers that he left behind. . . . . "
Then later, after reading the long "messages" of Jan 3rd and 9th, 1895, he said:
"Keeping in mind the extracts I have already read you in regard to 'Promise', I will now continue with further extracts on the same lines from the 'Rajah's' (Judge's) private diary".
He then gave some short passages dated Nov. 30th, 1894.
It would seem from the above - although it is not very clear - that Mr. Hargrove distinguished between the Diary from which the 1894 extracts were taken and the "other papers" from which came those of 1895.
To get the matter straightened out, would the three gentlemen concerned answer the following questions?
Mr. Neresheimer: -
1. Are the extracts, given by Mr. Hargrove as of 1894, included in the Diary in your possession?
2. Does the volume contain any entries of 1895?
3. Does it contain entries corresponding to those described by Mr. Pryse?
Mr. Pryse: -
4. Did the Diary you saw refer to 1894 and 1895, or only to the latter year?
5. Were the passages in the E.S.T. Circular, or any of them, contained in it?
6. Was the Diary in the form of a bound volume, or on loose sheets? Could it have been identical with the "other papers", referred to by Mr. Hargrove?
Mr. Fussell: -
7. Do any of the Diaries at Point Loma cover 1894, especially Nov. and Dec. thereof?
8. Is there a Diary for 1895 at Point Loma, which contains the "messages" of Jan. 3rd, Jan. 9th, and April 3rd, above referred to, in Mr. Judge's handwriting?
9. Does it include the matter, concerning which Mr. Pryse has recorded his impressions?
10. Are the "other papers", referred to by Mr. Hargrove, at Point Loma? Are they in Mr. Judge's handwriting?
11. Would these books and papers, if in existence, be shown to any responsible Theosophist under suitable conditions?
12. In view of Mr. Neresheimer's statement that all of Mr. Judge's papers passed through his hands as executor, do you know how the "other papers" and, or Diary of 1895, which Mr. Neresheimer did not know of, passed into Mr. Hargrove's charge
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"William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley" series of articles