Jun 02, 1996 12:15 PM
by Bjorn Roxendal
At 04:34 AM 6/2/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Alexis comments: One needs to know very little at all about a person who
>publically claims to be "A Chela of the Masters",
There are many chelas in the theosophic movement. One of the reasons it was
founded was to provide an environment for chelas and would-be chelas to meet
and receive training. At this point I am assuming that you do not KNOW if I
or another student is a chela or not. IF you really KNOW that I am not a
chela, that necessarily implies that I have been deluded. So, do you KNOW
this, or are you just making assumptions based on your understanding of the
"conservative occult approach" etc?
and who publically claims
>to have been "In contact with the Masters for 20 years".
I wrote that the first time in this lifetime I made a conscious connection
with a real Master, was about 20 years ago. That happened to be Jesus, which
was all the more baffling to me because I had a history of being a fervent
opponent to christianity, and Jesus had previously not had any significant
place in my then only just budding spiritual life.
You seem to think that mentioning these things is inappropriate or a sign of
"delusion". It's interesting that you hang on to this portion of the
"conservative occult approach" while challenging so many other aspects of it.
Well, I DO think it is OK and sometimes even important to bear witness of
these things, and I am sure you recognize my right to do so. I certainly
recognize your right to consider me deluded, too, although I would not be so
quick to take that approach myself. When I cannot absolutely know if
somebody's claims are true, I prefer to take the gentler "wait and see"
Sorry but this is
>one of the few times I agree wholeheartedly with the conservative occult
>freely admit that based upon both study and experience I have absolutely no
>respect for the intelligence of anyone who takes either Mr. Ballard's "I am
>Movement" or Elisabeth Clair Prophet's "Church Universal and Triumphant"
I definitely take both Mr Ballard's "I Am Movement" and ECP's CUT seriously.
I realize that this means that you "have absolutely no respect for my
intelligence" and, to put it bluntly, I couldn't care less. I also take
"Bridge to Freedom", "Agni yoga" and Yogananda seriously. I see all these
activities and their teachings as expressions of truth, and, yes, as
sponsored by the Brotherhood.
Talking about intelligence in this context, I read a book by James Lewis and
Gordon Melton, called "Church Universal and Triumphant in Scholarly
Perspective". This is a special issue of "Syzygy: Journal of Alternative
Religion and Culture".* On the back page it is stated that "Church Universal
and Triumphant is a New Religious movement in the Theosophical tradition".
The research team conducted personality and intelligence tests on many
hundreds of Church members. The only really outstanding result was the
deviation from the average population in intelligence. The average church
member was shown to be dramatically more intelligent than the average american.
I suspect that the same would be true if a large number of theosophists
would be tested. Anyway, you have very little (no) objective support for
assuming that members of these organizations should be lacking in
intelligence, whereas I at least have SOME support for the opposite assumption.
* This Journal can be of interest to theosophists who are interested in a
more objective study of modern religious movements, see
for more info. One problem with new spiritual movements is that they are
usually VERY controversial. Just look at early Teosophy! Or early
Christianity! There are always these lawsuits and controversies, designed to
malign and tear down something that is perceived as threatening. This
happened to Mr. Ballard and the I Am movement, as well as to Blavatsky et
al. This doesn't mean that they were not who they were supposed to be. The
work of SYZYGY is very helpful in establishing a more detached and neutral
perspective on such movements. The following is taken from their web page:
> Syzygy is an interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of
>New Religious Movements (NRMs). In addition to the usual groups
>studied under the NRM label, Syzygy publishes articles and book reviews
>on the New Age Movement, communal and utopian groups, Identity
>groups, Spiritualism, New Thought, occultism, Neo-Paganism, astrology,
>UFO groups, and related phenomena. Scholars with interests in these
>areas are encouraged to submit papers and book reviews. For an index to
>back issues, please click here.
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