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Oct 04, 1995 00:47 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

I have noticed that there appears to be little or no overlap
between partisans of Judge and partisans of Leadbeater, and
very few Theosophists who aren't one or the other. From my
point of view, the similarities between the two are more
significant than the differences. Neither strikes me as
particularly admirable, certainly not in comparison to Olcott,
HPB or Besant.

 Herewith some similarities:

1. WQJ and CWL both convinced Annie Besant that they were the
primary channels through which she could communicate with HPB's
Masters. They used this to control her behavior. At different
times each succeeded in turning her against Olcott and the
positions he held on the ES, Masters, HPB. (In CWL's case,
this occurred after Olcott's death.)
2. In CWL's case, most informed students of the MLs and HPB's
body of writings concur that his claimed intimacy with her
Masters is not supported by primary sources. In Judge's case,
we have enthusiastic partisans asserting that he was producing
genuine Mahatma letters. But where is the evidence, e.g. those
letters, and what about them confirms this claim? In the
absence of supporting evidence, why should claims on Judge's
behalf by his admirers receive any more credence than claims on
CWL's behalf by his?
3. In either case, the question that strikes me most strongly
is "what if Besant had adhered to the lines laid down by the
Masters as understood by Olcott and expressed in the 1900
letter?" Her allegiances to WQJ and CWL both led her astray
from these "lines laid down":
"Be accurate and critical rather than credulous...No one has a
right to claim authority over a pupil or his conscience...The
cant about `Masters' must be silently but firmly put down. Let
the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of
which one is a part..."
4. Contemporary partisans of both CWL and WQJ tend to make
defenses of their respective heroes that boil down to sectarian
loyalty based on feeling and intuition. Some people complain
about the way CWL fans jump on anything critical of him. Is
there anything different about WQJ admirers?

In short, it seems to me that there is an extreme double
standard at play here. If Judge partisans look at Leadbeater
and see someone intent on manipulating Besant with claims of
Mahatmic communication, someone intent on expanding his power
in the TS through these claims, and someone who placed his own
influence above the welfare of the entire society-- I'd say you
can find another example of the same much closer to home.

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