Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2003.
Mr. Smythe in the Bog
[Concerning Mr. Judge's Alleged Diary]
by H.N. Stokes
[Reprinted from O.E. Library Critic (Washington, D.C.), June 1932, pp. 14-15.]
In an article entitled "Mr. Judge's Alleged Diary" in the May Canadian Theosophist the editor, Mr. Smythe, seems to be floundering in the morass of the Tingley Judge Diary question. I have not the least intention of getting into that bog myself, but I cannot agree without further evidence to Mr. Smythe's ready conclusion that Mrs. Tingley, assisted by two persons who are named, cooked up the whole matter. He publishes a portion of a recent communication from Mr. E.A. Neresheimer, according to which the latter has in his possession the famous Judge Occult Diary, given to him by Mrs. Tingley, and that the alleged quotations made from it by Mr. Hargrove in support of Mrs. Tingley's successorship to Judge are not to be found in it.
Mr. Neresheimer states that the E.S.T. circulars of March 29th, 1896 and April 3rd, 1896, in which his name appears among others signed to certain documents, were issued without his knowledge or approval and were not seen by him until they were in general circulation. Both of these circulars are before me. That of April 3rd, 1896, contains the purported minutes of an E.S.T. meeting at which Mr. Hargrove presented the extracts in question and in which one finds (pages 15-17) a page and a half verbatim report of Mr. Neresheimer's remarks, which conclude as follows:
"I corroborate everything that has been said by Mr. Hargrove. I was present when the papers of Mr. Judge were examined, and I have seen all the documents to which he referred."
That, of course, includes the Diary and the disputed passages having supposed reference to Mrs. Tingley. He began his remarks by saying:
"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."
I cannot agree with Mr. Smythe that
"This [recent letter of Mr. Neresheimer] is pretty conclusive evidence that the whole theory of Leadership which resulted so disastrously for the Theosophical Society in America was cooked up by her [Mrs. Tingley] who was most interested, and two assistants both of whom are still living, and who can now make what explanations they please."
We are asked to believe that two of the signers, both of hitherto good reputation and one of them an especially trusted friend of Mr. Judge, were infamous scoundrels and conspirators who manufactured fake statements of Judge, without any plausible reason being suggested for such swindling.
I do not wish to impugn the veracity of Mr. Neresheimer, whom I highly respect. But the printed remarks quoted above attributed to him in the April 3, 1896, E.S.T. circular in support of Hargrove's statements are either genuine or faked. If faked, why did he allow them to go unchallenged and without emphatic public protest at the time, instead of waiting thirty-six years to do so, during most of which time he was closely associated with Mrs. Tingley? Further, is it to be supposed that Mrs. Tingley, who was certainly a woman of astuteness, would have placed in Mr. Neresheimer's hands the very Diary which, by its lacking the purported statements, would be the proof of her wickedness?
Is it possible that the document which she gave him was not the Diary from which Mr. Hargrove made his alleged quotations? There is nothing impossible in Mr. Judge having kept two diaries, one a more general one, the other for strictly private occult matters, and the identity of that in the possession of Mr. Neresheimer with that from which Mr. Hargrove claimed to have made his extracts in support of Mrs. Tingley is not proved, and it should be proved before resorting to charging fellow theosophists with fraud and conspiracy of a most despicable character.
I have no object whatever in taking sides in this matter and I am but obeying the injunction implied in the E.S.T. pledge: "never to listen without protest, to any evil thing spoken falsely, or yet unproven, of a brother theosophist." When Mr. Smythe describes Mrs. Tingley as "the clever impostor who set herself, I believe, to wreck the Theosophical Movement," he is entitled to his opinion that she was an impostor, but if she was attempting to "wreck the Theosophical Movement" she showed a most strange way of going about it - founding theosophical lodges, lecturing on Theosophy and publishing the works of H.P.B. and W.Q. Judge. Are we to suppose that she published these books in order to wreck the Movement?
When Mr. Smythe says in the same article that Judge "himself had refused to be regarded as a successor to Madame Blavatsky" he has apparently overlooked Judge's E.S.T. Order dated November 3rd, 1894, which reads in part as follows ("By Master's Direction", page 12):
"I now proceed a step further than the E.S.T. decisions of 1894, 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. . . . . "
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"William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley" series of articles