Sep 22, 1993 09:45 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Thanks to Eldon Tucker who instructed me as to getting on line and
downloaded the board activity over the last five days. I'm
delighted to see this forum and ready to participate (if the
electronic gnomes allow).
In response to Jerry Schuler:
I haven't seen the THEO.EXE file, so I'm in no position to say
anything outside of what is explicit, content wise, in your
comments. I share your shock that Dane Rudhyar was mentioned as a
theosophist, while Judge and Olcott, both founders of the
Organization, were ignored. I knew the late Dane Rudhyar on and
off for over twenty years, and have deep admiration for him. I
know his interest in Theosophy was genuine, but I think incidental
to his many other interests. Judge and Olcott, on the other hand,
devoted their lives to the promulgation of Theosophy. Like you, I'm
at a loss to understand the logic here.
As for the teachings: I agree. If this is an introduction to
the general public, why is there an exposition on Occultism rather
In response to Eldon:
Glad you put up a "family tree." If we are going to have a
meaningful discussion of Theosophy, we need to have an historical
perspective on it, lest we swim in a chaos of ideas without
reference to their origin.
To flesh out your "tree" a little bit:
Blavatsky, Judge, Olcott and others founded The Theosophical
Society in New York in 1875. The International Headquarters were
moved to India in 1879, where they eventually settled in Adyar.
This Organization still continues under Radha Burnier, and has
Lodges and Sections all over the world.
In 1895, William Quan Judge, President of the American Section
of that Society, declared the American Section Independent. This
became the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society
(Originally in New York, later Point Loma, then Covina then
Pasadena) under Katherine Tingley. This Organization still
continues under Grace Knoche, in Pasadena Ca., with Branches in the
United States and Europe.
In 1897, as Katherine Tingley became the head of the above
Organization, there were several more splits. Among them were:
The Theosophical Society (Otherwise called the "Hargrove
Society"). It was led by E.T. Hargrove, and was headquartered in
New York. It continued until about 1940 when it "indrew."
The Temple of the People started the Same year, with William
Dower and Francia LaDue. This Society still continues in Halcyon
Ca., under Eleanor Shumway.
Robert Crosbie founded the United Lodge Theosophist around
1908. It was originally a Lodge of the "Hargrove Society" (see
below). This organization still continues worldwide. Though
Crosbie was a member of the Theosophical Society (Point
Loma/Pasadena), at an earlier time, the actual split was with the
"Hargrove Society." The Santa Barbara U.L.T. is a chartered Branch
of U.L.T., and not a separate Society.
Rudolf Steiner withdrew most of the members of the German
Section from The Theosophical Society around 1912 and reformulated
it into the Anthroposophical Society. This Organization still
Alice Bailey came out of the Krotona (Hollywood) Esoteric
School (Adyar Society) around 1918. She broke away and started the
Arcane School around 1920 or so. This organization still continues
Jeddu Krishnamurti resigned from The Theosophical Society
(Adyar Society) and the Order of the Star in 1931. His line
continues with the Krishnamurti Foundation in Ojai Ca. This
Organization still continues.
In 1951 there was another split in the Theosophical Society
(Pasadena). William Hartley and James Long each claimed
successorship to this Society. Hartley moved to Holland, where his
There are many other organizations that started under
Theosophical influence, though don't claim a lineage to it. The
Rosicrucian Society (A.M.O.R.C.) in San Jose claims lineage from
the same Masters, though they claim their founding to have been in
Egypt around 1400 B.C.
The Rosicrucian Society (Oceanside) was founded by Max
Heindel, former Vice President of The Theosophical Society in Los
Angeles. His teachings closely parallel, Blavatsky in many ways,
but are still different.
The Word Foundation (Dallas Texas), founded by Harold W.
Percival, began in New York around 1904. Percival was a friend of
Judge, and his magazine, THE WORD, carried valuable historical
articles by and about early theosophical personalities. This
As for the Canadian Section, it always was a Section of The
Theosophical Society, though philosophically its members never
accepted Besant and Leadbeater's teaching concerning the world
teacher. It remained loyal to the parent organization, until it
was expelled earlier this year. It is now a separate organization,
while the more philosophically sympathetic Canadian Federation is
now being positioned to represent The Theosophical Society (Adyar).
The reason given for the expulsion, is that the By-laws of the
Section don't conform to the requirements of the Parent Society.
But this is a long story.
Also, we must not forget the Ancillary Organizations that came
out of The Theosophical Society (Adyar), such as The Esoteric
School of Theosophy, The Liberal Catholic Church, Co-Masonry, The
Egyptian Rite, etc.
Then there are numerous independent study groups all over the
world with traditions from all of the above organizations.
Moving on to another subject: For whatever it is worth,
Blavatsky preferred Turkish Tobacco. I don't remember the
reference off hand--OLD DIARY LEAVES I think. Don't have time to
look for it now.
Concerning Eldon's reference to the fifty or so pages cut from
THE INNER LIFE, and questioned by John Mead: Eldon is correct. I
was at the National Convention in Wheaton Illinois (1985 I think)
when Dora Kunz (National President) announced the publication of
the shortened version. She specifically mentioned that the
material concerning C.W. Leadbeater's clairvoyant observations on
Mars was to be removed in light of the findings of the Viking
Landers etc. I remember clearly that she was very careful not to
pass judgement as to the truth or falsity of the material being
This is not an isolated incident. C.W. Leadbeater's writings
(and others) are routinely re-edited with almost every new edition.
The fact that Mrs. Kunz announced this particular expunging of
material was an exceptional event--as it is the only time that I
know of that such an editorial decision was ever announced. I have
personally seen this practice during my past thirty years
association with this Organization. The Only study I have seen
published on this phenomena was by Gregory Tillett in THEOSOPHICAL
HISTORY, April 1989 under the title: "There is no religion higher
than...Approaching Theosophical History." I will be happy to make
this or any other material available if there is any interest.
In response to Donald J. Degracia's discussion of freedom of
belief, I agree that freedom of thought has always been a part of
Blavatsky's original theosophical movement. But remember, she
always referred to "the theosophical teachings." She spoke of them
as a body of "teachings," not ideas, or theories. The Letter from
the Maha Chohan makes this point even more strongly when it opens:
"The doctrine we promulgate being the only true one, must--
supported by such evidence as we are preparing to give--become
ultimately triumphant, like every other truth." Blavatsky's
original ideas concerning freedom of thought, can be found in THE
KEY TO THEOSOPHY where she only meant that the acceptance of the
theosophical teachings (given out by her and her teachers) was not
a condition to membership to the Society.
The problem of freedom of thought became an issue later in the
Society--around 1908--when Annie Besant began her world tour to
announce the coming of the World Teacher (Krishnamurti). This, and
the bringing in of the Liberal Catholic Church and Co-Masonry, and
the subsequent closing of the Esoteric School, brought about
growing objections from many members who did not accept
Krishnamurti--many of who believed that this new direction of the
Theosophical Society was not compatible with the original lines set
down during Blavatsky and Olcott's lifetime. In response to this
growing dissention, the General Council passed resolutions in 1924
and 1950 emphasizing freedom of thought and that no doctrine or
opinion is binding on any member, save the three objects of The
Theosophical Society. These resolutions were published on the back
cover of every issue of THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST from Sept. 1956
One last issue. Eldon Tucker mentioned that someone advocated
the removal of THE ELDER BROTHER (a biography of C.W. Leadbeater)
from a bibliography. Who ever made this statement--please
enlighten me as to what particulars this book is inaccurate.
Anyone wishing to respond personally, I have been advised that
my electronic address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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