The Pasadena T.S.
Jan 04, 1995 12:42 PM
I've been wondering about the current structure of the Pasadena
T.S. A number of members of the Los Angeles Adyar Lodge have
joined it, and actively participate in it. From what they
describe to me, it sounds different that what I read about it
during the time that Conger controlled it, and when Long assumed
At the time of G. de Purucker's death, there was a committee
runing the Theosophical Society, and an active Esoteric Section.
After three years, the committee appointed Conger to head the
T.S.; he moved to the headquarters at Covina, and shortly
announced that he was also the E.S. head and agent of the
Masters. He started a program of shutting down the lodges, and
required members to affirm their loyalty to him. His position
was strengthened by having the constitution of the society
rewriten. Certain key individuals in the society that did not
profess loyalty to him were expelled like Boris de Zirkoff;
By the time that Conger died, the society was much smaller, with
a large body of independent Point Loma Theosophists. These
independents discussed at various times the formation of another
society, but the general dislike of politics and organizations
kept that from happening.
There was not general agreement over J.A.Long as the next head of
the T.S. One rival claim was by Hartley, and some members went
In order to consolidate his power over the society, Long
cancelled memberships and required a signed statement professing
loyalty to him of anyone that wanted to rejoin.
Under Long, the Esoteric Section was closed. He wrote about the
esoteric becoming exoteric and the exoteric becoming esoteric.
There were not lodges nor public work. Everyone was considered
as in direct partnership with him; he stood as personal guru and
agent of the Masters for each individual member. The thoughtful
journal "Theosophical Forum" was replaced with "Sunrise," where
even the word "theosophy" did not appear. In effect, the T.S.
was shutdown, and there was only an E.S. remaining, called
"Theosophical Society International."
When Long died, Grace Knoche assumed his position. "Sunrise" had
an added caption: "Theosophic Perspectives", and started taking
on a stronger theosophical flavor. A small number of lodges
opened, called "library centers". Public work appears to have
begun again. The society appears to have moved back towards
being a T.S. rather than an E.S.
I was talking to Jerry Hejka-Ekins about his membership in the
Pasadena T.S. He mentioned that he heard no mention of Grace as
the direct agent of the Masters, and was not required to accept
or subscribe to anything other than universal brotherhood. Even
the membership materials and newsletters are no longer secret,
like those of earlier years like Long's "The Leader's Tour in
Europe," for instance.
What I'm wondering about, and perhaps a member of the Pasadena
T.S. HQ staff could answer, is how the society is now organized.
It could be (a) a regular T.S. with no associated E.S., (b) a
T.S. with the E.S. kept hidden and a policy of denial regarding
it (like in the ULT), or (c) a T.S. with an associated E.S.
that is acknowledged?
As a key player in the theosophical field, the Pasadena T.S.
should, I think, be understood by Theosophists in other
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