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Re: History and Controversy

Aug 17, 1994 10:44 AM
by Astrea

"K. Paul Johnson" <> writes:

> Second, re JEM's conclusion that people are resigning from
> theos-l in protest at controversial discussion.  I hope this is
> untrue.  It would be interesting to see a list of "what ought

I am new to the list, and was quite interested (not repelled) to
see Leadbeater discussed.  I haven't read the book "Elder Brother"
but am familiar with the charges levelled against him, with some
justification probably.  When I was in Adyar at the beginning of
the year, I was interested to see that there was no mention of CWL
at all (except "Leadbeater chambers" still bears the same name and
his photograph), even though Besant is very much respected and even
idolized by many of the Indian people.  And of course Krishnamurti
is quoted all the time.  I actually thought this was a bit
hypocritical, given the influence CWL had on the society, and his
books are still very influencial in some quarters.  Why not come
out and say: "Well, we thought he did a good job for a while, but
now we're a bit embarrassed by these allegations and don't want to
talk about it?" I suppose this would encourage people to talk about
it too much.  But I don't really like these "codes of silence." It
makes the thing not talked about loom rather larger than it would

My personal view is that he cracked under the considerable strain
of chelaship.  I think many of his books are good and very clearly
written.  Some of you might have seen a video made by some
Australians who attended the Wesak festival in remote Tibet, which
was exactly as he had described it - although the "politically
correct" had, I understand, already started ommitting his sketches
of the festival from "The Masters and the Path" as being too
fanciful.  But anyway, I thought it showed that at least some of
his visions were accurate.  It may be that his imagination got a
bit carried away sometimes - it's notoriously hard to remain
objective when very astral phenomena and other subjective states.

As we know (or should know) the process of chelaship brings out all
the latent tendancies in the personality.  That, combined with an
unusual influx of energy can cause sexual and other abherrations.
I can think of a few Kundalini yogis who have gone off the deep-end
as well.

So anyway, I think we should be compassionate for CWL, for who
knows what we would do under comparable circumstances.  Doesn't HPB
comment in one of her essays on "practical occultism" or
"chelaship" that a large number of the members of her inner group
cracked under the strain, one way or another - suicide, madness,
crime, immorality etc.  I don't think we should ignore the good
work CWL did do - but acknowledge his failings as the same time.


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