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RE: Theosophical History == Mr. P. Johnson's opinions

Nov 06, 1998 07:56 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

>Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 8:00 
>From: W. Dallas TenBroeck 
>Subject: RE: Theosophical History == Mr. P. Johnson's opinions

Nov 5th 1998

Dear Frank:

I was glad to read your posting on theos-talk in this matter.

Most "histories" offer opinions.  Opinions are individual.  They
approach the area of fiction when the opinions of a writer, and
what he attempts to reconstruct as possible motives, are offered
as "facts."  Unsuspecting readers who are rarely ready to
duplicate basic research into historical documents, and the
events and facts they reflect, are quite likely to escape their
attention.  It is easier for the lazy (and most of us are in
various ways) to accept as "authoritative" the opinionated and
fictionalized history so offered.  Thus traditions arise.

In my youth I was educated in four countries, and therefore could
see at first hand the effect of partisan and politicized
histories when the same event was described.  Documents are

There is a safe way out, and that is to insist on personally
reading (in this case), the Theosophical Journals (and other
contemporary writings) of the times involved, because there we
can easily discern the sequence of events, and the relative
letters and document are printed.

In addition to a large spectrum of magazines, articles, books and
pamphlets issued by early members of the Theosophical Society and
its many Branches, there is:  the magazine THEOSOPHIST
(and the occasional SUPPLEMENT to the THEOSOPHIST) from 1879 on
up to the present; PATH from 1886, LUCIFER from 1887; then, there
journals.  The period covered is seen to run from 1879 right up
into the present.  I can claim to have read most of these with
fair attention.  It is from those sources that I verified
statements made in the books:

	THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT 1875-1925, and its sequel  for the
period  1875-1950

If one desires to know what happened one has to go to the
documents ( "primary sources" ) and compare those with whatever
else is relevant.

Mr. Paul Johnson has offered in this matter of Theosophical
"history" the opinions of Bruce Campbell, Dr. A. E. Nethercot
(whom I met in India when he was gathering material), Howard
Murphet and last, Garrett.  These appear to be "secondary"
sources, although in some cases they quote portions of "primary
sources."  I have read those, as well as many other historical
books, letters and articles that deal with "Theosophical events
and history."  (My personal familiarity proves nothing of course,
but gives an ease to handle such matters as Mr. Johnson deals
with from time to time in his own way.}

Those books reflect the study, work, opinions and conclusions of
the authors and compilers.  Mr. Johnson seems to frame his
opinions with great imagination pretty much as he pleases.  At
best they are at a "third source level."  I am not the only one
to question them and ask for proofs - which he has not advanced.

It is well at this juncture to state that all I write is on my
personal responsibility.

The UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS is an Association of independent
students of Theosophy.  By definition it has no set
"organization," nor any "spokesperson."  It exists for only one
purpose:  "To spread broadcast before the world the teachings of
H. P. Blavatsky and Wm. Q. Judge."  I am one of its many

The associates of the ULT have as uniting bond, the DECLARATION
of the ULT - and that is the sole document on which this
association has functioned and spread its endeavors for the past
89 years.  It presents the statements and propositions of
Theosophy - as originally recorded.  And that is repetitious
perhaps, but it is not "dogma."

Many are the interests and paths chosen by those who have been
touched or influenced by those statements, but the common bond
that unites us all, is a desire to learn what the TRUTH really
is.  We meet (on paper, or on a screen, or in person) from time
to time to present our ideas -- in patient but diligent search of
those areas of confirmation or of disagreement that build
progress for all.  No one is questioned or excluded in this
endeavor.  Each one works at his own pace and in his or her own
unsupervised way.  Being purely an "association," it has no
by-laws, officers or regulations other than its DECLARATION of
principles - hence no time is wasted on elections, politics or
side-issues.  It does not demand adherence to any set of objects
or principles at all, but gives to each seeker their
independence.  Those who value its freedom and the research
facilities it makes available use it and them.

The basic concept is that at the core of each person is the REAL
SPIRITUAL SOUL.  It is eternal and never "dies."  It has
"eternity" within which to study and to learn - reaching always
for that final TRUTH.  Are we not therefore brothers and sisters
?  And if so, should we not actively apply that in our lives and
outlook ?

The motto of the Theosophical society is "There is no Religion
Higher than Truth."  I see no conflict there.  The "Three
Objects" of the Theosophical Movement are common to all.  That is
if one considers that the "propositions" which Mme. Blavatsky
advanced for our consideration on behalf of the "Masters of
Wisdom" have inherent value and that the philosophical Science
named "Theosophical" is coherent.  Has anything better been found
lately ? - or, in archaeological or literary digs ?  Has our
adventure into the ultra small aspects of matter, or into the
regions of far outer-Space produced greater understanding of our
purpose and being yet ?  One thing is evident:  The great Laws of
Nature and the Universe persist.

I believe it is fruitless to go into further details.  When we
get down to discussing documents we may have a basis for further
discussion.  There is no question in my mind that we ought to
focus on that kind of study and work which makes for a real
unity.  The "organizations," or "associations" which we grace
with our presence indicate, to my mind, the kind of inner
attitude we have adopted.

Let us look to the future.  The past cannot be changed.  Every
one of our predecessors has done the world (and us, and others) a
great deal of good.  Focussing on what  we may suspect are
ulterior or divisive motives is useless.  They each carry the
Karma of their own motives.  We do not.  Yet, lessons may be
learned, so that we in our present or future may not repeat
errors that we think they made.  In that we each hew our own
"path" and our own "karma."  Let us work constructively.

One passing thought.  I note that Mr. Johnson has said that there
was an anti-Indian sentiment in America prevalent at the time of
the formation of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA in 1895.  If
one reads through the pages of PATH Magazine at that time and
earlier, we find on the contrary that Mr. Judge and others,
extended the hand of fellowship many times to Indians, and it is
certainly of record that it was members of the American Section
that came to the financial support of the Indian Section and the
headquarters in Adyar when theft deprived them of the finances
they so badly needed.  And that is HISTORY too.

One ought to also note that it was Mr. Judge who sponsored
(around that time) the ORIENTAL DEPARTMENT and that many valuable
translations of Indian, Hindu, Buddhist, and other ancient texts
were made available to members of the T S as a result.

Best wishes and thanks for your comments,


PS   November 6th

I have read the several posts made on this subject by various
contributors, and heartily endorse all constructive suggestions.
The only value to reviewing the "past" is to avoid repeating
those errors which so glaringly have served to divide.

It is the unifying aspects of Theosophy that are of importance,
regardless of our personal respect for those who have been
instrumental in giving us access to Theosophy.  Respect for all
those who have worked constructively ought always to be given in
my esteem.


>Date: Tuesday, November 03, 1998 6:40 PM
>Subject: Theos-World Mahatma's letters in Judge's handwriting

PIONEER by Sven Eek & Boris de Zirkoff

"The accusations against Judge grew out of a number of
documents which Walter R. Old, at one time a devoted
worker in H.P.B.'s household in London, and Sidney V. Edge,
Bought to Adyar in December, 1893, and which purported to
prove that Judge had been misusing the names and
handwritings of the Masters to bolster has own personal aims.
Olcott found the documents incriminating."  p.29

DALLAS:  These accusations were made by Mrs. Besant and she could
not prove them
At the Judicial Committee meeting July 10th 1894 (11 members
present). Judge stated he was willing to stand trial.  He asked
for certified copies of the "Charges" and to see the "documents'
(alleged "letters from the Masters" that he was said to be
responsible for.  Neither of these things were advanced nor was
he permitted to see them.
The Judicial Committee stated that it was unwilling to continue
the case in view of the fact that deciding on it was outside
their purview.  The fact was, that any decision they might make
would force a "dogma" on the T S in regard to the validity of
"Letters from the Masters,' was deemed by them to be beyond their
power (see Pres. Olcott's address).

"I believe that he [Judge] has sometimes received messages
for other people in one or other of the ways I will mention
in a moment, but not be direct writing by the Master nor by
His direct precipitation; and that Mr. Judge has then
believed himself to be justified in writing down in the script
adopted by H.P.B. for communications from the Master, the
message psychically received, and in giving it to the person for
whom it is intended, leaving that person to wrongly assume
that it was a direct precipitation or writing by the Master
Himself - that is, that it was done through Mr. Judge, but
done by the Master."  p.31 (statement by Annie Besant read at
the Third Session of the European Convention of the TS, July 12,


Mrs. Besant admitted that she herself did not question the
contents but only felt doubtful about the "method" of writing and

Incidentally for anyone who is interested I will be glad to send
a transcript of the Masters' own words in regard to the phenomena
of "letter precipitation."


>From ANCIENT WISDOM REVIVED by Bruce F. Campbell

"It was assumed by some that Mrs. Besant would assume
leadership of the Esoteric Section, but Judge had other
ideas.  He suggested that the Council of the Esoteric Section
be dissolved and that its powers be delegated jointly to
Mrs. Besant and himself as joint "Outer Heads" of the
action.  At the same time, a series of messages appeared
mysteriously that were to strengthen his hand.  The
first, which he reported he discovered in the cabinet in
H.P.B.'s room, carried the impression of a seal with the
letter 'M' and appeared to be a message from the Master
Morya.  Several days later, at a meeting held to decide
the future of the Esoteric action, Mrs. Besant found among
her papers a slip which read in red pencil: "Judge's Plan
is Right.'  The signature and 'M' seal was there as before.
Judge's plan for joint Outer Heads was adopted

"Olcott recognized the seal as one he bought some years
earlier.  On a trip to Punjab in 1883, he ordered a craftsman
to make a seal bearing 'M' as a present for the Master
M. He gave it to Madame Blavatsky to forward, but she
claimed it was a slightly inaccurate representation of His sign
and put it among her own things. It disappeared in 1888."
pp. 105-6


These are Campbell's own opinions and they do not tally with

The matter of the "seal" has been disposed of elsewhere and if
necessary documents can be advanced to show where and how its was
done.  Judge did not have the Masters' seal.


>From HAMMER ON THE MOUNTAIN by Howard Murphet

He [Olcott) asked Mrs. Besant to draw up the formal charges
against the Vice-President.  This she did in the form of a
prosecutor's brief, presenting six charges with supporting
evidence.  In the main charges covered: deception in the use
of the seal and in other matters; untruthfulness with regard
to communications with the Masters; and sending out
messages and orders as if sent and written by the Masters,
such messages and orders being proved to be non-genuine by
(a) error as in matter of fact (b) threat based on mistake, and
(c) triviality. The probability of such messages being fraudulent
was further enhanced by the facts that (i) they occurred only in
letters from, or within the reach of, Mr. Judge, (ii) the
knowledge displayed in them was limited to that possessed
by Mr. Judge, and (iii) they were calculated to bring personal
advantage to Mr. Judge, in some cases directly, and in all
indirectly, because  of his being the only person through whom
such written messages were received."


Read OLD DIARY LEAVES by Olcott - that is a primary source.  The
rest is  the opinion of the writer.


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