Jun 29, 1996 05:49 PM
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
Mrs. Helen I. Dennis
218 East 60th St.
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Chidester, M.D.
2321 Madison Square
November 25th '06
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.
"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.
[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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