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Lutyens, Algeo, etc.

Nov 20, 1996 07:07 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

The recent discussions about Krishnamurti's justification of
his affair with Rosalind, and John Algeo's review of The White
Buddhist, are both indicative of the degree to which discourse
in Theosophical circles is ideological in nature.  That is, the
priority is not to discover the truth but rather to make facts
fit into our preexisting mental framework.

I have been told, by an editor of a Theosophical journal, of a
friend who reluctantly withdrew a review of the Sloss book he had
written (for another journal, in England) upon pleas from
Lutyens to do so.  Result-- one less way for the public to become
aware of Sloss's charges; this represents according to my
informant part of a systematic effort to keep Sloss's book as
unknown as possible.  The high-handed dismissals and personal
attacks on me for even bringing it up recently, when Doss forwarded a
post on the subject to a Krishnamurti-ite list show me that there is no more
openness to new perspectives on K. in that camp than there has been
among Theosophists lately regarding HPB.  Now, apparently, Lutyens has
decided to counterattack, and the accusation is that
Krishnamurti was seduced by a woman whose husband encouraged
this as a means of gaining control over him.  The credibility
of this charge remains to be seen, but I doubt that Lutyens
comes across as plausibly as Sloss.

I was amused to read that Kym found John A.'s Quest review of The
White Buddhist to be "subtly scathing."  My reaction to it was
quite opposite-- envy frankly-- "Why wasn't he as generous and
even-handed with me, a member?"  There wasn't anything subtle
about the scathing nature of his TMR reviews.  As to whether
or not it is appropriate for a section president to attack
people's books, who knows?  I felt it was inappropriate for
someone who had been involved in TPH's decision not to publish
mine (as Algeo was) to then review it scathingly when someone
else published it.  But there are no rule books about these
things.  If there were, and I could contribute to it, I'd
suggest this: neither the section head nor the international
president are needed or wanted as ideological spokesman/woman for
the TS, and yet they both seem to have definite ideologies, not
shared with most members, that they are subtly and
not-so-subtly striving to promote.  If they choose to review
relevant books, no problem.  But when they use their authority
and status as role models in order to promote contempt and
hostility toward authors (as in my case) or to encourage
members to completely ignore books (as in Tillett's) then
something is seriously wrong.  Ideological correctness trumps
any even-handed consideration of alternative views.  "No religion
higher than truth" has lost most or not all meaning in the Theosophical
world, and the Krishamurti-ites don't seem to be any more successful at
exemplifying it.

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