RE: theos-l digest: October 28, 1998
Nov 01, 1998 12:31 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Oct 29th 1998
What your grandmother reported is on the whole correct as I was
present at that meeting.
There was the feeling of unity based on the teachings of
theosophy as originally presented by HPB and Judge.
The original point at issue in the "splittings" is the position
that Mr. W. Q. Judge /Vice-President of the T S occupies. In
1894, 3 years after the death of HPB Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant
(and others) tried to oust Mr. Judge from that post. They were
unsuccessful. It is all a matter of history. Although
reconciliation was agreed to in July 1894, the attempt to oust
him was renewed by the end of that year (1894). In 1895 the
American Section T.S. declared its independence of the T.S.
(Adyar). This is all history, and it is quite unfortunate.
Who was Wm. Q. Judge ? He was one of the original Founders of
the T.S. in New York in 1875. On Sept 7th 1875 he called the
meeting to order and proposed Col. Olcott to the chair. When HPB
and Olcott left in late 1878 for India via London, Judge remained
in America and due to his sustained effort the American Section
became in 13 years the largest Section with over 300 active
Branches and over 5,000 members.
Judge had no personal ambitions. He lived and worked for
Theosophy - as his writings attest. His relations with HPB were
close and always cordial. He was her collaborator. HPB found
it necessary at several times to emphasize his value to the Cause
of Theosophy. One of these occasions was her "Message" to the
Convention of 1888 of the American Section T S, which said in
part: "It is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the
Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888. Let me then
thank you for it, for the fist, and perhaps for the last time
publicly, and from the bottom of my heart, which beats only for
the cause you represent so well and serve so faithfully. I ask
you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice
is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the
transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in
more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know,
preeminently in yours." This is only one example out of many in
which she expressed her opinion concerning the value and loyalty
of Judge to Masters' cause.
The meeting went very well till almost at the end when Prof. John
Algeo spoke and proclaimed the Theosophical Society as the only
Society which had a mandate from the Masters - and thereby he
claimed for it, as I understood, its position as being sole in
authority. All the rest being considered in error. I felt this
was unfortunate and it cast for me a shadow over all the good
work that had preceded it.
There exists in print a book based on historical documents and
not opinions named THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT 1875-1950 - in that
the entire sequence of events is laid out for students to
consider and form their own conclusions.
I speak of this as a matter of fact, not to create further rifts
but solely for accuracy.
One more observation that I would make is the following: Whether
one becomes a member of an organization, society, party,
religion, etc... each one retains the inalienable right to decide
for themselves the right or wrong of their own thoughts and
actions. There is no such thing as "following a leader," or
"observing the (party, etc...) line." Even our laws do not
recognize the placing of blame on anyone but the individual who
chooses. Truth is the "property" of no one, and of no "Society."
I hope this is helpful,
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