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The Cipher Letter

Jun 25, 1996 06:27 PM
by Alan

CWL04.TXT - reproduced from two printed sheets.

[The next series of documents to be uploaded in this historical study
will be made up from carbon copies of original transcripts, together
with transcripts of original handwritten letters.  Apart from the first
item, these will be the letters of Helen I. Dennis, who, in 1906, was
the Corresponding Secretary of the Esoteric School of Theosophy,
American Division, writing from 218 East 60th Street, Chicago.  The
Assistant Secretary was listed at an address in Phildelphia, so one may
suppose that they worked from home. - A.B., ed.]



Authentic copy from the original, written by C. W. Leadbeater to
   one of his pupils about 1906, with explanatory letter from the
   boy's mother. The cipher letter was typewritten on paper
   identified by color and watermark as that used by him in other
   communications, and was received as an enclosure with another

The "Cipher Letter"


My own darling boy, there is no need for you to write
   anything in cipher, for no one but I ever sees your letters. But
   it is better for me to write in cipher about some of the
   most important matters; can you always read it easily?  Can you
   describe any of the forms in rose-colour which you have seen
   entering your room?  Are they human beings or nature spirits?
   The throwing of water is unusual in such a case, though I have
   had it done to me at a spiritualistic seance. Were you actually
   wet when you awoke, or was it only in sleep that you felt the
   water?  Either is possible, but they would represent different
   types of phenomena. All these preliminary experiences are
   interesting, and I wish we were nearer together to talk about

Turning to other matters, I am glad to hear of the rapid growth,
   and the strength of the results. Twice a week is permissible,
   but you will soon discover what brings the best effect. *The
   meaning of the sign [Circle with dot in center] is osauisu.
   Spontaneous manifestations are undesirable, and should be
   discouraged. Eg ou dinat xeuiiou iamq, ia oaaet socceoh nisa
   iguao. Cou oiu uii iguao, is ia xemm oiu dina xamm. Eiat uiuu
   iuqqao xiao zio usa utmaaq; tell me fully. Hmue taotuueio et ti
   qmautuou. Uiiotuoo lettat eusmeoh. (The following paragraph is
   the boy's translation of the paragraph written in cipher -
   beginning with the. first *)

The meaning of the sign  [Circle with dot in center]
   is urethra.  Spontaneous manifestations are undesirable and
   should be discouraged. If it comes without help, he needs
   rubbing more often, but not too often or he will not come well.
   Does that happen when you are asleep? Tell me fully. Glad
   sensation is so pleasant. Thousand kisses darling.

Key to the cipher.

Cipher       a b c d  e  f g h   i  j k l m
Translation  e a b c d,i e f g  h,o i j k l

Cipher       n  o  p q r s t  u  v w x y z
Translation  m n,u o p q r s a,t u v w x y

Letter from the Boy's Mother

May - 1906.

Dear ...........

Your request was duly received asking for a statement from our son
   as to whether he had approached Mr L. ... for aid, or whether
   Mr L. ... had approached him, but owing to my feeling that there
   was no necessary haste, and to some pressing home conditions, it
   has been delayed until now and I trust the delay has caused no

At the present moment I believe it right to place in the hands of
   the Investigating Committee such evidence as we have pertaining
   to a sad difficulty.  Our only desire is that a full, fair
   setting forth of all points in the matter be made.

We have the deepest appreciation of Mr L'S kindness to the boy and
   ourselves in many ways, and whatever may come from us, we wish
   to avoid any semblance of pre-judging. What conclusions I have
   arrived at are based on the facts at hand.

My husband will send some statements later, setting forth his view
   of the situation as now presented to him.

Our son's statement clearly shows that Mr L. ... opened the

After having fully discussed the matter with both his father and
   me, he has given the key to the cipher in which certain
   information was given to him by Mr L. ... in "private" notes
   placed in letters.  Our son was so disinclined to relate what Mr
   L. ... had taught him, that for a time we felt we were asking
   him to disregard his honor.  However, we arrived at the firm
   conviction that Mr L. ... had no moral right to give him
   instruction and then bind him by word or attitude to secresy.

No minor can join the T. S.  without the consent of parent or
   guardian.  How much less then has any one, teacher though he be,
   the right to give a teaching that he knows is not generally
   accepted, and then cause the boy to keep it away from his
   parents and further promote the secresy by private notes and the
   use of a cipher.

Mr L. . . . gave to this boy a teaching admittedly dangerous, and,
   at the same time, prevented the counsel and the guidance of his
   parents in so critical a matter by impressing the boy strongly
   with secresy.

Mr L. ... either considered the parents unfit counsellors or else
   he feared their disapproval. In either case it was an assumption
   of privilege. For no matter which view he held, the parents are
   Karmically responsible for the child, and such teaching so
   contrary to their sense of right would have been possibly
   permissible only after having consulted them and received their

Neither the boy's father nor I would have permitted Mr L. ... to
   so instruct him. We have average intelligence; we have been
   devoted T. S. members since 1892 and surely would have been glad
   to co-operate with Mr L. ... in any measure we believed to be a
   useful factor in the boy's evolution.

Therefore, no matter what may be established as Mr L's motive, the
   fact that he ignored the rights and responsibilities of the
   parents deserves condemnation.

Our son left the slip of paper on the floor, from which the
   enclosed cipher note is copied. I also found another on the
   floor some time after finding the above mentioned cipher. That
   note was written in Mr L's hand and asked our son to keep a
   record of days when "experiments" were made, but this is now
   mislaid. It was not of so dangerous a nature as the enclosed;
   for in this, you will observe, Mr L. ... expresses himself as
   "glad the sensation is pleasant" showing that he approves of
   the sensuous part of the practice.

This surely was teaching the boy to throw pleasurable consciousness
   into the practice. Would not that make reactionary thought

Mr L. ... knew from my letters to him, that I was earnestly
   striving to aid the boy in his moral and mental growth, and he
   directly, or indirectly taught the boy to keep this important
   phase of growth away from his parents. This was not fostering
   frankness, to say the least!

Mr L. ... says in his letter to Mr F., "The business of
   discovering and training especially hopeful younger members, and
   preparing them for Theosophical work has been put in my charge."

A man may have credentials which bespeak his ability to teach
   mathematics or to teach occultism but it is unfair to the
   intelligence and duty of the parents to be denied knowledge of
   the method.

Again and again we have been told to accept only what mind and
   conscience approve. Our duty is to give the child the best we
   know. Where can Mr L. ...  find justification in carefully
   teaching this practice which he knew was so generally condemned,
   and which he took no pains to put before parents for their

A. B. said to me in '97, "Never make the mistake of doing evil that
   good may come."

Now it appears to me that this act is far more evil in its effects
   than what we call lust, for it warps the nature and annuls any
   possible good that might result. No matter how great a person
   has given Mr L. ... this work to do, our duty and right is to
   pass judgment on the methods, and since, as parents and
   guardians of youth in the T. S. we disapprove of them, our way
   is clear, and that is, to denounce such teachings.

These statements are not made in the spirit of one who is unwilling
   to hear all sides, but are the results of pondering on evidence
   at hand which comes from Mr L. ... and as facts, are

It is an inexplicable feature in this case, that the boy was taught
   this method while away from his home.

There was ample opportunity for Mr L. ... to have consulted the
   boy's father about this when in our city, but, he did not.

I have only touched upon the parents' view, which is the fringe of
   a matter pregnant with other phases.

Trusting that the utmost frankness and courage may prevail at all
   points in this investigation, I am,

Sincerely Yours,

[Blank - ed.]
Ancient Wisdom for a New Age

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