re:Judge, and farewell
Nov 04, 1998 08:48 AM
by K. Paul Johnson [SMTP:pjohnson
I'll start by responding to Dallas's comments concerning Judge,
then explain why I will not participate in this list further.
I find fascinating the distinction between "Histories and
historical documents" and "opinions (his own or those of
others)." What this amounts to is an insistence that ULT
histories are "histories" and other sources are "opinion." I
feel sure that objective non-ULT observers would agree that ULT
"histories" are absolutely rife with opinion. And since my own
work as well as books by Bruce Campbell and Arthur Nethercot are
published by university presses rather than sectarian
organizations, objective observers might consider the historical
portrayals in them to be more than mere opinion. The Judge
affair is treated at length by Nethercot in his Last Five Lives
of Annie Besant, in a chapter called "The Judging of Judge."
Unfortunately he does not have endnotes, but one can still detect
what sources he used. Garrett's "Isis Very Much Unveiled" is a
major source. See my bibliography in Initiates of Theosophical
Masters for details on these works.
As for details: I challenged Dallas's claim that Judge's
"sustained effort" after TS headquarters moved to India was
responsible for tremendous growth. He says that "after HPB and
Olcott left for India in 1878 it was Judge who kept the TS in New
York alive by holding weekly meetings, even when no one was
present." That is a very misleading statement. It *was*
"after...1878"-- but *well after.* My point was that Judge did
not make a *sustained effort* but rather *resumed* his effort
after some years. This is a matter of record and Dallas seems to
avoid facing this fact.
Second, as for Judge producing no letters that turned Besant
against Olcott, look to Garrett, described in my Initiates,
concerning threats that HSO would somehow harm Besant if she went
to India. (This was after the resignation imbroglio.) Besant's reports about
the letters from/through Judge show that they started fairly soon
after HPB's death. And it is clear that Besant's perceiving
Judge as a channel to the Masters, and their joint headship of the ES
which Olcott had always kept at arm's length, had the effect of
distancing her from Olcott. This whether or not the letters in
question specifically denigrated HSO. They did promote Judge, as
in "Judge's plan is right. Follow him and stick" (see
If one believes that Olcott wrote his resignation "unrequested"
simply because no one who pressured him to resign did no
explicitly and publicly, then there isn't much I can say to
dissuade them from this view. See Nethercot for some background.
As for Judge urging HSO to withdraw the resignation, the politics
of all this are complicated but it would seem that alliances were
constantly shifting by this point and Olcott's support from
elsewhere, India particularly, had given him courage to oppose
his detractors. Although in one place he attributes his change
of heart to Masters' instructions, in ODL he says it was due to
the influence of Indian supporters (see Initiates for the
citation.) Judge's request to HSO not to resign might have been
a face-saving move when it became clear that HSO did not intend
to do so anyway. None of these principals can be trusted to be
honest and open about such secretive political maneovering.
As for Judge not wanting to go to India-- that doesn't mean he
didn't want the TS presidency which could have been shifted to
New York or London. Remember that a pro-Western, anti-India tone
was quite prevalent in Judge's publications at the time of the
division. (Not in cultural terms, but in terms of where TS
effort should be concentrated.)
First Dallas claimed that relations between Judge and HPB were
always cordial; but when I point out counterevidence he says one
should consider *all* letters. I never said that relations were
*never* cordial, as of course they often were. But they were not
*always* so which disproves the claim made.
As to the events of 1893-94, I don't see how anything Dallas says
challenges my account. It was Besant and Olcott getting together
in India and comparing notes that caused the attack on Judge,
which is what I said and seems to be what he is saying too. I
don't see the point he is making here.
When Dallas says that charges were "dismissed" that makes it seem
as if some higher authority than Olcott or Besant dismissed them.
Rather, Judge's objection that deciding on the "validity" of any
alleged Mahatma letter would compromise the neutrality of the TS
on questions about the Masters caused Olcott himself to end to
Since the Krotona conference was recorded, I'd trust the tapes
before the memory and notes of a highly partisan ULT supporter
listening to a TSA official.
Now, as to giving up on theos-l:
First, I must note that Dallas, whom I've addressed directly
several times, persists in referring to me always in the third
person and making requests in an oblique way, like "Could he
provide evidence" etc. Refusing to grant your ideological
opponents even a smidgeon of courtesy or respect is a good way to
avoid any real engagement with their ideas. Essentially, Dallas
has tried to control all discourse on theos-talk by simply drowning
everyone in his constant verbose postings of ULT orthodoxy, and disrespecting
anyone who questions it. I only tried theos-l in hopes that it
might be a place where Theosophy can be discussed without the
oppressing atmosphere of Dallas's orthodoxy. It clearly cannot;
he behaves the same way here as on theos-talk.
Second, no one else seems to be contributing much of anything,
which makes the list unrewarding.
Third, despite repeated requests from me, Dallas and Doss both
persist in copying HUGE amounts of previous digests or posts when
answering them, and with a slow modem I get awfully tired of
wading through all that repeated stuff.
So I wish you all well but don't care to participate further.
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