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Mr Alan Donant changes his Conger "Story"

Mar 20, 1999 07:02 PM
by David Green

In Mr Alan Donant's article "Colonel Arthur L. Conger", as first 
published in "Theosophical History", one finds the assertion-----

"On October 22, 1945, Colonel Conger was elected by the Cabinet as the 
Leader of the Theosophical Society.  At this time he was confined to a 
wheelchair by Parkinson's disease.  It was a prejudice against this 
illness that lay at the heart of the turmoil to come." page 45

In my recent criticism of this statement, I pointed out that Mr Donant 
gave no evidence to support his claim about the "prejudice".  

I went on to contend that what really "lay at the heart of the turmoil 
to come" was in fact Mr Conger's claims in regards to being the new head 
of the Covina T.S. Esoteric School.  I quoted Mr Emmett Small's 
testimony (*ignored* by Mr Donant) which reads----

"The position that Colonel Conger was elected to fill, it should be 
emphasized, was one of purely exoteric and administrative authority.  An 
E.S. Council at the time was directing the activities of the Esoteric 
Section. . . . . . . .Within three months of his election Col. Conger 
assumed headship of the E.S., declaring he held the same status as 
H.P.B. did.  Within the next few months he had summarily dismissed from 
office all who did not immediately acknowledge him
in this capacity, even though they had conscientiously asked for more 
time to give it careful and full consideration.  Those so uncharitably 
and swiftly deprived of former duties and responsibilities included, 
among others, the Chairman (Iverson L. Harris) and the Secretary (W. 
Emmett Small) of the cabinet. . . . . . . . . . ."

It is quite interesting to find that in the newly revised edition of the 
Conger article recently posted on the TUP Online website, Mr Donant has 
*changed the statement* (quoted at the beginning of this post) to 

"For a few, it was a prejudice against this illness and his being head 
of the ES that lay at the heart of the turmoil to come."

In the revised article, Mr Donant does *not* indicate why he has made 
this significant change from the original version in "Theosophical 
History."  Also Mr Donant doesn't provide any new evidence in the 
revised version to support this change in his thesis. Why is he totally 
silent on this issue?  No doubt, he has full access to many firsthand 
documents that would clarify this significant change he has made in his 

Very curious & strange!

David Green

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