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Jun 19, 1997 05:59 AM
by M K Ramadoss

At 02:12 AM 6/19/97 -0400, you wrote:
>While at the library of the Seattle lodge today, I did some reading on
>the Leadbeater scandal.  Contrary to what I had believed, this had
>nothing to do with Krishnamurti, but primarily with 2 other teenage boys.
> The following are quotes from what I read today, interspersed with some
>comments of mine:
>From: "100 YEARS OF THEOSOPHY," pages 37 to 43
>"The full sequence of events is reviewed by Mrs. Josephine Ransom, in her
>"Short History of the Theosophical Society,""
>Does anyone have this book?
>"Mrs. Besant, while still not supporting Leadbeater in the teaching he
>had given a number of young boys, was outspoken in defense of the concept
>that the Society could not impose a moral code binding on all and each of
>its members."
>[By the end of 1908,] "Mrs. Besant had submitted a letter to the
>membership reviewing the situation, and on majority vote of the General
>Council, Leadbeater was reinstated to membership."
>Page 24: "In the four years before Krishna's arrival at Adyar, Leadbeater
>had won high acclaim for his American lecture tour, only to fall from
>grace due to a charge of moral misconduct.  This put a strain on
>Leadbeater's friendship with Mrs. Besant and forced his resignation,
>under pressure, from the society.  Today it seems likely that he was a
>victim of his times, for he believed the pressure of sexuality on young
>boys and girls was increased by ignoring the subject and refusing to talk
>about it.  He objected to the orthodox view that thoughts do not matter
>as long as they do not become overt, and he wrote explicitly about the
>ameliorating effects of masturbation in ridding the mind of such
>thoughts.  He felt that not to do so could lead to more serious
>consequences, quoting St. Paul that it is best to remain celibate but it
>is better to marry than to burn.  Leadbeater concluded in his best style
>that the 'average doctor cannot see the horrible astral effects of
>perpetual desire.'"
>"When Mrs. Besant became President of the Theosophical Society in 1907,
>she gradually warmed to Leadbeater again.  She even took up cudgels in
>his defence, stating that he had been wronged by her and the society."
>Page 50: [At the Theosophical Convention at Sydney in 1921 or 1922,] "All
>the previous immorality charges were rehashed.  All, according to
>Krishna, were lies.  He did not waver in his defence.  With Nitya's
>support, Krishna upheld absolutely Leadbeater's purity, although he would
>make no such commitment to his clairvoyance. Some years before, Mrs.
>Besant's doubts about Leadbeater had been just the reverse."
>Page 93:  "Was C. W. Leadbeater a "sex pervert," as his many enemies both
>within and without the Theosophical Society regarded him, or a
>misunderstood, maligned, pure-hearted martyr, as his many friends -
>chiefly within the Society - called him?  There is a mass of
>contradictory testimony on both sides, but it is fairly safe to say that
>if the situation had arisen three or four decades later than it did,
>after the liberation of conceptions of sexual practices and sexual
>morality had occurred, there would have been far fewer cries of shocked
>outrage and probably little more than a few raised eyebrows.  At least it
>must be admitted even by Leadbeater's enemies that he stuck doggedly and
>apparently sincerely to his theories and principles, and that he never
>admitted any shame or even embarrassment over his conduct."
>Page 95: "The distraught Annie Besant, trapped between two loyalties,
>decided in favour of the older and stronger.  On 26 February 1906, she
>answered Mrs. Dennis [who was accusing Leadbeater] from Shanti Kunja,
>accepting Leadbeater's explanation, and pointing out how unfair it was to
>condemn a man unheard, on the accusations of two confused boys."
>Page 95: "Annie, now committed to the defence of her friend, maintained
>that the whole thing was a malicious misinterpretation..."
>Page 96: "She knew through her and his mutual meetings with Master K. H.
>that her colleague could do nothing 'evil-minded.'"
>The impression I am left with after reading all of this, some of which is
>contradictory, is that Mrs. Besant basically trusted and supported
>Leadbeater in what he did with the boys, but had some misgivings about
>the effects it would have on his reputation and, by association, her
>reputation and that of the society.  I agree.  What he did may have
>lacked tact, but it was not child abuse.
thanks for the well researched post. As I have already mentioned earlier,
Ernest Wood who was for five years his private secretary, has mentioned (in
his book - Is this Theosophy?) that he never saw anything on this issue
during his association with CWL. Wood would have certained made some
comments if he had seen anything. We need to keep this additional info in

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