CWL again!; SD; Prophet
Jan 22, 1995 12:53 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
LD> I don't really want you to put 100 pp. on the theos-net.
That's too much trouble, & won't lead to anything anyway. I'm
not in the least interested in reading Tillet's book, not even if
you sent it to me for free, because I think it contains a lot of
filthy, untrue garbage. You're right, I read some of it, &
that's exactly what I told the 7 Rays Book Store when I made them
take it back, that it was filthy, untrue garbage..
Tillett reproduces the more damaging parts of the documents in
his book. All I can do is testify to their genuineness, and
quote further material if needed. Since you have already
rejected the documentation as containing "a lot of filthy, untrue
garbage", what is the sense of repeating it to you?
LD> Just for instance, I am convinced that whatever CWL said at
the hearing you keep on referring to, it wasn't a confession to
what you & others think he did. That's why I wanted you to quote
chapter & verse. That's why I wanted you to quote chapter &
verse. I am very sure that he did no such thing.
One of the more cogent parts of his 1906 "confession" was
reproduced on pp. 84-86 of Tillett's book. I'm sure that it
won't change your mind--it didn't the first time you read it--if
you read it.
What do you think I and others think he did? I haven't detailed
what I "think" he did in over a year on this net, so it is
unlikely that you know what I "think" he did. I have told you at
least twice before that I have no desire to debate the Leadbeater
issue with you, and have been trying to drop it. Yet you keep
trying to engage me. What is the problem?
However, you are implying an important point. By refraining from
mentioning what he did might give those who did not read my
earlier messages (or forgot them) the impression that he did
other things. So, in a nutshell, this is what I "think" he did:
Some of CWL's actions with sexual connotations that went beyond
"advising" were for instance: he was observed sleeping in the
same bed and bathing with the children, even though
accommodations were provided to have made this unnecessary. In
Australia he was observed masturbating Oscar Kollestrom. In
Chicago, he often put the children in charge of a known
homosexual without a chaperon, and without the parent's
knowledge. What I never mentioned on the net, was Tillett's
presentation at the Theosophical History Seminar in San Diego,
where he discussed Kollestrom's diary that he kept as a young
man. There Kollestrom writes of Leadbeater's esoteric inner
group where the boys engaged in ritualistic group masturbation.
With our liberal attitudes concerning sex, some will laugh this
off, but keep in mind that this all took place early in the
century and was quite shocking then, and CWL's actions remain
morally questionable to illegal today. The two points that I
tried again and again to bring up, however, has less to do with
CWL's sexual trips, but with his moral and ethical obligations
towards the children in his charge. Because he bound these
children into secrecy, he created tremendous feelings of guilt
and shame in them. Nobody on this net has as yet acknowledged
this as a concern, yet it was the deepest concern of the parents.
Helen Dennis wrote Besant, that CWL's binds of secrecy was in
itself immoral. A further example of this was when the police
investigated the Manor in Australia, concerning complaints of
immorality. CWL refused to come out and talk to the police. So
the police instead interviewed the Children, whom they observed
to be very frightened, and refused to answer any questions. One
child was reported to say, "I will die first before I tell you
anything." Personally, I feel that Leadbeater's putting these
children into a bind that created guilt and shame is a far more
important issue than whether CWL "touched" or "advised."
The second point that nobody seems to pick up on is that CWL's
admissions and testimony have never been made available to the
membership, and Annie Besant's cover story of CWL giving "advice"
concerning masturbation is only half true by omission.
Because, nobody seems to want to acknowledge the above two
points, I early on gave up trying to point out that CWL's books
(the American editions at least) have been systematically edited
to remove all of his references to the "world teacher"; remarks
that reveal his racist attitudes (E.g. "Darker, therefore
inferior races"); and his clairvoyant observations that have
since proved to be absolutely wrong (for instance the
civilizations on Mars). Yet the publishers don't give notice of
what is being edited and why. Such notice is common practice for
non theosophical books published by any other publishers.
I think the problem is that acknowledgement of these facts would
force some CWL devotes to face the possibility that they might
have been fooled by him and misled by the TS. No one wants to
look foolish. On the other hand, I believe that until the CWL
case, and other coverups in the TS's past can be acknowledged and
worked through, the accumulated poison of these issues does and
will by slow degrees destroy the Organization. Thus, I had hoped
that a dialogue would be started so that we could examine these
deeper issues, but we never seem to get passed the "did CWL
advise or touch" debate, which I see as only the tip of the
LD> I don't need to look at the Wheaton or Adyar archives,
because I'm in touch with someone who knew CWL personally, & that
person has no reason to lie to me, has never lied to me, in all
the years I've known them.
Was this person present at the 1906 inquiry in London? Was this
person one of children under CWL's charge in Chicago in 1906? The
only person living that knew CWL, that you are likely to have
known is Dora Kunz. I realize that she defends CWL, and states
on her own authority, in no uncertain terms that CWL was
completely innocent. But I must point out to you that in 1906,
Dora was four years old and living in Java. You might also know
Dora's younger brother Harry Van Gelder, but he would be of even
less help in throwing light upon this issue. Knowing someone who
knew CWL, and knowing someone who was involved in the scandals
are very different things. Back in the 60's I attended a party
thrown by one of the Beach Boys. Several members of the
notorious Manson gang were there, and I had a very nice talk with
a young man who introduced himself to me as Tex Watson. He was a
very intelligent and perceptive man--the type of person you would
expect to be nominated as most likely to succeed in a High School
year book. I never would have dreamed from that very mundane
party, and my conversation with Watson, that a few months later
he would commit one of the most notorious murders in California
history. Do you follow me?
The point I was trying to make by suggesting that you look in the
archives, is that those archives are not available for
inspection. I was hoping that you would ask yourself why.
LD> But that's not something you, or the other hate mongers, and
that's what you are (& you seem to revel in it), are going to
I have always been very civil to you, yet almost everyone of your
communications have contained a personal attack. I have never
done this to you, and I don't appreciate your doing it to me.
Now, regarding your friend--you tell me that someone who never
lied to you, who knew CWL personally, had a conversation with you
that you cannot repeat. Yet this person convinced you of CWL's
innocence. Now you are putting me down because I don't accept
the "evidence" that you cannot tell me because it was givien in
confidence. Yet you feel that I should accept this "evidence"
that you cannot tell me over the documentation that I have seen.
Come on Liesel, give me a break!
LD> Just for instance, you make such a big to do about that CWL
told the boys to keep something secret. All CWL's pupils. male
& female, were & are bound to secrecy for much of what he taught
them. So that's not the horrible thing you make it out to be.
It was just a general rule.
Mrs. Dennis and Mrs. Knothe, the mothers of the two boys
disagree with you. CWL had a moral obligation to inform the
parents of his intentions to say or do anything to these children
that might be taken as morally questionable, and to get the
parent's permission before doing so. Even today, school teachers
may not discuss sexual issues with their under-age students
without the parents knowledge and written consent. This issue
goes beyond the righness or wrongness of the information that a
teacher may offer. It has to do with the right and duty of the
parents to protect their own children. "Touching" the children
is even more serious. Those under-age children who were under
CWL's charge, ended up very angry and guilt-ridden, according to
the parents. By swearing them to secrecy, CWL put those children
into a moral bind. That bind resulted in deep feelings of shame
and guilt. Under today's laws, this is called "exploitation,"
and people have been put into prison for it. I will ask you a
third time--would you allow your own children to be put into this
kind of a bind?
LD> If you have a lot of other activities going on, so do I. How
about if you stop putting derogatory remarks about CWL on the
internet, & letting a bunch of us feel happier that this junk is
done & over with. Again, I don't think you'd be crude enough to
say derogatory things about the Virgin Mary to a devout
Christian, or maybe I'm just thinking you wouldn't, because I
wouldn't do such a thing. Anyway, CWL is our Virgin Mary, and
the remarks you & your friends make are crude.
As I have already said, I have been trying to drop the subject
because, so far few have been willing to sustain an intelligent
dialogue. Some who have tried, Like Paul, have been attacked for
raising the issue. On the other hand, I have an obligation to
answer postings made by others on this issue-- including yours.
Maybe an intelligent discussion on this subject will yet arise.
If the Virgin Mary had exploited Children, I might have had
something to say about that too.
KP> To Leisel and Jerry - If Theodora and I can be civil,
anything is possible. What goes around comes around. If you
project your shadow, you will get it back. If you project your
higher self, you might get that back.
Are you suggesting that I have been less than civil to Liesel? If
so, please tell me where you have observed this.
KP> This may help or make matters worse, but here goes. I am
told by an "insider" that Dora Kunz's husband was one of the boys
(ages 12-14) learning from CWL. He has stated that CWL did say
that masturbation was a tool to help one toward celibacy. But he
was never, never touched by CWL now does he know of any of the
other boys who were. I don't think this will change one person's
mind on the issue.
I personally knew Fritz Kunz. Yes, Fritz was among the Chicago
children, but he was not involved in the scandal. He probably
never was "touched" by CWL. These issues only involved a small
minority of all of the children under his charge. No body ever
said that Fritz was touched anyway (certainly not me). Further,
Fritz was always very reticent to discuss the CWL scandal with
anybody. You might notice, however that his interests was in
theosophy and science, and his focus was on Blavatsky, not
Leadbeater. This was very evident in his classes, and if you go
through the issues of his magazine ~Main Currents~. Fritz in his
adult life always remained on the periphery of this Leadbeater
circle as much as he could--that is, under the
circumstances--considering his wife.
KP> But it might be worth following up on if he is still alive or
if any of the other boys are.
I don't know what happened to the Dennis boy. Of course the
parents published a few issues of ~The Theosophical Voice~ where
they tried to expose the cover up and present their side of the
story, but this journal is now extremely rare. I have a friend
who met the Knothe boy in late adulthood. My friend tells me
that the Knothe boy was still deeply bitter over the incident.
Of course, it is now very unlikely that anyone is still alive.
KP> Joyclyn Elders (I don't know how to spell her name) was
kicked out of Washington...
The parents were not so upset that CWL might have "advised" their
children concerning masturbation--though this was also an issue.
The masturbation story was a half truth given to the membership
in 1908. CWL also slept and bathed with the boys. He also
"touched" them, as he acknowledged at the inquiry. The same
activities seem to have repeated themselves seven years later
when he resettled in Australia. Since Liesel wants quotes, the
following is a summary of Oscar Kollestrom's testimony taken from
the police report on the Manor incident:
"One boy explains that Leadbeater encouraged him first to bath
and then to lie down on his [Leadbeater's] bed in his bathing
wrapper on an afternoon preceding a TS meeting at night. He was
to rest in order to be fresh for the meeting. Leadbeater lay on
the bed with a book in his left hand, and the boy lay on the
other side. Without any words Leadbeater with his right hand
caught hold of the boy's person and proceeded to masturbate him.
This boy had not arrived at the age of puberty. He explains that
he had a feeling that it was not right and slipped off the bed.
He avoided giving any further opportunity of the same kind,
though there were other rest afternoons. No date could be fixed
by the boy, but it seems probably the incident happened during
the first few months of Leadbeater's residence in Sydney
KP> Tell me about your first time does not refer to the above,
but to the first time you read "The Secret Doctrine" and your
first mystical experience. I"ll tell you mine if you'll tell me
I was sixteen years old the first time I tried to read `The
Secret Doctrine.~ I didn't get much out of it at first (except
maybe a headache). It took a lot of study and hard work for me.
I won't call my experiences "mystical", yet I can't put any words
to the feelings of expansion and the insights I experienced as my
understanding of the book grew.
KP> When where you first really disappointed by the T.S. or
fellow theosophists? (maybe you haven't been) Oh lucky
In the Summer of 1963 at the Wheaton Convention. It was held in
a tent on the grounds. The National President, Henry Smith was
being pushed out of office at that convention. I didn't know
Henry personally but I was sickened by the vicious gossip, cat
calls from the audience and power politics that went on to get
him out. I wrote a letter to my fellow Lodge members that I felt
ashamed to be associated with the Organization.
KP> Well, I almost gave up trying to fathom the unfathomably,
which is still unfathomable, but at least I know it is,. when
Bing Escudero came to lectrue. He presented the whole system in
chart form and this dunce (me) finally began to glimpse the grand
I have a high regard for Bing, but have many points of
disagreement with him concerning his interpretation of the ~SD~.
KP> We all rallyed around him. Well as you know he ran for
President a while back and there has never been a sadder
spectacle for me as regards theosophy. Bing himself was no
saint. He refused to print a platform in the AT. What he did
print were really snide, petty attacks at the current regime,
nothing spirtiual at all. Everyone was so excited! They knew he
had the votes. But my powers of clairvoyance (or mabe just world
weary savvy) where never stronger. Rules were suddenly created
to make throwing away "incorrectly filled out ballots" (those
with Bing's name and a little more) possible. A outside
consultant could have been called in to count the votes, but this
might have resulted in Bing's election (which is unthinkable, "he
might bankrupt us" etc.).
Unless you have evidence, I don't think it is fair for you to
suggest that the Election was fixed. Of course, the close
election and the changing of the by-laws that resulted in barring
Bing from running again are a manner of record.
Elizabeth Claire Prophet comes from the I Am tradition, that was
big in the 1930's, and founded by Guy and Elizabeth Ballard.
Prophet's Masters are supposed to be the same as HPB's, but even
a superficial reading shows that they have nothing, save their
names, in common.
Summit University was in the Santa Monica Mountains, but they
were pushed out of there. Today they are on an acreage near
Yellowstone National Park.
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