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Jun 29, 1996 05:49 PM
by Alan


A letter to Miss Joan Amice Bottrell-Gosse in England.

This significant letter, transcribed from the original, shows the
   great sadness and despair that the CWL Affair in 1906 had upon
   not just the members of the T.S. in America, but also in the
   E.S. of the day.  I copying it to this medium, I have been
   overwhelmed by the misery which rises from the pages of 90 years
   ago.  I was asked recently if posting this material makes me
   happy.  The answer is that it makes me very sad.  Very sad
   indeed.  Read on ... A.B.


Esoteric School of Theosophy
American Division.

Corresponding Secretary
   Mrs. Helen I. Dennis
   218 East 60th St.

Assistant Secretary
   Mrs. Elizabeth M. Chidester, M.D.
   2321 Madison Square

November 25th '06

Dear Friend,

I have been half ill and postponed writing from many causes.  As to
   the E.S. - only sadness is there to write about.  The seven
   highest officials - Dr. C, the five Secy of D and I have
   resigned our offices because of Mrs. Besant's attitude and
   record.  How *can* the School be *truly* occult?  As a means of
   mutual study and mutual improvement of great use to all - but as
   an Esoteric or Occult body - truly where are we?  I cannot go
   into details - it is all to dreadful to us all.  The School in
   America is suspended awaiting her appointment of my successor
   and our members are nonplussed by the uncovering of the crimes
   of X - supported as an Initiate and direct Messenger of the
   White Lodge for years.  One does not need to pry into a man's
   past history to see that he has a dirty face - as it would seem
   that those claiming occult leadership should have seen such an
   aura without clairvoyantly prying into a man's life.  Our members
   are natural wondering, confused and losing confidence.  The
   Inner Circle in the opinion of all who have resigned has no
   excuse for being - we regard it just as you do & cannot give our
   moral support to such building up of a purely personal following
   in an Occult body supposed to have a true basis of spiritual
   realities.  Altogether it is impossible!  Never was I so sure of
   the truths of theosophy & I have learned much in the past year's
   suffering.  I do not believe that Masters work with certain
   methods & I do believe they are & always *will* use certain
   other methods.  The latter I shall try to follow by aid of my
   own conscience & intuition. The T.S. can use all the time and
   energy I can give and I shall do what I can in that.  And dark
   days are ahead of us in that with Mr. L. claiming that he *is*
   an instrument of the Masters - and not a few in this country
   believe it and are defending him and his theories by claiming
   that we have grossly misrepresented his teachings.  Well we are
   fast becoming a house divided against itself.  Have you a
   similar party in the T.S. in England?

Do you see "Jack London's" serial story - "Before Adam"?  I am
   sending the first installment and will send the others if you
   care to see them. Perhaps it is also coming out in England also
   [sic].  It is widely read here.

Just now a play a comedy is on the stage called "The Road to
   Yesterday" dealing with "Reincarnation" - the first scene is
   1903 in London - the second and third back to 1603 & the fourth
   and last return to 1903 again.  The characters of 1603 in old
   England are the same as those in 1903 - reborn in 1903 & the
   karma between them is quite skillfully worked out. - Has it
   appeared in London?  We are having Walls of Jericho Leah Heschua
   [?] & that one with the twins in too - in America.  Well this
   world is full of interest and there is so much to do.  I will
   write more at length later.  There are many social and family
   duties just now that seem to have been suddenly let loose upon
   me.  I am always so glad to hear from you and the necklace I
   wear often.  My love to Mrs. Betts - Ever your friend

Helen I Dennis.


[There follows a further sheet with a postscript.  This in on
   another sheet of headed notepaper which gives, on the top right,
   the following information:

"Secretaries of Discipline

"Christian Gnostic, John H. Knapp, Room 1031 State Mutual Bldg.
   Boston, Mass.

"Philosophic, Walter G. Greenleaf, 49 East Kinzie Street, Chicago.

"Pythagorean, William K. James, 805 Faraon Street, St. Joseph, Mo.

"Raja Yoga, Mrs. Grace Shaw Duff, 87 Riverside Drive, New York

"General, Mrs. Mary Shibley Cole, M.D. Richmond, Ill."]


[The postscript follows]:

P.S. I forgot to reply to you about the Inner School in connection
   with CWL. - There is no connection whatever. - The printed
   letter reached England before Mrs. Besant had the slightest
   inkling of the facts about Mr. L - in fact the summer I was in
   England I knew that the new Inner School was to be formed but I
   knew nothing of the nature of it.  She was considering the
   matter then spoke of it to a few - as to what would be the
   conditions of it etc.  These facts I know and there was not the
   least possible connection between the formation of it & CWL's
   acts. Needless to say none of us Americans ever heard or thought of a
   remote hint of X's doings when I was in London that summer.
   Never had I heard the faintest rumor until after my return -
   when I learned that they had been rife here under the surface
   for several years, having come from Ceylon.

No I have not read Hitchen's new book - will try to later when I am
   rested enough to read and all E.S. official duties are ended - I
   know of Stanley Hall's ideas - have heard him here of course.
   I am glad you enjoy the book for notes - I found these
   invaluable for E.S. records too.  My love to Mrs. Betts - and
   may the coming year be a happier one theosophically than the
   last one has been, Yes I should of course be interested in your
   study scheme - I gave your letter to F.T.S. here.

As ever



[A note on the reverse of the letter, written after it had been

"Yes I have been told that English people & Americans addressed
   their letters differently - but I did not realize about it -
   glad you called my attention to it. - Would Miss Ward for
   instance object to being written as Miss Edith Ward?"

[Editorial note.  In places it is difficult to tell from Mrs.
   Dennis' handwriting whether a full stop/period is intended or a
   dash.  I have tried to render these according to the sense of
   the letter. - A.B.]

Transcribed and uploaded by Alan Bain, 30th June 1996.

Ancient Wisdom for a New Age

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