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Ignoring 95%

Oct 25, 1995 06:03 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

The oft-repeated charge that I have ignored 95% of "the
evidence" about the Masters'identities has recently been twice
stated on theos-l. This inspires some reflections.

1. The Masters Revealed nominates 32 persons as possible adept
teachers/sponsors of HPB. In his voluminous posts, and
presumably forthcoming article and booklet, Daniel Caldwell
focuses exclusively on two of them-- ignoring 93.75% of "the
evidence" concerning my identifications of Master figures. Why?
Moreover, he repeatedly generalizes from these two to condemn
my entire output. Why?

2. John Algeo, in his Theosophical History review of the book,
defines the "thesis" as being that I have successfully
identified (i.e. conclusively established) historical
prototypes for Morya, Koot Hoomi, Serapis, Djual Kul, Hilarion,
the Chohan, and Tuitit Bey. I actually counted the number of
pages devoted to these hypotheses, and it came to 5% of the
book. It is overwhelmingly a collection of biographical and
historical information about HPB's associates; connecting this
information to the pseudonymous characters of Theosophical
literature is admittedly speculative and given little space.
Why such a misreading?

3. In the last twenty years, skeptical approaches to the
Masters have appeared in books by Campbell, Tillett,
Washington, and Meade. Totally flaky approaches to the subject
have appeared in books by Prophet, Creme, and who knows how
many others. Quite uncritical acceptance of HPB's claims
appeared in books by Cranston, Fuller, and Murphet. Peter
Washington's book in particular actually ridicules HPB and the
Masters, was published simultaneously with mine, and has
outsold it by 5-1 judging from OCLC holdings. Yet no TS leader
dissected or condemned any of these books with 5% of the
intensity that John Algeo has applied to mine, at least not in
print. Why does my work, which represents far less than 5% of all
books sold on the subject in the last 20 years, attract 95% of
the condemnation-- even though it is sympathetic to HPB and
written by a Theosophist? (I admit that Caldwell did a number
on Fuller, but doubt that it's 5% of what he has said about me,
and nowhere near as negative).

4. The only answer I can come up with as to the
disproportionate scrutiny and condemnation from my fellow
Theosophists, relates to the A.R.E. material I'm studying right
now. It says that anger and resentment are often the conscious
result of unconscious fear. Fear is defined as "a defensive
reaction of mind and body to a situation perceived as
threatening to the continuity of our self-image." I have found
that angry reactions to my work come especially from people who
1) are older than I 2) are Theosophical "insiders" in
comparison to me 3) are or believe themselves to be authorities
on Theosophy or its history and 4) accept HPB's claims on the
Masters with little or no questioning. If that anger is the result of
fear, what are they afraid of? Perhaps a threat to the
continuity of their self-image of being Theosophical

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