Black Adepts; poison letter
Sep 27, 1994 00:43 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
JT> So - do any of you who have studied this for a while have any
> comments or ideas relating the
> a) Existance of the "Dark Brotherhood"
> b) Whether or not they could have contributed to the early
> problems of the organization
> c) Whether or not they in fact did so?
Beyond the citation of passages in HPB's writings and in the
Mahatma letters mentioning the existence of "Brothers of the left
hand path", where can we go with this?
The idea of conspiring black magicians is a perfect for
fantasy novels, and even for embellishments in not so fictional
ones. The "Dark brotherhood conspiracy" archetype appears in
numerous forms. We have stories of secret Government vaults
filled with designs for perpetual motion machines; the sinister
influence of the Tri-Lateral Commission; the fear of communists
hidden under every stone used to power the John Birch Society and
through the Senitorial Committee for Unamerican Activities,
careers of innocent people were destroyed. More recently, we
learn that AIDS is really the product of secret germ warfare went
Even individuals in the Theosophical Organizations couldn't
resist finding "black magicians" in every corner. Anyone in the
theosophical organizations who disagrees with the "party line"
are considered by some to be "agents of the dark forces." Paul
Johnson and myself have both been given that dubious honor, and
so have a long list of others: Those dubbed "Black Magicians" by
"neo-theosophists" include: Victor Endersby; George Cardinal
Legros; Tom Redfern; H.N. Stokes; T.H. Martin; and the list goes
on. Some "Back to Blavatsky theosophists" have their own list,
which includes C.W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant and more lately
Stephan Hoeller. In short, anyone who too loudly questions a
statis quo (regardless of which one) runs the risk of being
classified as an "agent of the dark forces" by one group or
I think it is about time that we stop this nonsense. The
alleged work of the "dark forces" may be quite real, but they
leave no paper trail (or any other kind of trail for that matter)
by which we can document them. But on the other hands, as Paul
Johnson pointed out, we can show incident after incident where
the force of the T.S. was fragmented again and again. The first
incident was in 1885 with the Coulomb conspiracy. It eventuated
in HPB's forced leaving of Adyar, and her having to endure the
SPR Report. HPB called this incident a "test" which everyone
seemed to have failed. As she said of Olcott; He saved the body
of the organization but lost its soul. After that things went
down hill. I don't think you need "dark forces" to explain the
fragmentation of the TS. Plain stupidity, ignorance and greed
for power seems to cover all bases very well.
As for conspiracy theories, I don't buy them because it is
easy to make them up, yet impossible to prove. However, a woman
I had studied theosophy with for eighteen years did offer an
interesting (but unprovable) idea. She suggested that since the
Mahatmas say that the "dark forces" can only exert equal energy
to counter the good they have done, these "Brothers of the left
hand path" would have to thwart the TM in the most efficient way
possible. She suggested that all they had to do was spread
confusion concerning the teachings. Well, whether we can credit
"dark forces" or not, it is clear that the teachings have
progressively become more confused through the banterings of this
or that "clairvouant," "channel" or "messenger" over the last
century. The theory appeals to me. It's the best one I've
heard, but is no more provable than the others.
JHE >If you had indeed written that the story "seemed credible to
> me.", I would have understood you to be referring to yourself,
> and would not have bothered to respond to your post in the
> first place.
PJ> Things don't "seem" in a void. I don't think that your
> distinction holds water. There is an implicit "to me" in any
> statement constructed like the one above. Especially when
> followed by a statement (again with no personal pronoun) like
> the one also above. I didn't say "I will look for the specific
> passage." Do you therefore accuse me of dictating that
> EVERYONE will look for the specific passage? Again, give me a
> break. If I say "it seems that you are being unnecessarily
> confrontational about this" common sense dictates that it seems
> thus to the person saying so-- me.
You are playing with words. There is what you meant, what
you wrote, and what I inferred. What you meant and what I
inferred are equally valid interpretations of what you wrote. My
inferences, (or any one else's for that matter) don't come in a
"void." They are based upon our whole history of interchange.
Your last postings were intent upon showing Judge guilty in this
poison letter incident. I offered evidence that raised questions
to your conclusions, and you responded by speculating upon
further evidence that if it exists, would support your original
premise. When you came back with your third hand information and
declared that you original premise "seems credible" again, I had
every reason to infer that you were re-asserting it without
backing it up with no more evidence than a third hand report.
Even in today's message from you, you explain:
PJ> Herb's comment inspired me to resume the search. It's not
> that the story was credible because of what Herb said; it was
> that IF he was right, and Besant let it go unchallenged while
> published twice during her lifetime, THAT made it seem more
Whether you add the words "to me" or not, does not change my
reading that you are attributing credibility to the story based
upon your speculative evidence. That is what bothers me. If you
had softened your statement with the words "to me," It would
have taken the focus off of the speculative evidence you were
using as a back up.
PJ> Thank you for providing this; I had already concluded that
> until Radha throws open the archive doors (12th of Never, Hell
> Freezes Over, etc.) that Garrett, which I don't have, would be
> the best source. Which now I can use thanks to your providing
How can you possibly write on the Judge case without access
to such a basic, vital and primary document as this? That's
almost like researching the holocaust without taking Hitler into
account. I can think of a half dozen people (all of whom you
know) who would have provided you a copy of this document if only
you had asked.
PJ> However, I have been informed that M. Gomes knows some things
> which may relate to this. Whether he will tell any of them is
> another matter.
And if Michael Gomes tells you that he has no information
that can help your case, are you going to conclude that he is
hiding information from you?
PJ> What I will say in the book, and to you here, is that the
> specifics of the threat are far less relevant to my inquiry
> that the fact that it was made.
No evidence has been shown that such a "threat" was ever
made. Garrett, reporduces the text of the letter and shows that
the words "poison" or "poisoning" do not appear, and to infer
this from the text was really far a out thing for them to do.
With all of the evidence to the contrary, how in the world can
you conclude that a "threat" was ever made?
PJ> Which means either that M,
> through Judge, was genuinely warning Besant to stay away from
> Olcott, or that Judge was producing fraudulent letters to
> dissuade Annie from going to India (look at the power struggle
> of the time for clues as to why) or-- maybe-- that the letter
> wasn't a genuine Mahatma letter but also not deliberate fraud--
> self-deluded mediumship. The latter seems somewhat less
> credible than option 2, because of the self-serving
> implications of Annie's believing it and thus remaining more
> allied to Judge and less to Olcott.
The only thing that has so far been documented in this
discussion is that Besant received letters asking her not to go
to India. Whether the letters are genuine, fraudulent, talks of
poison etc. is all speculation on your part that goes far beyond
Concerning your posting on motives, though you have not
accused me of such, I wish to make a clear statement that I have
never questioned nor attacked your motives. I have always
assumed that your motivations are sincere and benevolent. I have
only questioned the methodology you use for drawing conclusions.
As you stated in this post, you are "a librarian, not a
trained historian". At the risk of being asked again to drop the
"ad hominem stuff", I suggest that you need to examine your
methodology, and get some training as a historian, as long as you
are going to do historical research and write about it.
I hope that this message clarifies things so that we can get
back to productive work.
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